There's a lot of awesome old cameras out there, most use 620 film, which is hard to come by these days, or extremely expensive. This instructable details how to mod your cheap 120 film for use in older 620 era cameras, without having to do the whole darkroom thing.
all you need is sandpaper, a knife and some brute force
Step 1: Getting Some Backround Info
I got a hold of a Kodak Tourist, a film camera made in the 40's.
I wanted to use it to take some pictures; its an awesome camera that supposedly kicks out high-res shots. So after going to a camera store, i found out that the film it uses (620) hasn't been made for 30 years. Knockoff film is available, but its expensive (20$ for 1 roll of like 8-10 pictures, + the cost of developing = ridiculous)
I found a guide online for 're-spooling 120 film onto 620 spools, although this looked like a quick alternative, i found out it was nearly impossible, as it involves moving things around in the dark, without touching the film. I attempted doing it in the daylight on exposed film, and i failed miserably.
Then i realized, the only reason it was necessary to 're-spool' was that the spools were slightly larger than 620's . Thanks evil corporations.
The camera's are pretty much useless without the film, so if you break something, chances are no one was going to use it again anyway.
Step 2: Comparing the Film Types
As mentioned, 620 film is hard to get and super expensive. 120 film is too big to fit in the camera, but has the same focal length characteristics. the first image shows the differences in the diameter of the film. At 20$ for 10 pictures, + processing its ridiculous. with this mod, you can drop the 20$ to 4$, much more manageable.
Step 3: Sanding Down the Film
To make the 120 film fit, i started by removing the lip of the film canister, and then proceeded to sand the top down to about 1/16 and inch,using 4200 grit sandpaper. its a slow process, but you can do it in the light of day without a problem
here's a video of the sanding in case your curious:
Step 4: Final Product
The modified film fits in the camera snugly, and works great. once i find a scanner i will upload some images from the camera, using the modded film.
So go out and use your relatives super old cameras, and post some images if you get a chance.
one other note: make sure no dust gets inside the camera
here's a video of it fitting in the camera:
i added an image from the kodak tourist, using the ghetto film method mentioned above
\ edit again
Here's a complete image gallery. all images are from the tourist. scanned in with photoshop 6,