View Full Version : Wollensak Regular

Paul Ron
27-Apr-2007, 16:11
Anyone know how to lube a Wollensak Regular shutter?

I just got a Seroco with a Wollensak and noticed the shutter speeds are running slow at the slower speeds due to a slow piston.


Gene McCluney
27-Apr-2007, 17:59
In general the piston that "times" the slow speeds needs to be extremely clean and dry to work properly. No lubricant. It should slide in and out of its cylinder with no binding. The rest of the shutter can be flushed with a zero-residue cleaner, and then if you see any pivot points or bearings that look like they could use a teensy bit of oil, use a needle oiler with the finest no drip oil, and just lightly touch them.

Even though the piston is responsible for part of the timing of the slower speeds, there are still springs inside the shutter that weaken with age, and can also be a cause of inaccurate speeds.

Glenn Thoreson
28-Apr-2007, 15:31
Those old shutters are seldom accurate at any speed. However, in it's day, any shutter was still a shutter, which was better than what they had been using. The advent of celluloid films with "fast" emulsions, in the 1880s, brought a great number of shutters into the market. It also brought a huge outcry for an accurate one. That took a while to achieve. If you can get yours to at least give you a consistent 1/25 at whatever marked speed will give it, that's a good, often used speed for landscape work. A selection of filters can give you more effective speeds. I use a variety of these lenses and shutters. They're still perfectly usable if you understand their limitations.

28-Apr-2007, 16:38
Hey Glenn, I enjoyed your shutter tutorial. Can you give us the rest of the story? What were the first accurate shutters and what made them more reliable?

Glenn Thoreson
28-Apr-2007, 21:35
I have data back to 1889, but there are not really any references to a highly accurate or dependable shutter. There are plenty of hints that such a thing would be highly desirable. I have also run across some brand names that I had never heard of from that time period. Shuttered lenses really started to come into the picture with the advent of the dry plate.
Dry plates were considerably faster than wet collodion plates. Kodak's new flexible film made it's debut in the late 1800s, and it was faster yet, requiring exposure in fractions of a second. Shutters were improving to meet the requirements. In my opinion, which may not count for much, the first really accurate, highly dependable shutter to hit the market was the dial set Compur. I have several of these that are more acurate than my Copals. I have a couple that are less than 1/6 of a stop off at all speeds. Not bad for something over 75 years old.

William Barnett-Lewis
28-Apr-2007, 22:11
Out of curiousity, where do the Folmer and Schwing early focal plane shutters fit in? More in terms of accuracy (at the time :) ) & dependability. But I agree that old Compurs have been the best in my limited experiances.