Here’s how to turn the 120mm Agfa Clack into a panoramic sprocket camera using 35mm film!
The Agfa Clack is a simple camera that was aimed at the mass market between 1954 and 1965, and there are still plenty around! I wanted to try converting my Agfa Clack 120mm camera into a 35mm panoramic sprocket camera, and it worked!
Here’s what you’ll need:
- an Agfa Clack (or another 120mm 6×9 camera)
- a roll of 35mm film
- some pieces of sponge
- tape and scissors
- a darkroom or changing bag
What you need to do:
- Open the camera by switching the knob on the bottom to AUF-open and slide the cover off downwards.
- Take out the take-up spool and tape the end of the film to it (right in the middle). Insert the spool on the left side and pull the film toward the right side. The film does not need to be pulled taut: when the film follows the oval shape of the back, it corrects the lack of sharpness due to the low-quality lens.
- Put some sponges above and under the film canister so it will not move and slide the cover back on. Make sure no sponge is squeezed in between; this will create too much light leaks. Check if the little window on the back is closed (if you like light leaks, you can open the window a few times in subdued light).
Then go out and shoot your film! The Clack has two shutter speeds: M (1/30) or Bulb. Both demand stable hands! If possible, put it on something to ensure it does not move while shooting. It has two distances: 1-3 meters and 3m-infinity. The aperture is about f/11, so you need rather fast film. The LomoChrome Purple worked out fine, although it was a little dark.
After every exposure I turned the advance wheel about 1.5 rotation. For double exposures, just shoot again. When you finish your film, go to your darkroom or use a changing bag to take out the film and rewind it into its canister. Have it developed at a lab or do it yourself. The image should be all over the sprockets, too, so scan it with a 120mm scanner (mine is only for 35mm so there’s only a small strip of the sprockets). Hope it works well for you, too!