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Cameras For Unperforated 35mm Film


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<p>There was a recent thread on using unperforated 35mm film. A Konica Z-Up 140 Super arrived today from an eBay seller. I think it needs a new battery. The small LCD screen is working but the film won't load. The way the film sits in the channel and loads, the sprocket holes are not used at all. It should work with unperforated film. The image area will still be 24X36mm.</p>
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<p>Oops! The Z-Up 140 Super wouldn't load because the battery is about dead. I tried to turn the take-up spool a little and I saw that it has a tab which engages just one sprocket. If a small hole puncher could be used to punch one hole in the right place, the unperforated film should work.</p>
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<p>828 film is 35mm unperforated, but you will need backing paper. If you really are a glutton for punishment you could try to load some 126 carts. The school portrait cameras might be hard to get hold of, although they have appeared from time to time.<br>

I can't think of anything else at the moment.</p>

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<p>Jeff,<br>

I'm one glutton for punishment just like yourself. For some reason, I purchased a bunch of 35mm microfilm...all unperforated. Some of my thoughts on the subject:<br>

1. Most modern SLR's don't use the sprocket hole for physical film transport anymore, however they do count the sprocket holes to position the film. Your average Rebel 2000 will simply roll up the film and give you the dead battery symbol (don't ask me how I know). You can punch your own perforations. I've done this with a spiral binding machine. Basically a high end hole punch that punched rectangular holes. It works, but due to the hole pitch of the binding machine, you are wasting a lot of film.<br>

2. Older SLR's use the perfs for transport. You can modify the drive spool with some grippy rubber to make it a friction drive instead of a sprocket drive. Unfortunately, many of the cameras don’t have enough umph to drag the film across the film plane properly. My AE-1 will take 36 photos on the same frame of film. I have some success with FSU cameras. The drive mechanisms of old Soviet cameras were designed to yank the film along no matter what. My best microfilm shooter is a Sokol 2 rangefinder.<br>

3. There are a range of toy cameras that will work just fine with unperf film, but image quality suffers from the poor optical design of these cameras. However, if you are into the lo-fi Lomography thing…have at it!<br>

4. As mentioned 828 cameras will work fine as well. However getting the cores and backing paper can be problematic.<br>

5. 126 cameras will do well with your film, but a reference hole must be punched to cock the shutter or modded to defeat that mechanism.<br>

6. Pinhole/zoneplate/electron sieve are all options to burn through this film.<br>

7. Finally, any medium format camera can be modified to accept the 35mm film to good effect. You get some odd format ratios, but image quality should be excellent (Diana and Holga notwithstanding).</p>

 

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  • 14 years later...

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