220 Film in Mamiya 7

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by j.martin___, Oct 16, 1999.

  1. I am taking my Mamiya 7 with me to India in 10 days, and was planning to use 220 film (because it is more compact to carry, and because I don't want to have to change rolls so often.) In looking at the Mamiya 7 user form, I noticed a posting from a professional photographer from France whose experience was that pictures taken with 220 film in the Mamiya 7 were significantly less sharp than those taken with 120 film. In anticipation of my trip, I tried some 220 during the summer, and did not notice any problems (That said, many of the pictures were dance pictures where I was deliberately trying to blur and to show movement.) On the other hand, I also have used 35mm film with the panoramic adapter (and the pressure plate set for 220) and likewise did not notice any problems. However, in view of the posting, I'd like to hear what other people's experiences have been.
  2. J. Martin, I had the Mamiya 7 in India with me for a month shooting 220 film last winter. It is incredible. On a previous trip I took my 8X10 inch viewcamera. I can display my 20X24 220 Mamiya 7 images along side my 20X24 8X10 prints and not feel that the smaller negative suffers from the comparison.

    I have heard it before about 120 being sharper than 220. I've never seen it to be the case. Plus, those Mamiya rangefinder lenses are beyond what many people are used to in MF quality.

  3. I suspect the origin of this information is the idea that 220 film has no paper backing and is therefore more likely to buckle in the film gate. I doubt it makes any real difference, but I have not done any kind of studies on this.
  4. My experience with 220, in general, is be careful when loading the roll. Keep film taut so it lays as flat as possible. I use Fuji GW670 which is not quite the same, but the same types of problems occur when loading film in film backs etc. Some camera manuals warn of sharpness problems and loose film loads.
  5. I just returned from a two week trip to Spain, I carried only 220. It's the only way to go. I shoot 120 normally but when I travel I opt for the space saving longer 220. There is no visable difference under my 8x schneider lupe.
    By the way all exposed film went through the carry on x-ray machine, (there is NO WAY to avoid this in Spain) and I'm happy to report everything was fine. Be careful unloading in bright light you may get edge fogging.
  6. I haven't noticed any difference in sharpness between 120 and 220 rolls shot with my Mamiya 7. C'est la vie.

    BTW, my experience is different than Dermot's: A Spanish security guard did dutifully unwrap the aluminum foil I'd used to avoid edge fogging of my exposed 220 film, but the exposed 120 roll film in my pants and jacket pockets wasn't detected and wasn't exposed to X-rays.
  7. I schlepped a Mamiya 6 round India for 4 weeks last Spring. Fabulous! Although only using 120, I found the light perfect for these slightly slow lenses; and that Indian airports could be badgered into letting you take film round the Xray, though only on the internal flights (Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore, and Calcutta airports, to be precise). Just what you will get with a 43mm wide-angle, on 6x7 -- makes my knees go weak!!
  8. I shot 5 rolls of Astia 220 in my Mamiya 7 and although I was very careful to load it with film taught and take the film out without letting it unfurl, I did get leaks on two rolls. The leaks did not damage the entire roll; just a few exposures had intrusions about 3-4 millimeters into the frame. I never had a problem with 120 Astia. Good luck.

Share This Page