LF Shutter Repair - Honest Opinions

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by holmburgers, Dec 16, 2010.

  1. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Hi all,

    I know that this is a topic that has been covered extensively all over the web, so that's why I'm asking for something slightly different.

    If you're willing, I'd appreciate it if you could PM me with your recommendations and/or warnings for LF shutter repair techs. Perhaps by not having to say something in "public", more honest opinions can be shared.

    I've got a few shutters in need of repair, and one was just in the shop not long ago, so I'm tempted to try a new repair tech.

    My priorities for a repairmen are as follows, most important first...

    - Great communication, by phone or email
    - Quality of work, thoroughness
    - Reasonable price
    - Reasonable turnaround (≈ 1 month or thereabouts)

    I'd appreciate any help, thanks!
     
  2. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    There's no need for secrecy!

    Steve's Camera Repair, Culver City CA. Quality work; Reliable and honest; Estabished reputation.

    Call or write them yourself if you want to 'size them up".
     
  3. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Thanks Brian,

    Any idea what a CLA on a Copal, Synchro-Compur runs? Ballpark of course.
     
  4. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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  5. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Yep
     
  6. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    or email them. They generally reply with all ofthe requested information within about 1 hour.
     
  7. jp498

    jp498 Member

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    I had SK Grimes do a CLA last year for me. Excellent fast work. I don't know what your budget is, but seems it was a little over $100, costs vary by shutter variety.
     
  8. rjs003

    rjs003 Subscriber

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    Shutter Repair

    I do my own CLA where possible, when It is something I can't handle it goes to Flutot's in Calif. Low cost and very reliable service.
     
  9. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    Paul Ebel Lens Service - PO Box 141 - Menomonie, WI 54751
    tel: 651-335-8759 paulebel44@yahoo.com

    He has repaired and CLAed five or six Ilex Acme and Copal shutters for me over 3-4 years. He did very good work, in what seemed like reasonable time, at fair prices. I never called him, but we had many clear and concise email exchanges. He always did what he said he would do and when he said he would do it. I’m guessing that he should quote his prices rather than me.

    John Powers
     
  10. dhosten

    dhosten Member

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    The lady (Carol) at Flutots is very pleasant and has a well earned reputation for quality, affordable shutter repair. See what people said before about her and the SK Grimes outfit.. http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?t=14704

    In Canada, I use Camtech Photographic Service in Hamilton, Ontario. They do excellent lens and shutter work. Just did my 1930 Anastigmat Skopar with bum shutter and cleaned up a filthy 88/6.8 B&L wide angle. They do very good work, fast and affordably priced..similar to Flutots pricing.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 16, 2010
  11. ChuckP

    ChuckP Subscriber

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    I've also used Paul Ebel to CLA an older Compur and had no problems. Reasonable price and time frame. I talked with him on the phone and found him pleasant and knowledgeable.
     
  12. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    I guess I should've asked who shouldn't I use :wink:

    I'll make decision soon, and this has made it easier, thanks everyone!
     
  13. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    Based on reading internet photography forums, I wouldn't use a local camera store who doesn't have an in-house tech. That's always been my initial selection criteria.
     
  14. domaz

    domaz Member

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    I would learn to do it yourself. If you just want the shutter to work (and not be perfectly accurate at the listed speeds) it's not terribly difficult. You probably will break the first shutter you work on though, that's just the way it works.

    Most of the time fixing shutters just involves opening it up, taking the timing gears out and soaking them in lighter fluid and putting the gears back in. If you can't take the gears out open it up and squirt lighter fluid in there and let it evaporate out. Add a tiny bit of oil to the gears after soaking if you want.
     
  15. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Domaz, I like that idea. I have one that I'd be willing to "sacrifice". Any pointers, tips, tutorials that might help a newbie though? Heck, any books?
     
  16. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    As someone keeps posting, “Google is your friend.” Search on the shutter you wish to learn. For some models there are detailed instructions and drawings. What works for one, may not work for another. For instance Grimes says lighter fluid leaking into paper parts will destroy.

    John
     
  17. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    Would you open a Swiss watch and monkey around? I've opened and disassembled shutters and cleaned them. If they are sticking and the speeds are off that's one thing but if a part is broken, dislodged or bent will you notice it? And what about the tools, do you have a set of watchmakers tools. Where will you get the part or parts that are broken or fly though the air and get lost in the carpet. It's not a ten minute operation either, do you want to spend hours working on it and if you don't completely document the disassembled then what happens when you try to put it back together. It soon becomes better to find another or get professional work done.

    Curt
     
  18. domaz

    domaz Member

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    If you work carefully and deliberately it can be done, but it's not for everyone. If you want to be brave this Blog has a lot of tips on one page and includes procedures for CLAing a Compur shutter. You don't really need precision tools- just a lot of different jewelers screwdrivers. Do your best to not strip any screws and don't disassemble anything unless it's really needed- just take it one step at a time and don't go crazy and you'll be fine.
     
  19. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    I understand the pitfalls that may be associated with this... and yes, I know.. Google. I guess you should've sent me here --> http://lmgtfy.com/

    For 1 of my shutters, it is definitely just sticky so I'm tempted to open it up, if for no other reason than to learn that I never want to do it again. My synchro-compur though has a broken part I fear, so that's still going out.

    Give a man a fish, he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime.