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120 / 220 film RF's 120 / 220 format rangefinders including Fuji, Koni-Omega, Mamiya Press, Linhof 6x7/6x9 cameras, Mamiya 6/7 among others, but excluding the 120 folders and the Voigtlander 667 cameras that have their own forums.

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anyone have Kodak Medalist 120 conversion?
Old 12-13-2017   #1
rgraphex
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anyone have Kodak Medalist 120 conversion?

Anyone have Kodak Medalist 120 conversion? I would like to see some photos of the film chamber if anyone has converted their Medalist.

I can see the spring roller on the film side would get in the way of the 120 spool. I think it would have to be wider and maybe moved.
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Old 12-13-2017   #2
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I had mine done professionally by Ken Ruth from Bald Mountain (both chambers), but he is no longer working -- I'll try to get a photo out in the next couple of days...
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Old 12-21-2017   #3
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I'm having problems getting these images into this thread -- if you ping me, we could arrange for me to email them to you...
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Old 12-21-2017   #4
mich rassena
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I hope someone will post images because I'm really curious to see what the conversion looks like.
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Old 12-21-2017   #5
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Mike, could you post for the rest of us. This is something that I'd be interested in as well.

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-Tim
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Old 12-21-2017   #6
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ME TOO!!

Please and thank you.

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Old 12-22-2017   #7
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And another here please, and thank you
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Old 12-22-2017   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rgraphex View Post
I can see the spring roller on the film side would get in the way of the 120 spool. I think it would have to be wider and maybe moved.
Yeah, a trimmed down 120 spool will fit (barely) on the feed side. The edges of the spool need to be trimmed smooth though, any snags can cause the spool to jam when winding.

Converting to 120 for the take-up side will involve quite a bit more work though, including machining a larger 'winding key'.
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Old 12-22-2017   #9
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If you are "all in" on the darkroom experience, re-rolling film on to 620 spools is not that hard. Maybe two minutes of work when you get the hang of it.
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Old 12-22-2017   #10
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If we could get back to the OP. What I think folks are looking for here are pictures of the inside of a Medalist or Medalist II that shows what actually was removed from the camera body during the conversion to use 120 film instead of 620 film.

Thanks.

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-Tim
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Old 12-27-2017   #11
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It is all pretty subtle -- have a look here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/nbg904...57634579061107 - should be the last 4 images at the bottom of the page. My camera takes normal 120 spools on both sides.
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Old 12-27-2017   #12
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Thanks for posting those Mike.

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Old 12-27-2017   #13
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Thanks from me too.
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Old 12-27-2017   #14
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Me three.....THANK YOU!!!

I'm beginning to think respooling onto 620 might be the way to go. But then I need to think about if I want to stick with just B&W. That I can do at home, slides or color print I would send it and have to respool two more times (to get it on to a 120 reel going the right way).

I now know where Apple learned to lock people in from, EASTMAN KODAK in middle of the last century. UGH.

B2 (;->
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Old 01-08-2018   #15
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^^^ Good heavens , he charged a fortune for those dremel mods! Peter
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Old 01-08-2018   #16
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I was a little confused by that as well. I have talked with him in the past, and I thought he described doing the conversions in his machine shop. But those images really do look like the conversion was done with a dremel.

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Old 01-08-2018   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbisc View Post
It is all pretty subtle -- have a look here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/nbg904...57634579061107 - should be the last 4 images at the bottom of the page. My camera takes normal 120 spools on both sides.
Thank you for the photos!

I'm with others- that looks like Dremel work. I always assumed that Ken would strip the camera down to its central core and bore out the spool chamber on a mill.

The spool tab on the wind lever has been modified for the larger 120 spool slot. Welded, I assume.

The film measuring/metering is driven off of the thin silver rod with teeth on the uptake side of the film chamber. Despite what some say about the need to modifiy the wind system for the 120 spool and film- nope.
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Old 01-09-2018   #18
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Quote:
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Thank you for the photos!

I'm with others- that looks like Dremel work. I always assumed that Ken would strip the camera down to its central core and bore out the spool chamber on a mill.

The spool tab on the wind lever has been modified for the larger 120 spool slot. Welded, I assume.

The film measuring/metering is driven off of the thin silver rod with teeth on the uptake side of the film chamber. Despite what some say about the need to modifiy the wind system for the 120 spool and film- nope.
Yes, looks like that to me too.

And yes, here's a picture of the film transport interlocks . After all, how could the system registration work otherwise, when the film diameter on the take-up spool varies anyway.

Kodak Medalist film transport interlocks by John Hancock, on Flickr
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Old 01-09-2018   #19
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It's all a moot point now since Ken R. is no longer doing this kind of work, but as a very satisfied previous customer, I don't really care "how" he did the conversion to 120 film. They worked flawlessly and I would personally would never take a power tool (even a Dremel) to such a fine piece of photographic equipment. As far as cost is concerned, it is all a matter of (perceived) cost vs. (perceived) benefit, and for me personally that equation was satisfied. I should also point out that his conversions included a full calibration/overhaul of the rangefinder and a datasheet (and adjustments) of the shutter...

As a side note, re-rolling 120 film onto 620 spools stinks IMHO - maybe I'm not crafty enough, but I always had problems with light leaks afterwards because the film and backing paper weren't totally tight...

But, YMMV...
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Old 01-09-2018   #20
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I have run into the same problems Mike, as far as re-rolling 120 onto 620 spools. Light leaks around the edges of the backing paper. Since I only shoot B&W in my Medalist II, and process my own film, converting just the feed side of the camera is the way I'd go.

A project for when life slows a bit.

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Old 01-09-2018   #21
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While I had my Medalist 1 , I can't begin to suggest the number rolls I rewound , but never one suffered from light leaks , however it always took more than a couple of minutes , cuz I spent some time making sure the roll was very tightly wound onto the 620
feed spool. On a few occasions I had to untape the film from the backing paper and relocate it slightly . Guess being a m/c mechanic at the time kept me in practice with playing around with small things ! Peter
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Old 01-09-2018   #22
mich rassena
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Daniel View Post
Thank you for the photos!

I'm with others- that looks like Dremel work. I always assumed that Ken would strip the camera down to its central core and bore out the spool chamber on a mill.

The spool tab on the wind lever has been modified for the larger 120 spool slot. Welded, I assume.

The film measuring/metering is driven off of the thin silver rod with teeth on the uptake side of the film chamber. Despite what some say about the need to modifiy the wind system for the 120 spool and film- nope.
I have to say, I'm a bit disappointed. This isn't what I'd imagined at all. I'd hope to see something that was beyond my own capabilities. I guess what I lack is the boldness to go in there and start grinding away.

So respooling it is.
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Old 01-09-2018   #23
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Unspool onto a 620 spool and then wind back to another 620 spool. Really I am not that coordinated or anything. Just keep everything tight as you go. Never had a problem.
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Old 03-12-2018   #24
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I've been looking for these photos for a while! Before anyone goes crazy with a Dremel - I'll have to check my original Medalist at home to be sure - but look at the silver tension roller on the feed side. It's mounted completely differently than the original. The original is mounted on the spring tab riveted into the film chamber. This one is re-engineered and mounted differently on the ends. It may be a different roller altogether.

And yes, re-rolling on to 120 spools is trivial with a couple of extra spools. You can even avoid re-taping the film onto the paper backing. The secret is to simply roll the film tightly from 120 onto a 620 spool, then to roll it back onto another 620 spool. Seems to work great. (Although one's hands get tired and sweaty after doing a few rolls in a changing bag!)

Don't mangle your Medalist unless you know what's what.
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Old 03-12-2018   #25
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If you don't mind, please share comparison photos.

When I got my Medalist originally, I immediately packed it up to send to Ken R., so I
have no idea what it looked like originally...
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Old 03-13-2018   #26
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Hi Mike -
I took the liberty and used your photo to make a side by side direct comparison of your camera with mine. (If that's a problem, let me know and I will remove the link.) As far as I know mine is original. As you can see, the tensioning roller has been removed and the fixed roller has been replaced. I think the new roller is a custom part machined by Ken.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/13f4...ew?usp=sharing
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Old 03-13-2018   #27
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Chris,

Picture won't show up (but that might be a function of a corporate fire wall) - I'll take a look at home tonight. No problem joining with my pics - thanks for doing that...

Mike
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Old 03-13-2018   #28
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As far as taking a dremel to remove medal, how thick is the metal. It would sort of suck to take a little too much off -

Who is doing CLA on these? I think there used to be a repairman in NY but I can't find his address.
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Old 03-16-2018   #29
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Chris,
Finally had a chance to look at your image -- very interesting! What does the other film chamber look like in your unmodified camera?
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Mike
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Old 03-16-2018   #30
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Robert Lai had his Medalist converted by Ken Ruth, and after reading about his experience, I'm leaving mine how it came from the factory and just cutting down 120 rolls and using 620 spools for take up.

You can read about Robert's experience at the end of this thread, his is the last post and goes into some detail:

https://www.rangefinderforum.com/for...d.php?t=164279

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