NEW "New Portra" 120?
Old 07-23-2019   #1
froyd
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NEW "New Portra" 120?

I recently bought a pro pack of Portra 400 in 120 to use on vacation. When I loaded the first roll, I noticed the backing paper has been replaced with a substrate that seems to have a glossy lamination on it. Not sure how long ago this change occurred but the last time I bought Porta in 120 was probably 8 months ago and the backing was the same as it always had been.

Unfortunately, the new material is not working well with my Rolleiflex. Out of 4 rolls shot, two of them "lost" the gummed tape used to seal the roll after it's finished. The gummed tape got caught in the upper rollers and became detached from the glossy light-blocking paper at the end of the film strip. Fortunately I had some packing tape on hand to seal the rolls myself.

Anyone else had any issues?
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Old 07-23-2019   #2
CharlesDAMorgan
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How strange - yes I have. In my case it was Portra 800 with the new backing in my Rolleiflex 3.5F. I noticed the film advance was exceptionally hard to wind - nothing like that before, and I've stopped after two frames as I fear some damage. So I haven't got to the end like you, but it's the first problem I've ever had with that camera.
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Old 07-23-2019   #3
EarlJam
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About a year ago, the guys at my local shop mentioned that the new backing material on Kodak TMAX 120 is causing problems for some Rolleiflexes. The backing appears to be a Mylar-like plastic. With some Rollei's, customers reported:

- film just winds through without triggering the auto counter
- film advances but camera freezes on frame 1; using the "multiple exposure" backwards-wind doesn't clear it
- film advances OK, but frame spacing becomes progressively greater, yielding only 11 frames on the roll

One thing that comes to mind is that the new backing may be slightly thinner than the paper, and in conjunction with modern, thin film bases there's not enough thickness for the automatic trigger to function properly, particularly on cameras where the trigger is worn or just outside of adjustment tolerance.
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Old 07-23-2019   #4
Mackinaw
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EarlJam View Post
About a year ago, the guys at my local shop mentioned that the new backing material on Kodak TMAX 120 is causing problems for some Rolleiflexes. The backing appears to be a Mylar-like plastic.....
The folks over at FPP interviewed a Kodak rep about the new 120 backing a few months back. As many recall, Kodak had a problem with numbers bleeding through the paper backing to the negative on some of their films. To stop this, Kodak added a new type of coating to the same paper base. It’s not plastic or mylar.

Jim B.
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Old 07-23-2019   #5
charjohncarter
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It seems to be a simple fix, but I guess it isn't. I've used Kodak film with paper backing since the late fifties, and now they can't do backing right.
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Old 07-23-2019   #6
EarlJam
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mackinaw View Post
The folks over at FPP interviewed a Kodak rep about the new 120 backing a few months back. As many recall, Kodak had a problem with numbers bleeding through the paper backing to the negative on some of their films. To stop this, Kodak added a new type of coating to the same paper base. It’s not plastic or mylar.

Jim B.
Thanks! That's good to know. I only had a brief opportunity with the new backing material; "mylar-like" was a touch impression. I still have some "old" Kodak 120 in the freezer, so have not yet had the opportunity to run any of the new material through my Rollei.
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Old 07-23-2019   #7
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It seems to be a simple fix, but I guess it isn't. I've used Kodak film with paper backing since the late fifties, and now they can't do backing right.
I gotta say, I've used scads of Tri-X 120 with the new paper coating in my Yashica 124G and Rollei 6006 with no problems.

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Old 07-23-2019   #8
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I have also used a new roll of Tri-X in my Rolleicord, though a very old one with no automatic film counter/spacing. I immediately noticed the glossiness.

I just got in 40 rolls of T-Max 100, fresh, so we'll see. I plan to use them mostly in my 6x9 Horseman roll back, but do occasionally use my Flex/Cord, Bessa II, and other vintage cameras.
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Old 07-23-2019   #9
stompyq
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Never had a problem on both my 3.5F and 2.8E. I've shot a lot of portra 400 and ektar 100.
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Old 07-23-2019   #10
froyd
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EarlJam View Post
About a year ago, the guys at my local shop mentioned that the new backing material on Kodak TMAX 120 is causing problems for some Rolleiflexes. The backing appears to be a Mylar-like plastic. With some Rollei's, customers reported:

- film just winds through without triggering the auto counter
- film advances but camera freezes on frame 1; using the "multiple exposure" backwards-wind doesn't clear it
- film advances OK, but frame spacing becomes progressively greater, yielding only 11 frames on the roll

One thing that comes to mind is that the new backing may be slightly thinner than the paper, and in conjunction with modern, thin film bases there's not enough thickness for the automatic trigger to function properly, particularly on cameras where the trigger is worn or just outside of adjustment tolerance.
I haven't had the film developed yet, but I'll keep an eye out for spacing problems. I was able to get 12 frames on each roll, however.
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Old 07-23-2019   #11
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Just got a reply from Kodak Alaris to my inquiry regarding this issue. Their tip to put back pressure on the loading spool to avoid the problems I was having might be the reason why two of my rolls loaded well, and two had the "missing sealing label" problem. I probably applied more pressure on some and less on the others.

Here is what they wrote:


In 2015- 2016 we experienced incidents of frame numbers appearing on 120-format film negatives. We’ve made a series of modifications to our backing paper in order to eliminate this issue. The most recent change was to add a primer layer beneath the lacquer overcoat of the paper. The primer coat in combination with the lacquer overcoat adds some glossiness. The paper itself is the same, and the overcoat is the same. The backing paper stiffness has increased slightly, which requires a bit more force to get a good initial cinch on the take-up spool.



Note: Without a good initial cinch, an air gap forms on the first couple convolutions of the rewind spool which does not go away as the remainder of the film is wound on the spool. This can cause a soft roll. Suggest you try putting a little back pressure on the unwind spool with your thumb while making the initial cinch on the rewind spool. That way the first few convolutions will be tight. If a good initial cinch is made with a couple convolutions of paper on the rewind spool, the remainder of the film will wind up without issue.



This may be the reason for the “after-exposure” sealing label becoming detached (i.e. it is catching somewhere in the camera because the roll is a bit loose)



Additionally, we’ve also made some improvements to the label itself, including removing the blue adhesive and replacing it with one that is more aggressive . You should find the new labels seal much better.



Thank you for shooting Kodak film, and for the feedback.
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Old 07-25-2019   #12
giulio stucchi
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FYI, I put a fresh roll of T-max 400 in my Perkeo II a week ago.
I also noticed the different paper on the roll and I might say at least on my Perkeo the new paper seems to help for a smoother advance of the film.
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Old 07-25-2019   #13
NY_Dan
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I've noticed for years that Kodak's 120 stick'em on the strip at the end isn't that dependable, and that other manufacturer's is better. Price goes up and quality goes down. They got it right almost a century ago...
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Old 07-26-2019   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by froyd View Post
Anyone else had any issues?
Not so far, fortunately. But the Kodak 120 stock I have is still the one with the former backing paper version.

As much as I like TMY-2 or Portra 160 in 120, I really appreciate the unsurpassed medium format converting / finishing quality of Fujifilm. I have never ever had an issue with them. And no other manufacturer offers this outstanding 120 converting quality level with the easy loading system, easy end seal, barcode system and the whole precision of production.
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Old 07-26-2019   #15
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I don't really mind the new backing paper but the new blue adhesive is quite annoying. It leaves a blue residue on my finger, not to mention my tongue, whenever I seal a roll.
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Old 07-26-2019   #16
Steve M.
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I had the same problem that Jamie had. Fixed it by putting a couple of rubber bands in my pocket. Never trusted the stickum anyway.
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Old 07-26-2019   #17
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I had the same problem that Jamie had. Fixed it by putting a couple of rubber bands in my pocket. Never trusted the stickum anyway.
I have to add, though, that I only have a problem with the color of the new adhesive, not so much it's reliability. I shot 50 rolls over the last week on vacation and so far haven't had a problem with any of the stickers not sticking.
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Old 07-26-2019   #18
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Maybe I'm just lucky , but it's been no problem on my Kowa Six , Pentacon six or Bronica Etrs . This has been with Portra 160 and 400 . Peter
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Old 07-26-2019   #19
nickthetasmaniac
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Originally Posted by froyd View Post
Anyone else had any issues?
Fingers crossed but no issues yet. I've run maybe 4-5 rolls of Portra400 with the glossy back through my Hassy A12 backs (500CM and SWC/M) without any problems.
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Old 07-26-2019   #20
froyd
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Originally Posted by Jamie123 View Post
I don't really mind the new backing paper but the new blue adhesive is quite annoying. It leaves a blue residue on my finger, not to mention my tongue, whenever I seal a roll.
Please see the note from Kodak on post 11. The second to last paragraph mentioned chances to the blue adhesive.
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Old 07-26-2019   #21
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My least favorite Rolleiflex feature is the film-feeler. I've never fully trusted it and this doesn't help.


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Old 07-27-2019   #22
Jamie123
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Originally Posted by froyd View Post
Please see the note from Kodak on post 11. The second to last paragraph mentioned chances to the blue adhesive.
Thanks! I missed that. Glad to hear it, though. I must've not gotten the newest batch then, although I just bought the film last month and the expiry dates are all between May and September of 2021.
In any case, a few assignments and a vacation made me go through upwards of 70 rolls of Portra in less than two months so I guess a new large film order is due soon
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Old 07-29-2019   #23
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I stopped shooting Kodak film in 120 size years ago, but I have always had issues with sealing their film even back then before I dropped them. The stickers would constantly detach from the film rolls, so often that I started carrying tape with me. Before doing that I had to struggle mightily to get tape from somewhere while holding the film roll closed with my hands. Not fun when you are in a foreign country that does not speak English!


Fujifilm's stickers are absolutely bullet proof. 100% success rate. Ilford is much better than Kodak too.
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Old 07-29-2019   #24
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My least favorite Rolleiflex feature is the film-feeler. I've never fully trusted it and this doesn't help.


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I love the film-feeler - never presented a problem and it speeds up the process of loading and shooting.
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Old 07-29-2019   #25
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I've noticed for years that Kodak's 120 stick'em on the strip at the end isn't that dependable, and that other manufacturer's is better. Price goes up and quality goes down. They got it right almost a century ago...
One of my friends used to keep Band-Aids in his camera bag for this problem.

I just carry electrical tape...
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Old 08-24-2019   #26
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FYI you’ll see a fix for this sealing thing in Kodak 120 film very shortly
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Old 08-24-2019   #27
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My Rolleiflex 3.5F got looser as the roll progressed, but loading a roll of Portra 160 into my Zeiss Super Ikonta folder was a royal PITA, the film is just a bit too slippery and too tightly wound. Hey ho, at least I'm expecting it now!
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