Need slow shutter speeds

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by BlueWind, Nov 1, 2005.

  1. BlueWind

    BlueWind Subscriber

    Messages:
    56
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2005
    Location:
    Almada, Port
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Hello
    Older cameras seldom have shutters with slow speeds (I mean speeds between ¼ secs to 1 or 2 secs); however, if the camera is in “B” mode, it might be possible to release the shutter at those low speeds, at least in theory, if we use a modern camera shutter controlling the shutter speed of the older camera trough a release cable. It is possible to use a modern shutter (with slower speeds) and connect it to the older camera shutter. Has anyone tried something like this ? Or is there already any specific device that can be connected to older cameras in order to allow them to shoot at slow speeds ?
    Thanks for any information and/or comment
    Bluewind
     
  2. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    9,281
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2002
    Location:
    Bergen, Norw
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    I find it to be no problem at all getting consistent shutter times from 1/4 to about 30 seconds using just a cable release. Anything within 10% of the correct time is going to be better than the specifications for a brand new shutter! Even 30% is acceptably consistent - maybe not if you're shooting Velvia, but how consistent is that reciprocity error correction anyway?
     
  3. glbeas

    glbeas Member

    Messages:
    3,307
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2002
    Location:
    Roswell, Ga.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Ole is right but if anyone wanted to play the mad engineer they could build an electronically controlled solenoid that actuates through a cable release. Make it battery powered and small enough to hang on an LF standard and you might have something worth selling. It shouldn't be much problem to make it time from 1/4 sec to several minutes.
     
  4. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    17,940
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Honolulu, Ha
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Consider that musicians need to be able to do things like press and release a button with a precision on the order of a few thousandths of a second, and you should have no trouble timing 1/4 sec. Use a metronome set to 120 (or 240 if you have an electronic metronome) and subdivide in your head, and you'll probably be more accurate than many mechanically timed shutters.
     
  5. Kevin Roach

    Kevin Roach Member

    Messages:
    140
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2005
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
  6. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

    Messages:
    1,845
    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2005
    Location:
    North Caroli
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Which older cameras? You mean from the 19th century? All of my oldest cameras (pre-War models dating from before 1926 to 1935) have Compur shutters with timed speeds down to 1 second. Anything longer than that, I can easily do with a cable release, and 1/2 isn't hard. Timing 1/4 with a cable release is a little tricky, but if you shoot two, it's very likely one will be within a half stop (after a little practice with a stop watch, that is).

    Trying to get another shutter to control the one that doesn't have the speeds you want seems a major violation of the KISS principle, and likely to cause one to run afoul of the Murphy police (they're the folks who make sure that whatever can go wrong, will, and at the worst possible time).
     
  7. medform-norm

    medform-norm Member

    Messages:
    863
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2004
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    For shutter speeds starting at 2sec, you could use something like the Prontor Zeitauslöser. There's one on eBay right now here - but they tend to be expensive.
     
  8. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

    Messages:
    4,134
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Donald, the original poster is probably thinking of cheap old cameras with cheap shutters. For example, Varo, Lukos. The Compurs you mentioned are, relatively, high end.
     
  9. BlueWind

    BlueWind Subscriber

    Messages:
    56
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2005
    Location:
    Almada, Port
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Hi
    Thanks for your comments. I’m trying to get speeds between ¼ secs and 2 secs, in some Russian TLRs (Komsomolets and Lubitel 2). The Lubitel 2 has speeds above 1/15 and the Komsomolets has speeds above 1/25, and I want something slower. My idea was to take a working shutter from a dead camera and connect it to a cable release (no electronics involved); I’m not looking for a very high degree of precision, but I’m not so experienced (yet) as to be able to keep a shutter open within the range of speeds I mentioned. My options seem to be either a) find/build a device to do it or b) spoil a lot of film while I learn to do it on my own ...
    Thanks again
    Bluewind
     
  10. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,571
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Tonopah Neva
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    If I know I will be using some of my antiques with questionable speed shutters, I stick an FM body in my shirt pocket. I can listen to those speeds several times and get so close with a cable release I've never had a problem yet.
     
  11. juan

    juan Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,745
    Joined:
    May 7, 2003
    Location:
    St. Simons I
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I second David's suggestion of the metronome (we trombone players have to stick together). I use one all the time in the field with my large format rigs. I use an electronic one, set it to 120, and set it so it has two different pitches for each half second. I like that method so much, I use it even with my lenses in shutter for long exposures.
    juan
     
  12. Don M

    Don M Member

    Messages:
    19
    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
    Shooter:
    Plastic Cameras
    I have an old " Heavy Duty Betax no.2 shutter - speeds are 1/25, 1/4,1/2, 1, B+T- that's it

    pretty slow- I'm not sure why there are no faster speeds
     
  13. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

    Messages:
    4,134
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Buy an ex-oscilloscope camera Ilex #3 Universal shutter. These are often offered on eBay. Clean and adjust it. Don't lubricate, they are made to run dry. Hold it in front of your TLR's taking lens. Fire the TLR's shutter on "B" with a locking cable release. Then fire the Ilex. Then close the TLR's shutter.

    I've just looked at my crappy old Lubitel 2, this should be possible but not much fun.

    But on the whole you'd be better off with a better camera that had a fully-speeded shutter.
     
  14. BlueWind

    BlueWind Subscriber

    Messages:
    56
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2005
    Location:
    Almada, Port
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Thanks
    I think your Ilex 3 Universal shutter suggestion may help me. I'll follow that direction.
    Regards
    Bluewind