Cutting down 5"x4" film?

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Cutting down 5"x4" film?

Post by Matt_Bigwood » Thu Dec 29, 2011 5:48 pm Etc/GMT-1+01:00

I'm finally getting round to trying out the Thornton Pickard Junior reflex I bought last year

I managed to get some film inserts for the plate holders which (I think) takes three and a quarter by two and a quarter film.

Can anyone suggest the best way to cut down 5x4 film to fit the holders? I was thinking of making a cardboard template to place over the film in the darkroom and cut round it.

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Re: Cutting down 5"x4" film?

Post by Collas » Thu Dec 29, 2011 7:41 pm Etc/GMT-1+01:00

Rather than using cardboard, which will bend and leave dust over time, why not try a heavy gauge of plasticard? Sand the edges with fine grade sandpaper to help prevent scratches. An alternative would be thin metal sheet, which would allow the use of a very sharp knife to cut the film to size.


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Re: Cutting down 5"x4" film?

Post by Rod » Thu Dec 29, 2011 9:23 pm Etc/GMT-1+01:00

Hi Matt,

If you have a Rotatrim style cutter or a guillotine, just set up a fixed stop three and a quarter inches from the cutting edge (easiest way is probably a piece of card attached with double-sided tape) and also cut a small separate piece of loose card, or plastic, one inch wide. Then do the first cut with the film butted up to the fixed stop and the second cut with the one-inch wide card between the fixed stop and the cutting edge - this will make this dimension one inch shorter than the other edge, i.e. 3 1/4" x 2 1/4". If you're cutting a number of sheets of film, it's more efficient to carry out one series of cuts first and do the second with the spacer inserted. To avoid scratching or handling the film, you could place a sheet of ordinary paper on each side of the film before cutting.

I was going to use method to cut down some 10 x 8 to whole plate - a bit wasteful, I know :( - but I haven't got around to doing it yet. Hope this helps.

Kindest regards,


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Re: Cutting down 5"x4" film?

Post by Neil Barnes » Thu Dec 29, 2011 10:48 pm Etc/GMT-1+01:00

Damn, that's an awkward size - Adox is available in quarter plate - 3.25 * 4.25 so if you could live with 3.25 by 2.125 you could get two bits out of one sheet with no wastage.

Otherwise, it's three cuts and a wasted bit from 4*5...

I recall in my youth adverts for machines/templates to simplify slitting war office surplus reconnaissance films. Shows how old I am!


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