View Full Version : Odd size film...

Hugo J. Zhang
5-May-2006, 14:02
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.

Leonard Robertson
5-May-2006, 20:23
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.

Oren Grad
5-May-2006, 20:28
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.

Pete Caluori
5-May-2006, 21:08
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

Donald Qualls
5-May-2006, 22:23
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...

6-May-2006, 20:24
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?

Leonard Robertson
6-May-2006, 20:57
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.

Leonard Robertson
7-May-2006, 07:23
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.

Pete Caluori
7-May-2006, 14:06
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

Glenn Thoreson
7-May-2006, 16:38
Have you checked with Ilford? They have committed to producing ULF films and they may be available now.

Oren Grad
7-May-2006, 17:17
Glenn, Ilford is offering only sizes to which they have assigned a specific catalog number in advance, and then only by prepaid order during periodic special order periods to be announced in advance, and only if they receive sufficient orders in a given size to cover the cost of re-setting the cutting machinery for that size.

10x20 is not currently one of the sizes they are offering. Hugo could ask for a catalog number to be assigned for next time, but he would have to wait many months for the next ordering opportunity and then after that for production and delivery. Also, I don't know of any other users of that size, so unless Hugo is willing to place a substantial order by himself - probably well over $1000, if the feedback from this round of ordering is any indication - they won't be able to cut it even if the catalog number is assigned.

7-May-2006, 21:12
Thanks, everyone! I have another idea and welcome your comment: How about put a stripe of plastic or wood of 1" width and 20" long inside the upper and lower section of the holder and thus use 8x20 film!?The camera and holders are on their way to me. I will take a look of the holder and see if I can play with it.

Leonard Robertson
9-May-2006, 07:15
Hugo - The adapter strips sound to me like something worth trying. It should be fairly easy to do. A couple of sheets of thin plastic or sheet metal sandwiched together with a slight offset. The offset on the bottom sheet fits under the original film rail, and the offset on the top sheet becomes the new film rail. I'm not sure how to keep the adapters in place. Maybe a couple of small pieces of thin double-stick tape. You probably want something removable in case you want to go to 9 1/2" or 10" film in the future.

I'm curious just what this 10X20 camera is. Maybe you gave the information in a previous post and I missed it.

9-May-2006, 16:27
Leonard, I will first just try to cut 12x20 film and shoot 10x20. I think it is a very unique size and my prints will be different from 8x20s and 12x20s. If cutting film is too much a hassel, I will try to work with the holders. Take a look of the camera at eBay: 7614392478. Its 38" bellow draw is nice!

Leonard Robertson
9-May-2006, 19:22
Hugo - Thanks for posting the eBay link. It is a very interesting camera. It should be very light weight for the size. You may need to use a clamp-on "wind brace" or two at times. The design is obviously English, but I wonder is it may have actually been made in India. Probably some collector in England could tell you all about it.

Cutting down 12X20 is probably the quick and easy way to get started with the camera. I don't know anything about current rotary trimmers, so I can't advise what to shop for. Even a straight edge and Xacto knife would work if you can align it in the dark.

9-May-2006, 20:51
Leonard- What is a clamp-on "wind brace"? Can you show me a picture or a link? There are always new things to learn in ULF. Another question: Do you develop your 12-20 films in tray or Jobo drum? I use Jobo for my 8x10 and wonder if Jobo 2850 is good for film this size. Thanks!

Leonard Robertson
9-May-2006, 22:36
Here is an example of a wind brace: http://www.filmholders.com/wskit.html I've never used one of these, but other people speak well of it. I've used wooden strips and small spring clamps to do the same thing. Probably running something across the tops of the front and rear standards does the most to firm up a view camera, but braces from the front or rear of the bed down to a tripod leg help too. I've used a monopod wedged under the front of the camera bed also.

I don't have enough experience with ULF developing to give you good advice. I always use different size print drums on a Unicolor motor base for sheet film, but when you get to ULF, you are limited to one sheet at a time. I think that is why some people favor trays. There is a thread here on 12X20 in a Jobo: http://www.michaelandpaula.com/mp/AzoForum/default.asp?BulletinCate=2 and you may find other ideas there on the Azo forum.

John Kasaian
9-May-2006, 22:37
If you want to try ortho film, Freestyle has APHS which comes in a slew of odd ball sizes. If not 10x20, it would be easy to cut a larger size under a red safelight as already suggested. Its also CHEAP compared to panchro.

Leonard Robertson
10-May-2006, 07:56
I thought of ortho film, too, but didn't have a link for a normal contrast developer formula. Do you happen to know of one? Any idea how the contrast comes out? I know the ortho will have a different look than pan film.

Jim Galli
10-May-2006, 22:34
Missed this thread on the first go-around.

Hugo I use almost exclusively J&C 10" wide X 100 foot long Cirkut film in my 8X10 cameras. I cut it myself. It's no big deal at all. The 10" is correct for the holders and I cut it at 7 7/8+ whatever it is so it fits the holders.

The film is rolled "emulsion in" so it has a natural curl into the emulsion. This curl is enough to hold the film flat against the back of the holders. In fact I never worry about pointing the camera down as the surl holds it flat no matter what.

So I cut it at 8" chunks while you'd cut it at 20". It would work excellent. 10X20"! Wow, that rocks.

Good luck.

26-May-2006, 04:00

You could try to contact Mr. Grohmann (d.grohmann@bg-wernigerode.de) from Wephota. They say, that thay would cut films in any size.
List: http://www.wephota.de/down/wephota/wepr.pdf


26-May-2006, 07:24
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.

Have you checked with Quality Camera Company in Atlanta? Not long ago they had a fairly large supply of TRI-X 320 film available in this size. They may have sold it all by now, but it may be worth a call to find out.


Hugo Zhang
26-May-2006, 10:51
Thanks, everybody! I am lucky enough to have found and bought 5 rolls of Kodak Aerographic Plus-X film 9 1/2" x 125 feet. I am waiting for the shipment. The holder size is actually 9 1/2" x 19 1/2" and I have located a small shop in China which makes Chamonix brand wooden camera to custom make some film holders for me. They claim their film holders are the best. I will see in three months time. Certainly the price is very very good. I can get some 380 sheets of film from these 5 rolls at a cost of $1.25per film. 4-5 years film supply is secured.