Wednesday, November 30, 2022

One week till 127 Day!

127 Day is only a week away - Wednesday, December 7, 2022. It's time to take your film out of your fridge and load your 127-format camera.

127 Film Photography will feature 127-format photographs made on December 7, 2022, in a special online exhibition. You're invited to participate!

No fees, no competition, just a friendly virtual community joining together to make 127-format photos on
December 7, 2022.

To show your work,
  1. Take 127-format photographs on December 7, 2022.
  2. Send one of your 127-format photographs that you took on December 7 to 127 Film Photography. Please email one jpg file, 500 pixels wide, to 127filmformat ~at~ gmail.com, by January 7, 2023. (This allows a month to get your film developed and scanned).
  3. In the subject line of your email, type "December 2022 127 Day."
  4. In the body of the email, please include the following information: copyright symbol, year, 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 EXACTLY. With no hard-return characters. (You don't have to use initials if you prefer to be known by your full name!). If you want to direct people to an Instagram page, please use the URL for the page, not an "@" handle (which will not work as a link). 

© 2022 J. M. Golding, untitled; northern California, USA; Yashica 44LM, Portra 160NC  http://www.jmgolding.com

All types of 127 film format* are welcome, whether the film began its existence as 127, or you used 35mm 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 - perhaps you'd like to write an article for 127 Film Photography about it!). Photos made on 127 film in a different size camera are welcome too.
 
127 Film Photography will publish all photos received (as long as they are in 127 format and do not contain images of nudity, violence, or exploitation).

I look forward to seeing your 127 Day photos! 




*Sorry, digital photos in an aspect ratio similar to 127 film (or any other digital photos) do NOT qualify.

 

 

Monday, November 7, 2022

One month till 127 Day!

The next 127 Day is just one month away - on  Wednesday, December 7, 2022. This would be a good time to make sure your 127-format camera is working and you have the film you need.

127 Film Photography will feature 127-format photographs made on December 7, 2022, in a special online exhibition. You're invited to participate!

No fees, no competition, just a friendly virtual community joining together to make 127-format photos on
December 7, 2022.

To show your work,

  1. Take 127-format photographs on December 7, 2022.
  2. Send one of your 127-format photographs that you took on December 7 to 127 Film Photography. Please email one jpg file, 500 pixels wide, to 127filmformat ~at~ gmail.com, by January 7, 2023. (This allows a month to get your film developed and scanned).
  3. In the subject line of your email, type "December 2022 127 Day."
  4. In the body of the email, please include the following information: copyright symbol, year, 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 EXACTLY. With no hard-return characters. (You don't have to use initials if you prefer to be known by your full name!). If you want to direct people to an Instagram page, please use the URL for the page, not an "@" handle (which will not work as a link). 
© 2022 J. M. Golding, untitled; northern California, USA; Kodak Brownie Fiesta, Kodak Verichrome Pan (expired 3/60) http://www.jmgolding.com
 

All types of 127 film format* are welcome, whether the film began its existence as 127, or you used 35mm 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 - perhaps you'd like to write an article for 127 Film Photography about it!). Photos made on 127 film in a different size camera are welcome too.
 
127 Film Photography will publish all photos received (as long as they are in 127 format and do not contain images of nudity, violence, or exploitation).

I look forward to seeing your 127 Day photos! 




*Sorry, digital photos in an aspect ratio similar to 127 film (or any other digital photos) do NOT qualify.

Friday, August 26, 2022

How to Use Instax Mini film in a 127-Format Twin-Lens Reflex Camera - by Umechan

Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in Japanese on April 20, 2021 here. With Umechan’s permission (and at her suggestion), I’ve auto-translated the original (using both DeepL Translator and Google Translate), and edited the result for clarity. Umechan has checked my version using electronic back-translation, and collaborated with me to resolve the ambiguities that inevitably arose. 

 

I’ve made a wonderful discovery! That's right. A 127-format twin-lens reflex camera (TLR) can (relatively) easily expose, develop, and print Instax Mini film!

I'm not sure if this is a good idea or not. I guess you have to find out by trial and error, don't you?

First of all, I’d like to show you the 127-format TLR that I used.

It's a Baby Rolleiflex 4x4! It’s no exaggeration to say that this is the best 127-format TLR.

The most prominent feature of this baby TLR is that the film is (almost) extinct. There are few ready-to-use 127-format films available. You can also spool bulk 46mm film onto 127-size spools and backing paper (see this article). Or you can cut down 120 film yourself (see these articles). I made my own 127 film with a 127-size film cutter that I happened to have received and I took a few pictures. The pictures look very good! 

Good, very good!

Normally, this Baby Rollei takes great pictures!

However, as mentioned above, it’s very difficult to procure film. During a time when I was alternating between taking pictures and not taking pictures because of the difficulty of obtaining film, I suddenly remembered an article. It was titled, "Putting Instax film into an Atomflex format camera and taking pictures.” At the time, I didn't even own a Baby Rollei, so I just thought, "I didn't know there was such a way to use it.” But then my curiosity was piqued, and I started to wonder, "Will the Instax film fit in the Baby Rollei?" I was so curious that I tried to put Instax Mini film into the Baby Rollei’s film chamber to see if it would work.

What a surprise!

The film chamber of the Baby Rollei and the Instax film are almost perfectly aligned!

And since the Instax film is slightly smaller, it seems that it can be fixed in a very good position!

I had no choice but to try it! Here is a photo I took the next day, even though I had to work.

 


Whaaaaaaaat! You can take very beautiful pictures!

Of course, the Baby Rollei is 4x4 size, so it will capture square format. Some people might say that it doesn't use the entire film surface area, but I think it has a nice black border, and I like that a lot.

And this is taken with the camera wide open (f3.5). I focused on Pikachu, and you can see Pikachu very clearly. In other words, the film is firmly fixed!

I thought, "This, this is the future of 127 format...!"

So I took a lot of pictures in the next few days.

I can do it, I can do it, I can do it!

My curiosity turned into confidence.

Of course, there were some photos where the film was incorrectly exposed during the process, but I was happy to be able to think, "Well, it's an Instax, so what the heck.” :-)

Well, now.

I'm sorry for the long introduction, but this technology(?) is very useful and must not be lost.  So, I'm going to write about how to do it.

But first.

The method I’m going to describe here is an example of how I’ve succeeded in using Instax film with a Baby Rollei. Please understand that there are individual differences and that it may not work with all 127-format TLRs. Also, since I’m using the camera in a somewhat unreasonable way, I can’t guarantee that the camera won’t break. Please try this at your own risk.

First, let's start with what you'll need to prepare.

  • 127-format TLR
  • Instax Mini film
  • Instax Mini camera (used is totally fine, as long as the film ejection mechanism is working properly)
  • Dark bag or darkroom (it's possible to use a darkroom, but a dark bag is by far more convenient)
Now, let's look at the actual exposure and development method.

1. Remove the case of Instax Mini film from the box.

Put it in on the left side.

2. Prepare the Instax camera.

This Instax camera will be used only as a "developer." Since we will not be using any lenses or flashes with this camera, shield them so that as little light as possible reaches the film.


By the way, some cameras do not allow you to turn the flash off. Therefore, you should shield the flash part as well. Unfortunately, the first-generation Instax I purchased this time did not allow the flash to be turned off. You can see that I’ve taped over both the lens and the flash. It's a miserable sight to see, but it's for the sake of your precious film.

3. Put the film case in the Instax camera and release the shutter once.

The purpose of this is to eject the light shield that comes with this Instax film. It’s possible to take out the light shield in the dark bag, but that’s a hassle, so let’s do this by releasing the shutter.

 

Match the yellow mark on the film case with the yellow mark on the Instax camera, and 

 

Release the shutter!

The light shield has come out.

4. Place the TLR and the Instax film in the dark bag, and put one sheet of Instax film into the TLR, as follows.

This must be done inside the dark bag. In the illustrations, it’s done in the light so that you can see it, but please make sure to do this in the dark bag.

In addition, the work to be done inside the dark bag from now on will create a black border for the photo.

First, open the film chambers of the Instax camera and the TLR.

Take out the Instax film case.

 

Remove a sheet of film from the film case.

If there are many sheets remaining in the case (up to about 6 or 7), slide the film out with your finger.

When the number of sheets remaining is less than about 5 or so, it becomes difficult to remove them. In that case, gently press the opposite side of the "Don't press with your finger!" mark on the other side, and slide the film out while pressing down lightly. :-)

Place the film in the film chamber of the TLR.

The film should be placed with the note field facing up. Also, since the front and back sides of the film feel very similar, it is very easy to make a mistake (I made this mistake twice). Be careful.

Then, put the film case back into the Instax camera and close each film chamber. This completes the loading process. Now you can take the TLR out of the dark bag.


5. Take a picture.

Get your best one with your 127-format TLR!

One thing to note is that Instax film (both color and black and white) has an ISO of 800.

Be careful when photographing on a sunny day or in the midday sun, as you’ll need to stop down as much as possible and use the fastest shutter speed to get a correct exposure.

I use an ND8 filter on sunny days. An ND8 filter for Sawyer's Mark IV can also be used for Rollleiflex 4x4 cameras. This filter is available in Japan at Kenko Tokina.
 

(Editor’s note: A web search suggests that Bayonet 1 (a.k.a. Bay 1) filters should work on a Baby Rolleiflex, and these are available through major U.S.A. camera dealers. However, I haven’t tried this myself, so I can’t vouch for its accuracy. If you try it, please let me know so that I can share the information with other 127-size TLR users!).

 

6. Take the exposed film out of the TLR and develop the film, as follows.

When you have finished making the exposure, put the TLR and the Instax camera back into the dark bag.

 

Take out the exposed film from the TLR and put the film back into the Instax film case "as it was."

Specifically, put the film back so that the note field is on the entrance side and the film side is on the lens side of the Instax film case.

The film case comes with a strip of black vinyl attached. This piece of vinyl gets in the way of putting the film back into the case

so I just remove it. Below you see the film case in its original form on the left, and one with the vinyl strip removed on the right.

Removing the piece of vinyl makes it easier for the film to be unintentionally exposed, so be careful if you do this.


Once you have put the film back into the case, put the film case back into the Instax camera and release the shutter. This won’t make an exposure, because the Instax camera’s lens is still covered. But it will develop the film.

The photo you just made should come out developed.

At this time, if you’ve made a mistake about the front and back of the film, the reverse side will turn brown, as shown on the right side of the photo. (The black color on the left side indicates a successful exposure.)

If this happens, it is a failure. No matter how long you wait, the image will not appear. Give up.

7. Waiting

This is the most exciting time of the Instax process, the wait. :-)

If you are successful, the image will begin to appear in a minute or two.

It’s okay if you wait 15 to 30 minutes for the process to complete.

If there are no mistakes in the whole process, you will get a picture – like this.

I assume that the small white square on the left side of the black frame is where some kind of metal fittings of the Baby Rollei hit the black frame and left a mark there. How you see this is up to each person, but I see it positively as proof that I took the photo with a Baby Rollei! :-) How do you feel about it?

The biggest disadvantage is the tediousness of having to go through the above process each time you take a picture. However, for those who own a 127-format TLR, the above process is pretty easy!  (I thought "It's really easy!" :-) Of course, not everyone will find it easy, but it is possible to take a "trial image" with the current 127-size film, which is a difficult process.

I thought to myself, "This is the way to revive the 127-format TLR!”

Today's picture: 


Camera: Baby Rolleiflex 4x4 

Comment: Taken at the Shibuya Scramble Crossing. The resolving power of the Baby Rolleiflex clearly shows on the Instax film, and I was surprised at the high potential of the Instax film.

My friend uses an alternative method of developing Instax film that’s been exposed in a baby TLR. She uses the Printoss Smartphone Photo Instant Printer (editor’s note: a web search indicates that this is available in Japan and the U.S.A; I have not searched dealers in other countries). She describes her method this way: “I put the Printoss in a dark bag and develop films manually.” 

                                            - Umechan

 

(Editor’s postscript: Both translation programs used the expression “best format” to refer to 127 format, and I have to admit that I found this absolutely charming. But it turns out that they meant “vest format,” which is how one refers to this format in Japanese, in reference to the Kodak Vest Pocket cameras.