Loading 120 Film

When I used my medium format film for the first time, I used this video by Mark Gregory to know how to do it (it’s not straightforward if you don’t know what to look for):


  1. Open the packet and hold the roll tight so it doesn’t unroll (and expose all the negative).
  2. Place the roll in the camera and it should clip in to place. Make sure you have another, empty, spool in place to take up the exposed film.
  3. Make sure you have your new roll of film and your empty, take up, spools in the right place. Your take up spool will more than likely be underneath the knob used to wind on the film.
  4. Undo the tape on the film, pull some out and place the tab in to the take up spool. At this point the film is protected by the paper, unlike a roll of 35mm film.
  5. Turn the knob on the take up spool to pull through the paper. You should see ‘Start’. Stop when you see Start! Close the back of the camera.
  6. Keep turning until you see ‘1’ in the window in the back of the camera.
  7. You’re now ready to shoot your first image.
  8. After you take each image, wind on until you see the next number.
  9. When you’ve shot the whole film (12 exposures if you shoot 6×6 like me on 120 film) wind the film all the way on to the take up spool.
  10. Open the back and get a finger on the roll of film to make sure it doesn’t unravel.
  11. Tape the film up and get it developed!