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  1. #1
    John Bartley's Avatar
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    I think I need a bit of help ....

    ... with this shutter setup.

    On my "new to me" folder I have a pronto shutter. On this shutter there appears to be a relationship between distance and aperture. There are two aperture scales which reference to the shutter speed and another aperture scale where the aperture is physically set. There is also a flash sync connection and a flash holder, but it is not a hot shoe. I have found a hot shoe adaptor and the first two frames I took I set the focus by putting the distance number at the black diamond. It occurs to me that this my not be right and I am unable to find an owners manual on the web (at least not for free - being the cheapskate that I am I'd rather it was free - shame on me ). Would someone be able to give me a quick rundown on the operation and syncing of the shutter / aperture / and also the flash, when flash is used? I have attached a pic of the shutter from the front and will refer to right and left as if we were looking at the picture.

    cheers and thank you
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails DSCF0003.JPG  

  2. #2
    Lee L's Avatar
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    John,

    You set the focusing scale and the shutter speed with reference to the black diamond. Your aperture is set with the tabbed silver sliding lever that's beside and behind the shutter cocking lever in your photo. It's set to about 2/3 of the way from f:8 to f:11 in your photo.

    The opposing aperture engravings you can see on either side of the black diamond are a depth-of-field scale that is used with reference to the focusing scale. If you're shooting at f:8 with the focus set as in the photo, you'll be in focus from a bit over 6 feet to a bit past 8 feet.

    Note that the numbers 9 and 30 are red on the distance scale: these are recommended settings for short distance group portraits at 9 feet, and for a hyperfocal distance of 30 feet for scenics, and are probably set to correspond with that little red hash mark that's barely visible about 2/3 of the way from f:8 to F:11 on the aperture setting ring, right where your aperture is set.

    Lee

  3. #3
    MattKing's Avatar
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    John:

    Here's my guess, based only on the photograph posted:

    1) On the front ring there is a distance scale - you set the distance against the diamond - in the picture it is set to somewhere between 6 and 8 (feet?);
    2) on the ring behind, on either side of the diamond, is a depth of field guide;
    3) on the ring behind that there is a shutter speed dial - you set the chosen speed against the diamond - in the picture it is set to B(ulb); and
    4) you cannot see the aperture scale in the picture (is it below the lens?).

    Does this help?

    Matt

  4. #4
    Lee L's Avatar
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    Oops! forgot the flash question. X is for electronic and M is for old-fashioned flash bulbs. Flash bulbs require a slight delay in the shutter firing so that they are at peak output when the shutter opens. You should be able to sync your electronic flash at any speed using the X setting. Since this is a leaf shutter, there are never any shutter curtains blocking part of the film.

    Lee

  5. #5
    John Bartley's Avatar
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    Thank you very much Matt and Lee !! The answers are a huge help and confirm not only what I had just been guessing at previously, but add a lot. The one thing left to figure out is the flash sync. I have found websites which explain the "x" and "a" on Pronto shutters (although not as well as Lee's explanation), but mine appears to not have these markings. There is the little red dot just below f11 and there are the red 9' and red 30' markings, but the only other special marking is an "A" at the very bottom of the aperture scale way down below the f4.5 setting. Setting the aperture at the "A" garantees a very narrow depth of field, but maybe that's what's needed for flash work?
    Matt, you are correct that I had shutter speed set at "B" and I figured that might be a good place to set the shutter to get maximum flash so that this Tech Pan film would have enough exposure, but that was just another guess. I think maybe a trip to the local library for a book on basic photography is in order .

    thank you again guys - it's appreciated!

  6. #6
    Lee L's Avatar
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    John,

    Your shutter speed will have no effect on the flash exposure. The duration of an electronic flash will be faster than the 1/200th of a second fastest shutter speed. So there's no need to use B for "maximum flash" unless you're holding the shutter open and popping the flash several times. You'll need to learn the use of your automatic flash either on automatic or manual, and that will differ a little among units.

    You can either set an automatic electronic flash to a particular automatic setting and use the appropriate aperture to get the correct exposure, or you can set the flash on manual output and set the aperture from a scale on the flash showing the correct aperture for the distance from the flash to the subject.

    Automatic flashes often have several auto-output levels to allow you some choice of aperture, then the flash duration is controlled to be correct for the amount of light bouncing back off the subject for the given aperture and film speed.

    Lee

  7. #7
    Donald Qualls's Avatar
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    I suspect the "A" at the wide-open end of the aperture scale stands for "abert" -- German for "open", if I'm remembering my dozen words of German correctly. I have a 1950-ish Pronto with that marking, and no X-M selector. I think it was there just to be sure the aperture scale was attached the right way around...

    If you have an X-M switch, it'll be located either at the bottom of the shutter (though there might be a self-timer there instead, as on the Pronto I mentioned above) or kind of behind the shutter release. Depending on the age of the shutter, there might not be a switch; X synch originated with the advent of electronic flash after WWII, but not all synched shutters had it until well into the 50s. Consumers weren't expected to have xenon flash yet, so consumer cameras often didn't include the (very slightly) more expensive dual-synch shutters, and many switched directly to X-only when they did change (most of those will have a mark on the shutter speed dial indicating the fastest speed for M bulbs, to ensure the shutter was open long enough for the bulb's 20 ms ignition and 25 ms burn to elapse -- usually 1/30).

    The red dot below f/11 indicates the "hyperfocal" aperture -- set the aperture there, and focus scale to the corresponding red mark, and you'll have "acceptable" focus from infinity down to half the focus setting, with an aperture that's likely to be comfortable over the whole range of shutter speeds with ISO 100 film. It's the "speed" setting, along the lines of "f/8 and be there."
    Photography has always fascinated me -- as a child, simply for the magic of capturing an image onto glossy paper with a little box, but as an adult because of the unique juxtaposition of science and art -- the physics of optics, the mechanics of the camera, the chemistry of film and developer, alongside the art in seeing, composing, exposing, processing and printing.

  8. #8
    John Bartley's Avatar
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    Thank you Donald. The shutter that you describe is exactly what I have. I also have the self timer. I am playing with it now and should have a better idea after this roll and with all the help I've rec'd from you folks.

    cheers eh?

  9. #9
    Donald Qualls's Avatar
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    Oh, BTW, John -- you can pretty easily test if the synch has been modififed to X; just plug in a xenon flash, set aperture wide open and shutter on fastest speed, tension the shutter, open the camera back and look through the lens at a wall where the flash is also pointed, then fire the shutter. If you see the electronic flash through the lens and the lens at maximum diameter, you have X synch. Otherwise you have M synch (no light at all, flash over with before shutter opens) or a bastard hybrid (partial aperture, shutter not all the way open) likely resulting from a botched conversion. If you have X or "late M", you can still use bulbs with a slow enough shutter; if M, you're stuck with bulbs unless you want to modify the shutter or pay someone like Carol Flutot to do it for you.
    Photography has always fascinated me -- as a child, simply for the magic of capturing an image onto glossy paper with a little box, but as an adult because of the unique juxtaposition of science and art -- the physics of optics, the mechanics of the camera, the chemistry of film and developer, alongside the art in seeing, composing, exposing, processing and printing.



 

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