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70 mm film talk

Ann Mester , Jul 05, 2003; 12:45 p.m.

I've found sources for 616 film (respooled 70 mm film) but can't find a source for tanks/reels for developing 70 mm film at home. Since it's about 1/4 in wider than 120 I doubt I can use my own tank. Quick search on Adorama and BH didn't reveal any 70 mm reels. Any suggestions?


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Robert Davis , Jul 05, 2003; 02:13 p.m.

How long is the film. Funny thing is I spent the other day looking into this. The Jobo 2517 [I think that's the right number] will handle 70mm upto about 5 1/2feet of film. If you're looking at longer then that then I think you're only new choice are Hewes reels.

The Jobo reel will fit anything but the smallest 2500 series tank. The Hewes you'll need to come up with a tank system. Somebody mentioned just doing it in the dark with non-photographic [IOTW reasonable cost] tanks or getting the Hewes tanks.

The Jobo reels are on both the B&H and Adorama sites. They are likely special orders from both but the price isn't outrageous [less then $30] and if you've already got the tanks it's a simple addition to your current setup.

Does anybody know if anybody makes a 70mm bulk loader anymore? Alden supposedly used to but I can't find a link to anybody selling them.

Chris Combs , Jul 05, 2003; 03:17 p.m.

Mind sharing your source for the 616?

Alec Jones , Jul 05, 2003; 04:51 p.m.

There is lots of this equip coming up on ebay due to the lack of film choices. Nikor and Kinderman made tons of tanks, reels, etc. For the normal cassette, you need a reel for 15'. The 5' length was for film testing, and Nikor made a reel for it too. Really, if you have a darkroom, you don't need more than one tank, or something just to keep a loaded reel light tight. I developed B&W for years using just 4 1-gal buckets. I had a wire lifting rod for my reel and I dunked and twirled the reel using that through the solutions. As long as you are consistent, and give adequate agitation, you shouldn't have any problems. So, first look for reels.

Robert Davis , Jul 05, 2003; 05:22 p.m.

Was 616 film actually 15feet? Or do you mean 70mm film? If the 616 was 4" per frame 15 feet would have been 45 exposures. I'm betting 616 will fit a 5' reel. Or did they actually come that long?

Alec Jones , Jul 05, 2003; 06:36 p.m.

Robert, I'm not sure if you're asking me, or Ann. I got into the discussion about 70mm reels based on a response to Ann's message. I wasn't positive at first if she was going to use it in long rolls or not, thus my response. Upon rereading, I suspect she only intends to use it in short rolls in whatever camera used 616 film. In that case, the 5' reels make by Nikor would be perfect if she can find one. They fit a later Nikor 120 tank [the earlier ones were not high enough to hold them]. Thus there is a Nikor alternative for her to use. Hope that makes better sense.

Anthony Oresteen , Jul 05, 2003; 11:47 p.m.

Here's trick I've used since 1979 to develope short lengths of 70mm. It should work fine for 616.

Take a 35mm reel (36 exp type) and cut it in half with a hacksaw. Go to the nearest hardware store and buy a wood dowel that will fit snugly in the center of the cut 35mm reel. Buy a large tube of epoxy glue.

Cut the dowel so that it spaces the 35mm reel to 70mm. Coat the dowel in expoxy glue. I used a scrap piece of 70mm film to adjust the spacing.

The reel will fit nicely in a ss 16oz tank. Have fun!

Ann Mester , Jul 06, 2003; 11:26 a.m.

Thanks for all the great info. I have some work to do! My sources for film are Film for Classics (http://www.camera-exchange,com/ffc2/htm) and Central Camera (http://www.central-camera.com). I've ordered 828 from them and 620 but not 616. The ad for FFC says that they use Professional Ortho and Verichrome Pan. It doesn't say that it's 70 mm, so it's possible they're respooling 120 film on 616 reels I suppose.

Brandon Shahan , Jul 11, 2003; 12:14 p.m.


I think you're on the right track with the reloading and use of spacers for the 616 film. I can not imagine paying central camera $16.95 for 828 film, or the $30.95 for 116 - 616 film. Also, if you buy the 70mm film in bulk, it doesn't come with the paper backer, so you'd have to find that somewhere. The 120 film is only about 1/4 inch or so smaller than the 616. I use a spacer I made in my old brownie. Heres a link - http://www.geocities.com/brandonshahan/

Also, the numbers are showing through because of the red window. You might try covering it on the inside with electrical tape and learning the turns between film advance, or covering it on the outside only to peek at the numbers between advance.


Pic from my brownie

Pat Walsh , Jul 11, 2003; 11:32 p.m.

I just bought a Kodak Six-16 at a garage sale, it's mint, and cost only $20. It looks nice, but the best part is that it looks like it works--I really want to get some film through this camera. So now, the hunt has begun for film and a developing tank.

I don't use eBay much, but there was a vintage tank that was just up for sale, a Kodak that held 3 sizes and had 3 plastic rolls for film holders. I got outbid at the very end, I learned afterwards they call that sniping--it certainly stung a bit. So I am grateful for finding all this information. My favorite idea is adapting a plastic 35mm reel and tank! Awesome. Getting sniped has probably saved me some money.

Can anyone offer answers to the following?

I want to construct my own rolls of 616. I have one spool and I think I can get ahold of another. Can I simply make my own paper backing and put them together in a darkroom? Does it matter what kind of paper--any recommendations?

Does anyone have a source for bulk 70mm film (other than eBay)?


P.S. Ann, I like the pic from your Brownie, thanks for sharing!

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