Converting your medium format camera into a 35mm one isn’t new. However, I found a lack of resource as to how to accurately advance the knob and avoid film wastage. Hopefully, this tip will help other medium format camera owners figure out the number of turns you will need per exposure to make the most out of your 35mm roll.
You will need:
1. a strip of paper (having the same length and width as a roll of 35mm film)
2. an empty film canister
3. some foam/padding (to keep the film in place)
Step 1 – Attach the strip of paper to the end of the film in a used film canister.
Step 2 – Draw lines to indicate the spacing as if on a 120mm film.
Step 3 – Wind film and load into camera – to keep it centered, make sure you’ve got the foam padding on the take up spool and the sides of the canister.
Step 4 – Take note of the number of rotations to get the first shot in the middle – of course you have to make a little marking on the knob or camera just to use as a point of reference.
Step 5 – Follow step 4 for succeeding shots.
Here are my findings based on my little experiment:
Number of shots to get the first exposure in the center:
2 (I might have to adjust this because the first picture taken was 1/4 overexposed)
Number of turns per exposure:
1st thru 4th : 1 1/2 turns
5th thru 7th : 1 3/8 (In clock speak, roughly 1 hour 23 mins)
8th thru 12th : 1 1/4
13th thru 19th : 1 1/6 (In clock speak, 1 hour 10 mins)
20th thru 24th : 1
With that, you are ready to load a 135 film into your Lubitel 2. Just tape the film onto the spool; make sure you get it wound tightly. By the way, using a 35mm film with my Lubitel 2 made it difficult, nay, impossible to close the back cover. I just covered the gaps with black plastic and electrical tape…which probably explains the light leaks. I’m not so sure about that though (any thoughts on this would be more than welcome).
It might be helpful to take notes when you take pics as well, just to keep track if you’ve already advanced the knob for the next shot. I was able to take 22 pics, out of my estimated 24 shots, and upon closer inspection found that I had probably advanced the knob more than once <drat!> hence the huge gap between the 2 pics towards the end of the roll. Otherwise, I think I would have been able to get 24 exposures.
By the way, here are the pics I took: