What do I do with 120 film?

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by kurt_wyberanec, Aug 30, 2001.

  1. I am new to medium format, and I am just about ready to be done with
    my first roll, but I am curious, what do I put this in. I know it
    says that it can be sensitive to light and I should develop it
    quickly. How can I store this stuff? How dark does it need to be
    when I am loading and unloading? And of course, what do I put it
    in? Thanks very much for entertaining a novice question.
  2. I generally am careful with it. When shooting, I put exposed rolls in my camera bag. I am careful not to expose it to bright sun. I transport it in a paper bag when I am taking it to be developed. While I am overly cautious, it is important to make sure the film is being pulled tightly on the take-up roll. If you do have a roll that is loose, be very careful with it as there is a real risk of light leaks. Out of around 80 rolls, I have had one with light leak issues.
  3. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    I try to be careful but sometimes get to working in an environment where there isn't time to be as careful. With some loosely wound rolls, I have had light bleeds on the edges but never into the image. So you just have to be as careful as you can without interfering with shooting.
  4. Aluminium foil. You'd be surprised how effective it is.

  5. If it's wound reasonably snugly, you don't have much to worry about. I
    keep my exposed 120 film in clear ziploc bags for weeks while I'm
    traveling and I've never had problems (except when the roll wasn't
    tightly wound, and in those cases it would have exhibited light leaks
    no matter HOW quickly I got it to the lab).

    While loading and unloading I try to shade the camera from direct sun
    and hot lights, but other than that I take no special precautions. As
    a poster noted above, what's ideal and what's realistic in the field
    aren't always the same: you should protect the film as much as
    possible, but in my experience there's no need to be anal about it.
  6. Do you do your own printwork?

    If so, those black plastic bags paper is kept in are perfect for storing rollfilm.

    But, as has been mentioned several times now, there is no great danger, just roll them up tight and keep themn out of direct sunlight.
  7. Kurt - since this is your first roll, I thought I'd mention that after
    you have wound the film completely on to the take up reel, you'll
    find that there is paper backing that winds around the exposed
    film to keep it light-tight. And there is a small paper tab with
    adhesive that you lick and stick around the roll to hold the paper
    backing in place until you process. Please disregard if you
    already knew this; thought it might clarify. I have never kept my
    120 in anything but a Ziplock bag; never had a problem. Bob
  8. I also just went through my first roll of 120 (a throwaway roll to learn steel reel loading). Thank you, Mr. Cook, I knew that little strip of paper at the end was supposed to be useful, but I never thought to lick it!

    in a sort of tangential question, is the last frame right up against the edge of the film end? I'm worried about scratching a valid frame when I clip it onto the reel. Or do people normally peel the whole roll off and insert from the other (taped) end?
  9. I am quite a careless person ( my girlfriend regards me so) but I have never encoutered any problem with loading/unloading of 120 films. After finishing each roll, I lick and stick, then reload another into the chamber. I never try hard to shield myself from sunlight ( as suggested) or keep the finished roll in any special container/bag, there hasn't been any problem. Although sometimes it is a pain to handle the film ( troublesome ), overall it is quite forgiving at least to me.
  10. For use in the field, I bought a Lowe Pro 'film drow AW' poch. This has a virtually light tight opening at the top, formed by four crossover flaps, so you push the film through the overlap. It stores about 15 rolls of 120 and isn't too expensive. I don't do MF at the moment, and I don't feel it's needed for 35mm, but it's a nice item, have a look at Lowe Pro's website.
  11. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    I knew that little strip of paper at the end was supposed to be useful, but I never thought to lick it!
    Not only should you lick it, some of them taste good. Agfa films have mint flavor on the lick-it side.
    is the last frame right up against the edge of the film end?
    It shouldn't be, and I haven't seen it in the cameras I've used (you should hear it winding for a while after you finish the roll), so it shouldn't be a problem.
  12. Shouldn't be a problem. Just bring it out of the camera carefully
    so that you don't drop it (it might unravel) before, tightening the
    backing paper and sealing down the sticky paper. In bright
    sunlight, if there is no shade around, I lean over the camera to
    create a shadow so that it does too much bright light on the roll.
    Once you have licked it and stuck it down tight, you should be
    able just to drop it into your camera bag pocket. Later, I transfer
    them to ziplock bags and then, whilst travelling, put these in
    large lead-lined anti-X-ray bags.

    The only problem I have ever had is with some Kodak film
    getting a slight fogging along the film edge near the last 1 or 2
    frames. But it didn't come anywhere near the actual image area.
    I have never had this problem with Fuji or Agfa film and I suspect
    that it is because they use backing paper that is more lightproof.

    An amusing sidebar, Fuji, Kodak and Agfa all have slightly
    different flavours on their sticky-paper. Kodak tastes the worst -
    a bit "chemically". Fuji tastes like a postage stamp. But the
    best flavour is Agfa, which has a minty taste.

  13. Something not yet stated..if you look at the exposed roll as retrieved from camera it does say on the backing paper something along the lines of 'fold under before sealing'. I've never quite known how much is supposed to be folded under ( I normally fold about an inch in ) but I think this gives a little tension to the film's winding and thus guards against any loosening. That's what I think...any more suggestions about this folding of backing paper?

  14. As for folding the end of the paper under, it seems common across all brands. It does however, make it easier if you process your own, to get a thumbnail under the edge to break the aforementioned licked strip. I don't know if it improves the light seal though.

    I suppose (wild guess), that in the dim light of a darkroom, the exposed film, with the folded under end, could be differentiated from new, unexposed film with it's leader unmolested, on this alone. If working on feel alone this may be a factor?????
  15. Although you can buy plastic cannisters at camera stores to hold 120 rolls, they are the same as the plastic containers of m&m's minis candy. So eat a couple of tubes(the candy) and save them(the cannisters). Not only protects them from light, but also impact.
  16. Finally, a thread I can sink my teeth into :)
    Ilford roll end adhesive tastes far better than Kodak, slightly minty, smells more minty than it tastes.
    Unfortunately for roll end adhesive enthusiasts, the limited selection of 'vintages' prevents development of a full scale obsession.
    --Michael, roll-end adhesive sommelier
    ps: I put my 120 film in a black plastic bag leftover from B&W paper storage, as I have had the occasional issue with Ilford rolls and edge fogging. My camera and backs wind the film up nice and tight, it seems to be an issue with Ilford rolls themselves but since the bag solves the problem, I've not looked deeper into the subject.
    The minty, fresh taste with a hint of lemon keeps me coming back to Ilford for more.... LOL

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