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Thread: Film cutters?

  1. #1

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    Film cutters?

    Does anybody have a favorite or for that matter hated paper cutter to use for cutting film down to size? I don't think the cutter I have for roll paper will do a good job with film.

  2. #2
    Is that a Hassleblad? Brian Vuillemenot's Avatar
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    Re: Film cutters?

    I use an inexpensive Fiskars cutter, available at any craft store for about $20, to cut 8X10 film into 4X10 film. It works perfectly well.
    Brian Vuillemenot

  3. #3

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    Re: Film cutters?

    The one I have right now is like that. It's just the bed on either side of the blade is fairly small. OTOH it only needs to be 4" wide so I guess it could be okay.

  4. #4

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    Re: Film cutters?

    I use my guillotine paper cutter, with a guide bar that I made. It has pins that drop into holes in the bed, drilled to correspond with the film sizes I need to cut. The biggest headache with cutting film is avoiding scratches.

  5. #5

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    Re: Film cutters?

    Same Rotatrim that I use to trim prints for mounting. I have several strips of masking tape set as preset stops. Its thin enough that it doesn't interfere with cutting paper, but in the dark you can feel the edge of the tape and use it to set the sheet film in the right place, keeping it also against the main rail so that the cuts are square. I imagine a guillotine cutter, as mentioned in another post, works well, I just think the rotary cutters like the Rotatrim are more precise.

  6. #6

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    Re: Film cutters?

    Tried various types of paper/mat cutters.

    The Rotatrim is good, but not without issues too. I find that any film I cut, needs a protective layer on top of the emulsion which makes it less scratch prone for the first cutting

    Currently I use a Frameco Mat Master with a 660 cutter:

    http://www.doart.co.uk/acatalog/Frame_Co.html

    Don't get too excited about the price -that's for the mat only. It's well worth the investment since it effectively clamps down the film, enabling stripping of the film at highly accurate tolerances (of the order of millimetres). Since it has a locking guage, it's only a matter of practice before it becomes comfortable to use in the dark.

    Cutting down from 20 metre rolls, the cut strips (say for whole plate - an 8 1/2 inch strip) can be halved, and stored in a paper safe, when the lights are turned on, and then the settings reset to 6 1/2 inch, to cut down the 8 1/2 inch strips into blocks of 8 1/2 x 6 1/2 strips. Emulsion side goes up on the box for me: you might have different rules to remember where the emulsion is.

    Good luck!

  7. #7

    Re: Film cutters?

    I got a box of 4x5 that was cut 1/16 to 1/32 over width and it would not fit my holders. Too old to return.

    My Rotatrim shaved the required amount off perfectly. Just be very careful putting the film under the plastic strip next to the cutter to avoid scratches.

  8. #8

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    Re: Film cutters?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob_5419 View Post

    This URL redirected my browser to a spam site for "drive cleaning" software. I suggest you avoid clicking on the URL.

  9. #9

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    Re: Film cutters?

    Yikes.

    That certainly wasn't there when I first checked!

    Looks like their site has been hijacked?

    If you do a google search on Frameco, a mat cutter should come up. Pretty much as Ronald says: however a sheet of card, like those found sandwiching 4x5" film inside the foil containers, should be used to align the cutting edge, on top of the uppermost sheet of film, with emulsion towards the top. That way the emulsion is protected from top to bottom during the cut.

    The same number of cuts of film can still be made using this method since the card does not actually go under the cutter. If it did, then the number of cut sheets would be dramatically reduced on each stroke.

    Hope that helps.

  10. #10

    Re: Film cutters?

    Rotatrim - nothing better.

    If you are concerned about scratching the film with the plastic guard then take it off. If is not that hard. I use my infrared monocle and the external IR light source bounced off of an adjacent wall (and not the IR source on the monocle because if you can see the red glow it can fog film). Liket working in broad daylight it is that easy. Trim the correct corner and you are good to go. If you are shooting a unique format then this set up is an absolute must in this day and age.

    Cheers!

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