Sometimes when I get bored, which is very rare, I always try and experiment, and more than likely, most of my experiments turn out to be with film…(mind you, SOME experiments involve myself and my female friend…but…umm…let’s not digress!).
I’m sure you’ve all seen and tried those funky apps that you can download on your smartphone these days, yes? What? You don’t have a smartfone? Well, be banished to the innermost dungeons in my castle, from whence there is no escape….!
I’ve downloaded several of these apps onto my iPhone, and to tell you the truth, some are really quite nice, depending upon how you use them.
One of these apps allows you to give your photos taken with your cellphone, a special arty kinda look, by adding film sprocket holes around your photo. You know what sprocket holes are, right? Sprocket holes are the holes you see on 35mm film that allow the sprockets (!) in your camera to engage and move the film around when you wind or rewind it.
Originally, this arty look came from 16mm film that was used in movie making, and showed frames from famous Hollywood films, ut somebody had the idea of using the same look to give 35mm shots a unique appearance.
So how can we achieve this look with your standard 35mm film? Easy as pie! Despite what you read on the internet, NO..you dont need a Lomo camera, that much-hyped-for-nothing pice of plastic rubbish that has been cleverly evolved into a world-wide phenomenon by clever marketing!
No, you can use your 35mm in any medium format camera that takes 120 roll film, and that means for example, a Yashicamat, Rolleiflex, Rolleicord, Mamiyaflex, etc…all 120 film cameras.
However, to be successful in this experiment, we need to take a few simple precautions.
1 the 35mm film cartridge is obviously very much smaller in size than a 120 film roll, so we need to ensure that the 35mm film will not move up or down in the camera when it is in use. How we do this is shown below:
2 firstly, we need to make sure the 35mm film cartridge is held firmly in place whilst in the camera. For that, all I did was to use 2 smallish pieces of foam sponge, about 1″ by 1″, squeezed into either side of the film cartridge. You need to experiment with this to find the exact position in which the sponges and the cartridge will remain in place without moving around. Here is a photo of a similar arrangement done when using a Lomo camera:
3 Next, we must make sure somehow that the 120 reel we use as a take-up spool will allow the 35mm film to wind on without causing it (the film) to move up or down on he empty take-up reel. This we do very simply by winding 2 rubber bands at each end of the take-up reel, with a gap in the middle corresponding to the size of the 35mm film which will sit there. Here is a photo od what I mean, again using a Lomo camera, but the same for any medium format camera:
That’s all there is to it!
Aha, you say…how do you know how many turns of the film winder on your camera equate to one 35mm frame? The answer is ….trial and error! In my experience, I found that approx 2.5 turns of the film winder handle equates to one frame…that was on a Yashicamat twin lens camera by the way.
Once your film is fully exposed, wind it back into the cartridge in the normal way.
One final thing….if you’re going to process the film yourself, that’s no problem, but if you’re going to give it to your local processing lab etc, you need to tell them, and also give them a piece of paper with your film instructing them DO NOT CUT FILM NEGATIVES! Otherwise if they cut up your negatives like they do with normal films, all your hard work will be ruined!
To give you a taste of the results that cane achieved, here are some examples I obtained off the internet: