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View Full Version : CALUMET solid state shutter tester...... HELP!



Bogdan Karasek
15-Dec-2015, 11:01
I have had the Calumet solid state shutter tester now for several years. Periodically, I take it out... put in a new battery and then try to understand the manual that comes with it. After about an hour, my level of frustration reaches the point where I just put it back into the drawer. Does anybody have simpler and readable instructions for using it. Basically, I want to test the speeds on my LF leaf shutters. Any help would be appreciated.

480sparky
15-Dec-2015, 11:03
Basically, you need to shine a bright light through the shutter.... enough light to trigger the sensor to start timing.

Randy Moe
15-Dec-2015, 11:14
Can't help with that, but I do like the iOS App the German youth sells. His story is here somewhere.

Jim Noel
15-Dec-2015, 12:09
Use is very simple.
1. Be sue the tester is turned off.
2. set up a bright light in a convenient place so the shutter in question can be placed close to it.
3. cock the shutter and place the rear of it, or the lens, on the sensor.
4. turn the tester on by pushing the button.
5. fire the shutter.
6. read the number on the screen and interpret it by referring to the scale printed on the front.

I place the tester on a desk with the sensor facing up and place the shutter on top. The light source is a halogen desk lamp with the bulb about 6-10" above the tester.

Bogdan Karasek
15-Dec-2015, 13:42
hello and thanks for the input. Unfortunately, I only get a reading someimes.... I turn it on and point it at a light, and I can't get a consecutive reading ... have to turn it on and off. I have used three different fresh batteries and same behaviour with the tester.

Randy Moe
15-Dec-2015, 13:52
hello and thanks for the input. Unfortunately, I only get a reading someimes.... I turn it on and point it at a light, and I can't get a consecutive reading ... have to turn it on and off. I have used three different fresh batteries and same behaviour with the tester.

It's 50 years old, it may have internal difficulties. Corrosion, a capacitor, resistor can go bad from age. I think some sellers pass on defectives...

Drew Wiley
15-Dec-2015, 14:33
Here's how I use mine with leaf shutters: I set it down on a table with the lens centered and level over the sensor, then center a halogen gooseneck inspection light directly about a foot above that; it's a strong point light source. A similar halogen reading light should do OK. And I test in relation to realistic working apertures. Has been very dependable for me. There is a different technique for curtain shutters. Like other electronic equipment used only periodically, I always
remove the battery for storage. They can corrode.

Jim C.
15-Dec-2015, 15:44
What light source are you using ?

LED light is bad, the numbers are all over the place, so is fluorescent light ( I get spotty readings ).
Regular incandescent or daylight works best.

And if you don't have a manual, fellow forum member Ken Lee has one available -

http://www.kennethleegallery.com/html/shuttertester/manual.php

Jim Noel
15-Dec-2015, 15:51
hello and thanks for the input. Unfortunately, I only get a reading someimes.... I turn it on and point it at a light, and I can't get a consecutive reading ... have to turn it on and off. I have used three different fresh batteries and same behaviour with the tester.

It must be turned off following each reading and then back on for the next. There is no way to get "continuous" reading.

Kevin Crisp
15-Dec-2015, 16:23
Mine gives reading after reading and runs continuously with the bright light on it. You don't have to turn it off until you're done. A tensor high intensity lamp shining straight down on the lens works great.

Bogdan Karasek
15-Dec-2015, 22:52
It must be turned off following each reading and then back on for the next. There is no way to get "continuous" reading.

Sorry, What I meant by continuous, was that I could take one reading after another (continuous). And then after several reading, no more numbers.. I would turn it on and off. Nothing.

Bogdan Karasek
16-Dec-2015, 05:35
Thanks all for your input, very helpful. I have a feeling that the problem is the innards 0f the tester, resistors. capacitators ,and what have you that has gone wonky.

I would get several on/off consecutive readings and then nothing, on/off 5-6x and nothing. Then I would hold the tester right up against the 150w enlarger bulb and the readout would start and I could get and several readings on the shutter before the cycle repeats... Makes for very tedious shutter testing.... Methinks that it may be whatever it is that captures the light. Anyway, a friend who is very competent in electronics has offered to look at the patient's innards.

The shutter that I was testing had been tested yesterday by my friend above, so I had a point of comparison as to whether the tester gave the right readings..... With the results I did manage to get, from 1s> 1/200, they correlated very closely, 1/3f variation in one case. Then the tester stops working, as I pointed out above, with the ensuing cycles......

Regards, Bogdan

Luis-F-S
16-Dec-2015, 11:04
Mine gives reading after reading and runs continuously with the bright light on it. You don't have to turn it off until you're done. A tensor high intensity lamp shining straight down on the lens works great.

+1 that's how mine works. If you don't get a reading you do usually need the light is not writing enough . I use an LED bulb without any issues. L

Kevin Crisp
16-Dec-2015, 11:07
I'd also vote for a bad capacitor in the circuit.

Drew Wiley
16-Dec-2015, 12:48
Ditto

Bogdan Karasek
16-Dec-2015, 18:40
A friend who is savvy in these kind of things is going to have a look at it, He thinks either a bad capacitor, or bad cold weld. I'll know in a few days and will report back.

Alan Gales
19-Dec-2015, 11:16
It's 50 years old, it may have internal difficulties. Corrosion, a capacitor, resistor can go bad from age. I think some sellers pass on defectives...

I've got three of them so I can cross check with all three to make sure of accuracy.

I bought one on Ebay that arrived DOA. I contacted the Seller and they refunded my money no problem. The way they acted I'm sure they knew it didn't work when they listed it.

There are always some people.

Bogdan Karasek
27-Dec-2015, 09:25
It must be turned off following each reading and then back on for the next. There is no way to get "continuous" reading.

I finally had the Calumet shutter tester cleaned by a friend and it is working fine. To do a reset, you don't have to turn it off completely, just press the button enough to get a reset,so this way you don't have to turn on and off.

I tested my leaf shutters. Now I want to test my focalplane shutters, Leica, Nikon, Exakta, Bessa, and several Speed Graphics. The manual is not very clear on this. Any input from somebody who has done it would be very welcome.

Dan Fromm
27-Dec-2015, 11:05
What on page 2 of the instructions is hard to understand?

dom
28-Dec-2015, 13:40
Mine has this on the back.

Bogdan Karasek
28-Dec-2015, 15:09
hello,

It doesn't specify as to whether you should read off the ground glass, or remove the ground glass and, under a dark cloth, take a reading as the slit goes by.. I have 7 Speeds in various formats I want to test.



What on page 2 of the instructions is hard to understand?

Dan Fromm
28-Dec-2015, 15:36
Remove the ground glass. Make sure that the light source and probe are centered in the gate.