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120 to 620 Roll film IN camera

Frank Gary , Jun 29, 2010; 04:53 p.m.

I have an old Argoflex E which I understand takes both 120 and 620 roll film. As I see it using 620 film is a bit pricey when I have the better option of 120. However the take up spool in the camera is a 620 spool. I understand that the only real difference is the diameter of the spool and that it is even possible to respool 120 film onto 620. I was going to try and find an discarded 120 spool but the only local lab doesn't think they have one and ebay charges more for one than I could buy a spare roll of 120 with film (funny ehh). I was wondering if it would just be possible to use the 620 take up spool but load 120 film in. Get it processed and request that they local lab returns the spool to me and then I will have both size take up spools. Would this work? My guess is that my biggest risk is a jam in the camera that causes me to open it to light and waste a spool of film and get my new spool that way. Any thoughts?

Responses

Q.G. de Bakker , Jun 29, 2010; 05:03 p.m.

Where do you live, Frank?

I'm sure someone near you (to keep postage at a minimum) can send you an empty spool to get you started.
But mind you: if postage is more than the price of a cheap 120 film, the smart thing to do (even though it may seem wasteful) is to just get a roll of that, unwind the paper and film, and use the spool.

Frank Gary , Jun 29, 2010; 05:20 p.m.

I'm in MI.

Brian S. , Jun 29, 2010; 05:28 p.m.

You can certainly do it; the 120 film will wind onto a 620 spool with no problems... but I would keep looking for a 120 spool if I were you. I suppose it is possible, but most pro labs have bags full of old 120 spools that are free-for-the-asking. Ask your local lab again, I suggest. If they really don't have one, ask your local professional photographers since they may have some.

Liana Seda , Jun 29, 2010; 07:06 p.m.

with the lack of a completely dark room or closet, i can't respool my 120 film so instead I just trim the 120 spool to a 620 size. So I could keep my metal spools, I purchased a set of 120 spools at B&H for $5 which came with 5 spools. I trimmed those down too.
This guy shows how to do it.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/timmyj/2736927295/
I haven't had a problem doing it this way. It's quick and easy.

Brian S. , Jun 29, 2010; 09:20 p.m.

For some cameras trimmming the spool doesn't work. The drive mechanism for 620 is smaller tahn that for 120 and jams can happen. Apparently this isn't true of the OP's camera, but it is for many others, especially on the takeup. A changing bag is a cheap and very effective tool for respooling.

Q.G. de Bakker , Jun 30, 2010; 01:43 a.m.

The camera should, as the OP mentioned, take both 620 and 120 film. So it's just a matter of getting an empty 120 spool.

Just get a cheap roll, throw away the film and backing paper, and use the spool.

Liana Seda , Jun 30, 2010; 03:47 a.m.

Well, if it's the case of just needing a spool then I suggest buying the 5 pack from B&H and while you are at it you can get more 120 film. I think that they are reasonable.
But if you don't want to wait, what Q.G. suggests above sounds good too!

Clay James , Jun 30, 2010; 01:12 p.m.

Sent you a PM.

Q.G. de Bakker , Jun 30, 2010; 03:11 p.m.

Keep an eye on postage fees!
A roll of 120 film isn't very expensive...

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