Is 220 film never coming back?

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hankchinaski

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I left film photography for ten years, and now I come back and there is no more 220 film...why was it stopped in the first place? What's preventing the manufacturers from making it? It's the same as 120, minus the paper...Also did not expect Ilford to drop it, since they make everything themselves...if China can make it (Shanghai film) Kodak and Ilford cannot make it? Where is the logic? I just cannot describe how muck of a pain in the eye it is to change roll every 12 photos, and the darn backing paper...
 

WhereSs

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Unless I'm mistaken, every camera that can use 220 can use 120, so there's less demand for it.
 

BMbikerider

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I understood there was a supply from some Chinese manufacturer, has that dried up as well
 

Film-Niko

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I left film photography for ten years, and now I come back and there is no more 220 film...why was it stopped in the first place? What's preventing the manufacturers from making it? It's the same as 120, minus the paper...Also did not expect Ilford to drop it, since they make everything themselves...if China can make it (Shanghai film) Kodak and Ilford cannot make it? Where is the logic? I just cannot describe how muck of a pain in the eye it is to change roll every 12 photos, and the darn backing paper...

This has been "discussed to death" here on photrio in the last years. really no need for another thread.
Please take time and read the following threads completely, and then you will have all the answers to your questions you need:



 

guangong

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220 film use for the most important uses, fashion and weddin, has been replaced by more economical digital. A huge 220 market is gone forever.
 

Sirius Glass

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From the start of 220 film, I got excited about 220 but quickly discovered that the choice of films was much too limited for me. I keep looking at which films are available in 220 and now the number is down to about one. So if I ever get a 220 film back it will be come a bookend for my photographic books on the shelf.
 
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This has been "discussed to death" here on photrio in the last years. really no need for another thread.
Please take time and read the following threads completely, and then you will have all the answers to your questions you need:




+1 Shanghai GP3 220 is available.
 

Donald Qualls

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+1 Shanghai GP3 220 is available.

It is. I have a few rolls, and have exposed one (not yet processed). I plan to buy more of it, assuming I get results comparable to what I've seen on line from this film. The main advantages of 220 these days are reducing reloads when hauling minimum kit (i.e. no spare roll film holders), and that 220 roll holders are often much cheaper than comparable 120 holders.
 
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hankchinaski

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I read the 30+ pages from the links above.

My use case for 220 film is:

- I practically only shoot b/w that I develop and scan at home, where I fine tune development variables and am able to make a specific film stock look the way I want
- because of the above, I can pick a cheap film and keep the cost of film + dev + scan around 5 euro (think Rodinal, fixer from industrial materials…)
- I practically only shoot portraits, where it’s important not to break the creative flow every 12 shots
- if I have to develop 2x the number of rolls, this becomes a large PITA quick (think loading the spool, mixing the developer, mixing the fixer, bringing everything to temperature, you know the drill…)


I adored the pioneering spirit of @Donald Qualls and a few others, so I am looking into spooling my own 220 from bulk. The task could be made easier by the fact that my Rolleiflex magazines have a curtain, I have to see, I’ll be in contact with these people, so much ingenuity, such enterprising spirit!
 

abruzzi

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I you want to try bulk rolling you can get some old 70mm film which could be shaved down to 61mm. Better though would be to wait for the next Ilford ULF sale there you can get new 70mm HP5+. Or both HP5+ and FP4+ are available in 5in x 50ft rolls. A 5in roll should provide two strips of 61mm with a tiny bit of extra.
 

rulnacco

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+1 Shanghai GP3 220 is available.

I've used the Shanghai film, and I'm not real keen on it. It has decent tonality, but FP4+ looks better to me (haven't tested it against Delta 100, as I rarely use that film), and Ilford's quality control is significantly better. I've had problems with 120 and 220 film from Shanghai both with odd speckling on the emulsion. Plus, their rolls are secured with what looks like plain old brown masking tape. I've had at least two in which the tape came loose in the box, and the roll partially unwound, leading to some ruined frames when the film was run through the camera. Finally, the film has a weird smell and feel, and is a bit harder, for me at least, to load onto plastic reels than Ilford, Kodak or Fuji film are. I don't know if this is still the case, haven't used it in nearly a year, but another thing I didn't like was the absence of frame numbers on the edges of the film when I used it--it had no markings at all.

I would *love* to get ahold of some 220 black and white film. I have loads of color 220 in the freezer still, and 220 backs for my Hasselblad and RZ67. But right now, Shanghai just ain't doing it for me at all, so I've reluctantly bit the bullet and committed to 120 in monochrome.
 

Sirius Glass

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I would not bother. Shanghai film has should multiple quality control issues including initially using too weak a tape to hold the film together and various spots.
 

rulnacco

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- I practically only shoot b/w that I develop and scan at home, where I fine tune development variables and am able to make a specific film stock look the way I want
- because of the above, I can pick a cheap film and keep the cost of film + dev + scan around 5 euro (think Rodinal, fixer from industrial materials…)
- I practically only shoot portraits, where it’s important not to break the creative flow every 12 shots
- if I have to develop 2x the number of rolls, this becomes a large PITA quick (think loading the spool, mixing the developer, mixing the fixer, bringing everything to temperature, you know the drill…)

I feel you, totally. For all the reasons you've cited, I would love to have 220 film available. As I mentioned in a previous post, I *do* have lots of 220 color film--C-41 and E-6--and now that I've finally gotten my JOBO machine out of storage 1,000 miles away from me, I'm going to use more of it. But I do love shooting black and white, too--that's what I shoot far and away most often and it would be great to have 220 film available.

To address your particular desires, it's not *too* much harder, if potentially more expensive, to adapt reasonably satisfactorily to 120. I have multiple 120 backs for my Hasselblad (I used to also for my RZ67, but I'm down to one now), and I just keep them all loaded. It only takes a few seconds to swap a back, so you can get off 24 or 36 shots fairly quickly, before taking a break to reload them all at once. (Or, if you're lucky enough to have an assistant--just have *them* reload for you!) And rather than using steel reels, I've got some JOBO tanks that can fit two rolls of film onto a single reel (with a stop between them to prevent overlapping). The tanks themselves, with the extenders JOBO also made, can take three medium format reels, so I can develop six rolls at a time. It only takes a few seconds more to load the second roll on than it would to load a full roll of 220, and you can use them for hand developing every bit as effectively as using them with a machine.

You might, to at least alleviate part of your problem, shop for the JOBO tanks/tank extenders and reels. You can effectively develop double the number of rolls in them that you could in a steel or Paterson tank, say, and that will ease some of the pain regarding your last point.
 

Sirius Glass

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I have multiple film backs with the same film and others with different films and I switch between backs so quickly that a subject would barely notice the slight time delay.
 

Sirius Glass

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This has been "discussed to death" here on photrio in the last years. really no need for another thread.
Please take time and read the following threads completely, and then you will have all the answers to your questions you need:




This horse has been beaten to death many many times here. Do a search of the threads on Photrio.
 
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hankchinaski

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I feel you, totally. For all the reasons you've cited, I would love to have 220 film available. As I mentioned in a previous post, I *do* have lots of 220 color film--C-41 and E-6--and now that I've finally gotten my JOBO machine out of storage 1,000 miles away from me, I'm going to use more of it. But I do love shooting black and white, too--that's what I shoot far and away most often and it would be great to have 220 film available.

To address your particular desires, it's not *too* much harder, if potentially more expensive, to adapt reasonably satisfactorily to 120. I have multiple 120 backs for my Hasselblad (I used to also for my RZ67, but I'm down to one now), and I just keep them all loaded. It only takes a few seconds to swap a back, so you can get off 24 or 36 shots fairly quickly, before taking a break to reload them all at once. (Or, if you're lucky enough to have an assistant--just have *them* reload for you!) And rather than using steel reels, I've got some JOBO tanks that can fit two rolls of film onto a single reel (with a stop between them to prevent overlapping). The tanks themselves, with the extenders JOBO also made, can take three medium format reels, so I can develop six rolls at a time. It only takes a few seconds more to load the second roll on than it would to load a full roll of 220, and you can use them for hand developing every bit as effectively as using them with a machine.

You might, to at least alleviate part of your problem, shop for the JOBO tanks/tank extenders and reels. You can effectively develop double the number of rolls in them that you could in a steel or Paterson tank, say, and that will ease some of the pain regarding your last point.

Your points are valid, and regular Jobo tanks can be stacked (and don't leak as much as Paterson's...). But I still feel that having larger capacity rolls brings some of the "carelessness" of the 135 format to 6x6 (not having to change rolls that often, not having to carry around so many film inserts, forgetting what film is inside the camera b/c last roll change was so long ago...). Also, Rolleiflex film inserts are quite large, when compared to a roll of film (135 or 220)
 
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hankchinaski

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This horse has been beaten to death many many times here. Do a search of the threads on Photrio.
I have a feeling that bulk reloading 220 was not sufficiently explored, I might be wrong.

I have multiple film backs with the same film and others with different films and I switch between backs so quickly that a subject would barely notice the slight time delay.
True - only caveat, one Rolleiflex 6008 magazine weighs 500 grams and costs 300 euros.
 
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hankchinaski

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I you want to try bulk rolling you can get some old 70mm film which could be shaved down to 61mm. Better though would be to wait for the next Ilford ULF sale there you can get new 70mm HP5+. Or both HP5+ and FP4+ are available in 5in x 50ft rolls. A 5in roll should provide two strips of 61mm with a tiny bit of extra.

Thanks @abruzzi !

Shaving film in the dark might be too advanced for me at this point...

Some questions:

- where do you find that 5inch hp5 and fp4?
- is there a pattern I can print for the film leader? Print on what material? Black cardboard?
- I suppose I don't need a trailer (Rolleiflex 6008 magazine, the camera rewinds everything at end roll)
-how do you measure film when spooling? How long is the film in a 220 reel? Can I go beyond 24 exposures?

I also saw a user saying the simple fact of using extra film as a leader would protect the inner film from light - is it a thing?
 

Jeremy Mudd

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I would not bother. Shanghai film has should multiple quality control issues including initially using too weak a tape to hold the film together and various spots.

I've had bad 120 rolls in the past from Shanghai and Catlabs (aka Shanghai). Both actually had NO tape on the leader. One of them really jacked up an A12 back to the point that by the time I noticed something was wrong, it was so accordioned up I couldn't get the back open. Ended up having to force it apart, luckily I didn't break it. Won't use either of those in my Hasselblad again. And I cpmplained to Catlabs about it with no response - so buyers beware if you are all excited about the "new" Catlabs 320 film.

All that said, I have shot the new Shanghai Gp3 220 in one of my S2A's and it performed great. It was even taped! I'll keep using it, just not in something with such tight tolerances as the Hasselblad.

52322075774_38b75eef37_c.jpg 52322916075_edc6153238_c.jpg 52321972418_b18c2293db_c.jpg 52320854602_1dd06fcb03_c.jpg

Jeremy
 

Sirius Glass

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I have a feeling that bulk reloading 220 was not sufficiently explored, I might be wrong.


True - only caveat, one Rolleiflex 6008 magazine weighs 500 grams and costs 300 euros.

That is why you should have a Hasselblad instead. :wink:
 

JPD

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Making 220 rolls would need special machines (expensive) and they would sell for more than two 120 films per roll, and the demand is low. It would also mean less 120 rolls of the same film sold.

Well known films in 127 would probably be more viable. Adox CHS 100 II or Ilford Fp4.
 

MattKing

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And the minimum order quantities from the specialized paper manufacturer who can make the leaders and trailers are ridiculously impractical.
None of the film manufacturers can afford to stockpile several years of those expensive papers at a time.
 

Donald Qualls

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Shanghai film has should multiple quality control issues including initially using too weak a tape to hold the film together and various spots.

And reports from recent production suggest that as each QC issue is identified and verified by the factory, it's fixed. There hasn't been another header tape problem in a good while, the issues with scratches and rolling issues (and using recut 120 paper) on the 220 have seemingly been resolved. I surely would not buy an early production roll or multi-pack of GP3 220 -- but the current product seems fine.

- is there a pattern I can print for the film leader? Print on what material? Black cardboard?
- I suppose I don't need a trailer (Rolleiflex 6008 magazine, the camera rewinds everything at end roll)
-how do you measure film when spooling? How long is the film in a 220 reel? Can I go beyond 24 exposures?

Most people I know of who've reloaded 220 have either recycled 220 backing, or recut 120 paper. The markings won't be quite right, but the specs for 220 header and tail have been posted somewhere here on Photrio and it's relatively trivial to cut a header and tail the correct lengths from a 120 backing roll, mark the correct start mark on the header, and go. You will need a tail paper on your 6008 -- it doesn't rewind like 35 mm, instead it winds through, and if there's no tail paper, the last two or three exposures will get fogged when you unload the camera.

A 220 roll is twice as long as a 120 roll, exactly -- that comes to about 150 cm. You could roll a few more exposures and fit the result on a spool, but 220 cameras or film backs have automatic counters of one sort or another, and will expect the film to end after 20/24/32 exposures and go to freewheel to wind through the tail. You'd have to have a method of resetting the counter mid-roll (I have a 12-on-620 camera I can do that with, but I'm not sure I could with either of my 220 backs).

And the minimum order quantities from the specialized paper manufacturer who can make the leaders and trailers are ridiculously impractical.

This doesn't seem to be stopping Shanghai, but we've already speculated they're operating on a different business model from Kodak, Fuji, Ilford, etc.
 

mshchem

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The prototype of the Pentax 6X7 was dubbed the "220" maybe the "new film cameras" Pentax is working on, 🤔 😆.

There's always hope. 🙂
 
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