What a monster!

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by bobfowler, Oct 28, 2005.

  1. bobfowler

    bobfowler Subscriber

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    OK, I'll admit it, I couldn't control myself...

    A couple of weeks ago, an ebay seller in the Ukraine offered a shutter for an FKD 13x18CM camera at a "buy it now" price of $45.00. At that price, it's kinda hard to say no to a BIG 6 blade shutter. I also bought an Industar-37 lens (300mm f/4.5) with the proper mounting flange to fit said shutter for an additional $15.00 from the same seller.

    It all arrived today. The lens is a friggin monster, and the shutter is HUGE! To top it all off, the glass is in better shape than advertised and the shutter actually seems to work quite well.

    Has anyone else used one of these things? (see attached pix)
     

    Attached Files:

  2. laz

    laz Member

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    I haven't but now I have a serious case of shutter envy! :smile:
     
  3. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    See, size does matter. :smile:

    Bob, we need a dollar bill or something in the picture to give us a frame of reference for the size of the thing.
     
  4. Nathan Smith

    Nathan Smith Member

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    Bob, I'm dying to see some test shots from this rig! What a rockin' shutter! Shipping didn't take too long either, considering the distance.
    Nathan
     
  5. bobfowler

    bobfowler Subscriber

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    The shutter housing is 6" square, is a bit over an inch thick, and has a clear aperture area of a tad over 2 3/4".

    Being male, I could help myself and I opened it up for a quick look-see. The body is the most crudely machined thing I have EVER seen in the photo world. This is the first time I have ever started a shutter disassembly using a #2 Phillips screwdriver! Yes, a #1 would have been too small...

    The interior was (still is, I haven't done a cleaning yet) very dirty. I'm rather shocked that the simple escapement retard even functioned as there was so much crud inside. Usually, when a shutter is dirty the slow speeds stick. The design of this mechanism is such that the escapement doesn't set and the slow speeds would be fast due to crud.

    Another strange thing is the cable release socket. A standard cable will thread in and release, but the B and T functions fire instead at 1/30th with the cable. I'm sure it's a matter of tweaking the mechanism inside a bit.

    There is no flash sync, but this is one shutter where adding sync shouldn't be a big issue as there's plenty of available space inside. I guess there IS an advantage to using a big square box instead of a nice compact round case.

    The S.K. Grimes website says of Ilex shutters, "The $2.00 windup alarm clock of which the Ilexes are reminiscent is only that cheap because millions of them were made. The tooling and technology to make a reliable cheap mechanism is very sophisticated." This thing makes an Ilex look like a fine Swiss watch. Still, it seems to work well enough and should be even better once I get it cleaned up.

    The mission board for tomorrow has me making a 9" lensboard to mount this on so I can use it, with the Industar-37, on my Century 4a. It's far too heavy a combination to mount on the front of my 5X7 Eastman #2.

    When I do the cleaning, I'll shoot a bunch of pictures of this things innards and post 'em on a web page for ya'll to take a gander at...
     
  6. eumenius

    eumenius Member

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    Hey Bob,

    take my congratulations - I know this kind of shutters much too well, that's my Soviet youth itself :smile: They really work, but as you have noticed they require some twinking inside of the mechanism. Check if all return springs are in place, that there's no too much play of levers on the axes, and bend the speed-setting lever freely to get some effect :smile: I remember that I had to insert a piece of aluminium tube as a bearing in front panel, just to keep the release switch in place. Do you notice a hole in upper part of your shutter? It's for synchro cord, a small micro switch can be installed inside to operate with strobes. Yes, it was a small separate plastic switch with a long arm - there's a space to fit it.

    This shutter was considered a luxury one, as it came not with the camera, but with a "studio set" of hot lights - manufactured with the same precision, though :smile: But in USSR even this was considered great. I worked maybe the whole year as a document photographer (before University, in 1986) shooting people on FKD with this shutter. I had the special "multiplicator" back with a small window, allowing to move the film holder, so I was getting about 16 3*4 pictures on 13x18 sheet. Then I contact-printed them individually from this "mass grave", as we named it :smile: That's how the document photography was done in greatest Empire of Evil, USSR. Yes, we loaded glass plates in FKD holders, and sticked sheet film there with a double-sided tape.

    Congratulations again, and have fun with your shutter - Zhenya
     
  7. eumenius

    eumenius Member

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    Aha, I forgot one thing - you can adjust the speeds only by gently bending a setting lever inside, and the adjustment screw on the back of shutter is to adjust the space between the retarded pallet and the profiled ring :smile:
     
  8. bobfowler

    bobfowler Subscriber

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    Zhenya, thanks for the additional information. I saw the adjustment screw on the back, but hadn't yet figured out what it was for.

    I got lucky when I bought the I-37 lens as it came with the mounting flange for this shutter. I'm probably going to get an I-51 as well as the shutter had the flange for that lens and 210mm is a handy focal length for 5X7 film.

    I had to attach the cable release socket to the case as it was falling into the mechanism and jamming the works. No big deal, just a little super glue and it's not going anywhere.

    Thanks again for the info!
     
  9. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Bob, I know its another step away from the direction you think you should go, but think hard about getting an I-51. A 210/9 Konica Hexanon GRII shouldn't cost a lot more and, based on the two 210 GRIIs I've had (still have one) and my I-51, the GRII is a much, much better lens than the I-51.

    Cheers,

    Dan
     
  10. bobfowler

    bobfowler Subscriber

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    I already have a 210mm Sironar-N MC, a 215mm Series-S Ilex Calumet, and a 8 1/2" Ross Homocentric. The I-51 would be more to just add to the collection than as a "real" user. Besides, the sharper or contrastier lens isn't always the best choice! :smile: (especially when shooting people)
     
  11. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Oh dear! Another person afflected with Tjugen's Syndrome.

    You have my sympathy,

    Dan
     
  12. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I have lots of things, but not one of those shutters!

    My latest "accidental aquisition" is a Voigtländer WZ...
     
  13. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Pardon my ignorance and laziness (didn't try searching), but what is a WZ?

    Cheers,

    Dan
     
  14. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Good question...

    It's apparently an abbreviation for "Weichzeichner" meaning "soft". It's a simple "periskop" type lens - two simple meniscus leneses symmetrically placed around the stop. The aperture is marked in millimeters, not f-stops. It may have been made as an enlarger lens, although it's hard to understand why anyone would want a soft enlarger lens?
    Anyway I'm going to try doing portraits with it...