View Full Version : Copal Press Shutter woes

Ian Greenhalgh
31-Dec-2013, 10:33
Hi folks

I took my Mamiya-Sekor 2.8/80 in Copal Press 0 shutter out to shoot today, not used it for 3-4 months and dammit, te slow speeds are now a lot sower than they should be. 1 sec is 3 or 4 secs and 1/2 sec is at least 1 sec.

It's in pristene shape, so I'm wondering why this has happened. It was cold today, not particularly cold, about 8C, so maybe that is why, and it will rectify itself?

Will exercising it fix the issue or does it need a CLA?

If so, does anyone have any info on how to rectify this issue? I can't afford to pay to have it fixed so I would like to at least try to get it running right again.

31-Dec-2013, 10:52
That is the classic symptom of a shutter that just needs to be serviced. There is only one way to resolve the problem - a good cleaning and proper lubing and accurate adjustment. Some folks have done things like that themselves but most pay a professional to be sure that it is done right.

31-Dec-2013, 11:15
Exercising it will not fix it, but may allow you to recover to the point where it is usable in the short term. If the sluggishness is due to "drying out" of the lubricants, exercising may wick in enough to get things moving. But if dust and dirt have gotten in, you may use up a good part of the shutter's working life trying to get it going. There is a reason why "CLA" is short for Clean, Lubricate, Adjust.

There are many, many posts out there on the subject of do-it-yourself shutter maintenance; do a little research and then decide how to proceed!

Ian Greenhalgh
31-Dec-2013, 11:27
Thanks guys. I guess I'll have to study the DIY info and make a decision.

Ivan J. Eberle
5-Jan-2014, 14:25
I don't know if the Ronsonol Rinse is a good or bad idea for the Mamiya Sekor version of a Copal 0 shutter, but I do know that back in the day the term "winterizing" a shutter meant nothing more and nothing less than the complete removal of ALL the lubricant, running it dry. The lube is what slows them down in the cold. Lubricant also adds more shutter cycles before wear sets in, so it's a judgement call which way to go, there.

Ivan J. Eberle
5-Jan-2014, 14:29
Sluggish can also happen from taking a lens from a warm humid environment into a cold one, i.e. for the moisture contained in the air inside it to condense and freeze. Best to leave a cold lens cold than back and forth (a better strategy I'd suggest than having to remember to always to be putting it inside a plastic ziplock and exhausting most of the air, etc each time it comes in from the cold. But that is an alternate method to minimizing this problem.)

Ian Greenhalgh
5-Jan-2014, 15:02
It's a Copal Press #0 I took from a Shackman oscilloscope camera. I wonder if taking it from the warm house into the cold was the reason, I'll see how it runs in the house.

Interestingly, yesterday I was using a Prontor and it's started running fast, 1 sec is more like 1/2 sec, and this was outside in the cold.

Damn shutter issues have cost me quite a few sheets of film recently. :(

7-Jan-2014, 13:04
Damn shutter issues have cost me quite a few sheets of film recently.

Hmmmm....if you are working in black-and-white 4x5 with home-processed conventional film; it will take three or four boxes of film to match the cost of a CLA. On the other hand, if you are using color film and sending it out for processing, the breakeven point will come much sooner. Neglecting, of course, the aggravation and possible incidental costs. The upside is that if you keep it clean and exercise it routinely, the shutter should go five or ten years between servicings, which is only a few cents per day :)

7-Jan-2014, 15:21
Harold, three or four boxes of film? Carol Miller (Flutot's) will CLA a shutter for less than $100. With all the money we spend on film, chemicals, lenses, etc, why skimp on a such critical piece of the puzzle? Just my opinion.

7-Jan-2014, 17:49

I agree completely; I was trying to (politely) indicate that trying to limp along with a balky shutter may be false economy, as well as very annoying. The OP stated that he couldn't afford to get it fixed, so I presume that he knows what it would cost (in the U.K). He must also know what film and processing costs, so if he goes through ten boxes of film a year (less than one sheet a day!) and compromises a third of them, he would be better off to put the film money into a CLA. On the other hand, if he only afford a box of film per year, he is effectively paying about 30% more per sheet, which may or may not be a bid deal.

Me? I would get the gear in shape first; I have a hard enough time making a decent picture when the hardware is all working properly :(

Ian Greenhalgh
8-Jan-2014, 13:05
I am the sort of person that won't waste time and effort on dodgy equipment, so this shutter/lens combo has been put to one side awaiting maintenance. Interestingly, in the warm house now it is running fine again. Seems it didn't like the cold. My old 1930s and 1950s Compurs don't seem to care much abut cold weather.