Bulk Loading 120 film?

Discussion in 'Darkroom Developing and Printing' started by Alan Smithee, Apr 22, 2005.

  1. Alan Smithee

    Alan Smithee Guest

    Bulk loading 120/220 film. Was this ever common? Why not?
    Alan Smithee, Apr 22, 2005
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  2. Alan Smithee

    Frank Pittel Guest

    : Bulk loading 120/220 film. Was this ever common? Why not?

    It sounds like a pain to me.


    Keep working millions on welfare depend on you
    Frank Pittel, Apr 22, 2005
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  3. No. In fact, the only medium format bulk loader I ever heard of was for
    70mm film (sprocketed) that loaded into magazines for long roll,
    motorized school portrait type cameras or for Hasselblad's 70mm film

    Hasselblad even had a tank and reel system with loader, so photographers
    could process their own film.

    Why it wasn't common, I don't know, but I can guess. To load a 120
    roll, you need to align exactly the film to the backing paper, so the
    frame numbers on the paper line up properly, so you can load the film
    to the first frame whether it automatically stops there or you have to
    use a window to view the frame numbers on the back of the paper. Also,
    the film has to load exactly straight on the paper.

    220 would be a little easier, since it doesn't have backing paper, only
    a paper leader with alignment arrows and a tail to cover the exposed

    In any case, if you're shooting lots and lots of 120/220 and don't want
    to change rolls frequently, 70mm was the solution. I think most
    general medium format camera manufacturers have discontinued 70mm. Not
    enough people using it to warrant continued production.
    Stefan Patric, Apr 22, 2005
  4. Alan Smithee

    Alan Smithee Guest

    Yes it does sound like a pain. And I'm guessing the price per frame didn't
    do much to incourage it either. The 70mm sounds kind of interesting though.
    What types of emulsions are available in 70mm?
    Alan Smithee, Apr 23, 2005
  5. Alan Smithee

    Nick Zentena Guest

    Today? About one colour film from each company. Usually a portrait film I
    think. Kodak might have one B&W film. J&C is going to have Efke in a couple
    of weeks. But the perforation issue might bite you. The 70mm back I have
    can take either perforated or non. Some backs can only take perforated film.
    In todays world you might not have a choice of perforation/non in your film
    of choice. Plus only bulk rolls are available now. At least I don't think
    anybody is selling the pre loaded cans. I think a few films designed for
    aircraft camaeras may also be available.

    Nick Zentena, Apr 23, 2005
  6. I haven't check lately on what's available in 70mm. Not much, I
    imagine. With digital coming of age and the camera manufacturers
    adapting to that market, film is falling more and more into disuse.
    And with the reduction in film use, film manufacturers are adjusting,
    too, by discontinuing many film types that are not profitable or have
    little demand like 70mm. (Like I said: Hasselblad has discontinued
    their 70mm accessories, but it's available used, usually at a very good
    price, since their is little demand for it.) In any case, if you
    really like a particular emulsion, and if it's still in production, I
    sure you can special order it in 70mm. I don't know what the minimum
    order would be, but years ago, I had a friend who shot 8x10, 11x14 and
    20x24 b&w, and special order it (Super Double-X, I think. It was still
    being made.) from Kodak. The miniumum order was $1000 US, but that was
    like a year or two supply, all the same emulsion number, regardless of
    the format. Saved him a lot of time with Zone System calibrations.
    Stefan Patric, Apr 23, 2005
  7. I've only used Kodak 70mm films. The selection has gone down a lot, but
    you can still get quite a few varieties -- Kodak Infrared Aerographic is
    a 70mm version of HIE, there's also 70mm Panatomic-X which is beautiful
    for landscapes and portraits. Aerochrome II is color reversal film, if
    you want to shoot 6x6 slides. And several manufacturers still make 70mm
    portait negative films.
    Joshua Putnam, Apr 23, 2005
  8. Alan Smithee

    Thom Guest

    Years ago I had an X_US Army 70mm Combat Graphic (Graflex) with 3
    lenses and it was a ball! 6x9cm images and a huge cassette. It took
    15' of film (I may be wrong on that its been so long)

    In the 80's and early 90's I got a 90mm Keith back for my Crown
    Graphic and boy did that save lugging around hundreds of film holders.

    Thom, Apr 24, 2005
  9. Alan Smithee

    Thom Guest

    I must respectfully disagree. The digital is just replacing the
    amiture cameras plus remember that acording to some computer magazines
    only 29% of house holds have computers. Thats why they have come out
    with these printing stations because they are running out of customer

    Digital is actually creating an interest in real photography where
    none had existed before. Look at the interest in sheet film, look at
    how quickly view cameras get snapped up on eBay and the new interest
    in 5x7 and 8x10. 5x7 is the hottest and you will notice that Kodak
    and overseas companies are again offering the film. Freestyle is a
    big seller of 5x7 now along with incraesed sales in 8x10.

    Thom, Apr 24, 2005
  10. Alan Smithee

    jjs Guest

    To add a data point. As I've mentioned I communicate with some Chinese
    concerns as part of my day job. 70mm motion-pictures are big there. And why
    not? The new Chinese economy is buying the best of everything. 70mm
    motion-pictures are a natural. Digital? Well, yeah sure, but it's for
    expediency. For real art, it's the real stuff: 70mm.
    jjs, Apr 24, 2005
  11. You disagree that film is being used less and less? But it's true.
    Certainly, the greatest change is with amateurs, whether snapshooters
    or the more serious picture takers, but pros, too, especially those
    where almost all of their photography is destined for print (b&w or
    4-color halftones) in magazines, point-of-purchase placards,
    billboards, brochures, corporate, industrial, etc. Also, I see more
    and more weddings being shot with digital. Even portrait photographers
    are switching. It all boils down to cost effectiveness: no expense
    for film or processing and a big savings on turn-around time. (Time is
    the most costly thing in business.) If a business can cut expenses and
    save time, too, it becomes more profitable, and, thus, more
    competitive. Is film still being used by pros? Of course, but only
    when the quality that film produces is required or requested.
    I agree. Digital does give instant gratification to those who lack the
    patience (Most of the MTV, I-want-it-NOW! generation ;-) ) to wait a
    week or two, like I had to, to get their pictures back from the drug
    store. But still the process is not much different than when the more
    ancient of us, as children, got our first film camera (no such thing as
    digital), usually a simple affair, the point-n-shoot of the day. Some
    never progressed past that first camera, but others did, and a very few
    developed in to professional photographers. All starting with that
    first simple camera, whether film or digital.
    Stefan Patric, Apr 24, 2005
  12. Alan Smithee

    Dr. Dagor Guest

    Bulk loading of 70 mm film in large magazines was common and is still
    possible. You have to dig to find the film, though.
    The problem with doing that is film scratching, which is significantly
    worse with 70 mm than with 35. I believe the Hasselblad and the
    Bronica sites have notes.

    The big problem with 120 is the backing paper. Kodak patented a really
    thin, opaque paper and it's almost impossible to reproduce. Most dark
    papers are so thick that with a normal size 120 spool, a 12 exposure
    chunk of film and the backing paper won't fit.
    Dr. Dagor, Apr 26, 2005
  13. Alan Smithee

    Thom Guest

    The pros are going back. Digital is a big disappointment in things
    like tonal range. Some studios who specialize in quich turn around
    for printed publications have digital backs but the portrait studios
    have all but dumped it.

    So called photo journalists are using it along side of film but some
    of us are real snobs and don't consider these guys real photographers
    and the poperotzy don't help that image. :)
    One pro-magazine I read a couple of years ago said most are going back
    to film. One friend of mine in Denver tried it and almost lost his

    I recently bought a Kodak 3.2mp digital to do a test for an article
    and I pitted it against and $15 1955 FED-2 ranger finder camera and
    the FED won hands down.
    If your in the business of doing trash photos, I agree.
    Not really. In my studio I used a 6x7 and a 90mm Keith back on a 4x5
    and frankly because I was taught about Quality at Brooks I would have
    used a Gowland 5x7 TLR if I could but I couldn't.
    In my city the big thing is real AGFA photo prints from digital. The
    same store charges US$3.17 out the door for 27EXP process and 4x6 high
    quality prints. They are in a price war right now and charging
    11cents with tax for 4x6 prints and US$10.96 for a 20x30 inch digital
    to real photopaper prints.

    Thom, Apr 26, 2005
  14. "Poperotzy"? "Amiture"? Interesting spelling style; is that the way everyone
    in Oz spells?

    (Hint: it's "paparazzi", which is actually the plural; the singular is paparazzo.)
    Interesting. What lens did you use--a Jupiter-8, Industar-61, Industar-50?
    Actually, probably any one of those could've beaten the digicam.

    It's a good guess that one of two things is going to happen in the
    coming days and weeks: Either Bolton goes down—-or we start learning
    a lot of unpleasant things about Sen. George Voinovich.

    - _Slate_, 4/19/05 (http://slate.msn.com/id/2117028/)
    David Nebenzahl, Apr 26, 2005
  15. Alan Smithee

    Thom Guest

    no, its the typos people with problem hands (age you know) and no
    spell checker get. Thanks for your concern.
    actually its spelled VULTURES.
    The Industar-26M which came out before any of them. I actually was
    quite surprised how well it did. The main problem you have when
    comparing the two is that any film negitive can be enlarged
    indefinately and you still have an image but at one point digital just
    turns into boxes. Its also like comparing a 4-colour separation
    (printed page) to a photo print. In a way its an unfair test.

    Things like tonal range are a better comparison. Comparisons like
    this will continue as the old guard builds the barracades to defend
    the film fort and the amatures and yuppies with their yuppie phones
    and digitals attack the tried and true! :)

    I have said it before and will again. I believe that digital is
    actually getting people interested in film photography again. Its
    kinda like you started out with a 127 Brownie and then get a 35mm or
    Yashica-D (all in old days terms) but now its digital to film cameras.
    One big indication I think is the availablitiy of 5x7" film. Theres
    more now than 4 years ago.


    Thom, Apr 27, 2005
  16. Going back, but not totally abandoning. I think some pros thought
    digital, especially the higher end equipment, would supplant 35mm
    conventional film for the most part, and they jumped on that train with
    both feet. Of course, they were mistaken. As they soon discovered.
    But digital still has its place among the photographer's tools.
    However, regardless of how you look at it, less film is being shot
    I think digital is the perfect media for most news/editorial
    One magazine doesn't indicate a trend. Your average consumer magazines
    are less discriminating. Sports Illustrated, for example, uses digital
    for a lot (I don't know, if they use it for all.) of their stuff. They
    need quick turn-around. Usually, they are editing the photos of the
    game while the game is still being played. And they don't have to have
    a mobile lab on site with E-6 machines running continuously to process
    the film from a dozen shooters with motor driven cameras.

    Sorry about your friend. Like I keep saying: digital is an additional
    tool in a pro's kit; not a replacement.
    Which doesn't surprise me in the least. I've never, ever purported that
    digital, regardless of the resolution, was better, sharper, etc. than
    film. I'd be willing to bet that one of those single use, 3-element
    plastic lens point-n-shoots from Wal-Mart would produce sharper or at
    least as sharp pictures straight out of the camera as a 3.2 MP digital
    straight out of the camera.
    Too many photographers, who decide to do it for a living, make the
    mistake of thinking professional photography is not really a business,
    and that the rules that govern business don't apply. And for those,
    failure will be the result, "trash" photos or fine art.
    Well, I use everything from 35mm to 4x5, including digital. Whatever
    fits the requirements of the job. Although most of what I shoot is
    film, 120 and 4x5, but I usually shoot digitals, too, if I can, for web
    use (saves me from having to scan the film, which saves me time and my
    client money) or quick proofing for the client.

    Do I shoot less film than I did before digital? Yes, I do. If only
    because, I don't need to shoot Polaroids anymore. I use digital
    instead. And it saves me dollars. Quite a lot, in fact. At $3 a pop
    for a 4x5 Polaroid, it mounts up. But I also use digital for
    actor/model/performer/theatrical publicity shots. Something that for
    years, I used 35mm b&w (and sometimes color) film to do. But those
    people have gotten away from conventional silver prints, and gone to
    digital printed halftones to save time and expense. So, a 3 MP camera
    is all the quality that's needed. And what used to take me a couple of
    hours or so per client after the shoot to produce a finished print, I
    can now do in about 15 minutes, while the client waits. What could be
    There are a couple of pro labs here that do silver prints direct from
    digital files. Although, mostly I use a nearby Costco photo lab for
    silver print proofing, 5x7s and 8x10s. And volume printing, too.
    Surprisingly, the quality, within limits, is every bit as good as the
    pro lab at much less cost and 24 times faster. (What I have to wait
    until the next day with the pro lab, I can have in an hour from Costco
    most of the time.)
    Stefan Patric, Apr 29, 2005
  17. Alan Smithee

    Thom Guest

    Digital has its place like the first time it was used wuth $20,000
    Kodaks at the Madrid Olympics. Use it like a movie camera, go under
    the Stadium and see if you got anything and 10 minutes late Time or
    Life or whoever got some images. It worked.
    I can't disagree with that but what about histort? Remember when
    color came in and now we have what they call the lost generation?
    CD's unless they are kept in acid free paper envelopes have a limited
    life (as I am finding out personally) and how much of any given towns
    history is lost unless those images shot on digital are preserved
    as I said previuously but of course who cares of ball games are lost
    to history? :)
    I agree but the makers of expensive units were pushing it otherwise
    for profit. Next you have the issue of the prints. Its easy now
    (well here at least) to get real photo prints from digital but what
    about all those photos done on ink jet? Fall in the pool, live in a
    humid climate etc etc and the ink runs.
    I got the Kodak 7300 point and shoot and I'm determined to get to the
    point where I can get at least decent stuff just for the hell of it.
    It has a lens about equal to a 34mm on 135 which is usually either too
    short or too long. Still its a challenge and keep the mind busy.
    But both applies. Artists should have to deal with the hassels of
    capitalism and simply contribute to the world but life isn't like
    that. My personal experience as a former studio owner is that you
    spend 90% of your time on BS that's not photo related. I have also
    seen year after year where studios owned by couples do the best, the
    man does the meat and potatos (shooting) and the wife does the other
    stuff and it seems to work out so well.
    I would have disagreed with you once. 35mm meant awful grain unless
    you shot with Panatomic-X or the 50asa ilford on a tripod but today
    the 35mm films are so good they are almost as sharp as the lenses.
    You can use an ASA400 film hand held (properly of course) and get good
    8x10's that fill the specs. Some people think the drop in sales of
    6x6/6x7 gear is because of digital but I thinks its because 35mm is so
    much better. I am amazed there hasn't been a mid-range, film about
    45mm's wide shooting a 1-1:25 ration image on film from a cassette.
    I'm retired (last week in fact) so my needs differ from yours.
    Yup, its great for that as long as you can control the digital
    I don't disagree with any of that but there was a bit of conventional
    wisdom from the 50's-60's about shooting weddings on 4x5 vs 120. As
    my mentor said "you can't be seen using a camera that some amature
    wedding guest is using, its bad for business. The that kinda switched
    to 6x7 vs 35mm and now film vs digital. There is not what we would
    call a "Professional Digital Camera" for things like location shots
    and all too often when they see you with a digital they can buy
    locally they may wonder "why should I pay him when my secretary can do
    the same thing?"

    Too many business people are visually illiterate and wouldn't know a
    good photo from a bad one and all too often their company magazine,
    annual report or even PR efforts turns into a show place on not what
    to do.
    What I find interesting is when you put a high mag "Loop" to these
    prints there is a huge difference between what you see between an
    inkjet print and a digital to photo paper print.

    Thom, Apr 29, 2005
  18. I know it is done for the prosumer market, but ...

    Is there a market for 'archival silver gelatin [and any another
    pomposity one can come up with*]' prints made from digital files
    for the narcissist mom & pop crowd.

    * * *

    * cellulose substrate [paper]
    titanium backed [TiO2 in the byarta]
    oxygen purged [went through developer]
    tempered [at 68F (or so, maybe)]
    p/h buffered [wash aid was used]
    desulfunated [was washed at all]
    passivated [a 10 second dip in the KRST]
    sealed silver (tm) [substitute polytoner for KRST]
    Nicholas O. Lindan, Apr 29, 2005
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