Switch to English Language Passer en langue française Omschakelen naar Nederlandse Taal Wechseln Sie zu deutschen Sprache Passa alla lingua italiana
Members: 70,557   Posts: 1,545,145   Online: 1004
      
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 22
  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Southeastern U.S.
    Shooter
    35mm
    Posts
    550

    Cloth Shutter vs. Metal Shutter

    When discussing 35mm shutters, a long-time camera repairman once told me that any metal shutter is superior to a cloth shutter. This would seem quite reasonable, but what about those cameras with "lesser," i.e. cloth, shutters? I once owned a Canon A-1, and I currently own a Minolta XG-M, both which feature a cloth shutter design. Especially since 35mm prices are so reasonable, are the bodies with cloth shutters worth owning? I welcome your input.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Southern USA
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    3,841
    A cloth shutter as is present in many cameras is very easy to repair. Can't say the same for metal ones which may expalin why a repairman likes them. He can charge more. One can buy shutter curtains for older model Leicas and copies. Anyone with a modest amount of dexterity can relace one. From my own experience I would say that either cloth or metal have about the same reliability.
    Last edited by Gerald C Koch; 02-20-2011 at 04:07 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  3. #3
    lxdude's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Redlands, So. Calif.
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    6,654
    Assuming the same type of shutter, i.e., focal plane. Metal shutters have some advantages and cloth have some advantages. Metal won't burn through if the lens is left pointed at the sun at infinity in a rangefinder camera, or in an SLR with the mirror locked up. Titanium has long been regarded as more durable, that is, can go more cycles, though I don't know why that is the case, if so. It could simply be that the titanium shutter is a part of the more durable mechanisms in pro level cameras. Metal is necessary to form the blades in vertical shutters, as they work differently from horizontal shutters.

    Cloth has a couple of advantages. If you accidentally poke a metal shutter while changing film, damage is very likely; less so with a cloth shutter. If the cloth shutter is harmed, repair is likely simpler, consisting of putting parts "back on track", where with metal it means replacement. Getting new replacement metal curtains or blades for older shutters may be impossible, so scrounging used shutters becomes the method of repair. New cloth is easy to acquire.

    Finally, I find that cloth shutters tend to be significantly quieter than metal horizontal shutters, and somewhat quieter than vertical shutters, and when the cloth shutter opens, there is usually very little vibration, useful at slower speeds on a tripod.
    I do use a digital device in my photographic pursuits when necessary.
    When someone rags on me for using film, I use a middle digit, upraised.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Shooter
    35mm
    Posts
    826
    All Leicas - up to M7 that I know of, use cloth shutters. The renowned OM's - 1 through 4, do too. None of these are known to have any more failures then their metal counterparts. Their biggest limitation is the slow sync speed associated with this configuration. The Nikons with metal (titanium/aluminum) had sync speeds to 1/250 as well as 1/4000 shutter speed. However, with 1/8000 shutter speeds and higher in the latest and greatest - Canon 1V, Nikon F6, Minolta 9Xi, all are back to non-metallic - carbon fiber shutters, to attain these speeds. Just like their previous cloth counterparts, these all have a disclaimer when using mirror lockup of not exposing the shutter to the sun too much as, "sun’s heat can scorch and damage the shutter curtains."

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Montgomery, Il/USA
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    5,099
    Gee, Leica rangefinder use the lesser cloth shutters, I don't recall the SLR's though. Canon F1, F1n, F1N, Others. Pentax K series, 1000,M,X and MX
    Metal vertical travel= higher sync speed & fast speed.

    Oh, oh, What about theNikon F & F2 with a horizontal travel metal shutter w/rubberized coating. Wonder how that stacks up?
    I think your repair guy just likes vertical shutters
    Heavily sedated for your protection.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Switzerland
    Shooter
    35mm
    Posts
    376
    Blog Entries
    1
    Images
    28
    I heard from a repair guy that cloth shutters tend to stop working at very low temperatures. He told me that an Everest expedition had packed only the best of the best, but their awfully expensive Leicas didn't work at the top so they only shot pictures with an old russian camera someone brought along. Don't know if this is true, but if it is, it would certainly be worth considering if you live somewhere it can get really cold.

  7. #7
    lxdude's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Redlands, So. Calif.
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    6,654
    Quote Originally Posted by John Koehrer View Post
    Gee, Leica rangefinder use the lesser cloth shutters, I don't recall the SLR's though. Canon F1, F1n, F1N, Others. Pentax K series, 1000,M,X and MX
    Metal vertical travel= higher sync speed & fast speed.
    Well not the Canon F1's! Those have titanium shutters.
    I do use a digital device in my photographic pursuits when necessary.
    When someone rags on me for using film, I use a middle digit, upraised.

  8. #8
    lxdude's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Redlands, So. Calif.
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    6,654
    Quote Originally Posted by Les Sarile View Post
    The Nikons with metal (titanium/aluminum) had sync speeds to 1/250 as well as 1/4000 shutter speed.
    Except the earlier horizontal run ones. The F3 went to 1/80th. It is notable that later titanium horizontal shutters did have somewhat higher sync speeds than cloth shutters, so I assume had faster traverse times. Nikon F2/F3 @ 1/80th, Pentax LX @ 1/75th, Canon F1N @ 1/90th.
    I do use a digital device in my photographic pursuits when necessary.
    When someone rags on me for using film, I use a middle digit, upraised.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Shooter
    35mm
    Posts
    826
    The Nikon F, F2 , F3 and Minolta XK/XM shutters are all titanium.

  10. #10
    Rol_Lei Nut's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Hamburg
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    1,118
    Quote Originally Posted by waltereegho View Post
    I heard from a repair guy that cloth shutters tend to stop working at very low temperatures. He told me that an Everest expedition had packed only the best of the best, but their awfully expensive Leicas didn't work at the top so they only shot pictures with an old russian camera someone brought along. Don't know if this is true, but if it is, it would certainly be worth considering if you live somewhere it can get really cold.
    About Soviet shutters working better in subzero temperatures: they are also horizontal cloth shutters. If the "awfully expensive Leicas" were the R-series, then they had vertical metal shutters (and many are battery-dependant electronic cameras, which could easily explain cold-weather failures better than the shutter configuration).

    Generally, rather than shutter material, I find shutter and mirror damping (if applicable) much more important. Exceptions are of course if one *really* needs the fster speed & sync speeds vertical shutters offer.
    Also true, with rangefinders, one must be aware of the danger of burning cloth shutters with direct sunlight, but that becomes an almost automatic part of the useage process...
    M6, SL, SL2, R5, P6x7, SL3003, SL35-E, F, F2, FM, FE-2, Varex IIa

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast


 

APUG PARTNERS EQUALLY FUNDING OUR COMMUNITY:



Contact Us  |  Support Us!  |  Advertise  |  Site Terms  |  Archive  —   Search  |  Mobile Device Access  |  RSS  |  Facebook  |  Linkedin