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  1. #1

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    calumet shutter tester

    years ago i got a calumet shutter tester
    i originally got it to test the speeds on my graflex slr ...
    i eventually abandoned the task
    and brought it to someone i know who has a shop
    and we figured out all the speeds using his professional set up ...

    this morning i tested some of the speeds on the slr with the calumet tester
    it seemed to work OK ...

    does anyone else have one of these gizmos ?
    are they reliable ?

  2. #2
    Peltigera's Avatar
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    If you are not a professional repairer why would you want a shutter tester? Running a film through the camera will tell you if the shutter is ok or not - if you can't tell by looking at the film any defects won't matter. If the film says the shutter is not working ok you need to decide if the cost of a CLA is justified (with most of my cameras a CLA is more than the cameras are worth).

  3. #3
    Ken Nadvornick's Avatar
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    I am not a professional repairer and I have and use one. It gives me objective data, instead of subjective guesses. It can not only tell me that something is off, it can also answer the question of how far. Knowing that, I can adjust accordingly, often without the need for—or cost of—a professional repairer.

    John, I have one, and on those occassions when I've had shutters tested professionally (usually after a check-up or repair) I've retested them with my humble little Calumet instrument and it was usually pretty darned close. For my purposes I trust mine.

    Ken
    "They are the proof that something was there and no longer is. Like a stain. And the stillness of them is boggling. You can turn away but when you come back they’ll still be there looking at you."

    — Diane Arbus, March 15, 1971, in response to a request for a brief statement about photographs

  4. #4

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    hi Peltigera

    i used the tester because i have and use a graflex slr ( 4x5 ) camera
    and over the years i have re-timed my shutter. i know from how slow
    the curtain falls about what speed it is ... i have shot mostly b/w film
    and some chrome and c41 film. when i was shooting chrome film it cost a fortune to
    process and purchase so i don't want to waste my time ( that is why i had my repair-friend verify my speeds with me )
    now ... i am thinking of shooting silver gelatin ambrotypes with this camera since i have a dry plate bag-mag
    that has been sleeping on my shelf for around 15 years ... and expose seems to be rather critical with this process
    so i verified my speeds again this morning ... if it was plain old dry plates or paper or film, i wouldn't worry about my speeds ..

    thanks !
    john

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peltigera View Post
    If you are not a professional repairer why would you want a shutter tester? Running a film through the camera will tell you if the shutter is ok or not - if you can't tell by looking at the film any defects won't matter. If the film says the shutter is not working ok you need to decide if the cost of a CLA is justified (with most of my cameras a CLA is more than the cameras are worth).
    I'm not a professional, and I have and use one of these. Running film through the camera will not tell you what a shutter tester will tell you. Since I perform my own CLAs, a shutter tester is indispensable. So too (indispensable) is the ability to test a shutter without wasting film, which in the case of 8x10 transparency gets expensive rather quickly - $27 per sheet in the case of Fuji Velvia.
    Last edited by E. von Hoegh; 04-09-2013 at 11:38 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  6. #6

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    I am in favor of using a shutter tester even if one can not make the adjustment him/herself. Testing with film won't tell you how well your shutter is working. It could be the processing or the lens or your exposure meter.

  7. #7
    Peltigera's Avatar
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    So now I know! OK, I wasn't thinking about the cost - with 35mm, that is negligible but I understand that with larger formats it will get expensive.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peltigera View Post
    So now I know! OK, I wasn't thinking about the cost - with 35mm, that is negligible but I understand that with larger formats it will get expensive.
    There's more to it than cost. A tester will tell you how much in error, whether it's consistent, will allow you to test any shutter at any time without wasting film, and without waiting for processing. You can test a shutter in the field or studio too. It's the difference between working carefully and methodically, or proceeding by guess and by gosh.
    Personally, I can't afford to waste film be it color, B&W, 35mm, 8x10, etc. Goes against my grain.

  9. #9
    Pioneer's Avatar
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    Given adequate time any photographer on any forum can provide sufficient justification to purchase and use just about any gadget currently in, or out of, production.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pioneer View Post
    Given adequate time any photographer on any forum can provide sufficient justification to purchase and use just about any gadget currently in, or out of, production.
    Yes indeed. I purchased mine back around 1986 or so. Fifty bucks well spent.

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