View Full Version : Hunting for a #10 Cirkut Camera

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04-09-2008, 07:45 AM
If you don't care about originality, and own a lathe, a nice fan can be made out of square stock bored for the knurled screw that holds it to the shaft. Then add FOUR fan blades (one on each side, they don't need to radiate from the exact center) and balance it between centers on the lathe. Use trial and error to figure out the speed you are going to end up with. I guess I'm just happy with a 3/4 second fan even if it is an odd speed. I've tried adding weight thinking that would even out the spin. It does, but it takes some time to get up to speed. There is probably the exact right combo in there somewhere. I think a real improvement would be a fan that has a bearing support on the outside end of the shaft. That would prevent wobble.

You can add pieces of flat metal ,foam board, or mat board to a fan to slow it down for long exposures. I have one somewhere in my collection that is so big the bottom sides are beveled to prevent it from hitting the tripod legs. It's cool to watch it spin in slow motion and you could read a book during the exposure. Needless to say it isn't used much but looks good when you are on a stage demonstrating the cirkut for that big ego rush we all need to get once in a while.

The way the original fans were made is a bit complicated to keep the knurled screw from falling out. Not a problem if you have dedicated machines to make thousands of them but a pain to duplicate one or two and make money. I've made them just to prove I could do it, but when it takes all day to make something they are hard to sell. Again, if the demand were high, a person could make the tooling needed to mass produce the parts. We know that ain't gonna happen in this day and age but can dream.


jamie young
04-09-2008, 07:53 AM
Any chance you could post a photo of the 4 blade fan. I've been curious about it for a while

04-09-2008, 11:49 AM
Cirkut Composition Question....

This active thread is probably the best place to ask, due to its high level of activity and expertise.

I have experience shooting with a 35mm Widelux and a 120-format Kodak Panoram.

The Widelux bows architecture a lot, Panoram less so.

Reading / browsing "America by the Yard" last night, I noticed that some Cirkut photos the buildings' bowing of straight lines behind is minimal to non-existent. One pic in particular, a group of pre-WW2 Japanese families posed in what looks like a straight line, parallel to the buildings behind them. That shot intrigued me, because I'm thinking that a paying architectural client (say, a farmer who wants barn and outbuildings and house, or a golf course owner who wants clubhouse and restaurant and bar in the shot) would want minimal bending of straight lines, to closely mimic reality.

So my question is: how to minimize bowing / dipping of straight lines in the Cirkut, for those times you don't want them..?

My guess is to use a longer lens, and fewer degrees of sweep. Correct?

Humbly submitted, since I don't quite own a Cirkut yet.... but it's a lot cheaper to ask now than to burn film experiementing, for such a basic question.

jamie young
04-09-2008, 12:05 PM
Part of it is using a long lense when you can, which is practical with a cirkut. The other thing is to avoid sweeping a building so that the size goes from smaller to larger back to smaller again. Like if you place the camera right in front of the middle of the building, the middle is largest in the frame, and the building gets progressively smaller on both sides as you move away from that point. If the composition allows for the corner edge of the building to be closest to the lense the barrel effect is minimized.

04-10-2008, 05:56 PM
Thanks, Jamie.

I had come up with the same answers, but using logic from a different direction.

Figured a longer focal length would produce a bigger arc. That arc would be the plane of good focus. With the bigger arc, no part of the building would be as far from that plane of good focus as they would with a smaller arc, so the bowing would be lessened, and the image would appear to be flattened a bit.

I'm guessing that terms exist in this world for the concepts I'm describing, but I don't know the terms yet.

04-11-2008, 03:40 AM
Hi Doug,
Although I am not a circuit shooter I noticed a #10 Circuit system for
sale At Igor Camera Exchange in Columbus, Ohio. See his website
under panoramic cameras.

Warren Clark

04-11-2008, 03:45 AM
Hi Doug,

Correction: Igor Camera is in Cleveland.

Warren Clark

04-11-2008, 11:34 AM
Hi Warren,


That was actually the first one I checked on, thanks to its proximity to me (about 70 miles from my work). Price was a little on the high end - but I emailed Igor that I was shopping and interested, asking if I could come and look at it, see it run. I didn't say so, but perhaps an extremely nice unit would be worth what he was asking. No response; so I moved on.

It now looks like I've found a Cirkut. The owner has tentatively agreed to sell to me, is currently checking with his friends to make sure his price is fair to both parties. I've told him to take his time doing so, and to be sure. We're also figuring out other minor details, ie, a date to pick it up. That's all I will say for now, so that I don't endanger the transaction in any way.

I'm so excited about it I can barely contain myself. The seller, and several people behind the scenes here, have done me a very big favor by advising me and pointing me in the right directions in my quest for a Cirkut. I'm humbled and grateful.

More details at some point in the future. It's like a fairy tale come true for me...


Len Robertson
04-12-2008, 11:46 AM
Doug - That is great news you seem to have found a #10. I agree the Igor Camera #10 is at the top end of the price scale, but it is hard to define a fair price for a #10 as so much depends on the condition and completeness of the camera. If are lucky enough to find one that the owner has actually used, it is probably worth a bit of a premium, compared to an eBay camera of unknown condition. I'm looking forward to hearing the #10 has actually followed you home and you are having hours of fun playing with it.


03-18-2012, 08:18 AM

I am new to this forum and like what I see so far.....

I just happend to see this thread and just had to respond.

I have a MINT condition Folmer-Schwing Cirkut #10, complete and in 9+ condition as well as a Rochester-Kodak Cirkut #10 in operational condition and am considering selling them both.

In addition, I have a Rochester-Kodak Cirkut #16 needing a proper lens. Any suggestions?

Anyone have any info of the "Bell Panoramic" cameras?

Thanks to all.
Richard L
Oregon coast

Len Robertson
03-27-2012, 08:49 PM
Hi Richard - Maybe you have figured out this isn't the most active forum on the Web. I just take a quick look every so often myself. Anyway, I saw your post finally.

I think everyone would love to see pictures of your Cirkuts, if you have a way of posting some. As to selling any, probably eBay would be the thing to consider. The market for Cirkuts has really died out with the difficulty of finding film, and digital/stitching taking over. If you aren't in a hurry to sell, you may want to start searching "Cirkut" on eBay, and get some idea of prices. However, #10s are few and far between, so it may take awhile to see one sell.

The original lens for a #16 Cirkut was a Turner-Reich 15"-24"-36" triple convertible. Look on the bed of your camera and see what is marked on the focusing scales. I'm guessing you will find 3 scales, marked for those 3 focal lengths. Over the years T-Rs came in a variety of shutters. I don't know which shutter would be "correct" for your camera. These lenses do show up on eBay from time to time. However they are supposed to be able to cover some of the larger formats like 11X14, so those users bid on them. I believe sometimes (maybe not always) this lens is marked "11X14" on the front ring surrounding the glass. Ones marked "8X10" are a 12" FL and not what you need.

I've long dreamed of having a #16, but I've seen enough posts by people who have used them to know shooting with one is beyond my talents. I have no idea what film would cost, if Ilford or someone would even cut rolls to this size, but I'm sure it is many dollars per foot. Do you have the tripod gearhead for the #16?


jamie young
03-30-2012, 12:00 AM
Hi Richard
The 16 takes a turner reich 15-24-36 triple convertible lense
they show up occasionally but aren't common.
the bell panoramic is rare. It's kind of like a old fashioned linhof 6x17 , only bigger. I think it had a wollensak F16 wide angle lense
see http://www.antiquewoodcameras.com/bells.html