High Precision Minox Slitter

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Minox Photography : One Thread

Minox Slitter

The Minox slitter is a high precision cutting tool for slitting 8x11mm format film from any suitable 35mm film stocks and vastly expands the type of films available for Minox photographer. Minox slitter is made of black anodized aluminium, 3.5 x 4.9 x 14.5 cm dimension, it consists of a flat bed jig, its one end holds a 35mm film cartridge; slide the film leader into a film channel, preventing it moving sideways or up-down; the film passes under a blade assembly with three rasor sharp blades and attached to a 40 mm long 20mm diameter removable cylinder mounted on a crank shaft. The cylinder has two raised ridge, leaving exactly 35mm space for the film, allowing exact film positioning. By cranking the handle and pull the film throught the film channel while pressing the blade plunger down, a 35mm film will be slitted into four strips: two useable center strips plus two perforation strip to be discarded. Due to the high precision metal contruction , the 8x11mm film strips cut from Minox slitter are straight, no visible wobbling, hence every negative frame on a film cut from it has top and bottom borders; a feature hard to achieve with other type of slitter. It is worth it. Use with care, a Minox slitter will last forever. There are two sheets of instructions, one in English, one in German, all bearing Minox GmbH- Fed.Rep.Germany--- obviously an old stock item.

-- martin tai (martin.tai@capcanada.com), December 25, 1998


Who makes the Minox slitter ? The Minox slitter is made by ACMEL, Japan. ACMEL stands for Asumura Camera and Mechanical Laboratory. Asunura also makes third party lenses. ACMEL once made over 2 million ACMEL spy cameras using the Minox cassette.

-- martin tai (martin.tai@capcanada.com), January 05, 1999.

I checked at the Minox website, the slitter is quite expensive. Is there any lower cost alternatives ?

-- Bob Nielson (bjn118@comcam.com), January 21, 1999.

Check out http://members.aol.co m/xkaes/splitter.htm for an interesting way to make your slitter.

-- Tony Rowlett (rowlett@alaska.net), January 21, 1999.

Another interesting slitter project: New Slitter Design

-- mt (cg081@torfree.net), February 04, 1999.

Martin, are there any films that you cannot slit using the slitter? The reason I ask is I got a slitter, and slit a couple of rolls of tri-x, and somehow the bottom rubber bed seemed to be gouged out or something. There were some pieces of it sticking up. Have you heard of this before? I got a replacement slitter, but I'm afraid to slit tri-x anymore. What about the tmax films?

-- Tony Rowlett (rowlett@alaska.net), February 12, 1999.

Tony, I had similar problem before slitting Ilford Pan F+ film; the edge of film chippped off, some embedded into the rubber bedding of of slitter. I peel off the rubber pad, and replaced it with apiece of Avery self adhersive label paper, replace a set of slitter, now it works fine. I don;t know how thick the Tri-x is. It seems to me the slitter handles film with well with thickness under 5 mil. When cranking the handle, I try to crank as fast as possible and none stop. I have used up a 50' roll of Agfapan 25, so far no problem.

Avoid slitting film thicker than 5.5 mil as Minox camera film gate was not designed to handle thick film.

-- martin tai (martin.tai@capcanada.com), February 12, 1999.

From my own experience, I feel that the rubber pad of the original slitter is too soft, when the film was pull over the blades, the rubber pad yielded, and left a mark longer than it should be; when slitting next strip of film, the support under the blades may not be enough, making the film harder to cut. At first, I replaced the rubber pad with a piece of thick transparent industrial self sticking tape; it worked for a few times, then film chips happend afterward, due to the same reason; padding too soft. Since I replace it with Avery tape (the kind used for printing labels on envelop ), the cut marks marks under the blades remain precisely the same shape, I think the paper provides better support, and never encouter broken film problem. My analogy: it is hard ot cut apiece of paper on top of a foam; much easier to slice paper on top of a piece of cardboard.

-- martin tai (martin.tai@capcanada.com), February 13, 1999.

An interesting home made Eiki Takahashi slitter

-- martin tai (martin.tai@capcanada.com), April 11, 1999.

The following is a OCR SCAN of Minox slitter user manual

The one sheet/two page Minox slitter manual is scanned at 800 dpi then using OCR software to decode into ASCII text, in conjuction with Microsoft Word spelling checker to correct mis-decoded words.

The diagrams are cut out from the original scan. Then combined with the text to reconstruct the user manual. Although this is not an exact replica, but all the info is intact.

This OCR scan loads much faster and takes up much less disk space

MINOX GmbH Postfach (P.O.B.) 1007 61 D-35337 Giessen / Fed. Rep. Germany Tel.: (+49) 641 -60 58 0 Fax: (+49)641-60 68 105

Owner's Manual


to cut MINOX 8x11 films from standard 135 film cartridges.

This film slitter is a device for slitting 35 mm film from a standard 135 cartridge into strips of 9.2 mm (3.2 in.) width for use with ultra-miniature cameras as MINOX TLX and EC.

Minox film cassettes can so be filled with the film emulsion you prefer.

Perform all processes in the darkroom or dark-box to avoid fogging the film. When processing the film, avoid scratching or getting it dusty,

1. Minox film lengths 36 exp.: 59 cm / 23,2 in. 15 exp.: 32 cm / 12,6 in.

As the length of the film cannot be measured in the darkroom, it is recommended to prepare a scale (e.g. cardboard) in the aforementioned lengths and use it as a guide to cut the film.

2. Number of rolls you can cut from

a 36 exp. 135 film: 4 rolls of 36 exp. and 2 rolls of 1 5 exp. or 8 rolls of 15 exp. a 24 exp. 135 film: 2 rolls of 36 exp. and 2 rolls of 15 exp. or 6 rolls of 15 exp.

3. Items to prepare for the darkroom - film slitter - 35 mm film - empty components of Minox film cassettes. Ensure that the caps of both sides are removed,

-scale - 2 adhesive tapes of width 0,5 cm (0,2 in.), length 4 cm (1.57 in) and 1,5 cm (0.6 in) - Scissors 4. Preparation In the darkroom a) Cut the tip of the 35 mm film so it will have a straight end.

b) Pull out the Rim about 1 cm/0,4 in, and pass it through under the roller of the slitter keeping the emulsified side facing upwards, then slide it under the guide ran. Keep the emulsion side on the inside while taping the tip of the film to the spool with adhesive tape. (fig. 1) This completes the procedures to prepare for the darkroom. Take the slitter, empty cassettes, caps (without hole), scissors and cardboard scale (to determine the cut length) with you when you enter the darkroom.

-- martin tai (martin.tai@capcanada.com), June 26, 1999.

OCR scan of Minox slitter user manual page 2.

5. How to slit in the 
 a) Hold the slitter with the left hand and then while 
pressing                                I

      down on the cutter blade with your left thumb turn the  
     winding handle towards you with your right hand to silt the 
     film. (fig. 2)

b) Cut the film along the edges of the slitter using 
  ( fig. 2   )

c) Remove the winding spool from the slitter and discard the
      perforated portions taken from both sides. Remove the   
     remaining film from the winding spool and cut to the
      designated length. The film is curled with the emulsion
      surface on the inside.

      Do not  touch the emulsified surface !

d) Wind the cut film on the take-up spool as tight as possible     
  (diameter of about 13 mm/0,5 in.)with the emulsified side
      on the inside. Let about 1 cm/0,4 in. of the film end 
      protrude from the cassettes and close the cap, (fig. 4)

      Check the direction of the cassette prior to entering 
      darkroom to prevent insertion mistakes.

6. Procedures performed in dimly-lit rooms
      To prevent fogging, perform the following operations in dimly-
lit       rooms. 
Avoid fluorescent or bright lights.

a) Use the longer adhesive tape and wind it around the film-winding 
  shaft leaving 1 cm/0,4 in. length of tape free on either side.
      Pull out approx. 3 cm/l ,2 in, of film from the cassette, ensure
      that the winding shaft is facing up, and sandwich the film with
      the ends of the tape to anchor it. (fig. 5)

b) Insert the film between the film gate of the cassette, then place
      the winding shaft with the film into the other part of the 
      and close the cap, (fig 6)
      Insert the cassette with a slightly 
      Please note that excessive turning may damage the cassette.

      Please be careful with the film stripes 

-- martin tai (martin.tai@capcanada.com), June 26, 1999.

I made a slitter using Ron Pedelty's cutting block design (see new slitter above) but using an aluminium rail as guide for pulling the film straight. Fuji Superia/Reala, Kodak Gold, Fomapan, Ilford FP4 and Kodak T-Max where easily split. Fuji Super HR showed chippings (seems like the film base is very harder). I change the blades after 2 or 3 36 exp rolls.

-- Wolfgang Fischer (wolfischer@hotmail.com), September 22, 1999.

The prices of a new Minox slitter is now $421, up from $369, an increase of 14%.

Probably because of this slitter is made in Japan as Martin posted, the rise in Yen may be the cause of the price hike.

Or may be the price hike is an indicator that the supply of Minox slitter is dwindling, as it is hard to believe any factory would keep such a low volume product line running. The slitter may be old stocks in ware house. Once these stocks are sold, the only place to get Minox slitter will be eBay. Hmm.

-- Fred Mason (Fredm@starnet.com), October 04, 1999.

Shutterbug report on ACMEL film slitter

Shutterbug online has a Q and A session about ACMEL slitter for Minox 8x11 cameras:

Shutterbug HELP file about ACMEL slitter

-- martin tai (martin.tai@capcanada.com), October 15, 1999.

My first set of blades on the Minox slitter caused chips on cut film strips, the reason for such problem was unknown to me until now.

I use an Emoskop to examine the problematic blades, I find out why that particular set of blades caused problem.

All three blades still appear sharp, except the middle blade has some fibre like material caught on the tip of the blade, I believe these fibre like substance caused problem at slitting film. I think the problem can be cured by removing these entangled fibre.

-- martin tai (martin.tai@capcanada.com), April 23, 2000.

Minox/ACMEL slitter is based on a set of sharp blades to cut the film into sizes.

There is another kind of slitter based on rollers to shear cut the film.

But I doubt the shear cut film can be as clean cut as using sharp knife blades. Since I don't have a roller cutter, I simulate the cut using a pair of blunt edge scissors to cut film and examine the cut edges under 25x Seibert Emoskop.

The Minox slitter cut is very clean, the scissor cut is clean at top surface and not so clean at the trailing surface, as observed from the side.

-- martin tai (martin.tai@capcanada.com), April 28, 2000.

Martin, I have a Baia roller slitter made to slit the old double 8 movie film from 16mm to 8mm. It cuts with a perfect edge because the rollers move with the film, they don't drag across the film like your scissors do. I'm working with a friend who has access to a lathe to produce a 35mm to Minox roller slitter similar to those pictured in the Spycamera book. He had to order a special machining tool in order to cut the concave surfaces of the rollers. The Baia slitter has 4 flat rollers, but I feel the concave rollers will minimize contact with the film. My friend has the frame built, but can only work with the lathe in his spare time, of which he doesn't have much.

-- James Jones (jaj01@home.com), April 29, 2000.

When to Change Minox Slitter Blades

Minox slitter has replaceable blade assembly, available from Minox, it comes in a package of three sets.

Check the two perforamtion strips discarded, use a high power loupe, for example Emoscop to see if there is any roughness in the cut edges. If there is roughness, chips, it is time to change a new set of slitter blades

-- martin tai (martin.tai@capcanada.com), July 06, 2001.

Recently brand new Minox slitter was sold on ebay for $199

-- martin tai (martiin.tai@capcanada.com), October 13, 2001.

Minox GmbH has discontinued this item. Remaining stock still being sold

-- martin tai (martin.tai@capcanada.com), January 12, 2002.

Birkby Zipslit

John Birkby from UK sells a very compact Minox 8x11 film slitter for about $38 each. Birkby Zipslit also appears on ebay

John Birkby Film Tech, Alltcafan Mill, Pentre Court, Llandysul, Carmarthenshire, SA44 5BD U.K.


john.birkby [john.birkby@eidosnet.co.uk]

-- martin tai (martin.tai@capcanada.com), June 08, 2002.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ