Producing 127 backing paper from 120 backing paper
The backing paper for using with a 127 spool and film can be cut down from 120 backing paper. 127 backing paper is smaller both in width and length. The dimensions for different makes of backing paper varies slightly. Try and choose a 120 backing paper that has light annotation. Examples of this type of paper are Kodak Portra and Ilford FP4 Plus.
Nominal Values are:-
- 120 Backing Paper:-
Width: 62mm; Length 1430mm
- 127 Backing Paper:-
Width 47mm; Length 1080mm
At each end of the 127 paper there is a tab and taper. The tab is 15mm x 15mm. The taper covers another 15mm. These are included in the overall dimensions above. Now cut the 120 paper to 127 size. Accuracy is important because if the backing is too narrow your images are prone to light leaks, if the paper is too wide then it won't roll properly on to the spool. Roll the backing paper neatly onto a 127 spool to check the dimensions of the new backing paper. Adjust if necessary.
After cutting the 120 paper to size, you need to annotate the paper with guidelines for where the film attaches and the numbers that are seen through the red window.
Measuring from the start end of the paper make the following marks using something like a Sharpie or some other quick drying permanent marker. Do not use Biro as it takes too long to dry. If the ink is not perfectly dry it will transfer to the film when rolled.
- At 25cm from the leading end tab, draw a line across the backing and annotate it 'Start'. This is where the film is attached to the backing paper.
- At 8.5cm from the start line, make a small mark to indicate the position of the Number '1' of the 8 exposure record on the backing. There are three 8 exposure records which are centred at 16mm, 23mm and 29mm from the bottom edge.
- At 7.5cm from the start line, make a small mark to indicate the position of the Number '1' of the 12 exposure record on the backing. The 12 exposure record is centred 9mm from the bottom edge
- Now Annotate the first exposure number. Check the position of the red window of the cameras you will be using. The most popular is the centre (2.3cm). You only need to annotate what is required. If your backing paper has dark lettering, you may want to use 'A', 'B', 'C' etc. to distinguish between the 120 markings and your new markings. Cross out the old markings. Put some markers (dots, crosses, squares,) before the number as a taletale that the number is about to appear. Do not use Tipp‑Ex or other correcting fluid to obliterate the old marks. It will peel off and ruin your exposures.
- Now continue with the rest of the numbers. The distance between the 8 exposure numbers is 7cm. The distance between the 12 exposure numbers is 4.65cm.
- Make a mark 7.5cm past the number 8 of the 8 exposure record (or 6cm past the number 12 of the 12 exposure record) and draw a line across the paper. Annotate this as 'End'. This is where the free end of the film finishes.
- On the start taper write 'Un-Exposed' and on the finish taper write 'Exposed'
Measure the distance between 'Start' line and the 'End' line. This is the length of film required. It will be about 65cm. Roll the backing paper neatly onto a 127 spool. Run the backing paper through the camera to check the position of the annotation.
Now source some 127 film.
The film can be cut from 120 film. Check out the method here:- Producing 127 Film from any 120 Film