View Full Version : I forgot how to use my Calumet Shutter Tester

Ken Lee
3-Jun-2007, 09:06
I lost my instruction book, and it has been a few years since I read it. Meanwhile, I have recently acquired some older lenses, mounted in old shutters, and I would like to know the actual speeds.

There is a PDF brochure on the Calumet site, which almost describes how to use it here (http://www.calumetphoto.com/resources/images/pdfs/Manuals/ShutterTesterBrochure.pdf)

Unless I am mistaken, the PDF document doesn't mention what the button on the right is for. Does it reset the device ?


3-Jun-2007, 09:29
The button turns the unit on and resets it. You don't need to reset it between shots. You turn the unit on, set a lens on it with the shutter closed, aim everything towards a reasonably bright light, fire the shutter and the reading comes up on the display. The unit should reset itself and zero when the shutter opens and the light turns on. The display counts the time the light is on and stops counting when the light goes off. To see the unit count the time, try using a few second shutter speed and you'll see the numbers count up. The unit is supposed to work under a wide range of optical intensities but mine is pretty sensitive to how much light you use. Mine works best in a relatively dim room with a bright desk lamp aimed at the shutter.
Good luck,
Dave B.

Glenn Thoreson
3-Jun-2007, 11:12
Yes, the button is the on/off switch. I just use mine for testing leaf shutters. I just aim the thing out the window at the sunny view of the street. The readout is in thousandths of a second. There should be a sticker on the case that gives times in modern progression. I like to use the table in the booklet, as I think it better suits my needs. Since you don't have that, you may need to do a little math. If the PDF document has the table that includes old/new speeds, you may want to print that. It's very handy.

Will Thompson
3-Jun-2007, 11:40
The readout is in thousandths of a second.

The least significant digit is in "one hundred thousandths" of a second and the most is in seconds.

I have a manual on it's way to me and should arrive in around a week.

Paul Fitzgerald
3-Jun-2007, 19:28

You're suppose to back-up until the meter does nothing, move toward the light source until it starts counting, then move 30% closer. The tester displays the last speed tested until you re-shoot.

have fun with it.

Robert A. Zeichner
4-Jun-2007, 03:54
A couple of things the book might not tell you. At faster shutter speeds, it is best to test at an aperture that approximates what you are likely to be shooting at. This is because the transit time (duration of shutter opening and closing) will influence the reading you get. At slow shutter speeds it is inconsequential as a proportion of the total time the shutter is open. Also, you should exercise the shutter at each speed before beginning the testing and then when testing each speed, take three successive readings and average them. If there is a great disparity between times for several readings at the same speed, this is reason to suspect the shutter is in need of service. Remember, consistency is more important than accuracy.

Ken Lee
4-Jun-2007, 06:20
I have a manual on it's way to me and should arrive in around a week.

If you send me a copy, I will gladly scan it, save it as a PDF file, and post it on this forum.

On a separate note, when I used my tester a few years back, I was delighted to find that all my shutters were quite accurrate, including a Nikon camera from the 1980's, and some Agfa folders from the 1950's.

Peter Lewitt
4-Jun-2007, 06:42

I've copied my manual. PM me an address and I'll drop it in the mail

Peter Lewitt

Ken Lee
7-Jun-2007, 16:24
I got the manual from Peter, and am scanning it this evening. It's quite thorough.

Ken Lee
12-Jun-2007, 07:27
I have placed a copy of the manual at the following location:

Thanks Peter !!