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All About 120 Film

There are non-conformist analogue photographers who prefer medium format after discovering its quirks and quality. Will you soon be one of them? Maybe after you find out more about 120 film here!

120 (Medium Format)

  • Frame measurements vary but are usually 56 × 56 millimeters (6 × 6 cm)
  • Bigger than 35mm, smaller than the 4″ × 5″ large format, thus being the medium format
  • Introduced by Kodak in 1901 for the Brownie No. 2 camera
  • Surpassed by 35mm in popularity by the ’60s
  • Requires developing in professional photo labs
Photo via lomography

Film

  • Roll film (76 cm) attached to a piece of backing paper which protects the film while it is wound on the plastic spool; comes with extra length to allow loading and unloading in daylight
  • Exposures: ranges from 7 to 16, depending on camera make and image format
Typical 120 frame sizes via camerapedia
  • Formats: square (6 × 6 and similar, typically), full frame (6 × 9), half frame (6 × 4.5), panoramic (6 × 17)
  • Types: color, black & white
  • Speeds: 50 – 3200 ISO

More info

  • Has better technical quality than 35mm, thus being the choice of some professional film photographers
  • 220 film: introduced in 1965, double 120’s length at 144 cm
  • 620 film: introduced in 1932, on a thinner all-metal spool
  • Made of plastic (polyester, PET, nitrocellulose or cellulose acetate), coated with an emulsion containing light-sensitive silver halide salts, bonded by gelatin, with variable crystal sizes that determine the sensitivity, contrast and resolution quality
  • Cameras that use 120: Lubitel 166+, Diana F+, and Holga

Sources include Lomography, Ken Rockwell, Camerapedia, and Wikipedia.

Who says film is dead? Lomography’s got its very own 120 emulsions to keep the fire burning! Visit the Shop and see which Lomography film is right for you.

written by denisesanjose

2 comments

  1. stanw

    stanw

    120 can be processed at home. B&W is easier.
    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  2. cpetratos

    cpetratos

    I've just started using the 120 film with my Holga 120N and just got my pictures back!....BEAUTIFUL! I'm in love !
    over 2 years ago · report as spam

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