View Full Version : Cutting 8x10 to 4x10 sheet film - best method?

26-May-2018, 21:50
Hello, I am about to receive a Shen Hao 4x10 and have some 8x10 sheet film I propose to cut in half - can anyone share their methods for doing this ?
I was thinking of using a guillotine and finding someway of keeping the film flat and in position as the blade comes down; but was wondering whether the film 'rides' up as the blade comes down - clearly you cannot put your hand over the film to keep it flat ! My other option would be placing the film on a template where a straight edge (metal ruler) and a sharp knife can easily determine the mid-point in the dark.

I have missed the Ilford ULF order for this year, but would like to hear whether the difficulty in cutting the film makes the additional cost of 4x10 film worth it ?


27-May-2018, 00:54
I can barely comment, as I only cut xray film under red light with ordinary scissors...but I did try the option of cutting along a ruler once and it didn't work at all. Most guillotine and rotary cutters have a blade that holds down the material being cut though, so I'd say that is the best option.

neil poulsen
27-May-2018, 02:03
How about B&H? It's special order, they claim every 6 to 8 weeks . . .


27-May-2018, 02:13
I have just updated my profile to show I am UK based. I looked at the B&H site and noted the 4x10 film, but you have to buy it in packs of 20, which costs $1490 !

My only concern with the guillotine blade is the possible marking of the film. Is 'dry' film a bit more robust than wet and/ or is there a paper/ cloth I could place between the blade and the film which would keep the film from marking ?

27-May-2018, 02:30
Dry film is much less sensitive to scratching etc than wet film. However, mechanical stress will show up as higher density in negatives after development, like the little lines you get when you slide film into a holder. To prevent emulsion damage, you could try placing a sheet of paper on top of the film (and cut through both the paper and the film).

Christopher Barrett
27-May-2018, 05:40
I use a rotatrim and it works great, haven't scratched any film yet. They usually have a positionable stop, so once you get that placed, the rest is pretty easy to do in the dark.

Keith Pitman
27-May-2018, 05:49
I use an inexpensive rotary cutter from an office supply store to which I have attached an aluminum bar at exactly the right place to cut an 8x10 sheet precisely in half. Works great. I would suggest assembling a cutter and only use it for cutting film to 4x10 so it is permanently set up and you don’t have to fiddle with it every time you want to cut film. When cutting, hold the film down with one hand wearing a cotton glove. Make sure you dust the cutter thoroughly before starting work and let the cut side of the film fall on a fresh sheet of paper. On the sheet you cut off, clip the corner where the notch should be or you will not be able to tell the emulsion from the base side. You’ll find that cutting down 8x10 film is less expensive than buying precut 4x10 film. In addition, you will have a greater variety of films available year round.

27-May-2018, 05:50
Thanks for all your responses, but after doing a search (and not finding any related topics) and then posting this thread I have noticed that similar threads have shown up at the bottom of the page. Thanks for your patience !