9x12 film cutting

Discussion in 'Plate Cameras and Accessories' started by Mike Kovacs, Jul 18, 2006.

  1. Mike Kovacs

    Mike Kovacs Member

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    OK I've succumbed a second time and own a plate camera.

    Anyone here tried cutting down 4x5" film to 9x12cm format? I was thinking to buy a roller blade paper cutter and fashion some stops so I can cut film in the dark. I have some 4x5 ortho film I can experiment with using the safelight on too.

    I have enough 4x5" film laying around unused that I simply don't want to purchase 9x12cm film new. Any guidance would be appreciated.
     
  2. ZorkiKat

    ZorkiKat Member

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    You can use a small ("Half" A4 size) paper guillotine - but you must be very careful. These guillotine-trimmers have a stopguide which you can mark the 9 or 12 cm fields so that you can cut film in the dark. Batch cut 4x5" sheets into 9 cm wide sheets first, then box film to turn on lights and adjust the cutter for trimming the 12 cm dimension. This was how I did it.

    BTW, make sure you cut the side opposite the notch. You can feel this in the dark.

    Jay
     
  3. Mike Kovacs

    Mike Kovacs Member

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    Careful as in damaging the film or careful as in chopping my fingers off?
     
  4. ZorkiKat

    ZorkiKat Member

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    Yes to both :D
     
  5. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I was going to suggest getting "proper 9x12 film until I read this.

    I'm still going to suggest it though - the tolerances are closer in those small sizes, so buying pre-cut is probably cheaper!
     
  6. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    I have had great success in cutting down 4X5 to 2x3 in the darkroom with a cutting board that I put two stops on with tape. No scratches, no cut fingers.
     
  7. John Shriver

    John Shriver Member

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    I've used a roller cutter, and found that much nicer than a traditional "guillotine" paper cutter.

    Put a sheet of paper down on the cutter, so that the emulsion doesn't touch the bare surface.

    I've used both 3A size and 9x12cm, so I start from 8x10 sheets, which can make three 3A sheets, or four 9x12cm sheets.
     
  8. Whiteymorange

    Whiteymorange Member

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    I've cut 4x5 down to fit my 9x12 holders but I found it was a pain due to the small amounts that need to be trimmed. 5" is only 7mm long for the 9x12 holder. The roller cutter must be very sharp, your marker must be accurate and you have to hold the film tightly without scratching it. Perfectly possible but not, in my humble opinion, worth it. Cut from an 8x10 sheet or buy fresh film.
     
  9. vickersdc

    vickersdc Member

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    I recently purchased a Wallace Heaton 9x12 plate camera, which came with 6 plate holders (and a pack holder). When I got hold of some 9x12 sheet film I then found it that it was too big to fit in the plate holders and had to cut it down to size.

    I used a roller cutter, with some pieces of card taped down to provide the correct dimensions. It wasn't difficult, although it was a pain as I had to unload the sheet film, cut it in the roller cutter and load up the plate holders using a changing bag - which also got rather humid!

    I have just exposed the film (Fomapan 100) and I'll let you know how it turn out when it's developed.

    Cheers,
    David.