View Full Version : Question about a Kodak Cirkut Camera Complete

20-Feb-2013, 13:12
I have found another camera I know nothing about. I have attached the information to this note. My questions are:
1-Is is usable
2-what idea of what it is worth
Take a look and give me you comments please.


C. D. Keth
20-Feb-2013, 13:40
The drawing of a camera looks very useable.

20-Feb-2013, 13:49
1: Maybe. Lots of fun of it does. Is the one you're looking at complete? You'll need film, and I can't tell you where to get it. I've got a freezer full from a years-ago purchase.

2: Depends. Here's (http://www.ebay.com/itm/RARE-VINTAGE-EASTMAN-KODAK-CIRKUT-CENTURY-4-B-BOX-CAMERA-WITH-EXTRAS-/330870671673?pt=US_Vintage_Cameras&hash=item4d096dc939) the last one sold on eBay. Note that it's a Century Cirkut, which used small fans to control the "shutter" speed. This one (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Rare-Cirkut-No-10-Panoramic-Camera-Outfit-/200896286982?pt=US_Vintage_Cameras&hash=item2ec65a1106) on eBay is a later Kodak model. I believe I've seen it offered over and over again at this price, with no takers.

YMMV. Don't be hesitant about asking questions.


Thad Gerheim
20-Feb-2013, 13:54
I don't know much about the camera, but I have forty some negetives and over one hundred contact prints from a cirkut camera. The earliest from about 1908, the latest are from the mid 1940s. These were with 6" negatives, some up to 26"long. I was told they were all from the same camera, but the earliest photos are much better. The mechanism seems to have some rough spots, causing some blurring in the later photos. I'd love to have one of these cameras even if it didn't work, just to show people where the photos I have came from.

Leonard Robertson
20-Feb-2013, 15:55
I always try to encourage anyone wanting to get into Cirkut photography, just to keep it alive. So don't think I'm trying to talk you out of it. But realistically Cirkut shooting is akin to doing wet plate photography in mammoth sizes, as far as the time, energy, and expense involved. Maybe worse than that.

As Charley said, film is the big problem now. As far as I know the only good possibilities are finding some not-too-outdated 9 1/2" aerial film or special order from Ilford in 100 foot rolls:
Fresh aerial film may still be available, but probably as as pricey as Ilford. Whatever film you find will need to be re-spooled in the darkroom onto Cirkut spools. There are various methods for developing Cirkut film, but using Rubbermaid dishpans is about the simplest. I'm not sure what is available in B&W roll printing paper now or the cost. You need a decent size darkroom to handle the size of negs and contact prints you will be doing.

If you have found a Cirkut for sale, be sure all the main pieces are there, especially the gearhead/turntable the Cirkut revolves on. Missing gears aren't such a problem. Gear sets show up on eBay now and then, and there may be a couple of guys still making gears. You can post pics of any Cirkut you find and Charley or I can give an evaluation.

I looked in a Century Camera Division EKC catalog reprint and it shows the "Weight of complete equipment" for a #10 as 49 pounds. That probably includes the two carrying cases.

As to the value of a #10 Cirkut I'm going to guess under $2000, if it is complete and runnable. Maybe more like $1500 to $1800. Not many years ago a #10 would bring two or three times that price when professionals were still using them to shoot large groups and making money with them. But I think digital has completely taken over that market.


20-Feb-2013, 16:21
Don't want to hijack the thread, but I found an old add of a photographer in late nineteenth century using a M. Brandon panoramic camera that used glass negatives instead of film, I tried google but found nothing about it. Here it is:


Leonard Robertson
21-Feb-2013, 18:26
coisasdavida - Thanks so much for posting the Brandon camera picture. I've never seen anything like it before. My guess is the camera rotates on the circular tripod top and the flat glass plate is moved across a slit located behind the lens. This is the same principle as a Cirkut camera, except the Cirkut is moving roll film behind the slit as the camera rotates. The length of the negative taken by the Brandon camera would obviously be the length of the glass plate, while a Cirkut negative can be several feet giving a 360 degree view (or more than 360 if you want to go around again). But most commercial Cirkut photos of groups of people were only about 3 feet long. It would be interesting to apply modern motors and mechanisms to the problem of smoothly pushing or pulling a long film holder past the aperture slit. It seems the real problem might be the large flat film back acting as a sail in any amount of wind.

I mentioned using 9 1/2" aerial film in Cirkuts. It is also possible to use 5" aerial film or even 220 roll film for test purposes with specially made film spool spacers. However, the standard shortest focal length for a #10 Cirkut is 10 1/2 inches which would be a medium telephoto FL on 2 1/4" 220 roll film. Shorter FL lenses can be used, but there are limits to how short due to gearing problems.


Mark Sampson
21-Feb-2013, 20:27
There are some Cirkut users who post on APUG. You'll find more info there, I think. They are fascinating beasts, provide a unique look, and are almost certainly the most complicated, difficult, and expensive way to do LF photography. Perhaps that's why I've always been attracted to them.

Michael Cienfuegos
23-Feb-2013, 10:22
Jamie Young posts on APUG. He has a number of different panoramic cameras ranging from a #1 Panoram to a large 10" Cirkut. There is also a fellow in Alaska with a 16" Cirkut. Good Luck in your hunt.