120 film (1901 – )

120 is a still photography roll film format introduced by Kodak for their Brownie No. 2 camera in 1901.

Originally intended as an amateur format, it is still in use by both professionals and amateur enthusiasts, despite being superseded by 135 film. It was the most popular film format in the 1960s, and because of the larger negative size, provides better quality images than 135.

120 is a medium format film, on an open spool, A typical film is between 76 and 84cm in length, and 61mm wide, with a backing paper to protect the film and provide frame numberings for different size images. The number of exposures available depended on the size of the images chosen, which could be anything from 6cm x 4.5cm up to 6cm x 24cm depending on the camera.

220 film, introduced in 1965, has no backing paper and therefore offers twice the number of exposures. 620 film, introduced in 1932, uses the same film as 120 but on a smaller spool.

Sources / Resources

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