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Thread: Odd size film...

  1. #1

    Odd size film...

    I am searching B&W films for my newly acquired 10x20 banquet camera. First place contacted is jandc photo to see if they can cut their Cirkut roll film for me. The answer was no. Shall I just order a roll and cut it myself? I have concern about the film flatness. Order a box of 12x20 and just cut it myself? I have cut papers before, but not films. Any suggestions from other ULF users for this new comer? Thanks.

  2. #2

    Odd size film...

    Hugo - One possible drawback to the J&C Cirkut film - it is a thinner film base than regular sheet film (from memory - .004 vs .007 inch. Someone correct me if this isn't right). So film flatness in a large size holder may be a problem. I have heard of using double-stick tape in the center of the holder, but don't know what tape is recommended for this. I suspect cutting down 12X20 will end up being the easiest solution.

  3. #3

    Odd size film...

    Hugo, ask JandC if they can order custom-sized versions of any of their films from the factory. There would likely be a minimum order size, and you would probably have to wait a few months, but it may well be possible. Also, if you don't mind BPF200, ask Bergger as well.

  4. #4

    Odd size film...

    You may want to try Photo Warehouse in CA. At one time they carried ?Ilford? film and would cut that to any size. I know they don't carry the Ilford film anymore, but I'd bet they still have the ability to cut film. Perhaps they would cut film for you, or have some other type of film that would suit your purpose. Beyond that, cutting film isn't that difficult and taking 2" off a 12x20 sheet should be no problem. Good luck with your 10x20!

    Regards, Pete

  5. #5
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    Odd size film...

    The former Photo Warehouse is now Ultrafine Online, and last I heard had dropped their recutting service (though it probably doesn't cost anything to double check). Even when they had it, they were only recutting from existing sheet sizes that they had on hand, so while they were (for instance) once willing to cut any 4x5 stock to 9x12 cm for me to use in my plate cameras, they couldn't cut 10x20 if they didn't have any 12x20 or larger in stock. They were *not* cutting from master rolls, they were recutting existing sheet films.

    I don't know any reason the Cirkut film would cause trouble -- .003" in and of itself won't be enough variation to cause a problem; where the potential for issues arises is if the roll type film is flexible enough to sag in the holder, either bellying enough to go out of focus, or even falling out of the uppper slot and jamming the dark slide. The sticky holder solution would easily correct that. The best method I've heard of for this was spraying the flat center of the holder with a Post-It strength adhesive, then if needed laying a palm or piece of microfiber cloth into the sticky patch a couple times to reduce the tack level further. When loading, hold a little bow in the film until it's against the end of the holder, then let it down and it'll stay until you lift the free end again to remove it.

    The sticky stuff will easily come out of the holder with alcohol or lighter fluid for replacement when it loses its tack or if you don't want it there any longer for whatever reason.

    The BIG advantage of the Cirkut film, if it's actually 10" wide (better check that it's not 9.5" aerial format, which would be too narrow for your holders), is that the cut to length is much less critical of exact dimension than the cut to width...
    If a contact print at arm's length is too small to see, you need a bigger camera. :D

  6. #6

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    Odd size film...

    Thanks, everybody! Jandc doesn't have 10x20 for any films, too expensive to do it in the factory. I am still waiting for reply from Photowarehouse. If I can't get this size from any store, I think I will order a roll of Cirkut film to try it out, if I have film flatness problem with it, I can always cut it to 8x10 size to use it on my other cameras. Then the only choice left is to cut the 12x20 films. Hence the last question: Do I have to cut film in complete darkness?

  7. #7

    Odd size film...

    I cut a scrap of surplus 9 1/2" aerial film to 8" width and tried it in an 8X20 holder. This film is approx. the same thickness as Ilford 120 roll film and .003 thinner than sheet film. The scrap loaded into the holder pretty well and seemed to stay reasonably flat. The film holder is an old wooden one with film rails wider than a newer holder with metal rails. I didn't cut a full 20" length either, and this may be a limitation of using this thickness film in such a long holder. As more film goes into the holder, it may get harder to push and the thin film will tend to kink as you push. It may work to bow the film and place it under top and bottom rails, then push the last bit under the end rail. So it may be worth trying the roll film in your holders. And your 10" film width may cause more flatness problems than the 8" I tried. There is a panoramic forum on APUG now. Someone there may help you find some surplus 9 1/2" to experiment with.

    I have an old Nikor rotary trimmer that I've used to cut film. Rigging a stop of some sort 20" from the cutter blade will let you find the length in the dark. You don't have to be super accurate on the length measurement either.

  8. #8

    Odd size film...

    I mentioned you might find 9 1/2" aerial film to experiment with. Obviously this won't be of use to you unless you tape one side to the holder. I'm conditioned to think in terms of Cirkuts, where 9 1/2" can be used in a #10 with adapter spools or slit to 8" for use in a #8. It seems possible a thin sheet metal or plastic adapter could be made to fit in the film holder to give the proper width for 9 1/2". The only real reason for messing with aerial film is economy. The past-dated stuff is sometimes quite cheap. Another thing to note - the film scrap I used in my 8X20 holder had been laying flat for a long time. Film fresh off the roll may not behave so well.

    Developing the thin base film may take a different method than sheet film. One of the popular methods of developing Cirkut film is in a plastic dishpan of developer. The film is unrolled and rerolled back and forth for agitation. Of course this is a 5 or 6 foot length, but I suspect even a piece as short as 20 inches is going to try to curl up, not lay flat in a tray like sheet film. Developing in a length of PVC tube is another thought. One Cirkut shooter does this with 5-6' rolls of color film. He said he had to tape the corners down inside the tube with film splicing tape. Maybe a 20" length wouldn't need to be taped.

  9. #9

    Odd size film...

    If you intend to cut panchromatic film then it must be done in the dark, or with infrared night vision goggles. Orthochromatic film can be safely cut under a weak red safelight.

    Regards, Pete

  10. #10

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    Odd size film...

    Have you checked with Ilford? They have committed to producing ULF films and they may be available now.

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