Will We Ever See 220 B&W Again?

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by arthur_gottschalk, Jul 4, 2012.

  1. I really miss having 220 B&W film. It was so easy to use in the field, so much fun to shoot in my Hasselblad. Will we ever see it again?? Please say it's not gone for good.
  2. lwg


    I doubt we will have new stock, but it's possible since both Kodak and Fuji still have 220 packaging machinery. Ilford's is beyond repair, but they would be the company most likely to bring out the product.
    I still have a few rolls of TriX 320 left. I should really shoot them soon. Thanks for the reminder.
  3. This infrared is all I know you can get new: http://www.macodirect.de/rollei-infrared-400sbr70mm-305m-p-428.html
    It's a bulk film so you would have to roll your own 15' length rolls.
  4. david_henderson

    david_henderson www.photography001.com

    You must have been wearing the widows weeds for a while then. I started with b&w film about a decade ago and I can't recall ever having a 220 to choose from save for Tri-X 320 and I prefer the 400 speed version. I'm sure you have a way of shooting b&w without having 220.
    Coming back? I'd put it at worse than 1 chance in 100. If its important sell the 220 backs whilst there are still a few colour emulsions available
  5. I'm hanging on to my 220 back just in case-- of a miracle.
  6. To me they should have put 120 to rest instead of 220. I was a 220 fan and still have a bunch of 220 inserts. Why would someone want to change rolls every 15 frames beats the heck out me ?
  7. stp


    The loss of 220 was one (of several) of the last straws for film photography for me. I agree with Harry; I didn't want to be out in the field changing film twice as often. Film has declined far faster than I could have ever imagined.
  8. I hope somebody offers it. I feel as if Adox would if they could. At least Kodak still offers color 220 film.
  9. It's a modus operandi thing, Harry.<br>Some (i bet many) people work towards a goal, have an idea, want to turn that into a photo.<br>But once they have completed the put-it-on-film stage, they're left wondering what to do with the other 11 frames (using 6x6, even 15 frames when using 6x4.5) on a roll. They're then forced to work on 11 more of such projects before they can go on to the next stage of the process.<br>The idea of even shorter rolls (half the length of 120) isn't a bad one. Sheet film isn't either.<br><br>Not that 220 isn't very usefull too. It is, on those occassions when you can't go on and finish a photograph anyway (for instance when travelling).<br>I've been lucky so far in that my favourite 220 film - Portra - is still available. Not that i use it much though: the cost of 220 film is more than twice that of 120 film over here.<br><br>And what's so bad about having to take half a minute to change film?<br>But to each his own and if that's the way you feel about it, Harry, why haven't you changed to a camera that puts 16 exposures, instead of just 15, on a roll of film long ago already? ;-)
  10. 220 film from it's intro, was made for wedding, portrait and commercial shooters. The rest of the world was able to benefit from the longer rolls. 220 was a God send in PIA, to load cameras like the Pentax 67.
  11. I have 220 backs for several cameras and could get a pretty good variety of color films in 220 if I wanted but I tend to be happier with 120 for the same reasons stated by Q.G.
    As for B&W film, I've seen those stainless steel reels for 220 and they looked much harder to use in a dark bag than the standard 120 reel. Since I develop all my B&W film at home I'm perfectly content with 120.
    On a sub-note, Steve's comments about the Pentax 67 being a difficult camera to load are puzzling to me. I read similar comments about that camera frequently, but to this day have no idea what makes it any harder than any other camera. I've never had any trouble loading film in either the 6x7 or the 67...
  12. I still have 220 b&w in my freezer and Nikor wide spaced tank/reel sets. With my supply of 105mm wide Kodak microfilm I suppose I could have some cut down to 220 if I supplied the leader/tail paper and spools. There are many isues surrounding 220 which have been discussed buth here and on apug. The most important one may be that 220 was coated on a thinner base than 120 or 35mm. If that base is not used for any other film size then it will not be practical to make it just for 220 b&w. This was certainly the case for Ilford. Ilford's 220 equipment was worn out anyway and sourcing the leader and tail material was also a problem. If Kodak is still making 220 color film then the base is being made and it could potentially make some quantity of 220 b&w stock. The biggest problem is that we don't really know what film base is still being made or what emulsions are still being coated.
  13. You can also buy new Fuji E6 film in 220 format in Japan. It is ridiculously overpriced, but it is available in Velvia 50 & 100 that I know of (and possibly the Astia 100 as well).
    The other aspect of 220 film that, to me anyways, is somewhat of a religious debate, is the fact that there is no backing paper, allowing the film to lie flatter against the focal plane than 120 film, thus theoretically achieving a sharper look than 120. I've noticed no such difference in my experience, both look beautifully crisp when properly exposed and focused.
  14. The focal plane is on the side where there's no paper anyway (even with 120 film), Guy.<br>Paper does not present a problem re flatness.<br>So no reason why 220 would lie flatter.<br><br>The 220-flatness-myth originated with Contax's attempt to sell us a vacuum back for the Contax 645.<br>Vacuum backs do not work with paper between the suction plate and the film (that is: they do, but sucking the paper against the plate doesn't help much). So it had to be 220 film if we wanted to have flat film (and use that vacuum back - which of course we would want to, wouldn't we? - to help us achieve that).
  15. Contax were not inventing a problem though; they were inventing a solution. According to a quality-obsessed professional whose experience I greatly respect, Marc Batters, "The C645 vacuum film backs were quite the thing, really did flatten the film in the carrier and led to higher quality negs". See also the comment by David McDaniel here.
    Unfortunately, in the one situation where I have personally experienced medium format film becoming unflat, in a variety of cameras - very long exposures in humid conditions when the film can buckle, such as astrophotography - the Contax vacuum back would be useless, as the user manual says that the vacuum does not operate in the Bulb mode.
  16. Contuining on that tangent a little more: what we are looking at in these Contaxes and their ceramic vacuum backs, much more than a need for vacuum backs, is Kyocera and their desire to display who they are and what they can do.<br>The magnitude of the need for such a thing is echoed by the great number of these thingies we use. ;-)
  17. Contuining on that tangent a little more: what we are looking at in these Contaxes and their ceramic vacuum backs, much more than a need for vacuum backs, is Kyocera and their desire to display who they are and what they can do.​
    Kyocera built a better mouse trap. And you slag them for that? Why?
    The magnitude of the need for such a thing is echoed by the great number of these thingies we use. ;-)​
    So your point is that few people ever used the Contax vacuum back, therefore it was never really needed?
    But in the overall realm of photography, few people ever used a Hasselblad - therefore the Hasselblad was also never really needed. It was merely a bunch of Swedes and their desire to display who they are and what they can do ;-)
    (Which I don't really believe, of course!)
    I don't think it matters that few people ever used the Contax vacuum back. What matters is that they found it beneficial - I've seen numerous folks praise it for delivering on its promise of flatter 220 film. If others got by fine without it (not everyone shoots at wide apertures where depth of focus is shallow, or even shoots scenes where unflatness is revealed by the subject matter), then that's great too.
  18. Who slagged Kyocera?<br>How do you turn the fact that Kyocera chose the cameras they also manufactured to showcase what else they could do into a blot on their reputation, Ray?<br>And why?
    No need to go on the attack in defence of Kyocera, Ray.<br>;-)<br><br>That sort of reasoning doesn't work, Ray.<br>If we indeed all needed vacuum backs, with the 'technology' being both simple and available, photographers not queueing to get vacuum backs and manufacturers not offering them in every camera they produce because of it would be inexplicable.<br>Unless we would assume that only those cameras needed a vacuum back that were actually fitted with ones.<br>Or - as you appear to suggest we should do - we assume that people really need it but are not smart enough to see and/or understand that they do.<br><br>The simple truth is that - unless you happen to do photogrammetry or other such specialised application of photography - we do not need such thingies. The absence of them in the market place is indeed the result of, and as such proof for, that.<br><br>Oh, and...<br>And indeed, people who do not need a Hasselblad should not get one. Most of those people who knew and understood they did not need one did indeed not spend their money on getting one.<br>(You can't turn that round though: the fact that someone doesn't use, say, a Bentley motor car or a dialysis machine does not necessarily prove that he doesn't need one.)
  19. Sadly, I fear we won't be seeing B/W 220 film other than stuff locked away and previously forgotten in people's freezers... :-(
    As a constant user of 220 film, I remember speaking to a Zeiss technician at a UK photo-fair about 10 years ago who extolled the virtues of 220 over 120 on the grounds of flatness at the peripheri of the frame - interesting to have been able to read the Zeiss literature on the matter - thank you Sal Santamaura.
  20. The link to Zeiss Camera lens news no. 10(2000) is dead. can be found on archive.org
    I am currently studying filmflatness in kiev60(p6-mount)-.120 only- will later get hartblei 1006M which can use Hasselblad backs(also 70mm which i have).
    complaint of hasselblad and mamiya rz-owner about "bad" lenses alarmed me. I also had filmflatness-problem but due to air-changes during flight-off. Darkslide-slit of a12 should have been taped, Hasselblad-goeteborg said.
    70mm film could also lead to better flatness. It also depends how you shoot. in the zeiss-article, depending film they say waiting 5 min. between the shots is the max.
    I will try this: using 70mm-film eighter in 70mm backs (mamyia rb-70mm vaccum) and cut down afterwards for the lab. xkaes at aol.com can deliver all kind of versions. i have the 70120A(Assymetrical cut-my term) which cuts 120 from one side(one cut) to leave one perforation untouched. pls 70120S(symmetrical cut) which leaves both perforations cut, which could lead to troubles in the machines of the labs.
    one can easily develop 70mm film with jobo-reels 2500-system without using the special one no.2517(220 lenght). there is a trick using a third reel to fix the 70mm-system.
    2. i successfully joined two 120 films after cutting down paper on filmside. one shot is lost where tape is added.
    i could then even get 29 shots in kiev 60. but not yet tested is filmpressure and possible problems when adding tape to the pressure plate see also baierfoto.de
    good wold be if the actual sellers of producers of 70mm film or 120 would also offer long-roll-120. e.g ilford also offers paper. but why if they dont offer long-roll-film?
    The main advantage of using 70mm film is large film roll 30m and film not wound the way 120 is. ilford offering only 15m hp5+ every year.
    At apug there is an information that possibly that czech who produced hasselblad-vaccum-back will offer it also for the public. price was 550 usd. search for apug hasselblad vaccum back. that would THE solution for all problems. Agfa has Avicolor X-100 and X-400 without mask, most ideal for scanning and b+w.
    I was testing/loading(not shooting yet) old film from frigerator with and without paper(120-220-conversion as described) in kiev60. and i have seen flatness-improvements. but old film could be worse than new one. i have read that 2.8 lens must have 0.25mm film-accuracy.
    I also have the only mamiya-press v.3 67/220 vaccum-back. but its wrong construction, holes too big and square with center holes. what a mistake. film-mountains in both directions of the holes. he did not check the mamiya vaccum-back.
  21. uk


    I was at a group meeting last year when Ilford stated that it was their most frequently asked question that they didn't have
    an answer for.

    They can make the film, but they can't package it and the source for the paper ends would only run a massive quantity
    compared to their needs. Apparently, most of Ilfords research efforts are attempting to find alternatives the the raw
    materials they need as suppliers are no longer interested in manufacturing the smaller quantities that the film makers

    Ilford would consider offering separate 220 length film strips with supplied ends for self-rolling and external packaging, if
    they could buy just 10 years worth of paper ends.
  22. Old thread but there is ALL KINDS of 220 film listed in eBay and all new dated as well IE not expired. This is of 2-12-16.

    Also I understand, and do, use 220 backs for loading 120 film. I understand you cannot do the reverse though.

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