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Surprise: getting 127 film processed in a mini-lab

Jack Bowdle , Aug 17, 2005; 11:12 a.m.

Just for giggles, I put some 127 color print film I've been saving for 19 years in my freezer through an eighty year old Kodak Autograph folding camera to see if the camera would work at all. I figured the bellows was leaky but I cleaned the lens and fired away.

Casting around a local lab to get this roll processed, my local Fuji Frontier mini-lab declared that they could indeed handle 127 film processing but could not make any prints due to the frame size. (Your average mini-lab worker might not know this. )

Sure enough, I came back in an hour and they had the processed roll ready to go. The film was somewhat fogged due to its age, but to my delight, the bellows proved to be sound.

I took the negative home, trimmed down the best looking shots to a width of 35mm and scanned them to digital using my Nikon 35mm film scanner. I achieved an acceptable print and learned a lot from the whole exercise.

Try it if you have any 127 film lurking in your freezer. (My wife was also happy to finally use all the shelves in her freezer. No small bonus here!)

Responses

Jack Bowdle , Aug 17, 2005; 11:14 a.m.

Also: remember to let any freezer film to thaw for a day before you load any camera.

John Shriver , Aug 17, 2005; 10:07 p.m.

Any leader card processing machine that can do 135 and 120 should have no trouble with 127.

What I'm curious about is whether they can do 116. (I have a roll of 70mm Portra 160NC for reloading 116 film.)

Donald Qualls , Aug 18, 2005; 10:12 p.m.

They're supposed to be able to do any film narrower than the leader card -- which is something like four inches wide. I wouldn't, however, expect the mini-lab staff at Wal-Mart to do a good job of saving your 116 spools and backing paper for reuse, and taking them film in a can of some sort is likely to be asking for trouble...

Fernando McSoto , Sep 03, 2005; 12:58 p.m.

If you search in the web you will find a lot of places that sell and process 127 film in the last years. When I lived in Glasgow (Scotland) (I left a few months ago) there was a lab there called Robert Whyte (not Robert White the English camera shop but Whyte) who printed and processed any fresh film (APS, 35mm, 110, 126 and 127) cheaper than most of those people you find on the web. Interestingly enough 120 and 220 were the only film they did not processed. But you can go to Loxely Colour in Glasgow for that one.

Jesse Alonzo , Oct 31, 2005; 07:20 p.m.

HAHA, I processed 3 rolls of brownie 120 film (Portra 400 NC) in our FP363SC-AL minilab... I got caught and got in BIG trouble for it, LOL. even though it CLEARLY said "C-41" my head photo supervisor got screechy about it (she's the lady who doesn't know how to use a picker, or didn't know that you could retouch pictures in frontier).

She took away the 120 cartridge... they hid it from me. :(

Look around your whore-mart photocentre the next time you're there; I've seen a 120 carrier a couple of times in some stores, but their photo manager vehemently denies the ability to print 120. if only we had it, and the mirror box... bwahahaha

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