FILM CUTTER 35MM TO 9.2 AND 16MM
Article by Julian Tanase – published on www.minoxit.com | 08 September 2017
Right then. Let us talk about this new film cutter (or film slitter, or film splitter, whichever you may prefer), produced by Jimmy Li. We know Jimmy Li to be an extremely dedicated fellow when it comes to Minox, and a valuable fellow of our Minox community.
For some years now, Jimmy has tried to help the community by creating a film cutter, specifically a device with which one cuts 9.2mm film stripes out of 35mm negative stock. Of course the idea is not new, by no means; it has been used (and sometimes abused even) in the past. Roller cutters are with us for some time now, I myself have at least 3 models which I often employ to cut film.
However, Jimmy is one of those guys who never say “where do I buy one of these contraptions?”. No, he does not. What he does is he asks himself “how do I build one of such contraption”. Savvy about the difference, right? Right.
So, he went on and built one. Yes, another one. A different one, and you’ll see why is different, and why Jimmy surpassed himself (again).
The first cutter, actually the first cutters, Jimmy Li Film Cutter model 1 and Jimmy Li Film Cutter model 2 were built and out to Minox community in 2014-2015. Together with these, Jimmy produced a wonderful plastic wallet for 8×11 negative stripes and all-metal 8×11 film cassette, a marvel of technology. You have the links to these items up in this document.
This year, Jimmy just sent me his new film cutter, which slits two strips of usable film out of 35mm negative stock: 1 x strip of 9.2mm (Minox format) and the other strip is a 16mm. Yes, folks, 16mm…this means we can have the best of both worlds…with one cut, I can load my 16mm AND my Minox cameras. Rather marvelous solution, I would say.
This is the new slitter here. The perfectly machined parts, made of steel, are moving like a well-oiled machined (no oil, obviously). The cutting edges look like they can keep up with our films for a long time, and the adjusting screws are doing wonders, if and when we need to adjust the width of negative or the pressure of the cutting rods. I like this.
For those who will install this machinery on a bench or surface of your choice, the turning mechanism can be switched over to a cranking arm, easier when you do the cutting on the margins of the table where you have installed the device.
What else can be said? It cuts the film like a hot knife through butter, and also…
- The edges of the strips are not jagged, but smooth and clean;
- The cutting mechanism does not wobbles or block itself during the cutting process;
- The polished steel rods over and under the film slides in the cutting process are not scratching the film;
- The 35mm negative stripe is hold fast between the steel plates (an exact measurement here, kudos Jimmy!), and the strip of 35mm does not get neither the opportunity nor the place to veer left or right, and there is no chance of misalignment of the main 35 mm film negative in the cutting process.
I have measured the width of the produced strips, and they are exactly 9.2mm and 16mm, no less no more. This means you will not have any nasty surprises when you load you cassettes and advance the film inside you camera
- (fyi, it happened to me a couple of times, after I slit my films with another cutter – bad bad bad. Film jams in the cassette, and the push-pull action of the camera can easily break the cocking mechanism, and render your shutter blades useless).
I have already cut some films with this device, and let me tell you that this is my one and only gadget I’ll be using in the foreseeable future, for cutting my films for subminiature cameras, be these 8×11 / 9.2mm or 16mm film format.
Thank you, Jimmy!
For those of you who wish to enquire about this device, you may contact Jimmy Li here: firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternatively, you can check his Flickr pages here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/minox-leica/
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