Exposed: The Sleek, Spotted Underbelly of Film

DIY wedding invitations

“Don’t Think – Just Shoot!” Lomo Color Negative 100

Holga and Diana cameras are known for their unpredictable, mischievous ways. They leak light, overlap frames, and wind film haphazardly to create one-of-a-kind images–assuming the back doesn’t fall open and/or you didn’t shoot an entire roll with the lens cap on. They also use 120 film, which stands about 2.5″ wide and is used by more reliable, devastatingly sharp medium-format cameras such as Mamiyas and Hasselblads.

Unless you’re a photographer who personally develops this type of film, you’ve probably only seen the backing paper through the tiny windows on the backs of said cameras. In fact, you’ve relied on its numbers and arrows to tell you how far to advance your film and when you’ve reached the end. If you’re a design or crafts geek, you may get a kick out of seeing a full strip divorced from its film. I certainly did and became a little too excited when I caught sight of a heap of bold black-and-white strips in the trash at C’s photolab. I had wedding planning on the brain and immediately rescued them to repurpose them as belly bands for our invitations. Here are some of the more common types of 120 film (Fuji, Ilford, Delta), as well as a more obscure one (Rollei Crossbird). Kodak makes 120 film, too, but the backing paper is Kodak orange with “KODAK Film” and numbers on it.

DIY wedding invitations

Fuji NPL 160, Reala, Pro 400H

DIY wedding invitations

Rollei Crossbird ISO 200

DIY wedding invitations


DIY wedding invitations

Fujicolor 400 NHG

DIY wedding invitations

Lomo Redscale + Color Negative 400

DIY wedding invitations

Lomo Color Negative 100 (thin, papery texture)

DIY wedding invitations

Ilford FP4 Plus and Delta 400

DIY wedding invitations

Fuji Neopan



Filed under observations, photography

2 responses to “Exposed: The Sleek, Spotted Underbelly of Film

  1. Wow, all these years of just throwing these in the trash, such an awesome re-purpose!

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