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Thread: Darkness conditions for hand-cutting BW, C41, E6

  1. #11
    Randy Moe's Avatar
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    Re: Darkness conditions for hand-cutting BW, C41, E6

    Really not hard. Best to sit down and totally relax. Slow down, no sweating. I use an 8x10 paper safe when changing my cutting guides.

    You will have to check, but cutting 8x10 exactly in half for 5X8 may not fit holders. Might need a second sliver cut. Practice eyes shut with paper.

    I cut X-Ray under red LED which gives me practice for 'real' film.

  2. #12

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    Re: Darkness conditions for hand-cutting BW, C41, E6

    Thank you all for the very helpful replies. Two quick follow-ups:

    1. Is a guillotine or a rotary cutter better for film cutting in the dark?
    2. Any specific model to recommend for this purpose?

    Thanks again.

  3. #13

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    Re: Darkness conditions for hand-cutting BW, C41, E6

    Have and use RotaTrim and Dahle rotary cutters almost on a daily basis and can recommend both brands 100%

  4. #14

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    Re: Darkness conditions for hand-cutting BW, C41, E6

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg View Post
    Have and use RotaTrim and Dahle rotary cutters almost on a daily basis and can recommend both brands 100%
    Thank you for this and your earlier reply, very helpful. Since you're doing this almost on a daily basis, I assume you've got a film cutting method down that works for you. If you have a moment to share what you do, would love to hear it. For instance, do you use tape, some other "template" to cut by, something else entirely? I have a jumbo harrison film changing tent that I will have to use since my "darkroom" is not dark enough, so will probably need a small cutter (8x10 being the max size I'll have to cut down).

    Thanks again!

  5. #15
    Recovering Leica Addict seezee's Avatar
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    Re: Darkness conditions for hand-cutting BW, C41, E6

    Quote Originally Posted by Justin K View Post
    Thank you all for the very helpful replies. Two quick follow-ups:

    1. Is a guillotine or a rotary cutter better for film cutting in the dark?
    2. Any specific model to recommend for this purpose?

    Thanks again.
    I use a Dahle guillotine cutter with an edge stop, but that's x-ray film under a red light. Not sure how difficult or dangerous that would be in total darkness.
    "Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig."

    seezee at Mercury Photo Bureau
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  6. #16
    Recovering Leica Addict seezee's Avatar
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    Re: Darkness conditions for hand-cutting BW, C41, E6

    Quote Originally Posted by Justin K View Post
    Thank you for this and your earlier reply, very helpful. Since you're doing this almost on a daily basis, I assume you've got a film cutting method down that works for you. If you have a moment to share what you do, would love to hear it. For instance, do you use tape, some other "template" to cut by, something else entirely? I have a jumbo harrison film changing tent that I will have to use since my "darkroom" is not dark enough, so will probably need a small cutter (8x10 being the max size I'll have to cut down).

    Thanks again!
    I have 2 pieces of Dyno label tape on my cutter & set the edge stop against the appropriate tape depending on whether I'm cutting the long side or the short side of the sheet.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by seezee; 27-Nov-2017 at 14:54. Reason: Added image
    "Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig."

    seezee at Mercury Photo Bureau
    seezee on Flickr
    seezee's day-job at Messenger Web Design

  7. #17
    8x10, 5x7, 4x5, et al Leigh's Avatar
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    Re: Darkness conditions for hand-cutting BW, C41, E6

    Dark, as in totally black.

    Not sorta, not kinda, not almost... etc.

    Use a paper cutter and you'll get the right size with nice straight edges.
    Be sure to clip the upper right corner of the piece you cut off so you orient it in the holder correctly.

    - Leigh
    If you believe you can, or you believe you can't... you're right.

  8. #18

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    Re: Darkness conditions for hand-cutting BW, C41, E6

    Quote Originally Posted by Leigh View Post
    Dark, as in totally black.

    Not sorta, not kinda, not almost... etc.

    Use a paper cutter and you'll get the right size with nice straight edges.
    Be sure to clip the upper right corner of the piece you cut off so you orient it in the holder correctly.

    - Leigh
    Thanks Leigh, and great point about clipping off a bit of the top-right corner.

  9. #19

    Re: Darkness conditions for hand-cutting BW, C41, E6

    In complete darkness - Infrared monocle with the IR light source on the unit turned off. Separate IR light source LED bounced off of an adjacent wall so only IR illuminates the darkroom. It is like working with the lights on as you can see with sharpness and clarity without harming the film. I cut film, load holders and process film by inspection with the same IR monocle I have had for over 10 years. It works like a champ with never any problems.

    The issue with working in total darkness is what do you do when you have a mistake and move something out of place?

  10. #20

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    Re: Darkness conditions for hand-cutting BW, C41, E6

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Kadillak View Post
    In complete darkness - Infrared monocle with the IR light source on the unit turned off. Separate IR light source LED bounced off of an adjacent wall so only IR illuminates the darkroom. It is like working with the lights on as you can see with sharpness and clarity without harming the film. I cut film, load holders and process film by inspection with the same IR monocle I have had for over 10 years. It works like a champ with never any problems.

    The issue with working in total darkness is what do you do when you have a mistake and move something out of place?
    Thank you Michael--this sounds like a great approach. Do you have an IR monocle and separate IR light source LED to recommend? I know nothing about those (yet!).

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