View Full Version : Voigtlander Heliar 21cm f4,5

17-Apr-2005, 09:44
I have a Heliar as above in excellent order optically, but in a compound shutter that is very slow on the T and B settings (other speeds are fine). I already have a modern 210mm plasmat but I thought the heliar may give a more 'classic' look to B&W. My question is- where in the UK can I get a CLA on the compound shutter to get T & B working, or have the lens fitted into a modern shutter (which one?) for reasonable cost?
Thanks for your help

Will Strain
17-Apr-2005, 12:51
out of curiousity - how is a T and B setting slow, since you control the speed (by either releasing, or re-triggering the shutter)?

17-Apr-2005, 14:41
Will, Fair question, it's the closing of the blades that is sluggish on the T&B settings, I think these are controlled by a different spring(s) than the settable speeds. The shutter opens instantly on the operation of the release, but then takes several seconds to gently creep back to the closed position when the lever is released (B) or fired again (T). Quite entertaining, but of no practical application!
The lens will have to go if the only replacement shutter is a No3 as I have a Horseman with the 80mm sq lensboards and they are too small to fit the No3 shutters.

Michael S. Briggs
17-Apr-2005, 15:40
From your description, your Compound shutter probably only needs a routine CLA. Any competent camera repair person should be able to do this job.

The threads for the lens cells on the Compounds don't match those of recent shutters such as Copals or modern Compurs. Conversion to one of these shutters would require custom machining. Plus you would have to buy the new shutter. You probably won't find the cost to be "reasonable." A CLA will be much less expensive.

The focal length and f-number suggest a maximum aperture of about 210 mm / 4.5 = 46 mm. This is only an approximate calculation because the enterence pupil may differ from the mechanical aperture. Nevertheless, it strongly suggests that the most suitable modern shutter is a #3. You can easily determine the answer. Set the aperture on the shutter to f4.5, then unscrew the front cell. Hold up a ruler and sight from a distance to measure the diameter of the aperture. A Copal #1 has an apeture of 30 mm; a #3 of 45 mm (see the table at http://www.skgrimes.com/products/.

Ole Tjugen
18-Apr-2005, 00:06
The Heliar 210/4.5 should be in a Compound #3 shutter, which as has already been said doesn't exactly match "newer" shutters. I have found Compounds to be very reliable, and it should be easy to "tune" it to get the shutter to cloose on T and B. I would consider it well worth it - the shutter and lens are both exellent!

tor kviljo
18-Apr-2005, 03:36
Very typically, the compound-shutters stop working properly because some previous owner thought the pistons need lubrication... Quite easy to fix yourselv w/o having to dig deep inside the shutter: The piston - key part of the compound shutter's timing, is running back & forth in the small cylinder mounted on the upper part of the shutter. The piston moves in one direction when the shutter is triggered (and this action of the piston takes a little time, so when using slower speed - wait a second or three to let the piston fullfill movement), and then moves back in speed hopefully according to setting, when shutter is released. Now, both the piston-covers (chromed metal usually) is screwed on and can usually be unscrewed with little force. It supposed to be a gasket in each of the piston-covers: check that it's perfect - have to be air-tight when mounted. Use a q-tip moistened with alcohol to clean the inside of the cylinder properly: as the cylinder is supposed to be absolutely dry & clean, the Q-tip should not show any oil or dirt, but most likely it will... Now, as You understand, when finished cleaning the accessible cylinder-part, you have to replace the cylinder cover, trigger the shutter to move the piston to over to the other side, and repreat the procedure of cleaning the other part of the cylinder. Then, a drop of alcohol on the piston before replacing the cylinder-cover & operate the shutter a few times, "washing" the shutter with alcohol. Repeat cleaning cylinder-walls as above until cylinder & piston is clean. Usually this fix it.

Good luck

Paul Butler
19-Apr-2005, 04:44
I have this same lens that I love and I use it extensively. As stated above, it is in a compound #3. The shutter had the same problems when I got it but now it works just fine after a CLA. In my case, SK Grimes did the CLA.

As far as I can determine my lens was made in 1946, probably of pre-war parts. It is uncoated. Who knows why they put the lens in a shutter of such old design, but it seems to work fine 59 years later.

19-Apr-2005, 14:28
Thanks for all your replies, I have discovered if I loosen the cover retaining screws and then operate T & B the problem does not appear, tighten them again and it sticks. I deduce from this that either the cover plate or shutter body is being put under stain when both are fixed together. I will find out which one is misaligned and that should fix it. Maybe it was dropped/strained in a previous life. Thanks again.