View Full Version : Which shutter

Matthew Lea
19-Jul-2004, 16:41
As a beginner to LF photography, I have a few questions I can't seem to find answers to. I recently acquired a Nikkor 480mm lens. I am a bit confused about what size of shutter I should get for this lens. What determines shutter size? Is it the size of the lens? Any help would be great. I am planning on getting a 250-300mm lens as well. BTW, this is for an 11x14 field view.

Thanks, Matt

steve simmons
19-Jul-2004, 17:31
The diameter of the lens determines the shutter size. My guess is that you will need a #3 or larger shutter.

Viw Camera magazine did n article in our January 04 issue on mammoth cameras. If you call we will send you a copy.

steve simmons www.viewcamera.com 505-899-8054 m-f 8-5 mountain time

Matthew Lea
19-Jul-2004, 17:58
I found that the Dimensions diameter == 105mm. Is this the diameter you are referring to?

Ralph Barker
19-Jul-2004, 18:54
The 105mm is likely the filter size. What determines the shutter size is the construction/design around the center of the lens. Check the S.K. Grimes site (www.skgrimes.com) - they probably have it listed.

Then, start your hunt for a shutter at a reasonable price. Some machine work will likely be needed to mount it, and S.K. Grimes is a good choice for that work. They will be happy to give you a quote in advance.

Michael S. Briggs
19-Jul-2004, 19:03
I am guessing that you have a 480 mm Apo-Nikkor. To convert this lens to a shutter without losing widest aperture of the lens, you want a shutter with a throat with a diameter of at least the diameter of the aperture diaphragm of the lens when the lens is wide open. This might be a Copal 3, or it might even need a large size shutter. The Copal 3 shutter is the largest currently made, but larger sizes can be found on the used market.

Converting a barrel lens to a between the lens shutter is usually a major project requiring skilled machining. The cost will be high, between buying a shutter and paying for the machining. In a very few lucky cases (e.g., G-Clarons), the barrel lens unscrews, yielding lens cells that directly screw into a shutter. AFAIK, no Apo-Nikkor disassembles in this way -- custom machining will be needed to convert the lens to a between-the-lens shutter.

Another option would be to use the lens in front of a Packard shutter. These are inexpensive but primitive. They pretty much give only one quick speed.

Even cheaper is to use a slow film and stop way down and perhaps use a heavy filter -- then you can use your hat to control the exposure.

If you have sufficient money, you might consider buying a modern 450 mm LF lens such as the Fuji-C or the Nikkor-M. The 450 mm Nikkor-M has a reputation for huge coverage. Even though the initial cost is high, it might be less than the sum of the cost of a barrel lens, the cost of a shutter for it, and the cost of the custom machining. The best reason to have a barrel lens custom mounted is when equivalent lens factory mounted in a shutter are unavailable or difficult to find. This isn't the case for the focal length of about 450 mm.

If you decide to have your Apo-Nikkor converted to a between-the-lens shutter, S. K. Grimes, Inc. is a place that does this type of work. See http://www.skgrimes.com/lensmount/24art/index.htm.

19-Jul-2004, 22:34
I assume the Nikkor 480mm lens you mention is an Apo-Nikkor. If so my personal opinion is that it is not cost effective to have this lens put in a shutter. The machine work of S.K. Grimes to do that will be on the order of $300, and that does not count the cost of a shutter. You will need a Copal #3, over $400 new. You could also have the lens put in an Ilex #5 or Compount #5, but these would also be expensive, and are only available used.

By comparison, a 450mm Nikkor-M is a much better lens than the 480mm Apo-Nikkor (multi-coated and more coverage), and you can often find it used in very good condition for $700 or less.

In your place I would just plan to just use the 480 Apo-Nikkor by exposing with the lens cap. If that won't work, buy the 450mm Nikkor-M.