How to Load 120 Film – Minolta Autocord Medium Format Camera

Minolta Autocord

Over the weekend I went out with a Minolta Autocord, a fantastic medium format camera, and shot a few rolls of 120 film. The experience was wonderful, and the camera deserves a full review. For now, I’ve uploaded a brief video demonstrating how to load film into a medium format camera. The steps illustrated here should be applicable with any number of medium format cameras, though small variations in camera design will call for deviation. Still, this should help introduce the operation of these ancient looking cameras to people who may be unfamiliar with medium format and 120 film.

The main benefit of shooting medium format is simply that the film is larger. These machines record images on media larger than the 24 x 36mm found in standard full frame cameras (35mm film). More surface area means higher resolution images and better performance when enlarging shots. Another bonus is a greater control over depth of field. Essentially, medium format produces incredible quality images, and that’s enough to convince most photographers to give it a shot.

Minolta Autocord TTV

TTV (through the viewfinder) of the Minolta Autocord.

Check back soon for an article where I examine the format’s extensive benefits and unfortunate detractions.

Buy 120 film on eBay

Buy a medium format camera on eBay

Buy 120 film on Amazon

Buy a medium format camera on Amazon

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  • Reply
    Adam Paul
    August 12, 2014 at 3:19 am

    Nice video! I could swear my Seagull goes in the reverse direction, but I only load it about once a month. Looking forward to the Autocord review!

    • Reply
      August 12, 2014 at 10:17 am

      Thanks my friend. The review on this one is going to be fun for sure. Post some photos of your Seagull on the Facebook page, if you’re on there. I’d love to see it.

  • Reply
    Adam Paul
    August 13, 2014 at 1:06 am

    Definitely will check the FB page out and post some pics of the Seagull. Contemplating adding an Autcord or Yashica 12 to the repertoire.

    • Reply
      August 13, 2014 at 1:05 pm

      I think you should!

  • Reply
    Adam Paul
    August 18, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    I’m definitely going to do it – I’ve missed the film experience, and 120 film is infinitely nicer than 35mm to me.

    I only recently “reactivated” the Seagull, during which I’ve encountered some challenges, but I am hoping they have been remedied. I posted a write-up at:

    Really love the blog, and will be following future posts! 🙂

    • Reply
      August 18, 2014 at 1:32 pm

      That’s great. Some of those shots are wonderful. Love the lion statue. I’ll keep checking in on your site. Thanks bud.

  • Reply
    Minolta Autocord – Medium Format Camera Review | Casual Photophile
    November 8, 2014 at 9:12 pm

    […] camera uses medium format, 120 film and is fairly easy to load. Pull the film back opening knob on the top left of the camera and open the hinged, metal door, […]

  • Reply
    August 1, 2017 at 5:15 pm

    Hi guys — I have a pre-wwII voitlander tlr where 120 film is loaded and last step is to manually set the counter —- for those of you who shoot multiple tlr cameras is 4 1/2 turns after starting the paper in the takeup reel about the same on most of these cameras . . . ? This vid seemed to show 4 1/2. Thx!!!!

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