The digital image processing is omnipresent these days, and more often than not we are always confronted of the film’s possible extinction in the future. But we’re Lomographers, right? And we don’t believe in such cynical pronouncement. Just like our tipster here who just can’t get enough of using medium format film!
The Skinny on 220 by eggzakly
Is it on the verge of extinction? Emulsions are getting discontinued left and right and rumor has it Velvia 50 is to be next on the chopping block. In fact, there are only a few 220 slides still in production.
A glance at the Lomography film reviews shows only one review of a 220 film, and that was mine! Are people too afraid to try something new? Why? In an effort to eliminate “The Fear” I’ve put together this little guide.
Let’s face it, I am on a crusade to bring back 220 film! I am having such great fun playing and experimenting with it, and there’s lots to be found, cheap. Look in discount bins and on ebay.
220 is as wide as 120 film but twice the length, which equals twice the number of exposures. There’s no backing paper, instead there’s a paper lead at either end. No backing paper means no frame numbers – you can use a guide to advance the film or wing it. It can be used in any basic 120 camera, as long as you cover up the film counter window.
Couldn’t be simpler: load the film so you’re pulling the lead from the back of the roll.
The easiest way: Shoot the entire film the normal way, shift it back to the feeder position and load it pulling the lead from the back of the roll. Whatever you do, don’t flip the roll upside down when you’re shifting it. Result: One layer of normal exposures, then a layer of redscaled ones. One layer will be mirrored. (If you accidentally flipped the roll one layer of exposures will be upside down.)
If you want the first layer of exposures to be redscaled and the second one to be normal, remember that you have to pull the lead from the back of the roll both when you load the film initially AND when you shift it back to the feeding position after the first set of exposures, as the film is now backwards on the roll. If you don’t, the result will be two layers of redscaled exposures.
These rolls often turn out loose – especially if you redscale the first layer of exposures. The result is cool lightleaks along the edges of the film, but you might want to bring some light proof tape in case you have a very loose roll on your hands.
You can do anything to 220 film you’d do to any other film, but some labs will charge you double the cost of a 120 film.
Squarefrog's guide to using 220 film in Holga (including advance guide).
In the gallery:
- Kodak Portra (220, 800 iso) developed in c41.
- Fuji Velvia (220, 50 iso) cross processed in c41.
- Fuji NPC (220, 160 iso) cross processed in e6, pushed 2 stops.
- Agfa Optima (220, 400 iso) 1st exposure normal, 2nd redscale. Developed in c41.
- Agfa Portrait (220, 160 iso) 1st exposure redscale, 2nd normal. Cross processed in e6, pushed 2 stops.
- Kodak Ektachrome EPP (220, 100 iso) 1st & 2nd exposure redscale. Cross processed in c41.