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  1. #11

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    The other advantage to a leaf shutter is that it is usually a seperate unit from the camera and in the case of LF lenses seperate from the lens itself. This allows it to be used with a variety of lenses and camera bodies. The focal plane shutter is part of the camera body. When the shutter craps out, the body is junk unless the shutter can be repaired.

    Does anyone know what is the typical number of cycles for a leaf shutter such as a copal? If I remember correctly Nikon F-5s had an advertised cycle life of 100,000. That may be high. Anyone know off hand how many times does a typical focal plane shutter cycle before failure? (cycle meaning an opening and closing of the shutter)
    "Fundamentally I think we need to rediscover a non-ironic world"
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  2. #12
    rbarker's Avatar
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    Leaf X-sync

    As a follow-on to Konical's point about leaf shutters doing X sync at all speeds, the advantage may not be immediately obvious. The benefit comes through when trying to balance fill flash with daylight, where the shutter speed is used to control the ambient contribution to the total exposure. Some MF focal plane shutters, for example, sync at 1/60, which is very limiting.
    [COLOR=SlateGray]"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." -Mark Twain[/COLOR]

    Ralph Barker
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  3. #13
    Dean Williams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Chinn
    Does anyone know what is the typical number of cycles for a leaf shutter such as a copal? If I remember correctly Nikon F-5s had an advertised cycle life of 100,000. That may be high.
    I would think that 100,000 cycles would actually be low for a high end 35mm SLR. Years ago I had an FT3 and remember the average shutter life as being 80,000, and this was Nikon's low end camera at the time. Somewhere, maybe here on APUG is a post about a guy running his D70 through 119,000 cycles (in three months!) before it gave out. It is based on the N80, definitely a middle of the road model.
    [COLOR=Sienna][FONT=Arial]Some days are diamonds. Some days a tree crashes through your roof.[/FONT][/COLOR]

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Max Power
    Why bother with leaf shutters then? Is it because 75 years ago, they were the only way to go?
    There were plenty of focal plane shutters 75 years ago. Another plus with leaf shutters is that they produce less shock than FP, so they can be easier to hand hold at slow speeds and can even produce slightly sharper results on a light tripod.

    David.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woolliscroft
    There were plenty of focal plane shutters 75 years ago. Another plus with leaf shutters is that they produce less shock than FP, so they can be easier to hand hold at slow speeds and can even produce slightly sharper results on a light tripod.

    David.
    I have seen this disputed many times over the Internet for some time. It is very true. After early years of b&w work I succumbed to color print w/lab processing while raising a family and traveling professionally. In circa 1980, I went through a bit of crisis in my photography. It just wasn’t up to my pre-collegiate and premarital 35mm transparency work.

    Careful examination and comparison of the products of the two periods revealed that the later negative images were just not as clear as the previous. The early work was accomplished with a Zeiss leaf shutter camera and the latter with a Zeiss focal plane SLR. I began to wonder? Did all that baking and shaking going on in the SLR affect the image?

    To test this theory, I set up a tripod to make a photograph of a local church using good ol’ Kodak Kodachrom 64 (I recollect). The cameras were identically set and tripped with a cable release. The results confirmed: leaf shutters make clearer pictures even when mirror-lockup is employed. The slides are still here somewhere but I really don’t want the trouble of digging through a couple of thousand to find them – no filing system then (and not much now).

    I got better and now do only b&w (again) and little 35mm work.
    I love the smell of fixer in the morning. It smells like...creativity!
    Truly, dr bob.

  6. #16
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    Ed wrote:
    'There is a specific time when the second curtain starts its movement only when the first curtain has uncovered the entire frame ... that is called the "mechanical" shutter speed...'

    Well, I've learned something there. I've never heard that term used for that meaning. Is it common? Not knowing the correct terminology I'd just have called it the 'synch speed', and I'd have used 'mechanical speed' for a speed that doesn't need a battery. They may, of course, be designed to be the same speed.

    Best,
    Helen

  7. #17
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    I think that being pedantic "Sync speed" is a more accurate term than "mechanical speed", after all most if not all of the earlier focal plane shutters were fully mechanical. I would go for "maximum synch speed", as you can of course synchronise at lower speeds.

    Just MHO

    I guess it's worth mentioning that some modern flash/camera pairings give sync at all speeds with focal plane shutters using something called FP mode. I guess this works by strobing the flash, but I've no real tech info on it.

    Martin

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by wiseowl
    I guess it's worth mentioning that some modern flash/camera pairings give sync at all speeds with focal plane shutters using something called FP mode. I guess this works by strobing the flash, but I've no real tech info on it.

    Martin
    And if we go back to the days of flashbulbs, there were special FP bulbs which gave a longer peak output to enavle synch with FP shutters. My old Exakta has X, M and FP synch...

  9. #19
    rbarker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wiseowl
    I guess it's worth mentioning that some modern flash/camera pairings give sync at all speeds with focal plane shutters using something called FP mode. I guess this works by strobing the flash, but I've no real tech info on it.
    Yes. Metz has a flash that syncs to 1/1000 for the Leica M7, and strobing is how they do it. (Earlier Leica Ms have a sync speed of 1/50, which is terribly limiting.) They call it "high speed syncronization".
    [COLOR=SlateGray]"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." -Mark Twain[/COLOR]

    Ralph Barker
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  10. #20
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rbarker
    Yes. Metz has a flash that syncs to 1/1000 for the Leica M7, and strobing is how they do it. (Earlier Leica Ms have a sync speed of 1/50, which is terribly limiting.) They call it "high speed syncronization".
    Olympus was, as far as I know, the first to introduce a "long duration" electronic flash. It fires a burst of individual flashes for a period of 1/60th of a second - the time it takes for both curtains to move across the film frame. In the OM-4T, that would work at a shutter "slit-speed" of 1/2000th second. Unfortunately all that "stobing" takes a lot of power, so the guide number of each individual burst is really low.

    The "Synchronization" speed, where the film is totally open to the image, is also the speed where the shutter defaults when the batteries fail or are removed ... without electricity it is "mechanical" ... in the case of my Olympus OM-4, 1/60th second.
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

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