View Full Version : Pronto Shutter

Steve H
26-Feb-2006, 15:32
I am aware that this isn't LF, but as it is somewhat similar, I will post. Forgive me if this is not appropriate.

A couple of days ago, I aquired an old Balda folder. It has a rodenstock Trinar-Anastagmatic 105mm lens, in a Pronto Shutter. The shutter has the speeds of 1/25, 1/50, 1/100, B, T. I cleaned up the lens, and it looks almost like new. The shutter however, although being cosmetically excellent, has issues. One of the shutter curtains does not operate, and the other doesn't like to =). I removed the shutter, and the lens, and tried to clean the tar-like substance out of the mechanicals...However, I was unable to remove the 4 screws on the back plate to gain better access (It seems someone else tried to before myself, and buggered up the screws). Any thoughts ? I suppose I can drill out the screws, but as you are aware, they are VERY small. I suppose at this point, I should be looking for a replacement, as I don't believe it would be cost-effective to ship this one to be repaired (I paid $15 for the camera....)

Thanks !

Ralph Barker
26-Feb-2006, 16:04
After removing the lens elements, assuming the shutter blades are metal, you might try giving the shutter a good dousing in lighter fluid (naptha). There are several past threads on cleaning shutters you can find via the search function that may help.

Steve H
26-Feb-2006, 16:31
Thanks Mr. Barker. I did let this sit overnight in fluid...Got the selftimer unstuck, but its almost as if the spring is not connected properly to the shutter as the bald will move with gravity.

Ralph Barker
26-Feb-2006, 17:59
It sounds as if the shutter may need repair, Steve. As such, you might want to get further advice from one of the medium-format forums where there will be more users of similar cameras.

Steve H
26-Feb-2006, 20:14
Mr. Barker,
Well I found the problem - I was finally able to get into the shutter. The bottom of one of the leafs is cracked...So it seems as if Im out of luck...

Thanks again,

27-Feb-2006, 05:20
If you want to replace one of the blades: I've heard on the german LF website of a place in Germany where you can possible get spare blades:

Fotomechanik Kielgas

Reparaturen von Fotogeräten

Baumstr. 19

30171 Hannover

Telefon: 0511 814699

Other than that: a new Pronto shutter shouldn't be too hard to find, should it?

Good luck, norm

Steve Hamley
27-Feb-2006, 06:08
If you try to find a "Pronto" shutter you will fail. They are Prontor shutters and Schneider was the last importer I think. You might contact them and see if they have one or if they have repair parts.



Dan Fromm
27-Feb-2006, 06:49
Steve, IIRC Pronto was one of Prontor's economy shutters. So were Vario and Varo. Prontor's names are almost as confusing as Graflex'.

27-Feb-2006, 06:49
The shutters are indeed called Pronto and not Prontor - we have both models. Both made by AGC - Alfred Gauthier in Calmbach. I think the Pronto versions were the cheaper ones - and possibly widely available. We have mounted our 150mm G-Claron in an old Pronto and it fits right away - no machining necessary like with some synchro compurs. And who needs these fast times anyway ;-) ??

For Steve H's problem we'd suggest hunting down another cheap folder with a Pronto shutter, like old Billy's - there must be an endless supply of replacements on eBay and other flea markets.

HTH, Norm

Paul Fitzgerald
27-Feb-2006, 07:33
Steve H,

Try ( www.dmarr.com/shutters ) for Pronto shutters.

Have fun with it.

Steve Hamley
27-Feb-2006, 07:47
I stand corrected! Thanks,


Steve H
27-Feb-2006, 08:47
Thanks a lot for all of your help. I have contacted a couple of people for parts, and thus far have come up empty as it seems that this one, being the older of the pronto's is somewhat hard to find now. I have been looking around for another folder with the same shutter - hopefully that one will be operable, or at least can cannibalize both to make one good one.
I did try www.dmarr.com. I didn't see the shutter on his site, but I emailed him anyway, we'll see what he has to say.

Thanks again,

Ernest Purdum
27-Feb-2006, 09:16
I might be able to help as I have some small shutters, most of them NOS. If you send me your mailing address, I will send you one to try out.

I will price it with consideration of what you paid for the camera. $0.00 seems appropriate.

Steve H
27-Feb-2006, 09:59
I found this page :
translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=de&u=http://www.fortunecity.com/meltingpot/lawrence/250/shutpronto.html&prev=/search%3Fq%3DPronto%2BVero%2BShutter%26hl%3Den%26hs%3DRKQ%26lr%3D%26safe%3Doff%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-US:official (http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=de&u=http://www.fortunecity.com/meltingpot/lawrence/250/shutpronto.html&prev=/search%3Fq%3DPronto%2BVero%2BShutter%26hl%3Den%26hs%3DRKQ%26lr%3D%26safe%3Doff%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-US:official)

Perhaps this will be of help to someone.

27-Feb-2006, 10:22
Steve H: there is something wrong with your link. I get an alert saying something like this site is stealing bandwith from tigin. Tigin now has a new webURL - perhaps you can use that one? Or plain tell us to what camera on tigin's site you were referring and I can look it up for myself. HTH, Norm

27-Feb-2006, 10:28
Here's a link to an English version of Tigin's site:

perhaps you wanted to direct us to the AGC shutter department? Can you identify which Pronto you have? There are several models made.

Steve H
27-Feb-2006, 10:59
Sorry for the bad link - I apologize !
I honestly do not know which Pronto this is. I have only found one like it on the internet thus far (www.cameratique.com/ebay/jlbeek/primotar2.jpg (http://www.cameratique.com/ebay/jlbeek/primotar2.jpg)). It has 3 speeds, 1/25, 1/50, 1/100, B and T. It looks like the Vario, but it has a self timer, so I am thinking that it is just known as the Pronto (as seen on the proper link), 1908 Design.

Thoughts ?

27-Feb-2006, 18:26
Maybe this will be the donor for your shutter. It's on e*ay:
Fundstück alte Balda Rollfilmkamera ca.34-37 . Artikelnummer: 7593038082

I posted the link before, but somehow today my posts get deleted and I have to post things twice.
I don't think the price will sky rocket overnight, so you might get it for next to nothing if you put a snipe on it.
HTH, Norm

Steve H
27-Feb-2006, 20:13
Thanks for hte lookout. I'll have to email him and see if he will ship outside of Europe. I was also cruising through ebay Germany today and found this, #7594157642 . That is the same exact shutter as the one that I have sitting next to me. Im keeping my fingers crossed...

Thanks to all for the help,

28-Feb-2006, 03:42
Wow, the Ebner looks nice. You wouldn't have to butcher it though, you could use it like it is.
If you are having problems with sellers not wanting to ship to the US, I could be of assistence. If need be, send me a pm.
Regards, Norm