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Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Aggie, Oct 19, 2003.
What exactly do you want to know? Copal shutters are the only ones currently in production. Made in Japan I believe. I have a Rodenstock 240 mm lens in a Compur #3 that I think is German. Shutters that are Copal come in #0 #1 and #3. Most modern lenses will fit these holes. There is or was a good description at Steve Grimes web site about Copals and reshuttering and all the work it takes to get some of the older lenses into shutters. Then if that is not enough, there are Betas and Compur dials and some of them don't need to be cocked and might be labled #4 or #5. The numbers are about the hole sizes or the diameter of the screw threads.
In my opinion, I like the modern glass. Therefore, I like Copal shutters. Or modern shutters.
There are others that only like classic oldies. EAch to their own.
Also, as a follow up there are shutters for lenses in a barrel. They are called Packard shutters. They are usually mounted on the lens board behind the lens inside the bellows. They are controlled by a rubber hose and a bulb that you squeeze to make it work. You need to have a hole in the lens board for the tubing to sitck thru. After some practice you can generally control the action of the shutter and make it be about 1/30 to 1/60 of a second. This type of shutter is still made.
I suppose Compur are still in production. They are present at schneider web site (www.schneideroptics.com)
You may be correct but I seem to recall over at F32 or rec. photo. largeformat usenet group being told by Bob Solomon that they were not made any longer. There is excellent info on shutters on Tuan's largeformat site.
That will answer just about any question you will ever ask.
Indeed, that sounds familiar. I think Prontor may have ended production as well, leaving Copal as the only modern shutter available new once stocks of the others run out. Packard is still in production, available even in custom sizes from Hub photo. I think these have some non-photographic, non-printing-industry use that may be keeping them alive.
Anyone know about Melles Griot? They are a French company, I think, which produces (or once produced) shutters that look like Ilex shutters, I would guess using the tooling purchased from Ilex when it closed down. These aren't as good as Copal, but they do work, and an Ilex/Acme/Betax/Alphax #5 is often the only option for lenses that won't fit into a Copal 3.
Isn't there a Japanese company making shutters?
Aggie different size lenses need different size shutters. Basically bigger and faster lenses need bigger shutters. Some companies [Fuji anybody else?] seem interested in keeping the shutters they use small.
A bigger shutter is heavier and they have less speeds. A 0 will top out at 1/500 I think. A 1 at 1/400. It's gets slower.
You basically are stuck with whatever the lens you want needs.
thanks David. I forgot and have never had too much info on the Ilex/Acme et all. I think you are correct in saying that the Prontor is not made any longer.
out of my old shutters I like the Ilex/acme's the best and the betax's the least.
Steve Grime's web site (may he rest in peace) has quite a bit of shutter info including what lenses will fit in what and what has to be custom mounted.
Of all the old shutters, my favorites are the Compound air-braked shutters. Still precise after 80 years...
Both Compur and Prontor shutters were still in production last I heard. Seiko makes shutters too, but mostly for MF lenses (like my Zenza Bronica).
Hi Aggie. Still no film developed from the workshop!! Shutters: Shiny new ones that say COPAL will work reliably for quite a while if you keep them clean. Old ones that say other things on them mostly don't....unless you're mechanically gifted and have jewelers tools and lots of patience. And time! What are they for??? They let the picture in of course.
Here's the thread about the discontinuation of Compur and Prontor shutters from photo.net:
That is not to say that there aren't still Prontor and Compur shutters in stock, but my impression is that they are no longer producing new ones.
Since it was from Bob Solomon, we'd better believe him. OTOH, new shutters are still in monochrom's 2004 catalouge...
Compur shutters work better with slide film and Copal shutters work better with negative film. A copal #1 works best with black and white versus the #0 which works best with color film. The old compound shutters will normally operate only when either Super XX or Royal Pan is in the film holder. Don't ask me why, it is just the way it is.
If you are going to take a good shutter apart I would advise having SK Grimes address handy. I have read many posts on LF forums about mechanically gifted LF photographers who thought they could tackle disassembling and CLA a shutter, only to end up sending all the pieces to the folks at Grimes to be reassembled.
However, if you have an old or broken shutter around, it is kind of interesting to take one apart just to see how they are put together and work.
Sk Grimes and Jim Galvin can adapt most any modern barrel lens (1930+) into a shutter.This mostly relates to people who purchase an older lens like a Goerz, Ektar, or process lens and want to use a new shutter, usually a Copal. It just takes money. Because of the machining and adapters required to make the proper fit it may cost as much to fit the lens as the lens itself cost. In 4x5 it seems to me to almost always make more sense to buy a new or relatively new lens in shutter.
I can't resist adding to Clay's wisdom. Ilex shutters only seem to work with Ansco film. Go figure.
That's me!! As with many fine pieces of mechanical genius, there's a couple things about shutters that aren't obvious. Besides, I quit after losing two screws, something I don't normally lose.
I never lose screws. I just end up with more then I started with.
Melles Griot, sure enough, exists at www.mellesgriot.com, but I couldn't find any reference to shutters on their website. They make all kinds of optical equipment.
One thing needs to be mentioned - If you put any odd lens in any odd shutter, the f-stop scale will need to be calibrated - I had bad luck with Seiko shutters - Copals have never let me down. I have a compur that is at least 60 years old and workd fine. I guess care, cleaning, use and the environment have a lot to do with that.
I'll second that, Frank. My oldest Compur holds a 1912 vintage Xenar 180mm - and is still reasonably precise.
When looking at older shutters and lenses remember just because the threads match doesn't mean you won't screw the rear element right into the shutter blades. And also when working with fine machine threads, you may think the lens and shutter mate untill you have about a half or full turn of threads stripped.
There are also more shutters wich still are made:
Sinar Copal behind the lens mechanic shutter times from 8 sec to 1/60 sec
Sinar Expolux electronic shutter from Sinar times fro 1/500 up to around 10 hours
Then there is a Horseman shutter also electonic and there is also one from Rollei:
The last 2 are almost created for digi backs!
And do not forgett the good old black hat he is best for very long times! He work like a Swiss watch!