Debonair Sprockets

What do you get when you add some masking tape, a hand-rolled roll of Konica Pro 160, a bit of gaffer tape, and the plastic fantastic Debonair? Well…

You get Sprockets!And I don’t mean

35mm film is much narrower than 120, so you end up exposing the area around the sprocket holes.

I’d never tried it before, and in the spirit of play, decided to try Leslie Lazenby’s hack. (I may next try it in the Yashica Mat 124, but first need to finish the roll of 120 in it.)

Step one: tape up the frame counter window on the back. I used one small piece of gaffer tape, and obviously should’ve used two.

The two red lines in the middle correspond to the edges of the frame counter window, so there was some leakage there, and it also looks like my Debonair has a light leak on the take-up spool side. It’s not a big deal with 120, thanks to the backing paper, but I’ll need to do some thorough taping if I ever shoot 220 or sprockets in it again.

I also half remembered Michael Raso saying something about winding one and a half times to advance the film, but that is way too far. (I’ve since found better winding instructions, very similar to the Diana Mini instructions* for pulling square frames closer together.)

I had some fun with this, and it helped to keep reminding myself that it’s about fun and play, experimentation, and not anything serious. I have a hard time with that sometimes.

I think it helps some that the Konica 160 doesn’t have any edge markings, and I’m reminded that Unique Photo also sells it non-perforated… There might be some possibilities there.

Overall, I had a pretty good time shooting Debonair Sprockets, and I got some decent photos out of it too. I’m not sure what it is, but the color came out so lush and vibrant: MashaAllah!

And one I posted earlier today just might be the prettiest picture I’ve made this year. The color, the light, the focus everything just comes together and somehow works. I’m not sure how the Konica Pro 160 managed to get color like this… it must be something in the plastic lens, because my fancier cameras didn’t render color like this on the Konica film.

Subhanallah!

I don’t think I’m going to get into shooting sprockets all the time, but it certainly has some charm and some possibility. Good times, Alhamdulillah.


*I’ve switched to using a nice formula for finding the clicks… y = -x/5 + 25, where x is the number of the current frame and y (rounded to nearest integer) is the number of clicks. I found this buried in the comments, from a GVelasco, and I have the formula taped to the top of my Mini for reference.

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