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Is a Kodak Medalist or Medalist II worth having?
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2011 5:50 pm    Post subject: Is a Kodak Medalist or Medalist II worth having? Reply with quote

Is it?


PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2011 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, YEAH...
http://forum.mflenses.com/kodak-medalist-i-ektar-3-5-100mm-t38035.html
http://forum.mflenses.com/kodak-medalist-i-first-results-t34357.html
http://forum.mflenses.com/viewtopic.php?t=35219
http://forum.mflenses.com/viewtopic.php?t=35300

http://www.flickr.com/photos/nesster/sets/72157625509528296/detail/

http://www.flickr.com/groups/55012328@N00/

But there are PIA things about it: 620 film, curse Kodak for eternity. Even for 620 the film chambers are snug. There are two solutions: have someone mod the camera to take 120 film --- with most of these mods you lose the auto frame advance -- or re-roll your film to 620 spools. Then, if you don't do your own developing, you have to make sure the photofinisher returns your spools.

The camera is extremely well made, though operation is a bit slower in pace than with more modern cameras. The range finder is a true split beam type and is not integrated with the view finder - and takes a little getting used to as it shows a magnified image. But this makes greater accuracy possible.

But image quality wise, it really is at or near the top of the heap in medium format. And it looks so cool.


PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2011 6:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You have to be a bit careful re-rolling 120 film on to 620 spools, to avoid kinks, reposition the tape, etc.

But its no problem at all to re-roll shot film from 620 spools back to the standard 120 spools. You don't have to be so careful.

To use that camera, you just need a small collection of 620 spools, and you don't need to send them to the lab.


PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2011 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

good point, that.

I moved this to the rangefinder section cuz, you know Rolling Eyes


PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2011 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

But where are the color photos? LOL

I believe I'll look into getting one.


PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2011 7:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dawg ive actively thought about this a long time. after much much web research and talking to old time photographers, my conclusion for me is that it really isnt easy to re-roll 120 film on 620 spools, even if you have a darkroom, which i personally do not have. without a darkroom you have to do it by feel in a 'darkbag' and honestly, despite the tremendous appeal all things kodak have for me, i know i reach my frustration level just thiniking about this process. its not just rolling, but rolling properly! there ARE people who do it, so for them its no problem. but it is a real and often frustrating time investment with no guarantee of success for the rest of us.

however, my decision was to always keep my eye out for a cheap one, then let my camera repair guy take a shot at converting the cam to 120.


PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2011 7:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LOL ~ here's some flickr color from the medalist. For some reason these pictures are pretty appealing...

cuba january 2007 kodak medalist 034 by lbo345, on Flickr


cuba january 2007 kodak medalist 041 by lbo345, on Flickr


cuba january 2007 kodak medalist 007 by lbo345, on Flickr

But that does point up the PITA factor - while I haven't had too much trouble respooling in a dark bag, there's a lot of inertia to overcome in order to do so. Sort of like... getting over the hump of actually starting to develop a roll, or debating the wetness factor of jumping into a swimming pool.

This respool requirement has definitely limited my use of the Medalist. However I do plan to be shooting color film soon.


PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2011 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jussi, those were my picks, too, from the Medalist group, lol! Respooling
film was the deal breaker for me, would have to factor in at least 1/2
conversion to 120, most definitely.


PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2011 5:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

how about this?

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?atclk=Discontinued_Not+Discontinued&Ntt=620+FILM&N=174


PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2011 10:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

With the price of film creeping up these days, soon $12 a roll won't seem so expensive Shocked I've been unpleasantly surprised by two things lately: film and chicken prices.


PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2011 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nesster wrote:
With the price of film creeping up these days, soon $12 a roll won't seem so expensive Shocked I've been unpleasantly surprised by two things lately: film and chicken prices.


Just don't get the two confused!! What a mess that would be!! Laughing Laughing

I'm just surprised someone hasn't made a re-spooler. Wouldn't be that hard to spool film inside a small light tight container similar to a film insert for a 645 camera. Shouldn't be hard to do at all. There might be money to be made there....MMMMM

Idea Idea


PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2011 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are some cameras that handled both 120 and 620 - actually, probably many 120's can do 620 for respooling purposes. Just that it takes 2 passes, and in the end you have to re-position the tape that holds the front end of the film to the backing paper.

What I do is this. I simply unroll the film from the 120 spool into my hand, it rolls up nicely. I attach the far end onto the 620, and wind the roll on it, tightly, feeling for where the film starts. The film start bit is one of the gotcha moments - one time on like the 2nd roll I did, I missed it... the film is still OK only it's displaced on the backing paper and you'll likely cut off the last frame. Once I get to the start of the film, I gently release the tape from the backing (keeping it attached to the film) and simply continue to roll tightly - the tape reattaches itself to the backing eliminating any kinks. That's that. Apart from the time I note above, there was a time I didn't roll tightly enough and I got light leaks on the edge.


PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2011 2:17 pm    Post subject: 120 in medalist ? Reply with quote

hi ya
somewhere along the internet way I read about people using a nail clipper to remove part of the spool ends on 120 film so that it fits the chamber of 620 cameras. Seems like they had good results so maybe that is worth a try.


PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2011 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nesster wrote:
There are some cameras that handled both 120 and 620 - actually, probably many 120's can do 620 for respooling purposes. Just that it takes 2 passes, and in the end you have to re-position the tape that holds the front end of the film to the backing paper.

What I do is this. I simply unroll the film from the 120 spool into my hand, it rolls up nicely. I attach the far end onto the 620, and wind the roll on it, tightly, feeling for where the film starts. The film start bit is one of the gotcha moments - one time on like the 2nd roll I did, I missed it... the film is still OK only it's displaced on the backing paper and you'll likely cut off the last frame. Once I get to the start of the film, I gently release the tape from the backing (keeping it attached to the film) and simply continue to roll tightly - the tape reattaches itself to the backing eliminating any kinks. That's that. Apart from the time I note above, there was a time I didn't roll tightly enough and I got light leaks on the edge.


I'll soon get to try it for myself. Maybe I'll do it your way first but I'll explore other possibilities too. Thanks my friend for all your help here.


PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2011 2:55 pm    Post subject: Re: 120 in medalist ? Reply with quote

gmonkman1 wrote:
hi ya
somewhere along the internet way I read about people using a nail clipper to remove part of the spool ends on 120 film so that it fits the chamber of 620 cameras. Seems like they had good results so maybe that is worth a try.


That might be worth looking into.


PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2011 2:56 pm    Post subject: Re: 120 in medalist ? Reply with quote

gmonkman1 wrote:
hi ya
somewhere along the internet way I read about people using a nail clipper to remove part of the spool ends on 120 film so that it fits the chamber of 620 cameras. Seems like they had good results so maybe that is worth a try.


Depends on the camera and how tight the film chamber is. It won't work on a Medalist, and I ain't gonna try! I did so with a Duaflex, it worked, but maybe I didn't clip enough - the wind got extremely tight, I got blisters on my fingers till I took pliers to the knob.


PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2011 3:30 pm    Post subject: Re: 120 in medalist ? Reply with quote

Nesster wrote:
gmonkman1 wrote:
hi ya
somewhere along the internet way I read about people using a nail clipper to remove part of the spool ends on 120 film so that it fits the chamber of 620 cameras. Seems like they had good results so maybe that is worth a try.


Depends on the camera and how tight the film chamber is. It won't work on a Medalist, and I ain't gonna try! I did so with a Duaflex, it worked, but maybe I didn't clip enough - the wind got extremely tight, I got blisters on my fingers till I took pliers to the knob.


I've also seen suggestions of turning it down on a lathe instead of using nail clippers! Sheesh!!! Rather draconian measure there. Respooling looks and sounds safer to me. Surprised Smile


PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2011 3:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For what its worth -

The nail-clipper method works just fine on the Kodak Vollendas (Nagel-made 6x9) and Duos (Nagel-made 4.5x6)


PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2011 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

luisalegria wrote:
For what its worth -

The nail-clipper method works just fine on the Kodak Vollendas (Nagel-made 6x9) and Duos (Nagel-made 4.5x6)


I may try that on the Medalist just to see how much trouble it is...Actually the lathe method might work. Just need to wait and see what the actual dimensions are and need to be.


PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2011 4:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This guy will do the conversion but it's not cheap:
http://www.baldmtn.com/Convert.htm

He can also just convert one side which is a lot less.


PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dof wrote:
This guy will do the conversion but it's not cheap:
http://www.baldmtn.com/Convert.htm

He can also just convert one side which is a lot less.


Bald Mountain is the place to go for the conversion or just to have one CLA'd. Right now I'll either clip the spool or re-spool. Save my money for the conversion later.


PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 6:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a Medalist II, though haven't used it in a while.

Clipping the 120 spools alone won't work as the spool ends are still too thick to fit. This is true of many 620 cameras.

But, clipping and sanding down the spool ends works.

Here is my conversion of 120 --> 620 done with a Dremel tool sanding attachment and tin snips. It took about 2 minutes.




I was thinking of buying one of those mini disc sanders which should make the job one-minute or less per roll including the snipping. No need to mess with re-spooling.

The altered roll drops right into the Medalist. I use a 620 spool on the take-up side.



When Kodak invented their 620 film gimmick the film spools in those days were made of metal which made it more difficult to alter them. But, they've long since changed over to plastic spools which are easy to cut and sand. So, there's really no need to re-spool unless you prefer doing it that way.

Just be sure to brush and/or blow off any loose bits before loading into the camera to keep the film chamber clean.


PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 4:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dof wrote:
I have a Medalist II, though haven't used it in a while.

Clipping the 120 spools alone won't work as the spool ends are still too thick to fit. This is true of many 620 cameras.

But, clipping and sanding down the spool ends works.

Here is my conversion of 120 --> 620 done with a Dremel tool sanding attachment and tin snips. It took about 2 minutes.




I was thinking of buying one of those mini disc sanders which should make the job one-minute or less per roll including the snipping. No need to mess with re-spooling.

The altered roll drops right into the Medalist. I use a 620 spool on the take-up side.



When Kodak invented their 620 film gimmick the film spools in those days were made of metal which made it more difficult to alter them. But, they've long since changed over to plastic spools which are easy to cut and sand. So, there's really no need to re-spool unless you prefer doing it that way.

Just be sure to brush and/or blow off any loose bits before loading into the camera to keep the film chamber clean.


I plan on using my disc sander attachment on my Shop Smith Mark 5. Much quicker and neater than a dremel. Thanks for the info and the photos.


PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Big Dawg wrote:

I plan on using my disc sander attachment on my Shop Smith Mark 5. Much quicker and neater than a dremel. Thanks for the info and the photos.


There you go! Wink


PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dof wrote:
Big Dawg wrote:

I plan on using my disc sander attachment on my Shop Smith Mark 5. Much quicker and neater than a dremel. Thanks for the info and the photos.


There you go! Wink


We'll see. I got the Medalist today (Heavy sucker)but no spools....Oh well. Here we go again. Ebay to the rescue and patience on my part and I'll soon be shooting! Very Happy