rewinding 120 film

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by ken_tuvman, Feb 28, 2014.

  1. Hello Everyone,
    I sometimes forget where I left off with my camera when I haven't used it for awhile.
    Had an A12 with film inside set a 2 - not remembering that the crank only stops at 1, I wound it to about 8 - no good explanation.
    Went in the dark and removed film and rewound it - next, in inside light, I re-loaded the film as if I was putting in a new roll but after rewinding the film, the edges weren't tight. I kept lens cap on and snapped a couple times to get the film to advance to 3.
    Wondering if light may have leaked in through the edges where film wasn't wound tight - hate tossing a good roll of film and also hate taking pictures only to find out film was exposed.
    Words of wisdom?
    Thank you,
  2. Wisdom, in such a case, is to take your loss. Rewinding and reusing a roll will risk everything that has already been exposed on it, plus everything you will expose on it on its second run through the camera. It's cheaper to just take the film out and put a fresh roll in. Film isn't that expensive.
  3. I have rewound a lot of rolls out of necessity when I kept forgetting to load my Rolleiflex correctly.
    It can be done, I can get the rolls tight. It is a bit of a pain. I do it on a table top in the dark with the receiving spool held up pretty tightly to the unwinding spool. Keeping them in line and keeping them tight and waiting for the end of the film to come so I can tuck it in and keep winding. Might be a learning curve for it but it is more tedious than difficult. I have done some side by side testing of different 120 cameras by re winding the film and switching camera in the middle of the roll. To me a roll of film is too expensive to throw away.
  4. The film is taped to the backing at one end - the end out on a new roll. It's nearly impossible to rewind a roll without creating a bulge at the taped end. The solution is to rewind as much as possible, carefully peel the tape from the backing, flatten the last bit of film, and retape it.
    Considering the time you invest in this procedure, and the possible loss of existing or new images, it's best cut your losses. If the film is partly exposed, develop it and take what you get. Next time, be more careful loading the film.
  5. 120 film is not intended to be rewound. It's taped at the lead end but not the tail as Edward says. I agree with the others -- toss the roll and move on.
  6. Rewinding a 120 roll is really not very difficult. It just takes a couple of minutes and you have to keep it tight when you do it. I think it is silly to throw away film. However the difference in opinion that others have might come down to whether you process your own film or do you pay a lab. I process my own film and the film I have rewound is black and white. It is possible that the only film I have rewound is 120 Fuji Acros as that has been my film of choice for several years. It is also possible that different films have different degrees of difficulty. I have never had a problem with a bulge where the tape is. That would be because the roll is not being wound tightly and the film has moved a little bit in relation to the backing paper. To me, processing my own film, throwing a roll of film away rather than rewinding it is just nonsensical. We are talking throwing away 5 bucks.
    But to each his own. And perhaps I am just better with my hands than others are.
  7. I process my own film too, and it's not that you do that or not that it's not a good idea to rewind 120 (or 220) film. It has nothing to do with it.
    As Edward said - even if you manage to rewind without scratching and scuffing, keeping light away from it, do not introduce bend marks, keep it straight, and tight - you will indeed end up with a bulge. You will have to remove the sticky tape to flatten it, and then retape it again.
    And why go through all that trouble and run the risk of losing exposures? Film is indeed cheap. How much is your time worth? How much would it cost to go back and redo the exposures lost to some 'cost-saving' exercise? "We are talking about throwing away 5 bucks" indeed. How much would you be willing to pay (if it were possible) to have someone magically revover those lost exposures for you?

    And how come you, someone who is "perhaps just better with [his] hands than others are", had to do it so often ("Lots of rolls."), D? ;-)
  8. I think it must have to do with the type of film. As I said I think it is possible that the only film I have done it with is Fuji Acros, which has a pretty stable base and very thin tape like scotch tape.
    It is not difficult to do in my experience and scratching has never happened and I have never had this bulge that needs fixing or edge fogging because keeping it tight is not difficult.
    I started doing it actually because the tape on the Acros is so thin that my Rolleiflex auto feeler wasn't catching it and I was often winding rolls right through without stopping. But I have done it a few times on purpose when I want to run a film test from more than one camera and I don't need the whole roll for the test.
    Even $3.50 a roll is too much for me to just toss in the garbage. Now most all film costs around $5.00 a roll. Of course this is because I know I can rewind it easily. When I do rewind film I keep the take up spool edges right up against the other spool and hold it tight. Not difficult, just a bit tedious.
  9. Thanks everyone - from my perspective, I'll just have to spend more time with my camera and be more careful - I'd hate to lose good exposures because I tried re-using a roll of film - I have a feeling I didn't do a good job re-winding the film and would rather cut my losses and start with a new roll of film - I understand the cost but I'd rather be safe than sorry.
  10. Another reason to rewind 120 film is to wind it onto 620 spools. So far I have only done it once, and there was a small enough tape bulge that I didn't try to fix it. It was to test an old 620 camera, so I wasn't too worried. I might do better next time.

    Once you go past the end, it is a little tricky to get the non-taped end of the film back onto the spool.
  11. The best way to resolve this problem is to adopt an "SOP" and steadfastly stick to it every time . Switching backs on a Blad is certainly one of it's greatest strengths. I always trip the shutter and then DO NOT wind the film if I change a back. That way, whenever switching backs, I know that I have to wind it to the next frame each time I mount it. I love my Hasselblad, it is my go-to camera over ANY of my Nikon 35mm and digital cameras but let's face it, as any Blad owner will tell you, the camera does has its quirks. Knowing those quirks inside and out and knowing how to deal with them will save you from a lot of headaches in the future.

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