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03-30-2011, 05:50 AM   #16
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This "flatness" issue is not just a problem with Pentax 645's. Mamiya's have the same issue sometimes and the advice to hand crank a bit tighter is well-taken. I've had to do this on one of my Mamiya bodies.

The other issue is that today's films are not as robust as they used to be. What I mean is that the 120 format is designed for quick turnover and not for the durability of sitting in the camera. Those buying film now are enthusiasts who generally shoot a roll and develop quickly unlike the market 20 years ago where film would sit in cameras undeveloped for months at a time and consumers would have expectations that development would not suffer from the interruption.

The bonus is MF film cameras and lenses are an exceptional deal these days and the film is generally (negatives, not slide) of very high quality. These films are meant to be loaded, shot through the roll, and then developed, all within a relatively short timeframe (a month at most).

03-30-2011, 07:01 AM   #17
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Hmmm. Good info. It usually does take me a while to go through a roll of film on my KM. Oh well, either way, the 645NII is way out of my price range.
03-30-2011, 07:06 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
I do wish good 120 inserts hadn't gotten so dear, though.

then it probably doesn't help to mention that you can get decent 'blad film backs for the 500 series for $150 - or less each
03-30-2011, 12:50 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
then it probably doesn't help to mention that you can get decent 'blad film backs for the 500 series for $150 - or less each
The Pentax inserts aren't quite that dear, but they do seem to be less common.

03-30-2011, 12:53 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by gtxtom Quote
Hmmm. Good info. It usually does take me a while to go through a roll of film on my KM. Oh well, either way, the 645NII is way out of my price range.
The original P645 may not be out of your range, and since it only shoots 15 exposures to a roll, it is less affected by film flatness issues.
03-30-2011, 01:25 PM   #21
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Oh I already have an N, I was just unaware of this issue. Oh well. I'm still happy.
03-30-2011, 04:45 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by gtxtom Quote
Oh I already have an N, I was just unaware of this issue. Oh well. I'm still happy.
I have a 645 and 645n, and I'm still happy.

Time for the wind to stop blowing and for some photos.
03-30-2011, 11:23 PM   #23
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What's a Pentax 645 120 insert with a case worth anyways, $50-70? My plain 645 came with 2 so I haven't had a need to hunt down more.

03-31-2011, 07:51 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Steinback Quote
What's a Pentax 645 120 insert with a case worth anyways, $50-70? My plain 645 came with 2 so I haven't had a need to hunt down more.
It is very easy to convert the 220 inserts to use 120 film. All it takes is a jeweller's phillips head screwdriver and a few seconds. Don't lose the little screw! Here're instructions, courtesy of another member:

"- mikebob -

I am and experimental physicist - I had to try .... and ... it works !!!

In the second link you have provided is a detailed description, but let me put my version here (I checked it twice!):

So - when one takes out the back and looks between the latches that can be flipped out to load/remove the film spools - there is a little black plastic rectangular of size about 12 x 4 mm. On one of the long sides it has a small teeth. This little "thing" is attached by two small screws. One of these screws is slightly obscured by the steel teeth that holds the film insert attached to the camera. When I have bought the camera with the 220 magazine, the teeth was pointing towards the back of the camera (away from film plane) and was easy to overlook.

So - to find out how this should work I used 2 films to figure out (one would have been enough though)

1) with the "thing" in its original position (teeth pointing away from the film plane) I loaded one 120 film in the back and shot 20 exposures until the film went completely through the camera. Then the camera did a short winding attempt and showed "E" on the display, which I guess stands for Error.

2) Unscrewing the 2 small screws I turned the plastic "thing" such that the teeth was pointing towards the film plane. Loaded another film and shot exactly 16 frames. After that the camera wounds the rest of the film onto the reel and showed "End" on the display.

So - it seems that with the teeth pointing towards the film the camera (or towards the shutter when the magazine is mounted on the camera) expects 120 film. What remains to be checked is simply to shoot a film or two in this settings and see that everything is OK. I would guess everything will be fine

I do not expect a problem with the film pressure plate is this has a lot of space to move (much more than the one in my Roilleiflex T)

... now all of you will run to get those cheap 220 inserts ..."

Of course you'll have to remember that you've made the conversion!
03-31-2011, 12:47 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Steinback Quote
What's a Pentax 645 120 insert with a case worth anyways, $50-70? My plain 645 came with 2 so I haven't had a need to hunt down more.
It isn't just a question of cost, but availability. I don't see a single one on Ebay or KEH.

I seem to blow through my two 120 inserts (30 exp total) rather quickly if I am at an event. I'd be pleased to load up a 220 if they made B&W 220. I could do with a couple more 120 backs to get through a busy evening. I may convert at least one of the 220 backs.

I see a few 70mm backs on Ebay. Now there is something that you could spend some time finding.
03-31-2011, 12:59 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
It isn't just a question of cost, but availability. I don't see a single one on Ebay or KEH.
Hmmm. I just scoped KEH and they're showing a 220 insert and case, EX, for $25. By comparison, a 120 insert with case, EX, is $72. at KEH!! For that sort of money I decided to do the conversion and label the insert.
04-06-2011, 03:54 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by grhazelton Quote
Hmmm. I just scoped KEH and they're showing a 220 insert and case, EX, for $25. By comparison, a 120 insert with case, EX, is $72. at KEH!! For that sort of money I decided to do the conversion and label the insert.
I didn't see the 120 back when I looked, but I'd definitely do the conversion. I've taken a look at it, and it looks like about 10 minutes' work. On Ebay right now (6 days from my previous post) there is a 120 insert for $95 and a number of 220 inserts for $29. If you are willing to pay that much for the 120 insert, you can get a 645 body with the insert for just $70 more.
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