CLA? - What to expect.

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Bruce Osgood, Feb 6, 2013.

  1. Bruce Osgood

    Bruce Osgood Membership Council Council

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    I have a Fuji 135 5.6 lens in a copal 1 shutter. I also have a Calumet shutter tester that produces the following discrepancies:

    TESTED TIME 1s 1/2 1/4 1/8 1/15 1/30 1/60
    ADJUSTMENT -1/3 -1/2 -1/2 -1/2 -1/3 -1.5 -1/2 Stop

    Will a CLA from a reliable business such as KEA Camera bring things into agreement or is the answer in a new shutter?

    Thanks,
     
  2. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    I, personally, would only be concerned about the -1.5 measurement and would remeasure that to make sure it is no error. I highly suspect, though, that a good professional servicing is likely all that is needed to get better numbers than that. Is there anything else wrong with the shutter?
     
  3. Bruce Osgood

    Bruce Osgood Membership Council Council

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    No, when I was using it regularly it performed very well. It was only when I discovered the large (greater than 1/3 stop) errors I put it away until now.
     
  4. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    Well then... I would say that a good servicing is what the shutter needs and it should be alright after that!
     
  5. k_jupiter

    k_jupiter Member

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    And they complain about Sieko shutters.

    I am with Brian on this one. Except for the 1/30th speed, I would live with it. Knowing what the offset is allows you to work around it. -1.5 is a big jump though. I suspect a CLA will bring everything back close to spec.

    tim in san jose
     
  6. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    If the speeds are reliable and consistent, you can always compensate - although that's inconvenient. However, if the lubricants are deteriorating and there's dirt inside, you might have a shutter that will continue to change the speeds. Typically a proper CLA will result in all but the one or two highest speeds being very close to the marked speeds, and very consistent.

    I take a change in speeds as an indication that the shutter needs servicing, the same as a clock or watch changing rate is an indication that it's time for a cleaning.
     
  7. mgb74

    mgb74 Subscriber

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    First, even a proper CLA won't necessary make all speeds exact. I've seen, multiple times, test results after CLAs where tested speed might be off by as much as 30-50% on the slow end. And I'm talking about test results provided by good repair techs. I assume that the mechanics of making one speed correct might alter a different speed. And I assume it also depends on both the initial build quality and the subsequent wear on the shutter.

    So being a 1/3 stop off at 1s isn't has much a concern (at least if it was my lens) as a 1/2 stop off at 1/60.

    I'm no expert, but it does seem a CLA is in order. But, out of curiosity, did you discover the discrepancy on film or just with your tester?
     
  8. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    Then they didn't do much of the "A" part. "CLA" means clean, lube, adjust. If a shutter is in good enough condition to give consistant speeds, it can usually be adjusted to be pretty close- say 10%-15% to the marked speeds. More than that is unacceptable, unless there's a good reason.
     
  9. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    While I agree with EvH immensely that many (most?) CLA does not include rigourous "A" I feel obligated to mention that 30% error is for some professional shutters within the original specification.

    It seems to me that most shutter overhauls clean and lubricate with the assumption (good in most cases... in my experience) that those two activities will restore the original capability and specs.

    For me a half-stop is still relatively insignificant and the most useless tool I -- personally speaking -- could ever buy is a shutter tester that might evoke my currently-repressed shutter-speed neurotic tendencies/anxieties. :smile:
     
  10. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    Yes, this is correct. It's also unacceptable, I've always felt it was a weasel tolerance. I need to know that my exposure will be what I expect; transparency film will not tolerate much error, and black and white is the same if you are using it's entire tonal range.. Is 30% error acceptable in a lightmeter? No. Aperture calibration? No. Then why on shutter speeds? I've never had a problem getting the speeds within the 10 to 15 percent tolerance I mentioned above, with the exception of the one or two higher speeds on leaf shutters, which will be consistent but slower than the marked speed.
     
  11. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    There seem to be big differences in CLA's.

    The repairers I use send back shutters with accurate speeds whereas some (reputable) US repairers send shutters back with comparison charts - actual shutter speed as opposed to marked speed, I'm talking about way outside the +/- 30%, the price is quite a lot lower though in the US for that CLA.

    the UK CLA's I' had are more ln the region of +/- 10% which is acceptable.

    Ian
     
  12. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    You gets what you pays for.:wink:
     
  13. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    I think that's right, but it's also the repairers skill and expertise, the worst service I've had was from a camera importer's own workshop.

    Ian
     
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  15. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    Intellectually and emotionally I agree. But lightmeters and apertures aren't spec'd the same as a mechanical shutter, so the comparison is interesting but not quite the same. The spec's are what the spec's are. Sure, there is always someone who can improve upon most mechanical specs that but it generally involves a lot more effort/cost.

    The potential for additive error in the total exposure chain is huge, though. I cetainly agree with that point!
     
  16. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    It most certainly is the same. A 30% error in a shutter, an aperture, or or a lightmeter will have precisely the same effect on exposure.

    What if your development timer ticked off a minute in 42 seconds? That's a 30% error.
     
  17. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    I'm talking about the error spec on the specification sheet or industry standard, not the resulting effect. In other words, the ANSI/ISO spec for light meter calibration is probably not anything close to 30% error. I don't ahve the standard at hand but I'm remembering from memory. But, Yes, of course the effect of error anywhere in the exposure chain affects the exposure on film.
     
  18. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    For years, once a year I would send my Minolta SLR [various models over 30 years] for a CLA and shutter recalibration. I never had a problem. Unfortunately both Minolta and their repair center are no longer with us.
     
  19. Bruce Osgood

    Bruce Osgood Membership Council Council

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    This has been my experience and why I asked the question. I sent a lens and shutter to a very reputable service person who returned it in a month with a piece of paper noting the same times I was fussing over. No adjustment had been made so I bought the Calmuet tool and compensate at exposure. I was wondering if I was wrong in expecting "Adjustment" to mean adjust the shutter to the correct time? I guess I was.
     
  20. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    No matter the discussion of what an acceptable error is... the -1.5 stop measurement indicates that something is wrong with either your shutter or the CLA... assuming that the measurement is accurate, of course. That value alone is worth worrying about and I think you should rightfully expect it to be closer to the intended value. -1.5 stops is out of spec no matter who's spec one is considering.
     
  21. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Well, it's quite apparent that a CLA from some US "reputable" repairers is not of the standard we expect in Europe.

    I'd rather pay more for a proper service (cla) knowing it'll be many years before another's needed, I would not accept a lens back with a piece of paper telling me how inaccurate my shutter is.

    Ian
     
  22. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    I'm not sure it is as much a matter of nationalistic expectations as much as it is that some folks prefer to go the budget route, and ends up with a budget job. It just so happens that a couple of the budget repair shops are in USA. Tightwads come from all nations... And I can speak with experience about both American and British tightwads. :smile:
     
  23. Old-N-Feeble

    Old-N-Feeble Member

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    Hmm... seems to me a re-birth of electronic shutters is in order.:smile:
     
  24. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Brian, I'm sure it's not a Nationalistic thing, of course there's repairers in the US on a par with those in Europe, however there is a tendency on these Forums to recommend repair shops that don't seem to do full CLA's and return shutters with comparison charts of actual speed against marked speed where actual speeds are way outside the +/- 30%.

    Ian
     
  25. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    Yes, indeed, Ian... that is the situation.

    Tightwads and hacks exist on both continents. Unfortunately they tend to go hand-in-hand... and as someone already said, "you gets what yew pays fer."

    It seems painfully clear from numerous forum postings that the "bargain" repair shops do abargain job... which is fine some of the time but not always.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 10, 2013
  26. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    p.s. Regarding Bruce's shutter and its speeds... if he indeed just had it serviced it should be returned as "not properly serviced".

    And if one has requirements to be within 10% on all speeds then that should be an agreement prior to the CLA so it can be priced accordingly.