that gets my vote for best first post to APUG!
Ron - Thank you so much for the information on your #22. I may have misunderstood that you didn't know the history of the camera when you first found it. You did answer my question of whether the original Rock Springs people had anything to do with this camera. It sounds like probably not.
A couple of technical questions - Is the looseness of the film spool on the pins a possible cause of banding? I remember a tip in the IAPP newsletter about using a brass tubing sleeve to make the spool a little snugger on the pins. Keith Henry who owned Libby Studios in Spokane and shot groups for many years said he would tear a piece of film wrapper foil and put it over the pins. I think he claimed the older Cirkut spools had a smaller hole in the ends and fit tighter.
What is your experience shooting in the wind? It seems to me anything above the slightest breeze is going to shake the camera and cause uneven running but maybe I'm scaring myself. The wind blows here in eastern Washington quite a bit of the time (except the days I'm at work). I suspect it does in NV where Jim is too.
OK, Everyone who has checked Ebay for panoramic cameras since reading this thread,
LOOK NO FURTHER
Originally Posted by darinwc
In fairness, it's incomplete.
I intended to warn Jim it is difficult to have only one Cirkut. You get one, then see one in better shape, or a bigger one, or a smaller one, always dreaming of the Holy Grail of Cirkuts - a #16. But since Jim confesses to having three, I'm obviously too late with my warning.
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Great job Jim, you're an inspiration to us all! I'm interested to hear your method of processing the negative. It just seems like a difficult task in the darkroom. Do you have negative sleeves for this size negative?
I cut a 7 1/2 foot piece of 3" s**t pipe that was laying out in the back yard. Put a cap on one end and a bushing for threaded plug on the other. 2 liters of PyrocatHD got the job done. Not sure I consider the method a success though as the verso of the neg was really scratched up. These store nicely in a compact roll. No sleeve needed thank goodness. The only way I have to print so far though is to cut up 2 sheets of 16X20 paper and make 4 8X20 prints of the whole. I overlapped and then cut the pieces perfectly so no joint is really seen. Contacting as a whole is a future challenge. Plus I may not be so heroic in the length next time. 60 inches seems like a nice conservative number.
Originally Posted by finesilverprint
Originally Posted by jimgalli
That sounds like fun. As someone noted further up the thread you know you have stumbled onto a challenging pursuit when you plan repairs and modifications before the next shot... sorta like exchanging engines between races. As far a printing goes you might see if you could work the Galli magic and find a deal on a long roll contact proofer. These were used both for proofing long roll for commercial applications (e.g., school portait work) and for continuous contact printing of aerial camera film. (as in Uncle Sam) If 8" by however is not big enough Seitz made beautiful panoramic enlargers that worked like gaint scanning slit cameras. I don't know if they made one big enough for 8" film but, when you get the pan bug real bad, you can liqidate all all that old glass and inquire about some custom Swiss machine work. Better be seated though. I wonder if for developing could make a giant reel?
>A couple of technical questions - Is the looseness of the film spool on the pins a possible cause of banding?
Some people believe this works but the logic is wrong. The film spool needs to flex a bit so the film can align itself with the take-up drum. I use an oversized spool in my #10 made from pvc pipe and brass ends turned on a lathe. They are tighter than the plastic spools made today, but no tighter than the original wood/metal spools.
Banding issues are mostly caused by:
1. No oil on the gear train bearings
2. Too much oil on the gear train and grit is jammed in the teeth.
3. Improper meshing of pinion gear to the ring gear. Too loose causes fine line bands because there is a point where the teeth actually have a gap of no contact causing the camera to stop until the next tooth contacts. Too tight of a mesh causes binding due to the lack of precision in the camera.
4. Gears are not preloaded. Oldtimers would rest their finger on the camera while running to cause drag in the gear train. I’ve seen Mickey Mouse inventions to do the same thing but they rarely work.
5. Tripod is not level or stable. Level is a must. If the legs are too close together then it is wobbly, too spread and you must be a midget.
6. Wheels on turntable are worn and the ring gear is dented. The center hole is supposed to be loose. Proper alignment is made by the outer wheels tracking. If they are worn or have flat spots it isn’t going to help. Some people have put ball bearing in place of the wheels, but since they have wide surfaces, they skid and that is bad too. Ball bearings need brass tires that are thin. DO NOT TRY TO PUNCH OUT THE AXLE PINS. This requires a special puller or you will break the casting.
7. The camera is too old. The spring is weak, probably someone squirted oil on it and it is gummy. The spring should be rust free and lubed with powered graphite. Some cameras had the original springs replaced with a heavier spring for more power but it makes shorter shots. I do confess to having hotrodded one of my #10 cameras and I love it. I removed the original guts and carefully preserved them for museum purposes and made an entirely new lower plate using only two gears and a Swiss motor. All of this can be reversed to original condition quite easily. When I do large groups, I always have a spare camera on hand that is a wind up original.
>What is your experience shooting in the wind?
I have shot scenic views here in Alaska and the Yukon where I needed my assistant to sit under the tripod and hold it so it would not blow over. You could see the bellows flop in the wind but it still never caused banding. Remember that only ¼ inch of film is being exposed at any given moment and if the system has drag on it, it will be just fine. Make sure the tripod legs are spread out enough. You can experiment with this and see what it takes to make it the most stable. This really is important. Also, don’t try to adapt the camera to a modern tripod. That doesn’t work and looks ugly too.
Ron in Alaska
Ron - I can't thank you enough for taking the time to answer my questions in such detail. I've gone through the motor, including spring, on my #8, and while I may have done something wrong, I'm going to leave it alone for the time being and concentrate on the other areas you mentioned. On my last roll, I did three shots. The first two showed slight banding, while the last showed much more. At the time, I wondered if the difference in the third shot was a pinion gear/gearhead mesh error on my part. I knew not to get the mesh too tight, but I hadn't realized not enough mesh could be a problem, although now I understand why. I'll take a closer look at the condition of the #8 gearhead, too. I think the rollers are good enough, but I may have missed something. I was doing the "finger drag" on my last roll, but on the third shot, a friend stopped and was distracting me, so I may not have been as careful as the first two shots.
The information about shooting in the wind is great. I've been hesitant to shoot in anything above the gentlest breeze. Since I was already having problems, I didn't want to add another variable. Thanks again for all the information.