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Holgas and 220 film?

Just a simple question: Can you shoot 220 film w a Holga? I think the answer is “yes”, but if so, are there modifications that need to be made beforehand, and if so, what are they? Tried to find out via the net but only got useless info. Thanks!

by [a former member] at 2009-06-30 06:03:50 UTC Texas, yeehaw , United States | Bookmark | | Report spam→

dont think i’ve ever used 220, but, adn there’s a fantastic chance i’m completely wrong here, isnt it the exact same as 120 – same spool heights – but just that bit longer. Adn without any backing paper on it you’ll need to mask off that little window on the back of the holga and learn how to guess when you think you’ve wound on enough. it may be looser inside the camera but you’ll not be looking for perfect accuracy with a holga.

by Con O'Donoghue | 30 Jun 2009 09:06 | Dublin, Ireland | | Report spam→
the answer is NO. the Holga is a primitive camera where you advance the film by looking through the red window on the back to see the frame numbers printed on the backing paper of the 120 film.

220 film has no paper, hence no numbers, and therefore no way to accurately advance the film.

Of course you could make sure the red window is taped over, and put in a 220 roll, and just guess how many times you have to turn the film-advance-knob to get to the next frame, but this would clearly be a pretty silly and wasteful exercise, since even if you got it right (unlikely) your pictures would look exactly the same as they would on standard 120.

you CAN, however, shoot 35mm film in a Holga with the addition of spacers — it’s just as much of a pain in the ass as 220 would be — but the difference in size of the film means that that the 35mm becomes “panoramic” — and it will even expose the entire film area including the sprockets. This could be “cool” — at least it’s different from what the regular 120 Holga photo looks like.

by [former member] | 30 Jun 2009 09:06 | Beijing, China | | Report spam→
OK, since these questions come up now and again on LS, here’s a practical beginner’s guide to various film formats:

NB. 120 and 220 use IDENTICAL spools.

Because 220 has more film instead of backing paper, it is EXACTLY TWICE as long as 120 film. that’s why 12 6×6 on 120 = 24 on 220, etc.

220 was introduced in the late 1960s. Therefore ONLY medium format cameras made from then on MAY have the capability to shoot 220. Some, like the Hasselblad, require a different back. Others, like Mamiya 6 or 7, only require that you flick a switch and pressure plate setting.

ALL 220 capable cameras will also be able to shoot 120, since 220 was designed as a supplemental format. BUT, obviously, MOST 120 cameras CANNOT shoot 220. Check before you go out and buy hundreds of rolls of 220.

Do NOT be confused with 620, which is the SAME film as 120 but on a DIFFERENT and INCOMPATIBLE SPOOL. 620 was a Kodak-invented format to try to get people to buy all their film and cameras from the same source — them — resulting in all sorts of tomfoolery now, 50 years later when 620 has been long discontinued except for expensive specialty makers. You can clip 120 rolls or roll the 120 film onto 620 spools, and some cameras can be converted or can use both.

Then there was 127, which is SMALLER than 120/220/620. This is the 4×4 format used by the “Baby Rolleiflexes” and other cute cameras. Obscure cameras that you may find in flea markets sometimes use this format. There’s a few options to buy film, none cheap.

Even more out there is 828, which is 35mm film on a spool instead of inside a standard cartridge. Obsolete by 1940, I think at the latest. You go ahead and play with this — even I avoid it!

Then there are the larger rollfilm sizes that all went out by 1930 — 116, a few others — big old folding cameras often used these. You can make spacers and — presto! — 120 panoramic!

The 1960s and 70s also saw the 126 format, which is 35mm film loaded inside a plastic thingy cartridge to shoot square images. I’m not sure about availability. Lots of flea market finds — sometimes you can confuse these cameras with ones that take 127 — but remember 127 has spools (126 does NOT) and the 127 is BIGGER than the 126.

With the demise (and hopefully rebirth?) of Polaroid, there’s an unknown future for all those garage sale finds. One thing’s for sure: some Polaroid cameras (like the very desirable 150) used long obsolete Polaroid rollfilm. Forget about it. However you can HACK these cameras to take 4×5 film…

Finally, should I say something about 110? Or DISC? Or APS?!?

by [former member] | 30 Jun 2009 09:06 (ed. Jun 30 2009) | Beijing, China | | Report spam→
hi Erin, you can adjust your Holga to use 220..see http://www.ehow.com/how_2048801_use-220-film-holga-120.html

by [former member] | 30 Jun 2009 15:06 | New York, United States | | Report spam→
Alan, why are you so smart? :)

Thanks Erica. I found this online as well… and I read but didn’t comprehend the “click meathod”. Now I get it.

Conclusion: 220 will indeed fit in a Holga, and might even come out OK, although it will probably not wind as tightly as 120 film. But the biggest problem is the inability to read the numbers on the film since 220 has no paper backing. Therefore, you would have to count the clicks on the Holga’s film advance (basically, exactly what Alan said), but WHO has the time, patience or accuracy to do this? Certainly not me.

So 120 it is… damn, I’ll have to cancel my order of 220. Found a bargain from ultrafineonline.com: 25 rolls of 200 Portra UC for 60 bux. That’s less than $2.40 a roll, for 220… what a steal!

by [former member] | 30 Jun 2009 17:06 | Texas, yeehaw, United States | | Report spam→
Erin, is only make the habit to count one and 1/4 turn each time. I used to do it with 35 mm. I am waiting the sun season to do the same this year.

by Hernan Zenteno | 30 Jun 2009 19:06 | Temperley, Argentina | | Report spam→
erin, you’re too kind…Lightstalkers allows me to finally share with the world a lifetime’s worth of wasted afternoons in flea markets, old-time camera shops, junk shops, and so on…when the internet came around, I realized that I could learn as much as I wanted about this kind of stuff, which is about as useful as knowing who was who on the Soviet Politburo in 1956.

I also realized that the only other people interested in photo arcana were mostly bad photographers, and totally insane. I mean, who else would have the time to figure out, as I did, for example, that you can adapt a 1960 Nikon 21mm lens to a Leica, but only by adding a rolled up piece of gaffers tape inside the adapter?!?

But really it’s all part of my fascination and study of mid-20th century history, culture, and technology…modernity and the shaping of the recognizable world that we live in…although as time passes, i realize that actually we are already 20 years into a new epoch, and thus modernism recedes into the past and loses its familiarity.

I look at my own photographs that I took 20 years ago, and they already look like historical documents, it’s hard to believe that it was me that took those pictures and lived those experiences.

And the material devices and detritus outlasts us…the youngest person who would have conceivably used the 1939 Contax II camera would be at least 85 years old now…and yet the camera isn’t really that much different from the Leica M6 that you just picked up…

(4 am thoughts here in Beijing…)

by [former member] | 30 Jun 2009 20:06 | Beijing, China | | Report spam→
I just louped (is that a word?) two rolls of 120 and realized I should have shot them with a holga… Would have fit the project better I think now.

Great info Alan; keep carrying the torch, film isn’t dead yet…

by Mark Ovaska | 30 Jun 2009 20:06 | Rochester, United States | | Report spam→
Erin, yes you can shoot 220 with a holga using the ‘click’ method. but it’s not very precise and you will almost certainly get more light leaks when you finally remove the spool. i have done this before but in my opinion it’s not worth it unless someone gives you some 220 film for free – which was the only reason i did it.
good luck though and have fun shooting.

by Aaron Lee Fineman | 30 Jun 2009 21:06 | New York City, United States | | Report spam→
god advice guys thanks! here is a interesting link to go along with this. http://www.ehow.com/how_2048795_use-35mm-film-holga-120.html

by mike berube | 30 Jun 2009 23:06 | Toronto, Canada | | Report spam→
So Erin, there seems to be a contradiction here. if you’re into Holgas and you’ve just got yourself a nice little Leica as well, why are you bothering that big Airport Addicted bag? How many Holgas are you travelling with?

by Nigel Amies | 01 Jul 2009 07:07 | Vientiane, Laos | | Report spam→
Thanks for the information, I am just starting with holga …it is a bit difficult to find 120 film in Nepal …and many photographer are done with film cameras but I use both digital and film, though I use film just for fun …there is no way to learn any thing about film cameras beside website.

Thanks….: )

by Gaurav Dhwaj Khadka | 02 Jul 2009 03:07 | Kathmandu, Nepal | | Report spam→
What was the point in getting the Leica? And apropos nothing at all, I just chucked an empty bottle of Diet Mountain Dew over my shoulder and across the room and into the wastepaper basket. The co-workers are now giving me the LOOK that says that I should not be heaving my debris across an office and that there is no league for wastepaper basketbottle.

by Akaky | 02 Jul 2009 23:07 (ed. Jul 2 2009) | New York , United States | | Report spam→
Apropos the BIG BAG syndrome I mentioned earlier, I went through a somewhat similar stage myself: bought a bag that could carry every damned camera I owned at the time, although modest no doubt by some standards – two big Nikons and three zoom lenses including an 80-200 monster plus flash and assorted odds and ends, never mind the film. I soon realised however that convenient as it may be to have everything in one big bag, I could hardly carry the thing more than 100 meters and probably did my back in too. I sold it shortly before I was relieved of the burden of my two Nikons by a thief in Calcutta’s Howrah Station. In retrospect I probably should have thanked him – or her. After that I began to rethink my modus operandi, as well as a few other aspects of my relationship with photography. I rediscovered my Hexar and began to think small. Then I remembered the Holga I’d left in a box in someone’s basement for about ten years and, well, as they say, the rest is history. Think about it. Why did you get that Leica Erin if not out of a minimalist instinct?

by Nigel Amies | 03 Jul 2009 03:07 | Vientiane, Laos | | Report spam→
Not that this has anything to do with the Holga 220 issue, which has been discussed throughly, but I would like add that I have a similar film/old camera addiction. The biggest issue for me is that I ALWAYS try only spend money on cameras that work, but unfortunately, I’m not the best diagnostician and usually end up getting clunkers that don’t work from trade shows. Not cool. But I have found some gems along the way. My best find was a Rollei 35, which I always carry. That brings me to my point about carrying too much crap in my bag. I carry my D700, three old Nikon primes, an F3HP, my Rollei, a flash, my laptop, a mic, a recorder, cords for everything, chargers for everything… it’s out of control. It’s the constant battle between actually using the film/vintage gear I’ve invested in, being prepared to shoot digitally for all the things that need to turned around quickly and in addition to that being able to produce a multimedia piece if necessary. If I had it my way, I’d only shoot film, I’d have six bags lined up at home, so I could just pick whatever kit I thought would fit the assignment best. Oh and for you Holga shooters out there, buy the wide pinhole… it’s AWESOME to shoot. The 6×12 negs are amazing and the camera is designed much better than the regular Holga meaning that it’s not shiny on the inside and the clips and back actually fit together well. I love it.

by Cameron Knight | 03 Jul 2009 19:07 | Cincinnati, Ohio, United States | | Report spam→

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Con O'Donoghue, Photographer Con O'Donoghue
Dublin , Ireland
Hernan Zenteno, Photographer Hernan Zenteno
Buenos Aires , Argentina ( EZE )
Mark Ovaska, shoe wear-er-out-er Mark Ovaska
shoe wear-er-out-er
Berlin , Germany
Aaron Lee Fineman, Photographer Aaron Lee Fineman
New York City , United States
mike berube, photographer mike berube
Toronto , Canada ( YYZ )
Nigel Amies, Photographer/writer Nigel Amies
[undisclosed location].
Gaurav Dhwaj Khadka, Photographer/Filmmaker Gaurav Dhwaj Khadka
(working on ....)
Kathmandu , Nepal
Akaky, Contemptible lout Akaky
Contemptible lout
New York , United States ( AAA )
Cameron Knight, Photojournalist Cameron Knight
Cincinnati, Ohio , United States


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