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QT Luong
8-Nov-2010, 21:15
A new article by Bill Kumpf on a DIY guillotine shutter has been posted. It is composed of two parts:
Constructing a simple shutter (http://www.largeformatphotography.info/guillotine-shutter/guillotine-shutter-construction.html)
and
Determining shutter speeds (http://www.largeformatphotography.info/guillotine-shutter/guillotine-shutter-speeds.html)

Comments are welcome in this thread.

GPS
9-Nov-2010, 07:54
Here we go once again...
Not commenting on the unusually thick guillotine blade and the choice of its material one thing should be said - this kind of shutter condemns your camera to horizontal positions mostly. As soon as you tilt it you start to get different results. Sometimes less, sometimes more, sometime off in an unacceptable way, etc.

Richard Rankin
9-Nov-2010, 08:19
Even given the limitations, I think an availability of these would help many people make the leap to trying barrel lenses. The guillotine shutter is easy to understand and this one attaches with rubber bands. Mounting packards on lens boards can be intimidating and a hassle and expensive if you have to buy the packard shutter.

If I had any woodworking skills at all, I'd make some of these and loan them out to people. I suspect many people out there would love to be trying old brass barrel lenses, etc, and just don't know where or how to start with it.

GPS
9-Nov-2010, 08:30
...

If I had any woodworking skills at all, I'd make some of these and loan them out to people. I suspect many people out there would love to be trying old brass barrel lenses, etc, and just don't know where or how to start with it.

Richard, you don't need any woodworking skills at all. You can make the thing out of PVC sheets with many advantages over wood (better slipping, no dimensional changes when wet, easier manufacturing etc.)
But to loan them you would need a lot of different diameters to satisfy your customers' different lenses...

GPS
9-Nov-2010, 08:33
And if you wanted to make a De luxe version you could put a small drop of oil between the blades to make it slip with less friction even in more inclined positions. Olive oil (extra virgin) would do...;-)

BetterSense
9-Nov-2010, 09:48
I would use plastic, preferably UHMW polyethylene, or cutting-board material. It is very slippery.

Hugo Zhang
9-Nov-2010, 09:59
Ron had this posting last year and I ordered one for my 5 1/2" wide Xenotar lens and it works well. It has a 4" Lees filter slot to put a ND or whatever filter you fancy. :)

http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?t=51309

GPS
9-Nov-2010, 10:54
I would use plastic, preferably UHMW polyethylene, or cutting-board material. It is very slippery.

I gather that this material is not good for filing and as Richard doesn't have woodworking skills (even less machinery for that?) it could be more difficult for him to work with...? Slippery it is, indeed.

jb7
9-Nov-2010, 14:41
I welcome the article-

I have a couple of Packards, I don't have a 100% successful record with them-
they're not completely reliable, at least not in my hands...
I prefer them rear mounted for aesthetic reasons, but then, you can never be completely sure it's worked correctly-
and if you're photographing a person, then you don't need to be looking at a shutter when you're making an exposure-

I think there are better materials to be considered for the guillotine-
for the drop leaf, perhaps one of the phenolic papers, like darkslide material-
and for the guides, Oilon, or one of the other lubricated Nylon materials-

Roller bearing lined guides could be another approach, allowing for less friction for tilted shots- though that's probably overkill-

A selection of slot heights gives a selection of shutter speeds; I suppose the main requirement, just as with any other piece of kit, is repeatability, and reliability-

I think this will be at the back of my mind for only a little while, I've got a few lenses without shutters now, and although I don't have a big problem in rigging a Packard,
its single speed (1/25 for a medium sized one, 1/15 for a big one) is a bit limiting, particularly for a fast lens-
I don't think I'd have a problem with rigging step rings for different lenses either.
It isn't difficult to imagine how you might fashion a release using a standard locking cable release-
(edit- Ron, just looked at yours- yes, exactly like that one ...)

I don't think woodworking skills are needed for this project, more like craft knife skills (be sure to ask an adult) and clean gluing skills...

As I said, I welcome the article- especially for the methodology of describing and calculating the shutter speeds-

So, thank you, will be referring to it in the future-

GPS
9-Nov-2010, 16:10
...
I think there are better materials to be considered for the guillotine-
for the drop leaf, perhaps one of the phenolic papers, like darkslide material-
and for the guides, Oilon, or one of the other lubricated Nylon materials-
...


The phenolic papers would need to be well chosen. Some types are moisture absorbing and they bend in the long term. :(

jb7
9-Nov-2010, 16:40
That shouldn't be a problem, you can build the long term bend into the tolerance of the slot-
or in the short term, unbend it just before the exposure.

My darkslides are quite straight when I remove them from my holders-
certainly straight enough for a shutter-

Of course, other materials could be better- copper sheathed printed circuit board should be dimensionally stable enough.

It's obvious this is a workable thing, it's not a new thing-

GPS
9-Nov-2010, 16:48
...

It's obvious this is a workable thing, it's not a new thing-

Indeed, it is not. It always amazes me how long it takes for somebody to realize what constructors of these gravity guillotine shutters did in the 19th century quite easily - and the manufactures of the same left in the bin of the photographic history soon afterwards. :)

Lee Hamiel
9-Nov-2010, 16:53
And if you wanted to make a De luxe version you could put a small drop of oil between the blades to make it slip with less friction even in more inclined positions. Olive oil (extra virgin) would do...;-)

Delrin yes - olive oil no

GPS
9-Nov-2010, 16:57
Delrin yes - olive oil no

Red herrings yes - Red Socks no.

Jim Michael
9-Nov-2010, 17:15
k yes, g no

jb7
9-Nov-2010, 18:01
Indeed, it is not. It always amazes me how long it takes for somebody to realize what constructors of these gravity guillotine shutters did in the 19th century quite easily - and the manufactures of the same left in the bin of the photographic history soon afterwards. :)

That's a pretty condescending tone you've got there.
Good thing I've discovered the ignore list, I might be using it shortly-

Thanks for the history lesson GPS.

Putting this Victorian invention in a historical context -
films got better, cameras and lenses got smaller.
Guillotine shutters, along with large lenses, got consigned to the bin of history, because mechanical shutters became possible due to smaller optics.

Cut to the 21st century, and again, people want to make exposures with some of those large lenses.

Problem: modern shutters don't fit large lenses.
Problem: Focal Plane shutters not suitable for every camera.
Problem: Packard shutters limited to single speed, larger shutters limited to slower speeds due to physical acceleration/deceleration limits of large blades.


One solution (of many): guillotine shutter.


You see, some people search for solutions to problems, others prefer to tell them how it can't be done, and it's not worth bothering even to try-
and it does get trying, over threads too numerous to mention-

dsphotog
9-Nov-2010, 19:01
To vary exposure duration, would making interchangable blades with different size slits work?

GPS
9-Nov-2010, 19:29
...

You see, some people search for solutions to problems, others prefer to tell them how it can't be done, and it's not worth bothering even to try-
...-

Now, when you're at it - say, who said it can't be done?? Maybe you're just talking nonsense here.:rolleyes:

Jim Michael
9-Nov-2010, 20:00
Yep, note reference to slot width in the calculation of shutter speed article.


To vary exposure duration, would making interchangable blades with different size slits work?

jp
9-Nov-2010, 20:13
I was pleasantly surprised at how consistent the testing revealed the shutter to be. That's excellent. However, I suspect as soon as your rubber band rotted out in a couple months, you'd replace it and have to retest your speeds because of the variety in rubber bands. If there were some sort of synthetic rubber bands or some other sort of crude yet consistent source of spring, that would appeal to me.

The webpage is very thorough and detailed and brought back memories of doing lab reports in high school and college!

GPS
9-Nov-2010, 20:15
To vary exposure duration, would making interchangable blades with different size slits work?

Sure, but beware of one thing - the longer times you have, the greater is the danger of vibrations introduced by these falling beasts. Especially with long focal lengths lenses where one is more tempted to use these shutters.
Thanks goodness Packards are not limited to nearly horizontal camera positions only with their vibrations...:)

Jim Michael
9-Nov-2010, 20:24
You could make a device with a variable slit width and a scale that gives proper setting for a desired shutter speed.

GPS
9-Nov-2010, 20:37
You could also make the slit with vertical nylon netting inside and use the lens with soft focus effect... ;-)

GPS
9-Nov-2010, 20:41
You could also use the slit with normal nylon netting inside (of different, interchangeable thickness) and use the shutter as ND filter... ;-)

GPS
9-Nov-2010, 20:51
You could also use the slit with nylon netting filling a circular area in its middle (attached on both sides with a hair thin thread) and use the shutter as a vertical central filter...;-)

GPS
9-Nov-2010, 21:07
You could also hang the slit plate on a thread and lower it at the speed you desire (counting Mississippis...) to create longer exposures...;-)

GPS
9-Nov-2010, 21:14
...
One solution (of many): guillotine shutter.


You see, some people search for solutions to problems,-...

I see, now I do see...;)

GPS
9-Nov-2010, 21:21
You could also hang a thread on the lower part of the slit plate and pull it down by hand to create super quick speeds (for those luminous Aero Ektars with no shutters)...;-)

GPS
9-Nov-2010, 21:27
You could also attach the slit (always by the mentioned thread...) to an animal trap and use it as animal actuated shutter...;-) (Heck, leave the camera in nature, take a nap and and let the wild bird take its own picture!)

GPS
10-Nov-2010, 03:00
And yes, with today's means you could also use the oscilloscope (see Wikipedia for that beast) to exactly measure the inaccuracy and unreliability for which the same constructions were left 150 years ago. This Holy Grail of amateur inventors is still full of potential. Nylon roll bearings, modern mineral oils could give a new life to the guillotine shutters.
Heck, you could also put a rack and pinion on the side of the slit and with a simple spring device power the slit so that it would work even with cameras that stubbornly deviate from the max 15° horizontal inclination. The sky is the limit here... I just hope that one day somebody will not come to announce that now you can add a shutter to your pictured scenes by the Photoshop...;-)

jb7
10-Nov-2010, 03:49
Sounds like you've been having problems with the sliding flap of your meds dispenser-

Jim Michael
10-Nov-2010, 06:12
Solution to tilt was previously covered: The speed the shutter curtain travels is going to vary with the angle of tilt somewhere on the order of R * cos theta for a tilt of theta from the vertical for your typical rate of travel R. -- probably only good for small thetas.

Bill Kumpf
10-Nov-2010, 06:20
Like I said in this article, this provides a quick way to add a shutter to a barrel lens. I can play with different glass without the expense of even a Packard Shutter. I am not a “Magic Bullet chaser”. If low tech works, it saves me money; I can buy more film.

Material selection is the user’s choice. I have tried both wood and metal blades. The weight of the blade is not a factor in shutter speed. I use what is at hand.

The channel width was set to allow the blade to free fall. This reduced friction to a minimum. With wood, I coat both the blade and slot with cabinet drawer slide lubrication or rub in paraffin wax.

The release technique used to drop the blade induces the most variation. I practice a few times before I pull the dark slide. Someday I will add a release. My shutters are set up with the blade in free fall. Weight of the blade is not an issue.

Since most of my large format work is landscapes and portraits, the 15 degree from horizontal limitation works for me.

Have fun.

jan labij
11-Nov-2010, 08:16
I think it is important to re-visit these other methods for exposure control. I am somewhat sure "modern" shutters are more accurate. But if you want to put a shutter on either an antique lens or a lens you build on your own, this is a way to go.

domaz
12-Nov-2010, 09:29
I was pleasantly surprised at how consistent the testing revealed the shutter to be. That's excellent. However, I suspect as soon as your rubber band rotted out in a couple months

Get Rubber bands designed for RC planes (http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXL434&P=ML). They aren't going to rot out for a long time- they are UV,chemical resistant etc etc.. much better then the rubber bands you get off your morning paper.

BetterSense
12-Nov-2010, 12:01
Na, RC plane rubber bands disintegrate just as fast as any other. Probably faster, because they seem to have a high percentage of natural latex in them for stretchyness. I fly RC planes and the rubber bands are semi-disposable. Some use new ones every time.

Mike Anderson
15-Nov-2010, 20:45
... This Holy Grail of amateur inventors is still full of potential. Nylon roll bearings, modern mineral oils could give a new life to the guillotine shutters...

I think an air bearing might work here. The actual shutter (the falling part) could be simple laminated cardboard, like playing cards, cheap and when they get frayed or warped you simple buy a new deck. Each card would have tables printed on them to specify their exposure time for each focal length/tilt combination. Once you've dialed in your tilt you simply pick the card that gives you the desired exposure for the focal length you're using. The shutter release simply releases the card so there's very little vibration.

The main drawback is that you need an assistant with good lungs.;)

...Mike

GPS
16-Nov-2010, 03:08
Two small rubber wheels running silently on batteries, in a narrow slit (like a credit card entrance). As soon as a shutter slide touches them they swallow it running it at a constant speed, in all camera positions. Each speed has its own slide card (shutter speeds written on them with big letters and the actual precision measured + -0.0001s)... hmm, hmm, the Holy Grail at its best..?

Dominique Cesari
16-Nov-2010, 06:41
the Holy Grail at its best..?
As soon as having seen the real thing, I will consider to parish. Possibly with a free opening 1,5x larger than a credit card and vibrations at the level of a Copal.

GPS
16-Nov-2010, 11:45
As soon as having seen the real thing, I will consider to parish. Possibly with a free opening 1,5x larger than a credit card and vibrations at the level of a Copal.

?? If only you won't perish while doing so, it's all fine...:confused:

Jack Dahlgren
16-Nov-2010, 16:10
How about very light thin shutter with a string and pulley to a weight which is free to fall vertically. Releasing the weight will always cause it to fall at the same speed regardless of the angle of the shutter. No batteries.

GPS
16-Nov-2010, 16:43
Hmm. Not even the original inventors of the guillotine shutter 150 years ago wanted to have vibrations from a weight freely suspended on a standard. Little did they know about practicalities of such a solution. ;-)

rdenney
17-Nov-2010, 06:26
Oh, oh, oh! (Raising his hand.)

You could make the slit in opaque cloth instead of a piece of plastic. Then, you could roll that cloth around a spindle above the intended opening, and then attach the free end around a spindle below the intended opening. You could install a spring in the lower spendle, and a catch in the upper spindle. You would wind up the upper spindle until it catches, and then when you release the catch, the shutter opens and closes as the slit passes over the opening.

You could even use a piece of cloth with three slits in it, and wind it to the slit you want to vary the shutter speed.

And you could even attach a clock governor to the spindle to control the speed that the cloth moves. With a couple of different governors, you could provide two speed ranges. Two ranges and three slits would provide six speeds.

Oh, wait...

Rick "thinking of making a lens-board-mounted curtain shutter from the carcass of a quarter-plate Speed Graphic" Denney

GPS
17-Nov-2010, 07:31
You could, yes... But all these solutions with a spring and a spindle have the disadvantage of the initial vibration when you release the catch. I'm sure those who wanted to improve the guillotine shutter went through similar thinking as you do. Then they dismissed the guillotine concept when they understood that the thing must be smaller, not bigger. Then only they turned they attention to the multiple leaves that close and open "a hole" together, with smaller vibrations. That concept was a healthy one and remained with us.

K. Praslowicz
19-Nov-2010, 14:00
Forgo all the timing/angle considerations by just mounting a 4x5 Speed Graphic to the lens board.

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_fKXlhnDTeys/TIFpLKK-v5I/AAAAAAAAB04/MdzF8CZ-GnY/s320/SGshutter.jpg
Seen here (http://new55project.blogspot.com/2010/09/speed-graphic-shutter-on-8x10.html)

rdenney
19-Nov-2010, 14:31
Forgo all the timing/angle considerations by just mounting a 4x5 Speed Graphic to the lens board.

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_fKXlhnDTeys/TIFpLKK-v5I/AAAAAAAAB04/MdzF8CZ-GnY/s320/SGshutter.jpg
Seen here (http://new55project.blogspot.com/2010/09/speed-graphic-shutter-on-8x10.html)

Rick ":cool:" Denney

Jack Dahlgren
19-Nov-2010, 14:38
Forgo all the timing/angle considerations by just mounting a 4x5 Speed Graphic to the lens board.

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_fKXlhnDTeys/TIFpLKK-v5I/AAAAAAAAB04/MdzF8CZ-GnY/s320/SGshutter.jpg
Seen here (http://new55project.blogspot.com/2010/09/speed-graphic-shutter-on-8x10.html)

Hmm... you could do it by dropping a speed graphic between two boards with an opening cut in them. You might need to reduce friction by removing the handle.

jb7
19-Nov-2010, 14:46
Hmm... you could do it by dropping a speed graphic between two boards with an opening cut in them. You might need to reduce friction by removing the handle.

QED ...

I don't do smileys or LOL's but I'm really tempted here...

rdenney
19-Nov-2010, 14:47
I don't do smileys or LOL's but I'm really tempted here...

Me, too, but here I couldn't resist.

Rick "is there an echo in here?" Denney

GPS
19-Nov-2010, 15:33
Forgo all the timing/angle considerations by just mounting a 4x5 Speed Graphic to the lens board.

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_fKXlhnDTeys/TIFpLKK-v5I/AAAAAAAAB04/MdzF8CZ-GnY/s320/SGshutter.jpg
Seen here (http://new55project.blogspot.com/2010/09/speed-graphic-shutter-on-8x10.html)

Luminous Aero Ektars demand radical solutions!
I knew the Speed Graphic must be good at least for something...;)

Mike Anderson
19-Nov-2010, 19:11
Hmm... you could do it by dropping a speed graphic between two boards with an opening cut in them. You might need to reduce friction by removing the handle.

That's funny. I'm not too proud to give you a :) for that.

...Mike

dsphotog
20-Nov-2010, 03:46
DAMMMN! Thats GENIUS!

GPS
20-Nov-2010, 05:13
Forgo all the timing/angle considerations by just mounting a 4x5 Speed Graphic to the lens board.

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_fKXlhnDTeys/TIFpLKK-v5I/AAAAAAAAB04/MdzF8CZ-GnY/s320/SGshutter.jpg
Seen here (http://new55project.blogspot.com/2010/09/speed-graphic-shutter-on-8x10.html)

Could you post a detailed picture of the attachment way of the camera to the lens board? Just curious...:)

BobCrowley
20-Nov-2010, 06:19
It's just a square aluminum plate, a spacer, and another plate the size of the lens board. Machined here on the Bridgeport. I've used this several times with good results, no vignetting, and I mount a shade and/or filters on another SG standard on the track, too.

The shutter kick isn't bad at all, the real limitation being the wobbly Saltzman design.

http://new55project.blogspot.com

GPS
24-Nov-2010, 03:28
It's just a square aluminum plate, a spacer, and another plate the size of the lens board.
...

http://new55project.blogspot.com

Glad to hear it, Bob. For a moment I though it was just Photoshopped there as a prank...;)

Eric Ashcroft
9-Jun-2012, 08:18
Yep, I just read Bill Kumpf's post,& was goin' to ask a question,but,as it's most informative & easy to u/stand,+ one would hope any LF Photog' would have enough little grey cells to make one,but ?.
The thought that the shutter blade accelerates while dropping,with subsequent uneven exposure,suddenly became self explanatory.
As our Image is upside down, then the ground area would get marginally more exosure than the sky,which would be great for Landscapes---or am I wrong ?.
I'm studying this because I've acquired (yep a bit stupid I know-but could not resist it ) a great big Kodak Ektar,& I have to make a shutter about 6" square so,
any quick sensible thoughts appreciated, Kind R'grds to one & all.

AtlantaTerry
20-Jul-2014, 02:02
Rubber bands were mentioned along with the problem that they dry out.

I make my own "rubber bands" out of sections of inner tubes. I get blown out inner tubes from bicycle repair shops for free. I suppose other sizes can be found for other tires such as wheel barrows to automobiles to trucks.

Jac@stafford.net
20-Jul-2014, 08:58
Rubber bands were mentioned along with the problem that they dry out.

Good grief, they are cheap enough to buy when needed.
.

Jac@stafford.net
20-Jul-2014, 09:14
Forgo all the timing/angle considerations by just mounting a 4x5 Speed Graphic to the lens board.

Another example of a brilliant creation due to Cabin Fever from Duluth, Minnesota where it has snowed every month of the year but August. :)
.

Jim Noel
20-Jul-2014, 09:42
And if you wanted to make a De luxe version you could put a small drop of oil between the blades to make it slip with less friction even in more inclined positions. Olive oil (extra virgin) would do...;-)
Using oil will actually slow the drop. I tried it.

chaspics
24-Aug-2014, 11:03
It seems the idea of a simple shutter got lost along the way, though I did appreciate the ingenuity.

As for the matter of being committed to horizontal exposures as mentioned on page 1, simply calibrate for a vertical exposure, and when you rotate the back subtract 1/4 for a 4:5 proportion, or 1/3 for a 2:3. If you have to rotate the camera, same calculations, just mount the shutter to allow rotating it 90 degrees.

chaspics
24-Aug-2014, 11:14
I really should have taken the time to compliment Bill Kumpf on the article. I use my oscilloscope to calibrate as well. The entire article was thorough and very professional. I hope to post soon on a simple rotating shutter design.

If you believe you can you do it, you can!

Jim Jones
24-Aug-2014, 12:36
. . . I hope to post soon on a simple rotating shutter design.

If you believe you can you do it, you can!

The Guillotine shutter is simple, fairly compact, and reliable when properly constructed. A simple rotary shutter may be bulky and more prone to vibration, but can be extremely consistent and accurate. A good example is the 35mm Mercury and Mercury II cameras made between the late 1930s and about 1950. Seventy-five years ago Harvard University tested several shutters for use in a solar coronagraph. The Mercury shutter was chosen for its accuracy and reliability over Leica, Contax, and Argus. The Mercury had an error of 5% at 1/1000 second. The others gave exhibited errors of about 50% at their top speeds. The Mercury shutter was still performing accurately after 112,000 cycles in intense heat and sub-zero temperatures.

chang tao
20-Sep-2014, 00:53
in need a very sinple design that operates with just a push, can be spring loaded but i need a shutter that opens and closes quickly (or a design so I can make it myself). The iris shutter on a camera is too complicated for my project but it would be ideal if i could get a simpler version. I just want to know some resources/suppliers names or alternative ideas to the camera shutter. Thanks for any help.

Jac@stafford.net
20-Sep-2014, 15:35
http://www.earlyphotography.co.uk/site/shuttern.html

Hope that is not too complicated.

sinutay
9-Jul-2017, 05:31
nice work .... could you do the calculation if we consider a SLOT , with variable width, somehow like the focal shutter found in SLR ... ??
Thanks !!!

sinutay
9-Jul-2017, 05:33
thanks .... very instructive ..................