Self-timer levers on classic cameras

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by darinwc, May 12, 2009.

  1. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

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    What do you think about the self-timer levers on many classic cameras?
    (the ones that are just to the side of the lens mount and point upwards)

    Personally, I cant stand them. They are in the exact wrong spot. On smaller cameras especially, they are exactly where I want to put my fingers to grip the camera.
     
  2. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    I guess I never gave it much thought.
    Now I gotta go fondle all of my 35mm bodies and figure this out....darn! :smile:
     
  3. flash26c

    flash26c Member

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    From what I remember from lots of reading, you should avoid using the self timers on the old shutters, it leads to trouble. I have bought a couple Compur shutters that were locked up from someone trying to use the timer.
     
  4. Mike Kennedy

    Mike Kennedy Member

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    I think the worst example of lever placement (in this case a cocking lever) is on the Brick.Who thought up that?
     
  5. Rol_Lei Nut

    Rol_Lei Nut Member

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    In my experience, that was a Nikon thing (at least some models).

    Others (see very brief list below + Pentax, Russians, and many others) either had the self-timer placed outside the holding area or had it placed in another position eintirely.

    Not that with the Nikons it was a major problem (some doubled as AE-lock) - This just to avoid snide comments from some C* fans...
     
  6. dracblau

    dracblau Member

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    The Canon F1 has the self-timer/mirror lock in the grip area too, which is an annoyance.

    I have to agree about the cocking lever on the brick...that camera was not an ergonomic design in any way, shape, or form.
     
  7. eddym

    eddym Member

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    Never noticed a problem with it myself.
     
  8. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Ditto.

    Are we talking about an Operator Assisted Failure here?

    Steve
     
  9. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    Great weapon, though!:tongue:
     
  10. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Leica had the self timer lever there on the lllf. Don't remember Contax.
     
  11. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    It has never bothered me on any of my cameras. Canon F-1/FTb and Nikon F are what I have. I have used it quite a bit on the F-1 in lieu of a cable release, along with mirror lockup. In fact, I find its location and design on the Canons to be very smart. Certainly ten times better than the Nikon F, which will cannot lock in manual aperture/DOF mode, and which has a mirror lockup that confused me to this day. (I just don't use it.) Normally I don't like combined multi-function controls, but in this case it is well designed and easy to use all the functions either together or separately. It is not anywhere near the "grip area" for me, as the one fellow above stated. I have to reach in quite a ways to hit the D of F preview.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 12, 2009
  12. Wade D

    Wade D Member

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    Exakta had an interesting design for the self timer. The VX had 2 shutter speed dials. One for fast speeds and one for slow speeds. The self timer is on the slow dial marked in red and could be used for exposures up to 6 seconds. Totally mechanical and a bit archaic but I still use 3 of them. Very solid engineering from the early 50's.
     
  13. budrichard

    budrichard Member

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    I used the self timer along with mirror lock on the Nikon F quite a bit especially with fisheye lenses and for night exposures. Worked very well and the location never ever gave me a problem or concern. I used the feature on the Leica M3 much less often but I do miss it on the M6 and M7!-Dick
     
  14. nicefor88

    nicefor88 Member

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    I agree with you that, especially in some Nikon models, that lever was not at the best place. Nikon corrected this on the F3 when the lever was placed at the base of the shutter speed dial. But, that wasn't good enough (to me) because that tiny lever is extremely hard to operate for normal-sized fingers. The Nikon engineers must have small hands... :D
     
  15. firecracker

    firecracker Member

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    I shoot with Nikon FM, Leica M3, and Canon New F-1 most of the time, and the self-timer lever position has never been an issue for me.

    Meanwhile, the reason I don't really feel comfortable using SLR type AF cameras whether film or digital, is that they have way too many bottons and whatever on their bodies...
     
  16. IloveTLRs

    IloveTLRs Member

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    Self-timers only really bother me when they don't work. In my experience many Japanese TLRs have non-functioning ones.
     
  17. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    The self timer on my F-1 and FTb was never a concern for me. It might be a problem but I never used it much.

    Jeff
     
  18. DannL

    DannL Member

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    Last edited by a moderator: May 14, 2009
  19. kram

    kram Member

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    I have never had any problem... apart from my Nikon FM2n; so much so that I took it off and fabricated a smaller one which my fingers did not touch. Strange had no problems with a Nikon F or F2 which I have brought since them.
     
  20. mudman

    mudman Member

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    funny, I like where they're located, wish modern cameras had a button for it there.
     
  21. Ralph Javins

    Ralph Javins Member

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    Good morning, Mike;

    Yes, there is indeed the probability that you will "alter" the selected shutter speed timing on the Argus C3 (the "Brick") by having one of your fingers in the way when the cocking lever rotates back to its "uncocked" position. I have done this with my venerable samples here.

    Regarding the use of the self-timer lever on many older Compur and Seikosha shutters, my local friendly camera tech also recommends not using it or the "V" position on those older shutters.
     
  22. archphoto

    archphoto Member

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    There was a good reason to locate them where the are now: it is about the only place for it in many camera's !
    Handy ? At times maybe not, but I never could be bathered about them, cause I never used them.
    And that not-use caused the oil in them to thicken so tehy stoped working after years.......

    If a body part does not get any use it dies, the law of nature......

    Peter