Recycle your 35mm Canisters to Make Home for 120 films!


Actually for a long time I didn’t know that 120 film sometimes comes with a canister, none of the films I had bought over the past 4 years had these. It’s quick and easy to do and helps the environment by re-using stuff instead of discarding it.

I found this idea for making the canisters in a book about the Holga (Toying with Creativity). Though it wasn’t until I saw the new Rollei films (crossbird etc) with their sleek and cool canisters that I decided to go ahead and make my own.

It’s quick and easy to do and helps the environment by re-using stuff instead of discarding it. I had quite a few different types of empty 35mm canisters to experiment with. Black canisters were the obvious choice to help avoid unwanted light leaks while the film waits for my next visit to the lab.

The Kodak BW400CN, 35mm, were the easiest to work with and I had a lot of those anyway. Because when you push a canister into another one, you need the bottom one to distort/conform a little, which makes it easy to do and so get the right finished size to fit the 120 roll.

Following the steps in the photos 1. Push one canister into a 2nd canister. 2. Let it have time to conform for a while, leave them together for about 1 hour (important step). 3. Separate the canisters and cut a hole in the bottom of the canister that sits on top/inside the other one. The hole must be almost the entire width of the bottom. 4. Push the canisters back together asap, this will be easy (due to step 2), and push them together until the height is about right for a 120 roll. 5. Tape around the join with black tape.

The grey caps from this particular canister are also handy to write notes on.

If you skip step 2, it’s not easy to get the cut canister inside the other one, as it’s rigidity is impaired and it can’t make the other conform to the shape needed.

Leftover grey caps also make a handy lens cap for Vivitar UWS or other small plastic cams.

As mentioned, I didn’t invent this tip, but here’s how I made it work for me, hope some of you find it useful ☺

written by fash_on on 2010-11-05 #gear #tutorials #film #120 #35mm #homemade #tipster #medium #format #holga #diana #recycling #quickie-tipster #canisters #re-use


  1. jblaze823
    jblaze823 ·

    great idea, I never liked the idea of throwing all those canisters away, now I can put them to good use, thanks for the tip

  2. azzzy
    azzzy ·

    really great tip.

  3. jhtci
    jhtci ·

    I've been doing this since the beginning of the summer thanks to a Lomo tip. I cut the bottom off of one canister with scissors or an x-acto knife. I line up the cut bottom with the top of the second canister and roll electrical tape around it until it's firm. They have held up well in daily use and travel.

  4. fash_on
    fash_on ·

    thanks for the likes :)) and @jhtci it's good to know another way of doing that, thanks!

  5. beni
    beni ·


  6. isammi
    isammi ·

    Ey! It's a great idea!^^

  7. knight
    knight ·

    When my 120 film first arrived without canisters I too found it rather curious. ...This is a wonderfully practical solution. Cheers!

  8. stonerfairy
    stonerfairy ·

    aaaaahhh!! This is really practical!

  9. dogma
    dogma ·

    Cool! gone make it

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