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Thread: How do I make a shutter to use with $1 lenses? (For soft focus portraits.)

  1. #11
    Eric Biggerstaff
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    Re: How do I make a shutter to use with $1 lenses? (For soft focus portraits.)

    I use a lens cap for mine, not hard at all, just use low light.
    Eric Biggerstaff

    www.ericbiggerstaff.com

  2. #12

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    Re: How do I make a shutter to use with $1 lenses? (For soft focus portraits.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Tobias Key View Post
    Would a drop shutter be the way to go? If you could put together a light tight box which could take various slotted pieces of wood or aluminium at the front, they could be actuated by pulling a pin. Slot would drop across the lens, after which the shutter would be light tight again. Varying sized slots would give you different shutter speeds.

    I have seen these used on a TV program about historical processes and they seemed to work well, gravity being nothing if not consistent. This link shows the design under guillotine shutters although they describe it as rubber band or spring powered going across the lens, I think it might simpler and more consistent dropping down with gravity.

    http://www.earlyphotography.co.uk/site/shuttern.html
    Thanks for the feedback and link to the history of shutters. I had been thinking of something along this line - a box with several drop boards that have different sizes of openings so as to give me different exposure times.

    A while back I saw a video of a photographer (in Japan?) who used a drop shutter. He held a rubber bulb that when squeezed pushed a pin that released the drop component. Simple yet effective.

    I am thinking of using felt to form a light tight slit at the top of the box. This is similar to 35mm film cartridges or sheet film holders both of which have felt light traps so that gives me confidence.

  3. #13

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    Re: How do I make a shutter to use with $1 lenses? (For soft focus portraits.)

    The other thing to consider is the possibility of making a rotary shutter... You know, like on those old box cameras, only larger...

    If there was a disc with a sector cut/drilled out in the light path that was rotated by the rim using springs, rubber bands, motor, human powered lever, etc, it would be able to operate in more orientations than a drop shutter... And it might be able to shoot at different speeds... But would need a larger lensboard/FS for space for the gizmo... (Or over the front element...)

    Steve K

  4. #14
    Mark Sawyer's Avatar
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    Re: How do I make a shutter to use with $1 lenses? (For soft focus portraits.)

    You might try removing the cells from a shutter you already have. The #4 Ilex and #3 Copal each have 58mm threads at the rear. If you buy a #4 close-up diopter lens, it will screw right into the rear, and you'll have a nice f/4.3, 250mm Wollaston Meniscus in a synch'd shutter with a diaphragm!
    "I love my Verito lens, but I always have to sharpen everything in Photoshop..."

  5. #15

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    Re: How do I make a shutter to use with $1 lenses? (For soft focus portraits.)


  6. #16

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    Re: How do I make a shutter to use with $1 lenses? (For soft focus portraits.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Sawyer View Post
    You might try removing the cells from a shutter you already have. The #4 Ilex and #3 Copal each have 58mm threads at the rear. If you buy a #4 close-up diopter lens, it will screw right into the rear, and you'll have a nice f/4.3, 250mm Wollaston Meniscus in a synch'd shutter with a diaphragm!
    I afraid to mess up my 300mm f/5.6 Schneider lens by removing the Copal 3 shutter.

  7. #17

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    Re: How do I make a shutter to use with $1 lenses? (For soft focus portraits.)

    Quote Originally Posted by jon.oman View Post
    Thanks! Very cool.

  8. #18
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: How do I make a shutter to use with $1 lenses? (For soft focus portraits.)

    Quote Originally Posted by AtlantaTerry View Post
    I afraid to mess up my 300mm f/5.6 Schneider lens by removing the Copal 3 shutter.
    If you're moderately careful, this is no problem at all. It's no harder than making sure a lens board is properly attached to a camera.

    Put the lens on a clean desk or table. Remove top lens cap. (You never want to lift the lens cell just by grabbing the cap.) Unscrew the front element. Put the cap on. Set cell down on clean part of table. Cover other end of cell with another cap or similar. Flip shutter over and repeat. It only takes a few seconds. I'd rubber band the caps on the cells and put them in a safe place. I have a tool cart in my studio, and that's where all of the lenses go when not in use.

    When replacing the cells. Do the same thing in reverse. When you have the cell place on the threads, turn the cell counter clockwise a bit until the threads align, and then slowly, carefully, and gently turn the element clockwise. Never force this. The only danger is cross threading the threads, but that's easy to avoid if you simply pay attention.

    Some lenses, especially graphic arts lenses, might have spacers between the cells and the shutter. I doubt very much that your 300mm has them.

    Remember that people have been safely using convertible lenses in the field for years.
    "Why can't we all just get along?" President Dale, Mars Attacks

  9. #19

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    Re: How do I make a shutter to use with $1 lenses? (For soft focus portraits.)

    Quote Originally Posted by AtlantaTerry View Post
    I
    I have a couple 4x5" Cambo cameras and will be buying a Crown Graphic to replace one that was stolen. I have experimented with making Cambo lens boards out of black foamcore boards and they seem to work just fine. The advantage of the Cambo lens board is the size - at something like 6x6 inches there is more room to work with than a Crown board which is about 4x4 inches. Plus the Cambo has a much longer bellows available than any Crown or Speed Graphic.
    A Spped Graphic has its own shutter in the back. Depending of with year it was made, there are differences in how they are used but they are simple and easy. Speeds: 'Really Long (T setting) to 1/000 of a second. Not sure of the accuracy of the fastest speed but the slower speed should be OK,]

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