Bulk LF Film: Cutting and Loading Aerial Roll Film

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by jimgalli, Nov 21, 2004.

  1. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

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    "I see that you use the aerographic film and cut it down to size. How do you do this consistantly? I'd like to know your technique so I can save some $$. Thanks!

    isaacc7"


    Since I get these queries from time to time I thought perhaps a thread and discussion of others findings besides mine would be worthwhile.

    I use a cheap Fiskars Roller cutter that is available in any craft store. It has a cutting area of 12X12 inches and is made of plastic. I've found that a 12" wood ruler fits perfectly between the 2 raised areas that define the cutting table. So if I'm cutting 5X7 films from a roll of Aerial Plus X, I place my ruler as a stop at 6 7/8" or whatever is exactly correct, and then I put a piece of masking tape to both hold the ruler / stop in place and also to act as a stop for the film that would otherwise try to go underneath the ruler stop.

    I get a clean 11X14 processing tray and in the dark I place the roll of Aerial film so that it will be played off the top of the reel, emulsion side down. I usually play out about 4 feet and then let it simply fall into the 1114 tray. Then I simply lay the the film under the carriage up to the stop, lock the cutting area in place with the carriage and roll the cutter.

    I load each piece as soon as it is cut. 8X10 cuts from a 9 1/2" roll requires 2 cuts each. More trouble than most would put up with. I cut several "10's" and leaf them into a clean magazine like Shutterbug, then go back and trim the 9 1/2" to 8" and load.

    Does all of this increase Murphy's chances to get lint, nose hairs, dry skin flakes, dirt, dust, and other tiny ephemora into my photographs. In a word, YES. It is an imperfect method but depending on what you end up paying for the aerographic plus X film, is worth the $ savings. I'm currently enjoying 5X7 sheets at about the same cost as Edward Weston was paying for 8X10 in 1940. A little over 17 cents each.
     

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  2. isaacc7

    isaacc7 Member

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    Intresting...

    Can you tell the difference between the base and the emulsion side in the dark? It does sound like a bit much for me, too many ways this clutz could screw it up... Thanks for the info!

    Isaac
     
  3. OP
    jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

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    It curls into the emulsion so you're never in doubt.
     
  4. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Thanks, Jim! I've been wondering about this myself. I once tried to make a cutting jig myself, and it wasn't very successful (but on the other hand, I wasn't trying very hard), so it's good to see a system that works.
     
  5. Dave Wooten

    Dave Wooten Subscriber

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    Jim,

    I have not used this bulk film...where do you purchase it and is it suitable for 7 x 17

    thanks
    Dave Wooten
     
  6. OP
    jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

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    There's a seller on Ebay called mrfoto1 that sells it. Yes, you can cut 7X17 from the 9 1/2" wide rolls but you'd need a larger cutter than what I described. I plan on doing this and 8X20 as well but I'll have to get a cutter with a 24" cut area.
     
  7. mobtown_4x5

    mobtown_4x5 Member

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    I bought a roll of Plus-X from mrfoto, I found him reliable and friendly. Mine is frozen- but I plan to break into it soon. How do you like the film itself Jim? (I shoot Tri-X) will I hate it?

    Matt
     
  8. OP
    jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

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    I like the Aerial Plus X a lot for 5X7 and larger. I've always considered it too grainy for my particular tastes for 4X5.
     
  9. OP
    jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

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    Worth mention is the Aerial Panatomic X. Looks and acts very much like Technical Pan. You shoot it at ASA 32 and the grain is so fine you can't focus with a grain focuser. It is worth doing in 4X5 if you're considering grainless 40X50 enlargements. I had thrown up my hands on doing any more 4X5 with this stuff as I was having to develop it one sheet at a time. The 4 mil thickness doesn't work with any of the usual devices that count on a thick flat piece of film. But enter the JOBO 3010 expert tank. I think you could do 10 of these at a time in a Jobo expert.
     
  10. Emile de Leon

    Emile de Leon Member

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    Interesting to note is that a customer of mine is having a custom ULF camera made in the size of 9.5 x 20 inches just to accomodate 9.5 x 20 inch aeriel B&W and color film. I guess he will have to make only 1 cut per sheet, should be easy as pie! Emile. www.deleon-ulf.com .
     
  11. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    I described my paper cutting setup on the LF forum. For a cutter I used a smaller paper cutter. The thing is basically just the cutting part of the one you used and not much outside of that. I had intially planned to mount it to a wooden board with screws but when I got it home the molded plastic made it clear that trying to drill holes and mount screws would just have shattered it. So I mounted it to a wooden board with duct tape-). On one edge of the board I mounted a wooden guide. 1/2" high by 1/4" wide. More then big enough for the dark. At the time I only had 8" wide rolls of paper so I mounted the same sort of guide 8" across from the first guide. With the lights on I'll mount some sort of guide for length. All I do is clamp a third board at the right distance.

    At the other end I made something similar to the things that hold butcher paper. Think a square U. At the tops I used a forstner bit to cut an open O. The paper rolls fits nicely onto an old broom handle. The whole combination is simple to put together in the dark. Big broom handle. Big holes for mounting it. I've found that what works with the lights on didn't work for me with the lights off. The second guide for example was added because I couldn't get straight cuts with the lights off. Seems with the lights on I would adjust the paper without even knowing it. So I've made the setup almost impossible to screw up.

    I need to make a new one for 10" wide paper.

    If the roll film can be mounted onto some thing round [dowel etc] then I think my setup would work okay for film.
     
  12. OP
    jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

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    Emile, I've dreamed of a 9.5X23" custom but dream is as far as I ever expext it to get.
     
  13. Emile de Leon

    Emile de Leon Member

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    Jim, that would be a hell of a camera!
     
  14. sanking

    sanking Member

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    Does he sell color film? We (S&S) are currently making some custom 9.5X20" holders for a customer and I was toying with the idea of making a few extra for myself for color work via an adaptor back with the Canham 12X20. If anyone else is interested let me know as soon as possible and we might be able to include you on the production run.

    Sandy King
     
  15. Emile de Leon

    Emile de Leon Member

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    Hi Sandy,
    He is getting his aerial color film from Kodak but for some strange reason it is cheaper in the orient than direct from the source here in the US. It aint cheap.
    Also...that is a great idea for the 9.5x20 back for a 12x20. I might be interested in some of those holders.
    Best,
    Emile
     
  16. roodpe

    roodpe Member

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    Hi all!

    Does anyone have experience with the Kodak XX aerial film?

    Also, I thought these films (aerial) have a different sensitivity to red light. How does this affect using them?
     
  17. FilmIs4Ever

    FilmIs4Ever Member

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    I don't know about the color sensitivities of color aerial film, but I do know that black and white (and probably color as well) aerial film have exposure indices which correspond to high density negatives. Therefore, for pictorial use, a modification of these indices is in order. I believe you actually rate the film at a higher EI than is used in the air. I have been fascinated by the prospects of using aerial film, especially the 70mm modified for use in 35mm or 70mm still equipment, but being short of the necessary funds, I haven't been able to partake in such an endeavour. However, if someone gets around to cutting the stuff down to size, I'd love to buy some of the stuff to see what it's like. The aerial panatomic-x in particular sounds like fun. I've heard that it is very similar to the old still panatomic-x (was it asa 50?) if rated at the same speed as the still film.

    Regards.
    ~Karl Borowski
     
  18. Jimmy Peguet

    Jimmy Peguet Subscriber

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    I bought a roll of PlusX aerial for my 7x17" (about 80 sheets, low price), cut by the seller : not really a bad film in normal conditions, but a lot of diffusion in backlit shots. There's a big difference for example when photographing foliages with the sun behind them in comparison with a classical film like my current HP5.

    In this size, this very thin film is more difficult to handle in trays than another one.

    Unless I couldn't find more other films, I wouldn't buy PlusX aerial film more.