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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Southern Norway
    Medium Format

    Learning about shutters

    At the lovely Butkus site there are 2 pdfs on the Prontor 500LK.

    At the first page of the first pdf I read:
    "...which is basically similar to the Vario you have been studying."

    I'd love to read what this refers to, if it exists. Anyone knows if/where I can find it?

    I'm also interested in general advice for learning basics about leaf shutter mecanisms.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    May 2013
    Large Format
    I started out with a Betax, then moved to the Wollensak, then a couple others I can't recall. Then on to the Copal, now on to Compur. Some decent quality tools is called for. That's about it. Just study them as you come to them. And go from there. I'm not going to finish my post by saying it's simple, because it is not. Keep your mind on what you're doing and your eye on the ball and it'll work out. Set high standards for yourself on the destruction you do by the time it's over. This has been my method.

  3. #3
    shutterfinger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Mid Peninsula, Ca.
    4x5 Format
    That manual is from the National Camera Repair School series which was in operation in the 1950's or 1960's.
    I have never seen a complete set of their books anywhere.

    Leaf shutter operation is simple, the mechanics vary from shutter manufacturer to manufacturer and are the complex part. It is best to find a repair manual and follow the instructions if any in the manual.

    Leaf Shutter Operation: A series of 4 to 6 leaves are positioned on a circular ring with a fixed pin and an second pin in a slot. As the ring turns the leaves move from the center to the outer edge. The ring is called a controller. Spring tension is applied to the controller and locked so that when the trip lever is pressed the controller is released and spring tension throws the controller to its open position within .0001 to .0003 second then the main cocking spring tension is applied to the controller which tries to pull it closed. Unobstructed the main tension spring closes the controller in 1/100-1/125 second. A delay gear train is employed in the controller closing so that at its maximum delay the close time is 1 second. Shorter times are achieved by limiting the delay gearing setting via the shutter speed dial. Times faster than 1/100 - 1/125 second employ a booster spring to the closing.

    The gearing, spring layout, setting lever, blade controller, flash sync, all vary from shutter to shutter and are considerably different from one manufacturer to another.

    All shutters work dry of lubrication and best with just a trace of lubrication. Oil or grease beyond a sheen of oil or a trace of grease act like glue. The shutter blades and controller should move freely with the weight of a 1/4 inch long down feather applied to the controller.

    The aperture plate and controller are at the bottom of the shutter case with the shutter blade controller and shutter blades above them followed by the main gear plate. The shutter blades and their controller may be on either side of the main (gear) plate and may be attached to or just lay on the plate.

    Shutter and aperture blades must remain dry and free of oil or grease. Extra fine powdered lubricants can be used on the blades.
    Blades are usually thin spring steel with bluing but some shutters such as Ilex use hard rubber blades. Improper cleaning solvents can ruin a shutter. A common solvent, lighter fluid which contains naphtha, will damage rubber and plastic parts used in shutters. Use oil and grease designed for fine mechanical devices such as watches. Use solvent that is safe on rubber and plastic.

    WD 40 and 3 in 1 oil are not good products to use on shutters. TriFlow is the oil I use. I use white lithium grease where grease is called for. I use CRC Quick Dry Electrical Contact Cleaner and Isoprypol Alcohol as cleaning solvents. Use a digital P&S in macro mode and take pictures as you remove each part. Pay close attention to each piece and its position in the shutter as you remove them and on reassembly.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Medium Format
    +1... Nothing else to add... All good advice!
    Anyone can make a Digital print, but only a photographer can make a photograph.



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