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116 (70mm) to 120 (60mm) camera conversion set.

116 (70mm) to 120 (60mm) camera conversion set.

116 and 616 roll film

During the early days of photography negative size was much more important than now because of the grain size and thus enlargement limitations. Larger negatives meant sharper pictures plus the added benefit of contact printing with is printing photos without having to enlarge it.
In 1932 Kodak introduced two new negative format, 620 and 616, the latter being 70 mm wide. The 616 format was the same as the existing 116 film format but the negative stock was wound on smaller spools in order to fit smaller cameras, that was, at least officially, the reason for introducing yet another format. The real reason might have been that Kodak owed the patent for this roll size and thus was the only one selling film for this format and when you already own the camera, you need fitting (Kodak) film too, right?

The first “6” comes from “6 pictures per film”. Later versions were longer and 8 pictures would fit on the film but the name remained the same. This film format lasted up to 1984 when it was discontinued. (source: thedarkroom.com)

Converting a 116 film camera into a 120 film camera

In this short distribution I demonstrate how to convert a 116 film camera to a 120 film camera. The set which consists out of two take-up spools for 120 film and guard rail extensions is available in my online shop.

Things you need:

  1. Cemedine Super-X No. 8008 glue
  2. Cotton buds

Let’s get started.

In the example I’m converting a 6.5 x 11 cm Zeiss Ikon camera into a camera which can be used with standard 120 film.

Step 1

First open the back and the front of the camera that the below is fully extended. This gives us enough space to glue the guar rails underneath the existing film guard

Step 2

Check the length of the required extension rail and break it accordingly.

Step 3

Sand the corners of the guard rail extension where they have been broken apart to ensure that there are no sharp edges which could harm the bellow or film. First align the guard rail extensions under the existing one before glueing them to ensure that they fit perfectly. Try even if the bellow still completely closes.

Step 4

If everything fits, glue the extensions underneath the existing guard rails. Use the glue carefully and avoid that the bellow gets glued together. Press for about 5 minutes the glued rails and leave the camera and bellow for at least 24 h open and let the glue dry.

Together with the take-up film adapter, you can now use standard 120 film in the 116 film camera.