Saturday, September 16, 2017

How to cut 120 film down to 127 size by James Tappin



[Editor's note: I'm delighted to present 127 Film Photography's first article, authored by James Tappin.

Many thanks to James for sharing his expertise!]


This is a method that I have used successfully (and also destroyed some films).

You will need:

  1. A roll of 120 film
  2. A 127 spool
  3. A second 120 spool
  4. A changing bag (or a darkroom)
  5. A large cigar cutter (80 ring gauge -- this is the only readily available size that will fit over a 120 flange).
  6. An accurate vernier caliper
  7. Scissors
  8. Convenient length gauges for the length trims (I use 3 pieces of acrylic "glass" because I had some left over from something else)
  9. A marker with good contrast to the backing paper

If available a 120 film back from a medium format system SLR is handy but not needed.

Step 1:
Either by hand in the changing bag or darkroom, or using the 120 back, spool the film onto the spare 120 spool, so it is now in the “exposed” direction.

Steps 2 through 6 can be done in daylight.

Step 2:
Cut off the excess on the trailer. From the tip of the 120 tab, I usually cut 220mm (for "standard" length 127 film you should cut 290mm; in theory it might be possible to get away with as little as 80mm).

Step 3:
With the vernier caliper measure and mark 46.5mm from one side. The flanges of the 127 spool are 47.2mm apart, but anything more than 46.5 and it's likely to be impossible to get it to fit in smoothly. Do NOT try to use another 127 backing paper as a guide; it's just not accurate enough.

Step 4:
Slip the cigar cutter over the end of the film and very carefully score around at the 46.5mm mark. Only cut through 1 or 2 layers at this stage.

Step 5:
Cut a tail on the paper so that it will fit into the 127 spool.

Step 6:
Make sure the film, the 127 spool, the cigar cutter, the scissors, and the measure for trimming the back end of the film itself are all in the changing bag.

Steps 7 through 15 must be done in a changing bag or complete darkness.

Step 7:
Very carefully replace the cutter on the film roll, and align it with the initial cut.

Step 8:
Gently but firmly squeeze the cutter and rotate the film spool such that the drag tightens the film on the spool. Continue until the short end of the spool comes right off.

Step 9:
Fit the end of the backing paper into the 127 spool and start to roll it onto it, feeling for the film itself (it won't be far).

Step 10:
Cut off the excess length from the film. For 220mm off the backing paper, I cut 95mm off the film; for standard 127 cut 165 mm off.

Step 11:
Continue to roll paper and film onto the 127 roll (put a little slack into the paper at this point as the 127 roll is more tightly wound). If you find the edges crinkling and snagging on the flanges at this stage -- chuck it and try another roll, and cut it a bit narrower next time!

Step 12:
When you get to the start point of the film you may find there is a small excess of film or paper. In this case carefully unstick the tape, and re-stick it where the lengths match.

Step 13:
Draw a line across the backing paper where the film starts (or a little bit after).

Step 14:
Finish rolling the leader onto the spool.

Step 15:
Carefully holding the roll so it doesn't come undone extract it from the changing bag.

Step 16 can be done in daylight.

Step 16:
Cut 150mm off the leader, and make a tab to fit the 127 spool (taking care not to let the roll come loose).


I recommend putting it straight into the camera at this stage as (a) there's no tape to keep it done up and (b) the edges may not fit as close to the spool flanges as machine-made films.

Note that this method is only really suitable for cameras like the Yashica 44 (and possibly some baby Rolleiflexes) that use the red window to align frame 1, and then have an internal mechanism thereafter.

To align the film for frame 1 (Yashica 44):

  • wind on until your marker is seen
  • reset the counter
  • wind on 1 frame
  • reset the counter again.
With the measurements that I use you should get 15 frames on a 4x4.

For a more automatic counter you will need to determine how far the start mark should be from the film start and make a mark there instead of at the film start. I'm not sure how you could do it for a camera that relies on the red window for advancing other than using a "new" backing paper with 127 numbers, which adds a whole new alignment problem.

I recommend trying this with cheap film first, as it's quite easy to destroy a roll. So far I've only used cheap expired film. Unfortunately the cheapest major brand currently available in 120 size, Fomapan, has black backing paper which would make marking the start much harder (maybe a sticky label would work?). [Editor’s note: Or perhaps a silver gel pen?].

Also: Cigar cutters are VERY sharp, mind your fingers!


Sunday, August 13, 2017

127 Day Online Exhibition - 12 July, 2017

Welcome to 127 Film Photography's 127 Day online exhibition! The images below were created by artists across three continents, all photographing in 127 format on July 12, 2017.

Join us for the next 127 Day, on the December 7, 2017! If you'd like to be reminded of 127 Day and the submission deadline, please use the "Follow 127 Film Photography by email" link to the right. You'll receive not only reminders, but also posts about all things 127.


©2017 Chuck Baker, Bridge Over The Waal; Nijmegen, The Netherlands; Orion "Super 16"; Rollei IR400 infrared film (respooled 35mm)




©2017  Terry Byrne, Waiting Room; West Trenton, New Jersey, United States; Toko Primo Jr.; Ilford HP5+




©2017 Robert Schneider, treet ridge C ter; Alameda, California, United States; Metropolitan Industries Clix-O-Flex; Ilford HP5+ 




©2017 Eben Ostby, Angel; Berkeley, California, United States; Kodak Baby Brownie with flipped lens; GAF All-Weather Pan, expired 1968




© 2017 James Tappin, Satellite Antenna, RAL Harwell Campus, Oxon, United Kingdom; Yashica 44; Fujicolor 400 film (expired 2000, 120 film cut to 127, exposed at ISO 160) 




©2017 Mike Maguire, Life force, Washington, DC, United States; Yashica 44; Kawauso-shoten ReraPan




 
©2017 Mika Morizaki, cat's tail, Kanagawa, Japan,  Rolleiflex 4x4; Kawauso-shoten ReraPan




©2017 J. M. Golding, Dream's edge; northern California, United States; Kodak Brownie Fiesta; Kodak Verichrome Pan expired 1975


Friday, August 11, 2017

Tomorrow is the deadline to submit for the July 127 Day online exhibition

Tomorrow, Saturday, August 12, is the deadline to submit your 127-format photo taken on July 12, 2017. Please remember to email one photo, as described here. Photos will be published in an online exhibition right here at 127 Film Photography.

©2017 J. M. Golding; untitled, northern California, USA; Yashica 44A; Kawauso-shoten ReraPan; http://www.jmgolding.com

I can't wait to see your 127 Day pictures!

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Remember to send your 127 Day pictures!

I hope everyone had a great 127 Day on the 12th of July!

This is just a reminder that the deadline to submit your 127-format photo taken on July 12, 2017 is this coming Saturday, August 12. Please remember to email one photo, as described here. Photos will be published in an online exhibition right here at 127 Film Photography.

©2017 J. M. Golding; northern California, USA; Yashica 44A; Agfacolor Portrait 160 (expired 12/07); http://www.jmgolding.com

I'm looking forward to seeing your 127 Day pictures!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Happy 127 Day!

Happy 127 Day everyone!
 

©J. M. Golding, Winter dawn in an imagined land, northern California, USA, Yogi Bear 127 camera, Efke R100 127 film (expired 9/13)

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Tomorrow is 127 Day!

Tomorrow, July 12, 2017, is summer 127 Day!

127 Film Photography will feature 127-format photographs made on July 12, 2017, in a special exhibition. You're invited to participate.

No fees, no competition, just a friendly virtual community joining together to make 127-format photos on July 12, 2017.

To show your work,
  1. Take 127-format photographs on July 12, 2017.
  2. Send one of those photographs to 127 Film Photography. Please email one jpg file, 500 pixels wide, to 127filmformat ~at~ gmail.com, by August 12, 2017.
  3. In the subject line of your email, type "July 2017 127 Day."
  4. In the body of the email, please include the copyright symbol, your name, the title of the photograph, location, camera and film types, and your website address (or other link to your work). In that order. Please follow this example:

    ©J. M. Golding, Even a beginning, northern California, USA, Yogi Bear 127 camera, Efke R100 127 film (expired 9/13), http://www.jmgolding.com
All types of 127 film format are welcome, whether the film began its existence as 127, or you used 35 mm film in a 127 camera, or you respooled 46mm film, or you cut down 120 film to 127 size ... or maybe you have a technique that I don't know about yet - if so, please tell me so I can share it with others who love this format (with full credit to you, of course - or perhaps you'd like to write a short article for 127 Film Photography about it!). Photos made on 127 film in a different size camera are welcome too.

I will publish all photos received (as long as they do not contain images of nudity, violence, or exploitation).

I look forward to seeing your 127 Day photos!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

One week until 127 Day!

On the 12th of July, a week from today, summer 127 Day will be here! Are your 127-format cameras and film ready?

127 Film Photography will feature 127-format photographs made on July 12, 2017, in a special exhibition. You're invited to participate.

No fees, no competition, just a friendly virtual community joining together to make 127-format photos on July 12, 2017.

To show your work,

  1. Take 127-format photographs on July 12, 2017.
  2. Send one of those photographs to 127 Film Photography. Please email one jpg file, 500 pixels wide, to 127filmformat ~at~ gmail.com, by August 12, 2017.
  3. In the subject line of your email, type "July 2017 127 Day."
  4. In the body of the email, please include the copyright symbol, your name, the title of the photograph, location, camera and film types, and your website address (or other link to your work). In that order. Please follow this example:

    ©J. M. Golding, Many tiny hopes, northern California, USA, Yashica 44A, ReraPan, http://www.jmgolding.com

All types of 127 film format are welcome, whether the film began its existence as 127, or you used 35 mm film in a 127 camera, or you respooled 46mm film, or you cut down 120 film to 127 size ... or maybe you have a technique that I don't know about yet - if so, please tell me so I can share it with others who love this format (with full credit to you, of course - or perhaps you'd like to write a short article for 127 Film Photography about it!). Photos made on 127 film in a different size camera are welcome too.

I will publish all photos received (as long as they do not contain images of nudity, violence, or exploitation).

I look forward to seeing your 127 Day photos!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Summer 127 Day is coming!

On the 12th of July, in just one short month, summer 127 Day will be here! It's time to get your 127-format cameras ready and make sure you have film for them.

127 Film Photography will feature 127-format photographs made on July 12, 2017, in a special exhibition. You're invited to participate.

No fees, no competition, just a friendly virtual community joining together to make 127-format photos on July 12, 2017.

To show your work,
  1. Take 127-format photographs on July 12, 2017.
  2. Send one of those photographs to 127 Film Photography. Please email one jpg file, 500 pixels wide, to 127filmformat ~at~ gmail.com, by August 12, 2017.
  3. In the subject line of your email, type "July 2017 127 Day."
  4. In the body of the email, please include the copyright symbol, your name, the title of the photograph, location, camera and film types, and your website address (or other link to your work). In that order. Please follow this example:

    ©J. M. Golding, Out of nowhere, northern California, USA, Kodak Brownie Fiesta, ReraPan, http://www.jmgolding.com
 

All types of 127 film format are welcome, whether the film began its life as 127, or you used 35 mm film in a 127 camera, or you respooled 46mm film, or you cut down 120 film to 127 size ... or maybe you have a technique that I don't know about yet - if so, please tell me so I can share it with others who love this format (with full credit to you, of course - or perhaps you'd like to write a short article for 127 Film Photography about it!). Photos made on 127 film in a different size camera are welcome too.

I will publish all photos received (as long as they do not contain images of nudity, violence, or exploitation).

I look forward to seeing your 127 Day photos!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

National Gallery of Art Stairs by Mike Maguire

© Mike Maguire, National Gallery of Art Stairs, Washington, DC, United States, Detrola HW camera, ReraPan 100 127 film

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

127 Day Online Exhibition - January 27, 2017

Here is 127 Film Photography's inaugural 127 Day online exhibition. A small, but dedicated, group of artists, spanning two continents and all photographing on January 27, 2017, created these images.

Join us for the next 127 Day, on the 12th of July, 2017! If you'd like to be reminded of 127 Day and the submission deadline, please use the "Follow 127 Film Photography by email" link to the right. You'll receive not only reminders, but also posts about all things 127.


©2017 Eben Ostby, The Triumphal Median, Richmond, CA, United States, Kodak Baby Brownie Special (flipped lens), respooled 46mm Kodak Portra 400



©2017 William Mellott, In the shadows it lurks, Tainan, Taiwan, Bullet camera, Efke 100



©2017 Robert Schneider, Barbie, Sur la Plage, Rolleiflex 4x4 (Baby Rollei), Kodak Verichrome Pan (expired 1981)



©2017 Mika Morizaki, Basking in the sun, Kanagawa, Japan,  Rolleiflex 4x4, Kawauso-shoten ReraChrome100



©2017 Jim Rohan, untitled, Ipswitch, MA, United States, Orion, Ansco All-Weather Pan (expired 1964)



©2017 J. M. Golding, Into the morning, northern California, United States, Kodak Brownie Fiesta, Kodak Verichrome Pan (expired 1975)

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Don't forget to send your 127 Day pictures!

I hope everyone had a great 127 Day!

This is just a reminder that the deadline to submit your 127-format photo taken on January 27, 2017 is this coming Monday, February 27. Don't forget to email one photo, as described here. Photos will be published in an online exhibition right here at 127 Film Photography.

©J. M. Golding, Below the visible world, northern California, USA, Kodak Brownie Fiesta, Kawauso-shoten ReraPan 100, http://www.jmgolding.com

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

A Wonderful camera

Jim Rohan sends these images of a - literally - Wonderful 127 camera and its packaging. I haven't been able to find this camera anywhere else except for a site called Price Minister, which notes that although this camera is not expensive, no one is currently offering it for sale on the site.


Friday, February 3, 2017

Monday, January 30, 2017

Orion box

The Orion plastic 127 camera came in a box with this written on the side.


Contributed by Jim Rohan.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Happy 127 Day!

Happy 127 Day, fellow 127 enthusiasts!

If you only use that 127 camera once (or twice, or three times) a year, today is the day! I encourage you to make pictures on 127 film today (whether the film came that way, or you modified 35mm or 120 film to fit a 127-format camera). And to send your favorite to 127FilmFormat ~at~ gmail.com, to be published with the others made around the world today. All the details are here.


Wishing you good light, and happy photographing!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Tomorrow is 127 Day!

Tomorrow is 127 Day!

Don't forget to load that wonderful old camera with 127 film (whether it came that way, or is 35mm or 120 that you modified to fit) so you'll be ready to make pictures with it tomorrow.

And don't forget to send your favorite picture from tomorrow to 127FilmFormat ~at~ gmail.com ... All the details are here.


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

January 127 Day is coming!

The next 127 Day is Friday, January 27, 2017.

I invite you to celebrate this day by sending me one photograph that you make on 127 film on January 27, 2017. I will publish all photographs.

All types of 127 film format are welcome, whether the film began its life as 127, or you used 35 mm film in a 127 camera, or you cut down 120 film to 127 size ... or maybe you have a technique that I don't know about yet - if so, please tell me so I can share it with others who love this format. Photos made on 127 film in a different size camera are welcome too.

I encourage you to get your 127 camera and film ready!

Please email one jpg file, 500 pixels wide, to 127filmformat ~at~ gmail.com, by February 27, 2017.

In the subject line of your email, type "January 2017 127 Day."

In the body of the email, please include the copyright symbol, your name, the title of the photograph, location, camera and film types, and your website address (or other link to your work). In that order. Please follow this example:

©J. M. Golding, In this silence I hear your voice, northern California, USA, Kodak Brownie Fiesta, Kodak Verichrome Pan (expired 12/75), http://www.jmgolding.com

I look forward to seeing your 127 Day pictures!






Submit to 127 Film

127 Film welcomes your 127 photos, articles, and questions. All materials will be curated for relevance and quality, according to 127 Film's subjective standards.

Photos

Please email photos on 127 film as jpg files, 500 pixels wide, to 127filmformat ~at~ gmail.com.

In the subject line of your email, type "Photo(s) for 127 Film."

In the body of the email, please include the copyright symbol, your name, the title of the photograph, camera and film types, and your website address (or other link to your work). In that order. Please follow this example:

©J. M. Golding, In this silence I hear your voice, Kodak Brownie Fiesta, Kodak Verichrome Pan (expired 12/75), http://www.jmgolding.com

Photo Series

Please email series of up to 12 photos on 127 film as jpg files, 500 pixels wide, to 127filmformat ~at~ gmail.com. Please don't zip files.

In the subject line of your email, type "Photo Series for 127 Film."

In the body of the email, please include the copyright symbol, your name, the title of the series, a brief statement about the work (250 words or less), camera and film types, and your website address (or other link to your work).

Articles

Please email articles directly relevant to 127 film photography as Word files to 127filmformat ~at~ gmail.com.

In the subject line of your email, type "Article for 127 Film."

In the body of the email, please include  the copyright symbol, your name, and your website address (or other link to your work).

Articles are subject to editing.

Questions

Please email questions about 127 film photography to  127filmformat ~at~ gmail.com.

In the subject line of your email, type "Question for 127 Film."

In the body of the email, please include your name and your website address (or other link to your work), if you would like attribution.

Questions will be posted, and readers invited to answer in the comments section.

Welcome to 127 Film!

Hello, and welcome to 127 Film!

This is a worldwide community where people making analogue photographs in 127 format can learn from and inspire one another.

Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day has its own website. Holga Week has one too. I couldn't find one for 127 Day ... so I decided to make one.

127 Day comes three times a year.
  • January 27 (1/27, in American-style notation)
  • July 12 (12/7, in European-style notation)
  • December 7 (12/7, in American-style notation)
It's a day to remind ourselves to take out those quirky old cameras that use 127 film - and make pictures with them!


I also plan to publish:
  • reader questions - all readers are invited to respond to questions in the comments section
  • photographs and/or series of photographs made on 127 film
  • articles related to 127 film photography.
Images of nudity, violence, or exploitation will not be published on this site.

I welcome your comments, suggestions, and 127 film photographs, and I look forward to enjoying this format together. You can reach me at 127filmformat ~at~ gmail.com.

Happy 127 photographing!