Here are some pictures just taken. This looks like what you describe as the "fan" type. The scale on the bed reads 8" focus on one side and 14" focus on the other, with various pinions. The lens is a 5x7, Centar Series II in a B&L shutter. It is labeled "Eastman Kodak Co. Succ'rs to CENTURY CAMERA CO. The dial set is 1-100, B T with the CCC logo and Century printed on the centre escutcheon. There is only one aperture scale. The cirkut back is labeled "CIRKUT CAMERA, Made by, EASTMAN KODAK Co., successor to, CENTURY CAMERA CO., Rochester, N.Y.
Regarding films, using Google finds:
BHP Photo page on 9.5" films, or rather, aerial films.
Is something like that usable for pics in a Cirkut?
If so, any idea on the long-term availability of such odd aerial films? I guess with Kodak it's anybody's guess. I'm surprised that aerial film is available at all, with satelites....
It's usable. So is 2402. I would find out which B&W aerial films have the antihalation backing if possible.
It's not always clear in the tech sheets The 3404 has the backing but I don't know if it comes in 9.5" rolls
Clarence - Yes, you have a fan governor back. I've been told some Cirkut shooters liked them better than the newer internal governor - they (maybe) run smoother, and you can make larger fans to give slower "shutter speed" effect.
Your lens is the double convertible, not the Turner-Reich triple. I don't know anything about the Centar, but suspect it will be just fine for contact prints. Did you get the ground glass back for the Century body? The Cirkut Attachment can be removed and replaced with a 5X7 sheet film back. so you can do both Cirkut and 5X7 with the same camera. It is also to view and focus when setting up a Cirkut shot. If you have the 5X7 back, you can do a couple of test shots with the Centar lens, if the shutter is somewhat functional.
As to making your own gears and tripod head, it should be an interesting project. Did you see the article a few years ago in "Home Shop Machinist" magazine about making a hobbing attachment for a milling machine? I don't recall if you only need one hob to make all different tooth gears of a given pitch. I know with involute gear cutters, you need several different ones for a range of gear teeth numbers. That would sure make it simple if you only had to buy or make one hob.
My notes show the ring gear for the #6 Outfit is 9 1/16" pitch diameter, with 290 (or maybe 296) teeth. That should give you an idea the approx. size you will be dealing with. I think the original was made of hard brass and nickel plated. You will also have to make a turntable of some sort.
Doug - I have a feeling the aerial film is the only real B&W option right now. You might contact B&H and/or Kodak about "real world" availability of these films. Just because they are listed doesn't mean they are still available, at least anything that is close to being discontinued. I've been curious about the demand for 9 1/2" film for aerial photography. Maybe there is still a market out there for aerial mapping. I've searched on APUG forum for aerial film information and there is some, but there is a lot of unrelated stuff to wade through.
Did you see the #8 Outfit on eBay that ends a week from today? It looks complete, except the lens is missing. The gear set is probably for a 10 1/2"-18"-24" Turner-Reich lens, which do show up on eBay now and then. There is no certainty a different T-R will work with this gear set, but chances are it will. Your original idea of getting a #10 is good, but #8s are easier to find, and usually cheaper by several hundred dollars. 9 1/2" film has to be cut down to fit an #8 Cirkut, which is a drawback. It may be a "#8 in the hand beats a #10 in the bush" choice. And if an #8 sells cheaply enough, that helps make a decision. But if you are willing to wait a few months, or a year or so, a #10 will likely show up. Of course, if you are fated to go down the Cirkut road, you will end up with more than one of them, so starting with an #8 isn't a bad way to go.
Thank you. I have the 5x7 back, etc. Jim sold it as a working 5x7 and as a Cirkut fixer-upper (major). The shutter works smoothly. I haven't tested the speeds yet, but they seem appropriate. The camera needs a lot of work, and I have other 5x7's so I haven't used it yet. I don't know anything about the Centar either. I will check the focal lengths and try some test 5x7's to see what the single element is like. I have a few TR triples around (can't remember what combinations -I know that is a bit pathetic). I will have to give some thought to the turntable. It would help to see one. I will be at George Eastman House in May, and will do some further research. In the mean time, if you know of any useful links it would be much appreciated. I got this outfit last August and am just starting to learn about Cirkut cameras, so pardon my ignorance and requests for basic information.
Thanks for the advice. I've dropped a note to BHP Photo, asking if the 9.25" Kodak aerial film is truly available, and asking what the lead time is on it. Will let you all know what I hear.
Regarding the #8 - I worry that cutting down 9.25" film to 8" would be quite a hassle... and that I'll have enough variables to try to get under my control with a new-to-me Cirkut, that I'm probably better off holding out for a #10 - assuming that a film source does in fact exist. Crossing my fingers....
If film availablility wasn't an issue, I'd go for a #8 for lower price, and easier-to-work-with smaller negs.
Cutting down film IS a hassle. I've done some, will do some more, but if you don't have to start off doing it, then don't. It's a fine option if you have to, but not fun. I feel very lucky that I started off doing prespooled cirkut film. I could tell when things went wrong that it was me and not the spooled film. One thing to look for is outdated aerial film. It can be had relatively cheaply when available. Haven't seen any lately, but it does pop up. Ilford did have aerial film at one point too, and agfa still makes it as well. You could query adox or foma or the other manufacturers on apug as well. If you found someone to cut rolls, I'd take 100 plus feet of 8 or 10" film
I do long rolls on occasion with my 8 outfit and 6 feet isn't enough film
Chinese cirkut and film
>I seem to recall Bill McBride showed me pictures of a Chinese pan camera that used 8" to 10" width film. I've always wondered if there is a China source for film used in that camera.
I am the person who originally bought the Chinese Cirkut camera that Bill McBride owns. I found the camera in Beijing china in 1985. It came with a roll of Chinese film. As well, the camera only shoots 8 inch film. I tested the film and it was like Plus-X. The camera is an interesting object, but not for a user. I'll bet very few were ever made. When I opened it up to see what made it tick, I found that the gears were hand cut, probably by just using files. The camera ran with weird batteries and odd voltages, It only had one lens (8 inch focal length) that was not interchangeable. Bill has one of the finest collections of cirkut cameras in the world and I knew right away it belonged with him.
I have been trying to get Chinese cirkut film for a while, but my contacts there get stymied by the factory that makes film. The factory keeps telling them they can't make it. If you know how it works in China, you can understand the problem exactly. You have to make contact with EXACTLY the right person. YES, they do make film!!!, I saw more than one cirkut camera and prints made by them while traveling through China.
Ron in Alaska
It would be nice to have a dedicated machine for cutting gears by hobbing, but for cirkut work it really isn't needed. I looked at the same HomeShop Machinist set of plans mentioned above and did some dreaming too but the bottom line is that it would have taken more work to make the machine than I could ever get out of cutting gears not to mention the cost of the hobs. You need two, a 32 pitch and a 48 pitch with 14.5 degree pressure angles for the old cirkuts and probably more for the guys that have some special project with the modern 20 degree pressure angle stuff or metric gears.
I use a South Bend lathe and a mill with a dividing head to make the gears, and cut them with the correct gear cutters that fit a small range of teeth. After that, the gears are lapped using very fine valve grinding compound and running them with another gear that has a prime number of teeth so they mesh with every tooth (unless it has the same number as what you are making so you need to be sure they are different). Then finishing with a polishing compound usually tripoli (something like Brasso will work) I check the fit of the gears with a good set of original gears, comparing the depth of the mesh and making sure it has a good eyeball look to the teeth.
Making the gear is only half the battle, you need to make the shaft or spline depending on the drive. Getting the pinion gear to mate dead even with the ring gear and not wobble takes some precision. I use collets in the lathe and then check everything with a dial indicator. The shafts can be sweat soldered with soft solder, that's more than enough strength and allows removal and adjustment if not perfect. The original gears are swedged in place and the shaft is spun down to give a nice little rounded bump in the center. To remove an original shaft, I have a special holder and use a punch and hammer. They come right out, no soldered joints.
Ron in Alaska
Thank you for the info. My Cirkut back needs a bit of work besides gears and fans. The spring seems to have tension, but I don't know how the release mechanism works, or how to wind it (haven't tried much yet). A diagram would be helpful. I take it from your post that you are interested in selling gears, etc. As I said above, it is usually cheaper to buy rather than make, especially for a one off, although I find that whenever I buy a camera I end up with another one. At any rate I may be in the market for some gears.