View Full Version : Shutter repair for amateurs (idiots)

7-Oct-2008, 21:47
So, found a nice little '8x10' planatograph lens in an old, old double plunger premo shutter and got it for, well, prett much nothing. The folks who sold it to me were laughing that I actually bought it but they didn't even know what they had. Anyways, victory for me on that one. I got home and cleaned the elements and they are crystal clear. I decided what the hell, Ill try and get the shutter working. Well, that didn't go so well. I got a few screws out of the face plate and then I was staring at what might as well have been a nuclear reactor. No clue.

At the end of all the squinting and cursing I ended up with a pile of parts but I did get the stuck shutter opened up which is good.

I don't recommend it.

By the way, anyone know anything about this lens? It looks to be a symmetrical design with three cemented elements on either end.

7-Oct-2008, 22:25
All I can say is to send it to Carol at Flutot's Camera Repair. She's my personal guardian angel of shutter repair. Very reasonable prices even for vintage shutters.

I had a tiny brass 8x10 WA that another repair service had gotten apart about thirty years ago and could not put back together. Several others had tried and given up in the intervening years. Carol got it right within a couple of weeks.

7-Oct-2008, 23:26
Oh, its no big deal, just was for fun. Im pretty sure it was missing the springs for the different intervals but could be used in 'T' mode. I got the lens for $20.00. It was sitting on the top shelf of this little camera store next to all the other 'neat' camera stuff that small camera stores feel like they need to show off. They had no idea what it was and thought it was junk. Im sure I can make something happen with it. Also, found a guy who has a big, big Verito, dosen't know what it is and is going to sell it to me for $100.00 at another camera store that I found in the last few months. Same thing, it was just sitting out as decoration. Just need to go back and get it.

8-Oct-2008, 03:40
Hollis, I wonder if he reads this forum :)

Ernest Purdum
8-Oct-2008, 09:39
Run, don't walk.

Gene McCluney
8-Oct-2008, 10:16
The double plunger style of shutter uses one plunger to "time" the shutter opening, as the plunger descends against a cushion of air going out of a controlled opening at the bottom of the plunger cylinder. To get various shutter speeds, the plunger is raised to different heights when you cock the shutter. There is probably only one spring that puts tension on the plunger, not several....

The other plunger is for you to attach a hose and squeeze-bulb for a shutter release. The early version of a "cable release".

I personally have found, that IF all the shutter parts are intact, most shutters can be made to work with a thorough cleaning with a zero-residue cleaning fluid..which can be found in electronics parts stores. You do not need to dis-assemble the shutter to clean it, although removing the face-plate is a good idea. You saturate the mechanism with cleaner so as to get it soaking wet where the fluid will actually "wash" out the dirt and dried lubricant. It sometimes helps to fire the shutter several times during the cleaning process. Now after cleaning, to get the shutter to be accurate requires various procedures which vary with shutter design, but if the shutter "seems" to work at the various speeds, you can always take it to a shop with a shutter tester and have the shutter scale calibrated to "actual" shutter speeds. Those double-piston shutters sometimes respond (after cleaning) to a very light coating of graphite on the cylinders.

8-Oct-2008, 13:06
Thats some good info, thanks. What about putting the shutter into an ultrasonic bath like they use to clean jewelery, would that screw it up? I have plans in the works to get the verito and no, he does not read this post.

Does any one know about the lens (the 8x10 planatograph that is) though?

Glenn Thoreson
8-Oct-2008, 14:38
Off the top of my noggin, I'm going to guess that it's kind of like a fancier (optically) version of an Aplanat. What you need to do, whether you can make the shutter work or not, is make sure you don't destroy the aperture blades and mechanism. Some of those use composite blades that are very fragile. You need to preserve those even if you have to use a lens cap for shutter timing. You could clean the parts in an ultrasonic cleaner but make sure any blades are metal, not composite paper and owl snot or something. They'll ruin. Nice find, BTW. :D
Oh, yeah - those pneumatic tubes need to be absolutely clean and dry. Dry! Don't put oil on them.

8-Oct-2008, 14:43
the aperture blades are all fine. One was out of position but I was able to slip it back into place. There seems to be more than the usual amount of blades so hopefully, nice bokeh. They are fully protected by what used to be the shutter. It is now just part of the lens holding the front and rear together and housing the aperture. Ill probably rig it to a packard, perhaps.

Glenn Thoreson
8-Oct-2008, 14:48
I think you might like what that old lens can do for you. Good luck.

Vick Ko
8-Oct-2008, 16:45
Ah grasshopper, when you can reassemble the box of screws, you are ready......

It took me years, but I can reassemble a Leica M if you had it all apart in a box and shook it all up.

But a shutter? And for the first time? You take it apart by learning it, a couple screws at a time, and take meticulous notes.

It sounds like you enjoyed it. That matters a lot. Maybe find a second one to use as a "master" and put the first one back together.


9-Oct-2008, 15:28
Nope, threw away the rest of the parts. Patience is not my virtue. I figure it works better than when I got it so that is a good thing. Works for me.