Folder questions: setting shutter speed and folding up

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by puketronic, Nov 17, 2011.

  1. puketronic

    puketronic Member

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    1) Is it bad to set the shutter speed after cocking the shutter?
    2) Is it bad to fold the camera when the shutter is cocked?
     
  2. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    #1 Yes. You are likely to get a speed that is not what you finally intended. It also forces the old fragile gearing. I have read and follow the procedure of setting the speed, cocking, firing the shutter to make sure it is working at that speed, composing, focusing, cocking and firing.

    #2 probably. The potential is to forget to reopen and fire the shutter. If you leave it too long (a month or two) the shutter will freeze and you will be paying $80-$120 for a cla (clean lube and adjust.) Painfully, I have done that with large format. It is a waste of time and money, but it makes the lens more valuable when you sell it if the cla is recent.

    John Powers
     
  3. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    What John said. Also, occasionally take your cameras out and run them through their paces, even when not loaded. The oldies especially need to be exercised so they don't get arthritis of the shutter kind.
     
  4. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    Rick,

    Are you talking about the operators or the cameras?

    71 year old John
     
  5. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    Yes,and 60 year old me too.
     
  6. bsdunek

    bsdunek Subscriber

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    I resemble that!
     
  7. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    puketronic,

    Age and exercise related jokes aside, welcome to APUG. You will find much help here.

    If you are new to folders you may also enjoy and benefit from the Rangefinder forum at rangefinderforum.com. They have a category specific to your interest with multiple threads answering these and other questions that you may not yet have encountered. That category is called 120 folders. Take a look at some of the threads and answers. You will meet more enthusiasts with questions and answers.

    http://www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=93

    I ended up with a 1939 Welta Welture 6x9 with a Compur Rapid shutter and a 105mm f 4.5 Zeiss Tessar lens. Much fun/


    John Powers
     
  8. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    One thing with those older shutters is that between age and use, spring stretch is a very real problem. When I was done using my folders, I would put the shutter down to B or something low for storage, uncocked. That way, there was the least amount of stress on the assembly.
     
  9. Two23

    Two23 Member

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    My folder is a 6x9 Kodak Special No. 1, with Optimo shutter. Will storing it in the bulb mode be easiest on the springs?


    Kent in SD
     
  10. msbarnes

    msbarnes Member

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    I just got a folder and I'll be sure to take the extra precautions, but is it bad to change the shutter speed after cocking the shutter on non folding cameras as well?
     
  11. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    I'm sure there are exceptions, but yes you should change the speed before you cock the shutter. Folder doesn't have anything to do with it. In general folders are usually 50 years or more old. Mine is 72 years old. Bessa III is an exception and current. Older mechanism can easily be more fragile due to metal fatigue, abuse, dried lubricant, out of adjustment.

    John
     
  12. R gould

    R gould Member

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    Never cock the shutter before setting the shutter speed, with some youi could cause severe damage should you nneed to move from say 125 to 10, and never leave the shutter cocked,set the speed, cock the shutter and compose and fire,then repeat for next shot, carry6 the camera, folded or not, uncocked otherwiise if you forget to fire and leave a few weeks or perhaps monthes the next time you want to use the camera the shutter can freeze, and it is best to store them with the shutter set to the slowest, normally 1 sec,
    Richard
     
  13. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Can you explain in simple terms why cocking the shutter first is likely to give a speed that was not what was intended and what speed are you likely to get. I have an Agfa Isolette I with 3 speeds(1/25th, 1/50th and 1/200th)If I have cocked the shutter with the speed set at /25th what speed am I likely to get?


    With the Agfa I am not clear how not to set the speed before cocking the shutter. If the correct exposure is 1/25th for the forthcoming shot and was 1/25th for the last shot as well what exactly should I do to get the correct speed?

    Are you saying that each time I should cock and fire the shutter first then do it all over again. I am not clear why this is prevents the problem you mention of getting the correct shutter speed. I presume that this requires a lens cap so no light hits the negative?

    I am somewat confused as you will see. I may have misunderstood the first part of your post completely

    Thanks

    pentaxuser
     
  14. Jojje

    Jojje Member

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    According to my experience with Zeiss folders with various Compur shutters they are o.k. to be closed cocked and yes, you can change the speeds whilst cocked with the exception of Compur-Rapid which has a booster spring in its fastest speed i.e. if cocked you can not change from or to "1/500th".
    That said I won't leave them cocked for weeks, though.
    Here is a link you may find useful: http://pheugo.com/cameras/index.php
     
  15. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    pentaxuser,

    Not changing the speed after you have cocked the shutter is a general rule of thumb for both large format and older medium format shutters such as the one on your folder. I am not familiar with the inner workings of your particular model. The point is not that you will get another unknown speed, but that you may damage the mechanism. It may not happen the first time and you may not notice a slight change, but it is an older mechanical device, more likely to break when used improperly than something newer.

    John
     
  16. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    OK I think that the cause of my confusion is the meaning of "set" which I had taken to be the shutter speed the camera shows i.e in that sense the shutter speed is always set. What in fact is being referred to is changing the shutter speed after the shutter has been cocked.

    In the event that you believe the shot requires the same speed and the shutter has been cocked but you decide to make a second check and the correct speed has altered then it will clearly require a lens cap. There is no way to uncock the shutter except to fire it, well not with my Agfa anyway.

    Part of my original Q still stands. If I choose to change the speed after cocking what change might I expect? If the next speed and correct speed up is 1/50th and I set that on the dial will my speed be somewhere in between1/25th and 150th ormight I get so close to 1/50th that it makes no difference?

    That still leaves the damage question. If this happens only rarely how much damage to the speed mechanism is likely?

    Thanks

    pentaxuser
     
  17. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Thanks John I hadn't seen your reply until I had composed and posted my second post. Answer is that I might get away with it if done only occasionally but it puts a strain on the mechanism which may break.

    I don't think I have ever had to change speed after cocking but to avoid all chance of damage I'd need to waste a neg or use a lens cap

    Thanks


    pentaxuser
     
  18. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    In my experience so far... none.


    Steve.
     
  19. Ralph Javins

    Ralph Javins Member

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    Never Make an Absolute General Statement


    Good morning, Richard, et al;

    Please be careful when making "General Statements" of Fact and Policy Applicable to All Things. Quickly you learn about "The Exceptions."

    In this case, most of the Russian, Ukraine, or similar Former Soviet Union (FSU) cameras REQUIRE exactly the opposite care and procedure: FIRST you cock or arm the shutter of most FSU cameras, THEN you change the shutter speed selection on most FSU cameras. Failure to follow this procedural order probably will damage or at least knock out of calibration the shutter speed dial on most FSU cameras.

    These precautions are included in the operational instructions for the Kiev-88, Kiev-88CM, FED-2c, Zorki-4, and Zorki-4K cameras here, and are valid for all of the other FSU cameras with which I am familiar, but I admit that I do not have samples of every Russian or FSU camera.

    Obtain a copy of, and read, the instruction manual for your camera.

    I also fire to release the tension on the shutter mechanism before I store the camera.
     
  20. R gould

    R gould Member

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    I am only talking about Folders, not the FSU zorkis etc, which are not, as far as I am aware, folders, and I am also talking about German and English folders, af which I have a big collection of working cameras and use them in preferance to ''modern'' Slrs,MF Etc, my folders are from a 1938 Voightlander Baby Bessa 66 to a 1954 Ensign Selfix 12/20, and much in between, and my remarks apply to these cameras, especially the Ensigns, with their in house Epsilon shutters, in which if you change from the fast cam (25 and above) to the slow cam(10 and below) you can dwhile the shutter is cocked, you can do severe damage to the shutter, as I know from personal experiance in my early days of using these cameras, before I know as much about them as I know now,

    Richard