Voigtlander Brilliant 75mm Skopar 6x6 Frame Spacing Issue

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by bigdog, Mar 2, 2018.

  1. bigdog

    bigdog Member

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    My version is the early metal body with Skopar 75mm with Compur F/4.5 300 max. speed shutter as seen in photo.

    My question is regarding frame spacing. I Have shot two rolls (Arista/Foma 100 and Rollei Digibas CN200). Both rolls produced frame spacing of 8 frames per roll. I cut equal size strips for scanning for 4 film strips total. So I have a gap between each two frames per strip and the frames are on the outside edge of the individual film strip.

    I use the film frame counter window on the back to count and position my frames, but somehow I am losing 4 frames per roll since I should be getting 12 total on this 6x6 format camera. There is no film winder/advance frame stop. I am just using the numbers on the film backing through the window, I have consistently spaced frames, I just have that gap between every pairing of two frames

    What am I missing here, any advice?

    PS:
    I may have discovered an answer. I normally shoot my Hassy and Rollei in 6x6 and rely on their respective frame counters. On the Brilliant I do not recall if I used the back window after loading or relied on the side window frame counter. I just discovered there is a small button on the same side and in line with the frame counter window that when I slid forward mechanically released/reset the counter to number "1". Anyone familiar with this mechanism? This camera is new to me.

    Thank you!
     

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    Last edited: Mar 2, 2018
  2. shutterfinger

    shutterfinger Subscriber

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    This instruction manual may help you: http://www.cameramanuals.org/voigtlander_pdf/voigtlander_brilliant_4_5.pdf
    Modern 120 film is thinner than older 120 films and causes spacing problems in roll film holders. Using the counter only on your camera you should be getting overlapping of frames not wide blank spaces.
    I would load the backing paper off one of your processed rolls and verify that the numbers on the paper for 6x6 format are lining up with the window. Arista EDU Ultra has 6x4.5 top, 6x6 center, 6x9 bottom markings.
    Kodak and Ilford 120 films are 4.5mil thick, Fuji is 3.5 mil thick, Arista is 3 mil thick.
    Increasing the diameter of the takeup roller in roll film holders by .012 inch usually corrects the spacing issue as that causes 1 to 2 millimeters more film to pass through the film plane per wind but I see no way to increase the film travel distance in a TLR.
     
  3. OP
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    bigdog

    bigdog Member

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    Yes, it appears the colored frame counter window is on the bottom left and I was reading and advancing based on the 6x9 frame size hence the 8 frames total with consistent but odd spacing between frames. I guess film back in the 1930's had camera specific films or at least had 1-12 printed on the bottom portion of the backing paper?

    I ran a backing paper with no film through the camera and it should work if I stop at the first or second indicator arrow on the 6x9 printed marks (at this point the 1-12 mechanical counter on the side was already at frame 4). I then reset the mechanical frame counter to 0 by sliding the reset button forward and then advanced the film 1 though 12 until the end. I will have to check the spacing with a fresh roll and exposures but at least I got my 12 frames when checking the backing paper against the counter at the end of the roll.

    Thank you!
     
  4. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber
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    If I read the manual correctly, you are supposed to use the window just to position the first frame. From then on, there should be a frame counter on the side of the camera, and automatic spacing from frame to frame.
     
  5. shutterfinger

    shutterfinger Subscriber

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    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Film_format shows that 120 format film was introduced in 1901. I don't know what the film thickness or backing paper thickness was back then or how to find it out. I speculate it was 5mil thick for the film. Somewhere around the 1970's or 1980's the thickness decreased by 0.5mil to 1 mil depending on brand. With the film base thickness reduced by 0.5 mil a frame counter system geared for the thicker material will produce frames that have 0.1 millimeter space between them to 0.5 millimeter overlap depending on the condition of the camera. Spacing errors are worse in the center of the roll as the amount of film on each film spool is near equal. Adding 1 to 2 layers of backing paper on the take up spool before starting the film may help eliminate or minimize the spacing issues. The 8 to 12 mil extra thickness of two additional layers of backing paper will increase the risk of light bleeding in from the edge of the spool when removing the film. A camera or roll film holder that has dirty wind/advancing gearing will have spacing issues where a clean smooth operating advance will not. A CLA on the advance/wind should be good for 10 to 15 years.
     
  6. MattKing

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    I might be wrong, but I think the OP is trying to use the window at the back to determine all frame spacing throughout the roll.
    I don't think that the camera works that way, because the window's location indicates that it would line up with the 6x9 numbering on the backing paper, not the 6x6 numbering. If you use that window to monitor the film advance, your exposures will be spaced 9 cm apart, not 6 cm apart.
    Again, if I read the manual correctly, I think that this camera works like my Baby Bessa - I use the window at the back to set the 1st frame, close that window, and then let the built in frame counting and frame advancement system handle things from there.
    If the film thickness issues arise when you do that, overlapping frames are more likely to show up - not big gaps between each frame.
     
  7. shutterfinger

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    Matt, the OP bigdog stated in post 3 that the 6x9 markings aligned with the window on his camera. He therefore assumes he used the window for frame advancing which resulted in the wide spacing.
    I next stated that film thickness can cause spacing issues with older cameras and roll film holders as an advance tip in the event that it happens. It was not my intent to confuse readers. I have never used extra backing paper on the take up spool but have read reports on other fourms that it helps.
     
  8. OP
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    bigdog

    bigdog Member

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    Yes, it was the use of the film backing window to advance film based on 6x9 spacing that caused the problem. I have two 6x9 folders, a Voigtlander Bessa 1 and Ensign Selfix 820 that I was used to advancing film using only the film backing window and no frame counter to rely on.

    MattKing, do you recall when loading and winding film to position your first frame, which mark on the 6x9 film backing paper you stop winding before reseting your 6x6 counter to zero?
     
  9. MattKing

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    Unfortunately, I don't have the same camera, so my experience isn't going to be directly helpful.
    But if I read the manual correctly, you don't use a "Start" mark. You need to use the window and the 6x9 positioned "1" on the backing paper to set the first frame, and then ignore the window for the rest of the roll.
     
  10. guangong

    guangong Subscriber
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    How come none of my 120 or 620 cameras from the 40s or 50s ever exhibited any frame spacing problems? Is frame spacing such a common problem so that I have just been lucky?
     
  11. summicron1

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    it depends on the camera -- as others have stated, you use the "1" number in the red window in this camera only to start the film. After that, you re-set the film counter and the camera mechanism counts the frames from then on, automatically. The camera is designed to account for the width of the film spool as the film is wound onto it, too, so adding paper to the take-up spool on this camera will only confuse things.

    Rollei Standards used this system, as did some Rolleicords, and as does the Kodak Medalist, the Zeiss Super Ikonta B and many others.

    So you weren't "lucky," you were just using your cameras the way they were designed.

    There may be some confusion because the red window aligns with the numbers used for 8-exposures of 6 by 9 on a camera designed to give you 12 exposures of 6 by 6, but if you follow the directions -- these are German cameras, so YOU DO WHAT YOU ARE TOLD TO DO! VERSTEHEN? -- then things work out fine.

    The cameras are built this way, in part, because 120 film was originally sold to give 8 exposures only, and cameras that could give 12 and 16 came along later. Numbering for 12 and 16 exposures on 120 film backing paper was a relatively new thing in the 1930s, so cameras had to assume the film you bought only had numbers for 8.

    So they were built accordingly. But they work just fine.
     
  12. shutterfinger

    shutterfinger Subscriber

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    backing paper001.jpg Kodak, Ilford, Arista backing paper numbering. The taped edge of the film is at the same position on all three examples. The Kodak paper is wrinkled at the taped position.
    It works because the film is advancing from the bottom of the camera to the top of the camera and the ruby window is in the bottom of the camera. By the time the 6x9 1 shows the film taped to the backing paper edge is slightly above the image plane.
    Adding paper to the center of the take up spool does not change the spool width, it does change the spool thickness at the core. It causes the film to travel further as it passes over the film plane. To verify this mark the film prior to the image plane then advance the film one wind//counter number and check its position with and without the extra thickness on the take up spool. If the camera or roll film holder is starting too far from the edge of the film the extra distance between frames might cause the last frame to be at the trail edge of the film.
    The extra core thickness will not affect the wind on a geared system, it might on a clutch tension system.
    Manual (take up spool knob) advance systems use a mechanical gear system to turn the counter wheel and the numbers are spaced so that the diameter change of the film spools do not affect their position. Geared advance systems use a geared lever to turn the take up spool and counter and lock at a predetermined position. Film thickness affects this type of system. A clutch system relies on tension of the film to to limit the advancing of the film. Extra thickness on the take up spool may cause a clutch system to stop advancing film prematurely.
     
  13. summicron1

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    if you say so -- not sure how that matters in this situation. In any event, in most cases I will assume that the folks who made the camera already took all this into account, knew what they were doing and did it such that, if used the way intended, the camera will perform properly, even 60-years later.

    If it doesn't, jury-rigging solutions is usually but not always not the best way to go. Your results may vary.
     
  14. shutterfinger

    shutterfinger Subscriber

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    It doesn't in this situation but could in others. A knob turns the take up spool and the frame counter indicates the frame number it can be achieved by one of two ways.
    1. the space between numbers on the counter is non linear with equal gear teeth spacing. The distance between numbers on the counter is based on the spool thickness at different frame positions as the film winds up on the take up spool.
    2. the numbers are linear on the counter dial with the gears more complex and non linear in the number of turns of the gears per turn of the wind knob based on the take up spool thickness or the amount of film moved per turn of a gear.
    You can take a scrap roll of film, load it in the camera, mark the wind knob with an index point then record the index position at each frame and mark the film position on the backing paper at another index point such as the top guide roller center or edge.
    Next rewind the test roll and add one or two layers of backing paper or film to the take up spool before attaching the test roll to it, and repeat the index marking and recording. The only thing that will change is the film position at each frame.
     
  15. DWThomas

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    In some cameras there is a roller near the gate the film passes over that turns to determine a frame length. That decouples the issues of winding diameter. I am pretty certain my Perkeo II does that. (It spaces well enough I've never been forced to investigate!) With it one winds to see a '1' in the red window, but then you flip a lever and just shoot away, From there it auto-indexes.
     
  16. OP
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    bigdog

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    In this case, early model metal Voigtlander Brilliant w/Skopar lens, there is a small toothed wheel on the right side just below take up reel on the edge of the body that makes contact along the top edge of the backing paper. As you advance the film the toothed wheel rides along the backing paper rotating and advancing the counter to the next number
     
  17. jnanian

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    E. That sounds like my 1930s Rollei I use the ruby window for #1 and that’s it! After that I push the button and hear the click of the counter. It’s 6/6 I am guessing g (maybe wrong) it’s the same game show. have faith I t the weird wheel:smile:j
     
  18. guangong

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    I realize that sarcasm is taken quite literally on APUG..
     
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