I have an old Foth-Derby camera from the 1930's that uses 127 roll film. Some of the places I've looked at want as much as $20 for a single roll. The cheapest I've found so far is still $4.50 a roll plus shipping. Does anyone know of any that's available for less than $4.50 a roll?
Post by aceroadholder on Feb 10, 2007 0:42:19 GMT -5
Walker, $4.50 a roll for 127 is about as cheap as I've heard of. Who has it for sale at that price? Film For Classics seems a bit pricey... nearly $25 for a roll of b/w and processing. I've got several 127's, but haven't shot any film with the cameras because of the high cost. If you really want to shoot 127, it would seem that cutting down your own film and processing it yourself is about only reasonable way to go about it.
Post by aceroadholder on Feb 10, 2007 1:52:15 GMT -5
Had a few minutes free and found www.bluefire.ca in Calgary, Canada. They have Bluefire Murano 160 daylight color print film for $7 a roll.. not the cheapest, but they say that is wound on a correct 49mm spool so as not to hang up in a Baby Rolli. They had some Chinese made 120 too. ASA100 b/w $2.65/roll or $2.00/roll in a 50 roll brick. They said to note there are no frame numbers on this stuff (not good with my Yashica MAT or Zeiss Box Tengor, no problem with my MAT-124). A real shame as it would be fun to shoot some ASA 100 b/w with the Zeiss.... but I do have some test rolls and I could count winder turns and maybe shoot eight or ten frames instead of twelve. They didn't say, but I think company is the Seldom Wong Film Factory in Shanghai..... or not..
Aceroadholder, B&H Photo in NYC offers EFKE 100 in 127 size for $4.50 a roll. I had already checked Freestyle without success but went back last night and did a search for "127" and they also offer the EFKE 100 for $3.99 a roll. That looks like the cheapest I'm likely to find.
127 film at $4.50 a roll - that's roughly £2.25 at the moment - is a lot cheaper than you can buy it in the UK.
If you really want to shoot 127, it would seem that cutting down your own film and processing it yourself is about only reasonable way to go about it.
I agree. Some time ago I found a Japanese site - in good English - which showed how to cut down 120 to 127 using a block of wood, with a scalpel or craft blade mounted in it, in the back of an old 120 camera. The guy said that the 'left-over' bit at the side is 16mm, so you also get a source of film for sub-min cameras like the Minoltas and Kievs.
I haven't tried it, and I didn't bookmark the site, but if I can find it again I'll let you know, and I might have a go. The pictures he posted are clear, and it doesn't look a difficult job. You don't have to load the 120 in the dark because the blade cuts through the backing paper as well, but you have to unload, cut to length and respool in the dark - and keep your fingers out of the way of the blade!
The only point is I think you would need a 127 backing paper as I don't think any of the series of numbers on a 120 backing paper match a 127 film.
Fortunately I've got several 127 backing papers and spools packed away somewhere, and a short time ago I bought some 127 B&W film from Jessops, and I'm only hafway though the first roll in a little 1930s Dollina Dolly 16 on 127. I'm sure I've got a 127 developing tank somewhere, or if not one of my collecting friends will have. When I've finished the roll and developed it I'll post some pictures.
Also, when I've developed it, I'll measure the length of the 127 film and backing paper and where the numbers come, so if anyone hasn't got one and wants to try cutting down a 120 they can renumber the 120 backing paper with self-adhesive labels.
I've also got several old 120 cameras, including a couple of box cameras up in the attic somewhere. They're battered and fit only for donating to a good cause, but I think they're light-tight. If not I can seal them with black Gaffer Tape.
Peter, thanks and any information you can pass along would be gratefully accepted. I've looked at a few of the negatives from my father's Foth-Derby (1939) and the images are impressive. It was his first camera and I now own it. I'd like to give it a go sometime.
To be honest I don't know exactly what I've got packed away in junk boxes - the debris of 30-odd years of accumulating any cheap camera that was going for pocket money or that I've been given because it was going to be thrown out. I can't even remember what size film most of them took.
Whatever they are I doubt very much if any are working, and some are incomplete. Two of the folders I know lack shutters and lenses, at least one has donated its bellows and others lack things like flip-up finders, reflecting finders, winding keys, hand strap fixings and other odd bits that I've used to restore other cameras. You'd be surprised what bitzas some of my quite smart looking cameras are - and I've still got some waiting for the right bits :D.
I've hung on to them because I've raided the boxes many times over the years for useful bits, so some may only be the carcasses and some screws, but I'll have a look sometime in the next week and let you know what I've got.
Trouble is, the postage to you from the UK would probably make them expensive junk.
After a lot of searching I found the web page about cutting down 120 film to make 127 and 16mm. He doesn't give any dimensions on the photos, but the 44mm he mentions is the width of 127 film. 120 film is 60mm wide, so you get a 16mm strip left over. It looks simple enough to make.
If the film is kept tensioned during cutting the emulsion ought not to touch the wood block which is below the level of the film rollers, but I think I’d be inclined to face the wood block with something that wouldn’t scratch, maybe some artificial velvet or something, just in case.
Thanks Peter, you know how it is when someone says they have some old cameras siting around they don't use anymore or " battered and fit only for donating to a good cause" your heart starts beating a little faster. I also forgot about the postage from the UK.