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Art Deco Cameras

Producing 828 backing paper from 120 backing paper


The backing paper for using with a 828 spool and 35mm film can be cut down from 120 backing paper. 828 backing paper is smaller both in width and length. The dimensions for different makes of backing paper varies slightly. Try and choose a 120 backing paper that has light annotation. Examples of this type of paper are Kodak Portra and Ilford FP4 Plus.

Nominal Values are:-

  • 120 Backing Paper:-
    Width: 62mm; Length 1430mm
  • 828 Backing Paper:-
    Width 35mm; Length 810mm

828 Backing Paper
Kodak Verichrome Pan 828 Backing Paper

At each end of the 828 paper there is a tab and taper. The tab is 12mm wide x 10mm long. The taper covers another 20mm. These are included in the overall dimensions above. Now cut the 120 paper to 828 size. Accuracy is important because if the backing is too narrow your images are prone to light leaks through the side, if the paper is too wide then it won't roll properly on to the spool. Use a straight edge and a hobby knife/scalpel. Roll the backing paper neatly onto a 828 spool to check the dimensions of the new backing paper. Adjust if necessary.


After cutting the 120 paper to size, you need to annotate the paper with guidelines for where the film attaches and the numbers that are seen through the red window.

Measuring from the start end of the paper make the following marks using something like a Sharpie or some other quick drying permanent marker. Do not use Biro as it takes too long to dry. If the ink is not perfectly dry it will transfer to the film when rolled.

Part of Finished Backing

Measure the distance between 'Start' line and the 'End' line. This is the length of film required. It will be about 42cm. Roll the backing paper neatly onto an 828 spool. Run the backing paper through the camera to check the position of the annotation.

Job Done

Now source some 35mm film or make your own 828 film.
Check out the method for loading the 35mm film here:- Using 35mm film in 828 cameras.

Good Luck