It’s fair to say that I haven’t been motivated to go out and shoot photos around Portland lately. To get out of my funk I decided to make a third attempt at running a roll of 35mm film through my Fuji GW690II medium format camera designed to shoot 120 film. Doing this will create a panoramic photo over the entire width of the negative so that when you scan your negative the sprocket holes will be part of the image which can create a unique and interesting aesthetic. You should choose your subject and compose your photo with that in mind.
Setting up the Fuji GW690II
The process is pretty straightforward, you need a medium format camera, a couple of 35mm to 120 film spool adapters, film backing paper from a used 120 roll of film, and some electrical tape.
As I found out the electrical tape plays a large part in the setup and was a big reason my first two attempts failed. The first couple of times I attempted shooting 35mm in the Fuji GW690II it did not go as planned because I didn’t use enough tape, and it wasn’t equally distributed on the film winding length detecting roller. The tape adds a subtle amount of friction between the roller and the film allowing it to advance properly. I have watched a handful of videos on the process and some videos show that you need to add tape, while others do not. My Fuji GW690II would not function without the tape. Rafael Hernandez has a great video showing his technique with a Pentax 67.
Another option for shooting 35mm film panos would be to use a panoramic camera like the Widelux or Sprocket Rocket by Lomography, which are designed specifically for panoramic photography. Since I don’t have either of those in my camera collection I must say that overall I’m pretty happy with the results produced using this technique with my Fuji GW690II and I think the photos turned out rather nice.
Have you tried to shoot panoramic photos with a GW690II or other medium format camera? I would love to hear more about your experience and see some of your photos! It’s always exciting to experiment with different techniques and see what creative results you can achieve.
I love the results of shooting panoramic photos with the GW690II. When you scan your images the addition of the sprocket holes makes these photos unique and visually interesting with a refreshing point of view. However, there are some downsides to this process. As I mentioned, this was my third attempt at this. On my camera, it required a fair amount of tape to adjust the friction on the film. Once you’re finished shooting the roll of film the film advance lever will stick, locking up the camera. To get your exposed film out of the camera you will need a changing bag or a darkroom to manually roll your film back into the canister. It requires a bit of practice, patience, and the willingness to waste some film to get it right but something I’d like to try again after seeing the results. Next time maybe I’ll try this process with a roll of color film.
I have a collection of digital panoramic photos which can be viewed here.
Camera gear used
Cameras: Fujifilm GW690II
Lenses: Fujinon 90mm
Film: Kodak Tri-X 400