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120 to 127 Medium Format Film Spool Adapter

Adapter to use 120 film in older 127 mm cameras

After the modification of the Agfa Ansco Plenax PD 16  into an almost 6×12 camera,  I required a 120 to 127 mm film adapter for my Agfa Ansco Mod camera to be able to use the standard 120mm medium format film.

120mm Film Spool End Caps

First I designed adapter caps for the 120 mm film spool. While these caps were working fine on the side of the camera where you put in the full film role, they failed on the side where you advance the film. Pretty quick the plastic wear of and the film couldn’t be advanced anymore. I tried PLA, PETG and even Nylon, always with the same result.

Next I just used the original 127mm as a take up spool for the 120mm film. Due to the wider film spool, I faced light leaks on the exposed film when taking the film out of the camera during day light.

Another approach was to cut the 127mm film spool into two pieces, warm them up and melt them into the 120mm spool. This was working very well but since I wanted to have more spools I decided to go another way.

120 to 127 Film Spool Adapter

The outcome is now a film spool, printed with PETG, with the outer dimensions of a 127 spool and inner width for 120 mm film. The part which engages with the film advance is a 4mm thread repair screw. The film is now well protected against the light and the film advance is very solid.

Purchase or Download

The spool can be purchased through my online shop. There is also the possibility of the free download of the STL file in the STL file section in case that you own a 3D printer or have access to one.

120 to 127 Medium Format Film Spool Adapter

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The (almost) 6×12 AGFA ANSCO Plenax PD 16 camera DIY 3D print project

The Agfa Ansco Plenax PD 16 were are series of folding cameras for 116 film (PD16) format for 2½×4¼ inch negatives (nominally 6.5×11 cm) which was manufactured around 1935. With the 6×12 AGFA ANSCO Plenax PD 16 camera DIY 3D print project, the camera is able to take high quality captures due to the fantastic Schneider Super Angulon f8/90mm lens.  

Since the camera is available on the market for a reasonable price (around 40$), it suits perfectly as a camera body for the 6×12 modification. The camera was manufactured for the 116 film format where the picture frame of 6.5 x 11 cm almost reaches the common 6×12 format.

Further items required for the modification:

For using 120mm film, film adapters are required. Alternative, original 116 film can be used.


The assembly is straight forward. The whole front of the camera needs to be removed with a bit force. Once accomplished, it needs to be checked that the remaining internal metal parts of the body have not been bent. Otherwise, they need to be re-adjusted. 

Once everything is in place again, the 3D printed front part needs to be placed in the now empty area, replacing the previous bellow assembly. The front part reaches until the film guide to narrow the frame for the 120 film format.

When everything is perfectly aligned, two holes need to be drilled from the bottom and the top through existing holes to fix the assembly with screws. Ensure that the holes fit with the chosen thread of the screws. Woodscrews are perfect for this job.

Now insert the helical and ensure that the scale is proper aligned and the focus operates smoothly. Take a small screw driver and heat the front with a lighter to burn 2-3 holes into the plastic to screw the helical onto the front part. Assemble the whole front part and check if everything works as expected. If so, dis-assemble everything and burn the further holes into the plastic to put the remaining screws of the helical in place. Again, ensure that the holes are not too big, that the screws fit perfectly into the thread. Don’t assemble the lens yet.

Now, if everything is working, unscrew the 2 screws which are holding the whole front and put sufficient glue into the inside of the Ansco camera body. I highly recommend to use Super X glue. (

Once the glue is applied, slide the front part into the camera body and fix it again with the two screws. Ensure again that everything is perfectly aligned. Now it’s time for a 24 hour rest to let the glue dry.

The final step is to cover the inner part of the camera with foam rubber sheets.

Order the 3D printed Mod Parts for the AGFA ANSCO Plenax PD 16 in the online shop


Download the STL files and print your own Mod

The 6×12 AGFA ANSCO Plenax PD 16 camera DIY 3D prints on Thingiverse:

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A Grip for the ARAX (Kiev) 60

The ARAX 60 Grip

The much I love my chunky loud ARAX 60, I always missed a better handling of the camera. Since I’m a big guy with big hands, the side of the camera is a bit thin to provide a secure hold.

With getting a 3D printer, the idea of a grip for my ARAX was always in my mind. Finally I started the project which turned to be out more difficult than expected because of my rookie skills in CAD, the small tolerances and the required stability of the grip. In addition the shape of the camera is not so rectangular as it looks.

But after several weeks and a lot of trial prints later I did it. The ARAX grip came alive. After covering the grip surface with a leatherette, it even did not look anymore like a home made 3D printed prototype.

Due to the grip I can’t use the strap anymore since one of the strap lugs are covered and used for the stability of the grip. However, since it happened more than one time that the strap became loose and I almost dropped the camera, this wasn’t a showstopper for me.

Especially with bigger lenses, the camera sits so much better in my hand now. As already mentioned in an earlier article, the ARAX provides everything you need to do medium format photography. Especially the access to so many nice Pentacon and Schneider lenses makes the ARAX with the Pentacon lens mount so attractive. My all time favorite lens is the Zeiss Jena Sonnar 2.8/180. Compared to other lenses, you get a lot of glass and look for very small money.

The stl file for the 3D print of the ARAX grip is free available on Thingiverse.


ARAX Grip front view
ARAX Grip front view

ARAX Grip from the botton
ARAX Grip from the botton

ARAX Grip front view
ARAX Grip front view

The ARAX 60 Grip
The ARAX 60 Grip