FCK127 is a complete kit that cuts 120 film to the sizo of 127, and rolls it onto a 127 film spool. FCK127 is light-sealed, so you can (with some precautions) go through the entire process in light. As a result of cutting 120 to 127 format, you will also get a leftover film that is 16mm unperforated film.
- the box
- a clip for the 120 roll (keeps the film wrapped while you prepare it and insert it in the box)
- the cutting module (which separates the film 120 into two strips, one of 127 and one of 110 *)
- additional knob (to rotate the 120 take-up spool while cutting)
- the winding module (which wraps the two parts in two separate spools, the 127 and one of 16mm)
- 2 feeders for 120 spools (insert it into the 120 spool’s shaft slot to engage the two film’s tails)
- A shaped ruler to cut the initial part of the paper with the two ends that will hook the two spools
slit, respool, shoot
Cutting and Spooling happen in two different phases. The box will be fitted with the slitting modules for the first round. When the cutting is done, other components will be used in the box to respool the film onto the 127 spool. You will also need a sharp pencil or pen, scissors, adhesive tape.
- Cut the 120 film in two strips: 127 + 110.
- Respool the 127 film on a 127 spool
- Finish, and load it into the camera
Any of these steps will be explained in details in the following section of the page. But if you prefer, you can watch the following video tutorial.
PHASE 1: Prepare the film and cut it in two.
Insert the 120 film feeder into the middle slot in the middle of an empty 120 spool. This spool is the receiving spool, and will be rolled with the big knob. The feeder’s bigger slot stays in the upper part, in correspondence with the winding knob, and will pull the 127 film starter. The smaller slot will receive the 110 film part.
Take the 120 film roll that you want to cut: remove the adhesive from the 120 film and unroll the paper for about 10cm/3in (to prevent the film from unwinding, lock it with the clip included in the kit). Use the shaped ruler to trace the outlines of the two film leaders that need to be cut in order to enter their respective spool’s slots. NOTE: The shaped ruler must be positioned on the backing paper, with the tail going left to right, and keeping the 127 film part up. Once the outlines have been marked, cut the paper paying attention that the film does not unroll.
Insert and wrap the two tails in the cutting module, making sure that the widest part of the film goes into the widest slot in the module. Pull them gently together through the cutter to start the cutting for 2-3 inches (5-7cm).
Insert the two film leaders into the two spool’s slot and start rolling until they are well engaged: make acouple of turns. Insert the little key at the top of the take-up spool so that the exagonal element stays on the top (it will engage the bigger knob once the box is closed).
At this point you have to insert vertically the three parts in their compartments: the 120 film roll, the cutting module, the take-up spool.
The cutter has an arrow on the top that indicates the position and direction of the film. Insert the three elements in the box, respecting the correct positions and joints. At this point remove the clip to let the roll and the rest of the components sit inside the box in their final positions. Close the box with the lid and put the big knob on the take-up spool.
Start rolling in counter-clockwise direction (an arrow on the top showh the correct rotation). Soon you’ll feel some resistence: that’s because the blade has reached the toughest part, where a strip of tape keeps the emusion fuxed to tha backing paper. After the blade has cut the tape, rolling will become a bit easier until the whole film is cut to the end and only some backing paper will remain. Keep on rolling until you feel that the paper is finished (shaking the box in your hand will let you hear the empty 120 spool moove).
Now you can open the box and extract the take-up spool. Lock the 127 film (the one on the top) with the clip, then gently pull and with your fingers keep the 16mm strip in its place and fix it firmly with a little piece of tape.
PHASE 2: Respool the 127 film onto a 127 spool (not included in the kit)
Take everything out of the box and prepare the spool with slitted film, the winding module and an empty 127 spool.
PUT THE FILM GUIDE IN THE BOX
Insert the film guide in the same slot where you previously had the cutter. The guide can be inserted only in one position in the box, you can’t go wrong.
PREPARE THE WINDING MODULE.
Insert the 127 spool in the frame, making sure that the spool’s ridge engages with the knob, then lock it on the other side with the little block (the rounded part connects with the spool). To make it even more rigid you can fix the brackets to the block with a little of tape.
ENGAGE THE FILM TO THE SPOOL
Keeping the clip on the spool, gently pull the film’s backing paper and unroll it until you meet the film, then stick it to the backing paper with a little piece of tape. This is important to avoid the film from unraveling in to the box causing it to jam. Then rewind the film leaving a small tail out, and cut the paper starter’s corners into tip shape so that it can be inserted into the take-up spool.
Now it’s time to insert the film in the 127 spool. Turn the winding knob to make the backing paper engage firmply with the spool. Then insert the two spools in the Box: the spool with the film goes in the same position where you had the new roll in the previous round. The winding frame will be nserted in its slot, in the same side where the take-up spool was. When you insert the two spools, push a little bit the film in the middle to let it go aroud the curved-shaped guide. Check the correct layout in the following photo.
Close the box and start rolling the knob in the direction indicated by the top arrow. The winding is very easy and fluid. To prevent the film from unrolling, keep the tension on the knob by continuing to rotate without letting it go. It is important that the film is wrapped tightly, also to avoid light leaks when you’ll take it out of the box. When the film is all on the 127 spool, open the box and pull the winding frame out. Remove the film from the frame and use tape to keep it tightly rolled.
Normally the 127 cameras frame formats can be square (4x4cm) or rectangular (4x6cm). This last format is more practical because the numbers visible in the red window are those corresponding to the 6×6 format, so if you respect this numbering you will shoot 6/7 photos per film, with a gap of 2,5cm (1 inch) between the shots. The number in the red window may be only partially visible, depending on the film’s brand and the size of the red window.
very important notes
SPOOLS The kit does not include any empty 127 spool. You need at least 2 spools to shoot in your camera: one that is going to be respooled with the FCK127, and one that functions as take-up spool. The FCK127 also accepts the 127 spools that have a single ridged slot on one side, like the spool that come with ReraPan films and some Kodak spools have a normal solid pin on one side, with no ridges.
BLADE Pay attention: the kit contains a very sharp blade. The blade used in the cutting module is a section of a normal 18mm cutter blade: it’ll be easy to find new spare blades when you’ll need. Those included in the kit are Tajima blades made in Japan: they’re known as the best and sharpest on the market. The blade is inserted into the cutter’s slot, which is a bit larger than the blade to permit an easy replacement. If the blade falls out of its slot, make sure it’s properly re-inserted. The only correct position is shown in the following picture. Be very careful not to cut yourself!
120 FILM TAPE Some rolls have a very tough tape fixing the film to the backing paper. In case of difficulties, a good workaround is to place the shaped ruler over that tape, so that you’ll preemptively cut it before inserting it in the kit. With this method some film will be exposed to light. Check the following images for better information.
127 ROLL’S DIAMETER Some cameras that have a very small film slot, like the Kodak Vest Pocket, will not accept the 127 film cut from 120. You can cut your film by minimizing the amount of backing paper on both sides, just to make it final size a little thinner. The image below will give a clearer idea of the issue.