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B.S.Kumar
12-Jul-2017, 17:36
================POSTED WITH MODERATOR APPROVAL=========================

So let's say you want to send your shutter for repairs. The cells are fine, and there's no need to send them in. How do you store them until your shutter is returned? And how do you ship the shutter so that it arrives safely, with no damage to the diaphragm or shutter leaves?

Or maybe you have a convertible Symmar lens and want to use only the rear element for the longer focal length.
How do you keep the front cell safe until you finish shooting?

Of course, one can cut pieces of cardboard and stick them on shutters, but that's not an elegant solution. One could do the same for cells, but what to do about cells from lenses like the Grandagon 75mm f/6.8 lens? The glass protrudes from the body, and it is impossible to put anything on the glass without damaging it.

The Lens Protectors and Shutter Protectors are designed to let lens cells or shutters be stored and shipped safely. I got a small batch of Copal 0 sized Protectors made to test demand. Depending on the response, I will get them manufactured in other sizes.

The Protectors are manufactured in Japan out of POM, an engineering plastic similar to Delrin. It is very strong and does not outgas, so there is no danger with long-term storage. The hollow part in the Lens Protector is 10 mm deep, enough for almost any lens cell. The Front Shutter Protector has threads to 3mm, ensuring that it will never touch the diaphragm or shutter leaves. The Rear Shutter Protector can be threaded on even with the retaining ring attached.

Photos of the Lens Protectors:

https://s25.postimg.org/pn38vhwe7/Lens_Protectors_01.jpg

https://s25.postimg.org/rdm9wzdxb/Lens_Protectors_02.jpg

https://s25.postimg.org/94awoxjjz/Lens_Protectors_03.jpg

https://s25.postimg.org/5uwhigvgf/Lens_Protectors_04.jpg

More photos to follow in subsequent posts.

Also at https://goo.gl/photos/reex5PczmehtRgci7

The price for one set of Lens Protectors or Shutter Protectors is 3,600 JPY, plus shipping of your choice. Worldwide e-Packet shipping for upto two sets will cost 700 JPY. EMS shipping for up to 6 sets will cost 1,500 JPY to Asia, 2,100 JPY to North America and 2,300 JPY to Europe.

To discuss purchasing, please send me an email at focusgma at gmail dot com.

Thanks,
Kumar

B.S.Kumar
12-Jul-2017, 17:37
The Shutter Protectors:

https://s25.postimg.org/62opspvsv/Shutter_Protectors_01.jpg

https://s25.postimg.org/yykpepjjz/Shutter_Protectors_02.jpg

https://s25.postimg.org/w229s633z/Shutter_Protectors_03.jpg

https://s25.postimg.org/rl5bfqzi7/Shutter_Protectors_04.jpg

B.S.Kumar
12-Jul-2017, 17:38
Yet more photos of the Shutter Protectors:

https://s25.postimg.org/s6yvpljy7/Shutter_Protectors_05.jpg

https://s25.postimg.org/4xq29ljy7/Shutter_Protectors_06.jpg

https://s25.postimg.org/qljlxs9q7/Shutter_Protectors_07.jpg

AtlantaTerry
12-Jul-2017, 23:08
Kumar, I like the idea and the price per set seems reasonable.

B.S.Kumar
13-Jul-2017, 16:37
Just to clarify:

The price of 3,600 JPY is for a SET OF TWO PROTECTORS - 2 Lens Protectors or 1 Front and 1 Rear Shutter Protector.

You can also MIX & MATCH - one Lens Protector and one Front or Rear Shutter Protector. You can also buy a SINGLE LENS OR SHUTTER PROTECTOR for 2,000 JPY.

Thanks,
Kumar

Two23
13-Jul-2017, 16:43
Nice idea.


Kent in SD

B.S.Kumar
14-Jul-2017, 18:53
It's been three days since I posted this, and instead of the avalanche of orders I expected, I've had exactly two sales, for a total of 2 sets of Lens Protectors and 3 sets of Shutter Protectors.

It's time for a reality check, and I'd like to know whether to proceed further with this idea. I can't create a poll now, so can you just answer 1, 2, 3, etc.? If you'd like to answer privately, please send me an email at focusgma at gmail dot com. I would be very grateful for your insights.

1. This is a solution looking for a problem.
2. Cardboard is good enough.
3. Good idea, but... (Please expand on your idea.)
4. The price is too low. Can't be good enough.
5. The price is outrageously high.
6. The price should be 3,000 JPY (~27 USD) per set, plus shipping.
7. The price should be 3,000 JPY including shipping.
8. The price should be 2,500 JPY (~22 USD) per set, including shipping.
9. I'd prefer to buy single units, rather than a set.
10. Anything else. Please explain as much as you can.

Thanks,
Kumar

AtlantaTerry
15-Jul-2017, 00:23
#6. Because shipping to different parts of the world will (of course) be a variable for you.

I like the idea because I'm going to be removing the front and rear elements from a Copal #3 shutter that I want to use for a DIY soft focus lens. I was worried how to protect those cells.

#10. When might you have some Copal #3 products available?

B.S.Kumar
15-Jul-2017, 00:33
Thank you for responding, Terry.

#6. I have noted your price point. However, larger sizes - Copal #1, #3, #3S, Seiko #1, Shanel, etc, will cost more. The price is TBD, based on the production run.

#10. The drawings are ready. They can be manufactured in 4~6 weeks of placing the order. But that will be only when enough people like the idea, and perhaps commit to a certain number.

Kumar

AtlantaTerry
15-Jul-2017, 00:40
#6 is not that critical. I could live with the original price given.

I have an idea that as the word filters out to large format photographers that interest and orders will increase.

Good luck with this project.

B.S.Kumar
15-Jul-2017, 00:50
Thanks for the faith.

Kumar

Ulophot
15-Jul-2017, 05:44
Yes, give it a bit of time, and consider other avenues to reach LF photographers. For those with multiple cameras, lenses, and lens boards, it may be quite valuable. In my photojournalistic days -- the days of prime lenses and multiple 35mm (film, of course) bodies -- rear lens protection, especially, was essential, and when traveling, a body cap or two joined the lens caps.

B.S.Kumar
15-Jul-2017, 07:31
Thank you.

Kumar

ropel
15-Jul-2017, 07:57
Seems like a viable product to me, and fair at the suggested price point. If more orders come in you can consider lowering pricing somewhat (e.g. #6) .

I'm starting to build my LF gear, so I don't have a direct need at this point, but would surely consider in the future.

Great to see you are venturing new areas/products for LF gear - appreciated!

faberryman
15-Jul-2017, 08:34
I suspect the market is small because most people have lens/shutter combinations, and just use plastic front and rear lens caps. They seem a reasonably priced solution for those who have spare shutters.

David Karp
15-Jul-2017, 10:59
I agree. Most of us have shutters with associated lens cells and don't separate them very often. I have one convertible lens. I found a push on lens cap that fits the back of the front cell, so the idea is not crazy, I just have no idea of the potential size of the market. And my convertible lens is in an Ilex shutter. How many different lens/shutter combinations are out there associated with convertibles? Are there enough of us out there to make a useful market? How do you reach us? Maybe your market is in China. If the same perccentage of LF shooters use convertibles there as in the USA, that might be a large enough market for you.

A LF Forum member made a nice adapter for me out of brass that screws into the front of my Ilex shutter and adapts to 52mm filters. That allowed me to protect the inside of the shutter from debris while out in the field and to easily mount the strong yellow filter often used with convertibles. Perhaps that is something that might be used more often than caps for storage. A stiff and durable plastic adapter would be fine for this purpose.

Another product would be nice stiff push on lens caps. I think Grimes machines them and they are expensive. I think a forum member might have tried those too, so I don't know. Certainly, more people need front and rear lens caps than need to protect cells removed from shutters or lensless shutters. And it all depends on the price. I ended up using front snap caps and grabbing up used Nikon and Fujinon push ons for the rear, along with the occasional Kaiser push in the smaller sizes.

B.S.Kumar
15-Jul-2017, 16:10
Roy - Thank you for the encouragement.

Frank - Agreed. Most people have lens/shutter combinations, and would not need these products, except when they need to send in a shutter for repair, or would like to keep a spare shutter.

David - The Chinese market is huge, certainly. Maybe I should enlist the help of some of my LF customers there. I do have the drawings for Acetal/POM lens caps ready. http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?132043-Acetal-Lens-Caps I got a small batch molded, but the fit and finish was not up to the mark. I'll probably get them machined in Japan.

Thank you all, and please keep the suggestions coming.

Kumar

B.S.Kumar
17-Jul-2017, 01:23
I've had a few inquiries for a full set of protectors for each shutter size. I'm glad to inform that I can sell a full set of 2 Lens Protectors + 2 Shutter Protectors (front & rear) in Copal #0 size for 6,000 JPY plus shipping.

Kumar

B.S.Kumar
3-Aug-2017, 17:55
UPDATE:

Thanks to all of you who bought the #0 Protectors and / or inquired about other sizes. I met the manufacturer yesterday and have a quote for other sizes of Lens and Shutter Protectors. These will all be machined to the same high standards as the #0 size.

There are a couple of design changes, however. There was some confusion caused due to the design similarity between the Rear Shutter Protector and the Lens Protector. Accordingly, all new Shutter Protectors will have male threads, like the Front Shutter Protector. The knurled knobs will be made smaller to reduce weight. The step marked will be eliminated to ensure that the protector can be threaded in fully.

https://s25.postimg.org/xyi3az41r/New_Lens_Shutter_Protectors.jpg

A number of you also asked whether the Protectors could be sold individually, rather than only as a set. Yes, they can be purchased individually.
A set of two will cost a bit less than buying two separately. You can mix and match within the same size to get the lower price. For example, two #0 Shutter Protectors or two #0 Lens Protectors or one #0 Shutter Protector and one #0 Lens Protector will all cost 2,500 JPY.

So these are the new prices:

1. #0 size Lens and Shutter Protectors - 1,500 JPY each; 2,500 JPY per set of two.

2. #1 size Lens and Shutter Protectors - 1,800 JPY each; 3,000 JPY per set of two.

3. #3 size Lens and Shutter Protectors - 2,500 JPY each; 4,000 JPY per set of two.

4. #3S size Lens and Shutter Protectors - 2,500 JPY each; 4,000 JPY per set of two.

To all those who purchased #0 protectors: I am refunding the excess payments.

Shipping is extra. Worldwide (Asia, Europe, N. America, Australasia) e-Packet shipping for up to two sets of #0 and #1 size Protectors will cost 700 JPY, with #3 and #3S sizes a bit more. I'll know exact costs when they are manufactured.

I will proceed with manufacturing only if there is sufficient interest - at least 50 of each size of Lens and Shutter Protectors.

To discuss purchasing, please send me an email at focusgma at gmail dot com.

Thanks,
Kumar

B.S.Kumar
9-Aug-2017, 02:39
Okay, we're slowly getting there. As of now, I have commitments for an average of 15 sets in each size/type. I need a minimum of 50 of each size/type to place an order. The quote is valid until the 15th August. Can we make this happen?

Kumar

B.S.Kumar
19-Aug-2017, 02:57
I'm sorry to inform all those who wanted to buy the Protectors that the project is shelved for now. I haven't received any significant new commitments to take this forward. I do have around 20 sets of Lens and Shutter Protectors in #0 size that I will be listing in the For Sale forum.

Thanks,
Kumar

konakoa
1-Sep-2017, 09:01
I bought a set of Kumar's Copal 0 protectors and really like them. I don't routinely take my lenses apart, but did want something to put on them for sending in for a CLA. For that these protectors are excellent. Beats cardboard, rubber bands and storing the lens cells in ziplock bags! I hope that in the future Copal 1 and Copal 3 versions can happen as these are a great idea.