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70mm Film again available from Ilford

Ilford HP5+ 70mm film now available in both perforated and unperforated forms as part of the ILFORD 2013 ULF run. You must order before end of June. They are also selling 120 sized backing paper in 100 foot rolls. You can thus make your own 220 b/w films once more from the unperforated stock (remove about 4.5 mm from each side - trailer and leader paper from 120 backing paper roll). The perforated 70mm can be used in your Hasselblad 70 magazines (+ those from other manufacturers).
Best wishes.
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i) A 220 sized rollfilm basically consists of three parts:
- a paper leader (of 120 paper sized width - x) and having length 'A'; followed by
- a length of film emulsion (of 120 film sized width - y) and having length 'B'; followed by
- a paper trailer (of 120 paper sized width - x) and having length 'C';
ii) The rollfilm is wound, during manufacture, onto a normal 120 sized spool in the order trailer - film - leader.
iii) One end of the length of film is adhered to the end of the paper leader and the other end of the length of film is adhered to the start of the paper trailer; this is usually accomplished by using a suitable length of adhesive tape; at both its ends, the film should overlap the paper leader/trailer by a few millimeters and be afixed to the inside radius of curvature of the paper so you have in effect a three layered sandwich over the short length where the film is fixed to the paper consisting of paper, film and tape as we go from the outside of the wound reel to the inside. The adhesive tape need not span the whole width of the paper leader but should have a width that is sufficient to ensure that the joint does not tear apart during the film winding operation. The non film ends of the leader/trailer papers may be shaped into tongues in order to engage with the slots in the reels.
iv) The film should be taped to leader/trailer papers such that it is centred and all lengthwise edges are parallel; as this has to be done in total darkness, some practice may be necessary - but it is not difficult.
v) Typical lengths are:
- 'A' 21 inches
- 'B' 60 inches
- 'C' 13 inches
- y 60.5 millimeteres
- x 61.5 millimetres
These lengths do exhibit some variations especially 'A', 'B' and 'C' but they work for me on Hasselblad A24/A32 backs. You may wish to experiment to determine what is best for your setup.
vi) In addition, there is the need for a "start mark" which is to be put on the outer surface of the leader paper; this usually consists of a thick line across the width of the leader paper; it should be positioned about 7.5 inches from the start of the film. This is used to align the film to film advance/counting mechanism in your film magazine.
vii) You can prepare, trailer and leader papers in daylight but clearly the taping of film and the winding onto the spool must be done in total darkness. That is basically it. I would strongly recommend you to acquire then sacrifice a 220 roll film and to take it apart; the above would then become clearer in your mind and you could practice remaking the film in daylight and then with a blindfold possibly before you start rolling your own.

Now to your question about "removing about 4.5 mm from each side..."

If you start with 70mm roll film you will see from the above that it is too wide - you need a film strip of width 60.5mm so you must remove a strip of about 9mm along one whole length of your 220 film strip to be; alternately, you could remove about 4.5mm from along both whole lengths of your 220 film strip to be. If you are starting from unperforated 70mm stock, the former would be sufficient; if your 70mm stock is perforated, then the latter is more elegant but you will still probably have some residual traces of perforation along the length of your 220 strip.
That is why unperforated film is more suitable for this job; of course you could remove the 9mm strip along one length of the 70mm strip and take the remaining perforations on the other length into account when photographing - these perforations might encroach into your image area.

You need to remove the excess film using a film slitter which can be bought over the web for about 30 US dollars.

Since the actual image area is typically 56mm by 56mm, there is scope to make your 220 film strip even narrower; this however may lead to further problems such as difficulty in centering the film strip relative to the trailer/leader backing papers and the fact that your strip may now be too narrow to be able to be held securely in a typical developing tank reel.

Is it practical? Yes of course it is; when you have rolled a few of your own, you will become proficient and enjoy the benefits of shooting longer rolls of film (if that is what you want to do).

Is it cost effective? That is impossible to answer because there is no longer any commercially produced 220 b/w film available with which to make a comparison. It has to be a subjective decision on your part. Personallly it is right for me and I have been doing it for years. Before this year's ULF run, I cut my own backing paper from 50 foot long, 25 inch wide rolls. I no longer have to do this and if Ilford were to offer in the future long rolls of standard 120 sized film (which they must have anyway) then the process becomes even easier.

Hope this helps,

Richard Hughes.
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Thank you - but I do not do it with a nail scissors!
I have made a metal jig that is about a foot long, U-shaped with 90 degree angles between side walls and smooth base. Side walls are about an inch high and inside width is 70mm. Two slits are cut into the base, symmetrically about the base centre line and 60.5 mm apart from one another; through these slits two simple razor blades protrude. They are fixed stably underneath; it is then just a matter of pulling the film gently through. It cuts very easily and the blades, when blunt, can be moved/replaced. The side walls in front of the cutting blades guide the 70mm film. I wear surgical gloves to prevent any fingerprints being imparted to the emulsion. A 144cm length of film takes about 30 seconds to draw through - care must be taken to pull gently and constantly so as not to stretch the film in any way.

Some distance from razors are mounted a pair of screws, again symmetrically about the centre line, whose distance apart is the width of the leader/trailer papers; just in front of these is another pair of screws, similarly mounted, whose distance apart is the width of the 220 film strip; this arrangement guides film and papers and ensures that film and papers can be quickly and accurately taped together - and all in the dark!

Finally, I wind completed roll loosely onto an empty 120 spool - leader first; this often results in the wound film being wider than the spool flanges; I then mount this in an A24 magazine (in the place where a new film roll goes) and wind the whole film through onto the empty take up spool. This ensures an evenly wound film. correctly tensioned and right way around. C'est tout.

Sounds a lot more complicated than it is - once you have done it a couple of times you become expert at it.

If you do not want to (or cannot) make a jig, there are other ways of course - like using a long straight edge (the kind plasteres use) and cutting a strip off the film with a modeller's knife but it is finicky and film is easily damaged - especially when all has to be done in the dark. As mentioned previously, there is a guy making film splicers who is on the web and his products work well.

And if you are a lateral thinker and are prepared to load/unload your magazines in darkness, you can dispense with the backing papers altogether and just use naked film - a kind of 220/70mm hybrid!

Daniel Unkefer

Well-Known Member
I have been working towards being able to enlarge optically, my 70mm Hasselblad negatives. I have a freezer full of 70mm type II film, and six Hasselblad A70 magazines in usuable condition. A few days ago, I purchased an original Simon Omega 56x56 70mm film carrier for my Omega D-2 enlarger, which has been gathering dust in my basement. You would not think it would be hard to find, but I have been looking for a long while. It arrived in good condition, I have decided to file out the dimensions in all four corners, so I can see the border edges on the 70mm film, and the distinctive Hasselblad edge markings. Eventually after a lot of dusting and cleaning (as well as general maintenance) I will be able to B&W print again. View attachment 7234


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Expose in 70mm back, cut down to 120 to develop. one side if its perforated, both sides when its unperforated. Yes you need respective back or camera to use unperforated 70mm film.
Cutting only one side perforated film could be important when film is not developped manually by ourself but in machines. if perforations are partly cut inbetween this could block the machines.
70mm film and 35mm camera
Canon 10s SLR can take up unperforated or one-side perforated film.
the man offering slitters is xkaes at or on ebay(sometimes). search google for filmslitters. he has his own site. last time its was down.
if not in stock he needs 3 months the slitters to be made.
pls let us know here or open new thread which slitters you want to buy.
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You do not necessarily need to cut it down after exposure in a 70mm back; most developing tanks, which can handle 120 sized film, can be widened sufficiently to accomodate 70mm film (you only need an extra 7mm or so); if the tank is an older model it may have a setting for 116/616 sized film in which case you do not need to do any slitting. More problematical is the length of film as a 70 exposure 70mm film strip is about 4.7m long. Most normal 120 sized tanks will not handle such a length - typically they can accomodate about 150cm at the best. One way around this is to expose 24 frames in the 70mm back, expose 2 blank frames, then cut off and remove the take up cassette; reload the 70mm back with the remaining film from the supply cassette; set the film counter to 28 and carry on; repeat procedure again after frame 52. This will furnish you with three strips that can be developed in a normal 120 tank (you may need to experiment a little with the actual cutoff points depending on your tank.

Alternatively, Hewes make (or will make you) a 70mm spiral able to accomodate a full 4.7m; there is always ebay of course.

Cofion crach-werinol,

Richard Hughes.


Moderator pls remove all my yes-answers....
forum did not allow to post links until i reached 10 posts...
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Instructions how to use jobo 2500-reels(one set plus one part of second reel) developping 70mm films.
Testtank 2820(for 10x20cm prints-i thought it were 40cm) can be use for minimal amount of chemicals. i dry-tested it.

i cannot post links since i dont have 10 posts, weird.....put the corresponding adress-standard infront.
if i remember right 172cm lenght of 70mm film can be used.

cutting 70mm film after exposure is for people who do not develop themselves. cut it down on one side only to avoid perforations-remains stopping developping-machine.


New Member
How can I check if my Hasselblad 70mm back is still working?
I currently don't have cassettes nor films for this.
The notched button near the frame counter isn't moving.