Cirkut "Look Down Wedge".

Discussion in 'Panoramic Cameras and Accessories' started by Len Robertson, Apr 11, 2006.

  1. Len Robertson

    Len Robertson Member

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    Okay, I've heard of these things for years. One just sold on eBay Item number: 7606730969. I'll admit to being rather dense, but I don't understand how the thing works. If it fits between the camera and the gearhead, doesn't the pinion gear mesh at an angle to the gearhead teeth? I suspect there is something obvious I'm not understanding.
     
  2. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

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    Len, I'm with you, but it seems to have a gear train transfer so that the camera gear drives another train which drives against the tripod head. I'll be thrilled when I get the camera running good enough to drive itself let alone another whole gear train besides.
     
  3. Ed Workman

    Ed Workman Member

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    The ability to tilt the Cirkut, thus keep the horizon level, was patented by Eugene Goldbeck. With the patent number one can download the original patent. ( I'd give you the number, but I must find it !) The mechanism is fairly simple, essentially like the drive shaft on an automobile. Say a square shaft sliding in a square tube, one end of each with a universal joint. Add a pair of boards with a hinge along one edge and a couple of thingies to hold/attach the magic shaft and walla, or voila'. Oh yes, some brackets and thumbscrews to hold the angle you want between those boards.
     
  4. claytume

    claytume Member

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    All the wedge brackets I've seen simply extend the pinion gear so that it drives on an angle. Gear mesh/contact is very small but they seem to work ok. There's no extra gears involved, just extension shafts for the pinion gear. Jim Lipari made quite a few sets of them and seem to be the most common around.

    If you ever shoot a large group you'll find some elevation of the camera position makes a big difference to the number of heads you can see. Eventually as you elevate the camera you will run out of fall on the lens, this is where the wedge comes in handy. Goldbeck was shooting some of his military groups (20,000 +) on platforms 200 feet high, that's where a wedge is needed.

    Photoeye had some hardback catalogues for a travelling exhibition of Goldbecks work which went through Europe 6 or 7 years ago. It's actually a 136 page book with a great range of his work in it and photos of his setups. They were discounted to about $12 each so I got a few. They may still have them. Great source of info.


    Clayton
     
  5. jamie young

    jamie young Member

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    I saw some people using them out west to do landscapes with a #10 camera. They said the angle of the gear didn't have much of an effect on running the camera. Being in the midwest, nothing gets too far up or down to need a wedge. I often end up using the longer lenses too. So Jim- Have you been shooting , and what size camera do you have? What kind of problems are you having?
    Jamie Young
     
  6. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

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    Thanks for the interest, it means a lot. I sold the #8 that I made my one picture with and bought a #10. I haven't had time to get beyond first look. BUT it appears to be a low mileage 10 with a good strong spring so I'm encouraged that it won't be difficult to get it up and running strong. I plan to take the motor out and strip all the old lubricants and re-lube before I try shooting. One little item that would help is I don't know how to figure out all the necessary defaults for the kia ora gear program. I simply plugged in my numbers since the defaults it came up with were for a #8 and that's what I had. So I've got a complete #6 and #10 at this point. I just got silly and bought some 5" aerochrome film. The lure of a big X-parency or 2. Jim
     
  7. jamie young

    jamie young Member

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    Did your 10 have a lense already? If you don't have to reset lense and gear distances, your better off. I've had some really good luck and some bad luck with it as well. Even after measuring really carefully I always test the settings by setting up a marker with writing on it, setting up the camera and shooting the marker at about five places around the center to see which point has the leaast amount of slur. I could go on about that a bit. It's a pain. Most of my cameras were "Bargains" and in need of it. Do you have a #6 cirkut outfit or #6 cirkut?
    Jamie
     
  8. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

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    No lens with the camera but I have a modest collection to chose from. The camera has marks for 10 1/2", 14" and 18". I have 10 1/2" and 14" Dagor's and the 18" APO Skopar I used with the #8. I'd also like to use a 24" APO Skopar. The #6 is the outfit. It has a useable 5X7 back for focus and still photo use. Thanks again. Jim
     
  9. Terence

    Terence Member

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    Jim,
    Did you buy the aerochrome film new?
     
  10. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

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  11. claytume

    claytume Member

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    Jim

    measuring the camera for the gear program is a little tricky and takes time to get it right. The program was originally put together by Bob Lang for the purpose of copying Cirkut prints at 1:1. This required gearing outside the normal set that came with the cameras. I got a friend to rewrite the program in a modern user friendly format then made it available to everyone.

    You can effectively sidestep the program if you're prepared to do some testing. Setup a white target 3 foot square, put a black cross on it full width/height. Shoot the camera at 25 feet and infinity (200 x fl) or any other distance you plan to shoot the camera at. For groups you want 25 feet, landscape you can get away with 1 gear per fl.

    After processing the film carefully measure the target, sometimes it helps to enlarge the target and print it. You could scan it and measure in photoshop.

    The aim is to get the vertical and horizontal distance the same on the target. The vertical will remain constant, the horizontal will change with gear changes. When the gearing is correct the camera will pull exactly the right amount of film to make the target square.

    Sometimes you see on Cirkut prints skinny faces, this is due to incorrect gearing for the focus distance.

    Rotation cameras have a secondary focus which is achieved when film pull and focus distance are synchronised. Simply focussing the lens does not neccessarily give a sharp image like a conventional camera.

    interesting huh?

    Clayton
     
  12. jamie young

    jamie young Member

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    I tried the large cross thing, and didn't get a lot of difference in sizes. I found that it's helpful to have some fine vertical lines to look at for slur, or horizontal film blurring, which you get when the film isn't in sync with the lense image. I've used a combination of both, but the fine vertical lines seemed to show problems better.
    Jamie