View Full Version : Optar/Graphex shutter intermittently fast?

Rick Koo
11-Mar-1999, 19:14
Hi All-

I picked up a Pacemaker Crown with an Optar 135 about a week ago. The shutter so unded (I know, everyone says that, but bear with me)pretty accurate. One second seemed right on. Now, after about maybe 50 firings, the one second is freakin' o ut noticeably. It'll range from about one second to maybe less than one-half of a second. It started sporadically, but now is becoming much more common.

Is this a common problem? Forgive my ignorance, but I'm new to LF. Is there an e asy fix? Is it a lube issue? I bought the camera from Midwest, so I've still got some time to renege on the sale if the lens/shutter is basically useless now. I 'm reluctant to do so, however, as the rest of the camera is in pretty good shap e.

Thanks for the help!


12-Mar-1999, 08:31
In my experience, this is not an uncommon occourance. Wheter the lens is valuable or good enough to warrant a clean, lube and adjustment is up to you. If after shooting some sheets of film with the other speeds the shutter seems to be accurate enough to be usable to you, you may find that you can live without 1 second. I have a couple of lenses that only go to 1/2 second, they have no 1 second,a couple that the 1 second is like yours, and an old 135 Optar that the 1 second got funky on just like yours. I don't miss the 1 second on those and never use it on the lenses that 1 second works on. My exposure style makes a 1/2 or 1 second exposure into a 2 second or more exposure, it works for me, it may not for you. My experience also has been that even after years of use, the shutter on the Optar will work acceptibaly at the other speeeds, up to 100, I have never used the 200, but is a rather soft lens (low contrast). Once compared to a current model MC lens it quickly got relegated to the shelf in the darkroom with the Speed Graphic and assorted items to good to get rid of. Obviously you will need to make some personal decisions but in large format there are many compromises that you will need to make, unless you have unlimited funds, which most don't have.

Tony Brent
15-Mar-1999, 23:12
The slow speed gear train is dirty and/or out of adjustment. A job for a repairman. If the speeds from 1/25 up are working, you should have a decent shutter. If there is no visible gunk on the shutter blades (which will also give intermittent speed variations) there should be no need to tear it all the way down. If you can see a sort of ghost print of the edge of the shutter blade on the one just below it, or if they open and close sluggishly, they have oil on them and the shutter needs to be stripped down. As far as I am concerned, that is a decent lens, and worth putting a bit into.