View Full Version : Shutter for Zeiss Protarlinse?

20-Jan-2011, 04:11
Time ago i acquired a Protarlinse Series VII set (35cm + 29cm) fitted on a nice Compur No.2 shutter with two professionally made aluminium adapters.
Unfortunately i need that shutter for another use, and i am too broke to buy another one :-(
It's a Compur No.2 5/II, and it would nicely fit a 305mm G-Claron (first version, Dagor-like). I needed the same shutter for another orphaned lens, and i had to buy a convertible Symmar 240mm to get it! I had to shell out 151 euros for it, plus shipping, and i am left with two Symmar cells with no use, and very very little value. A real shame!
I tried to find some pictures of my Protars on the web, to see what was the original shutter used at the time.
Here is an example:
It's a dial-set Compur, looking bigger than a No.1.
So i went to my bargain shutters box, acquired over time, for as cheap as possible.
I found a black dial-set Compur, with the C.P. Goerz mark on it (probably the US company, cause it came from there).
I found a strange thing: the threads are perfectly OK, nevertheless the shutter is not compatible.
The back thread could be OK, but it's too recessed , so the cell gets screwed all the way with just one and a half turns. It should be enough to retain the cell, so i won't complain.
The front thread, on the other hand, is too short. Instead of threading the front attachment all the way down, it was threaded for one cm. or so, and below there is a restriction. The 35cm cell protrudes at the back, so it gets against the restriction before it gets ingrained in the thread.
I had the naive idea that old dial-set shutters were more or less standard, but now i understand that the sad reality is that spacing (the length of threads) was different from one example to another. Finding a shutter with the right threads diameter is not everything, you must be lucky enough to find a shutter that was made for similar cells.

Machining the front thread all the way down would leave a spacing about 1mm too short, so the front cell should be shimmed. I guess that the shutter should be better disassembled, to avoid metal shreds from entering the shutter innards.
All in all, not exactly cheap.
So i am asking here.
Maybe somebody has a much better knowledge about old dial-set Compurs.
Maybe the example i own is just ann odd version made under Goerz specs.
Maybe most of the similar shutters would work with the Protars with no modifications at all.
Who knows... :D
For sure, finding another example in working order would be cheaper and quicker than
having the work done on my shutter. Still looking for a cheap, fast and capable lathe artist... but no luck so far :(

Any advice?

have fun


20-Jan-2011, 18:44
Cheap, fast, and capable? Sign in a shop- "Work done here is cheap
pick any two "

I have a protar in a volute shutter, but they came in dozens of shutters over the many
years of production and versions

Michael Jones
21-Jan-2011, 12:40
Cheap, fast, and capable? Sign in a shop- "Work done here is cheap fast good
pick any two "

The last lens remount I had SK Grimes perform was $400 and I supplied the shutter.
This is large format; large applies to the price tag, too.

Good luck; I think an old Packard is your best bet.


22-Jan-2011, 19:38
I feel a little more optimistic :D
If you did read the post, the worst case scenario would be to increase the depth of the front thread. If the thread is machined all the way down, using all the available space, the spacing would probably come out too short. Less than 1mm difference, a small shim would solve that problem.
Unfortunately it's not the kind of work that can be done on a mounted shutter. All in all, a partial disassembling of the shutter, and a re-threading of the front flange, would easily cost more than an old dial-set Compur! As Boswald rightly said, "fast, cheap and good" very seldom go together, expecially when it comes to mechanical work.
That's the reason for asking the experts out there... most of the Protarlinse VII i have seen on the Web are mounted on old dial-set Compurs, so i guessed that it could have been more or less a standard size. Worth trying, if it's true: they can be found for 30 USD, or little more (the Compur/Goerz i have tested was even cheaper!).
The example on Volute shutter (soo nice and smooth, if they work) probably is a B&L Protar, isn't it?

Michael, i know that SK Grimes is one of the best options, if not THE best, and i am sure that the work they done for you deserves what you payed. The late owner passed a lot of expertise to his co-workers, and it's perfectly natural that you had to pay for it! AFAIK other laboratories ask for similar prices, not very surprising... few of them offer this kind of service these days.

Michael, i can't do anything with a Packard, i don't have the original barrel!
As clearly stated, the two Protar cells came in a Compur No.2, with two professionally made adapter rings. It's one of the three (at least) versions that were made by Deckel after WWII, exactly the right one i was looking for!
BTW, the overall value of the lens would be increased. The two "Protarlinse" cells are in excellent condition and have a nice value by themselves. If reseated in the original shutter their value would be increased. I don't care too much about it now, but i would be very happy if i could restore the lens to its former glory. Whoever loves old lenses knows all too well what i mean :D

Just a couple of considerations about Packards:

- the repeated advices given on this forum sound a little USA-centric, there are other choices available, mostly european, like Silens and Zettor. Sometimes they can be had for less, and with a larger choice of diameters. A few days ago a Silens with 120mm "hole" was sold on Ebay Germany. It didn't come cheap, though. Smaller sizes, from the same vendor, went for a lot less. In the same days i won a Zettor (with 57mm hole) for just 20.50 euros + shipping. All of them were made to be fitted in front of the lens, easier to adapt, IMHO; both makes are not impossible to find, with a little patience and regular searches.

- there are other choices for shutterless lenses, some better than others.
A good example of a two-sided choice is the Thornton Pickard. I knew about their existence, but i never owned one. I thought that Thornton Pickard were clunky and primitive, then i got one with the purchase of an old Petzval. I have no experience with others, but my example works well: consistent and not as fragile as it looks. I understand that there were various updates to the original design, i have seen some with all-wood case and a few with part-brass. I don't know if the updates were substantial or not, i bet that a few on this forum know much better tha me :D
I wouldn't reccomend a Thornton Pickard though, the front cover is not robust enough for large and heavy lenses, and there are plenty of vibrations. If you release the shutter while it sits on your palm, you'll understand what i mean. There is a big slap! Somebody complained about vibrations with a Sinar/Copal shutter, reporting that it was better suited for in-studio sessions, with flash. I did the same "palm test" on the Sinar/Copal, there are some vibrations, ok, but for the Thornton is a no-contest. The Sinar is a feather, in comparison :D

- there were a lot of discussions about Sinar shutters, and how they could be adapted to non-Sinar cameras. I have seen some pictures of professionally made adaptations, and i did a very easy one myself, modifying the bellows of an old De Vere MultiPurpose 8x10 monorail, to allow to mount the shutter the same way is fitted on Sinar cameras, albeit rotated by 90 degrees.
Unfortunately Sinar shutters, electric or mechanical, still command a high price these days. They are easy to find though, and a very good choice if money is not the main objection.
Nevertheless, therere are other choices, cheaper than a Sinar, and more flexible and trustworthy than Packards and Packard alternatives.
They are strictly EU stuff, meaning that you could find them from EU vendors only. While Sinars are made in Europe, they are available on the used market mostly everywhere. The two following choices were made in small numbers and most of them sold in a rather restricted market.
The first is a behind-the-lens shutter sold for FKD wooden cameras (13x18cm and 18x24cm). It's an all-metal construction, with an ample set of speeds. It's very unfortunate that most of these shutters, on sale today, are at least overused, if not plainly battered. I upload two pictures, one shows a detail of the bayonet mount for easy lens removal.
There are other "communist" shutters, i have seen one with pneumatic bulb actuation, and there is the curtain shutter made for East Germany Mentor cameras, but they are difficult to find.
Another uncommon choice, not far in concept and functions from the Sinar/Copal, is the Plaubel shutter. One was sold on Ebay Germany a few days ago. It was made for Plaubel Peco Universal cameras. Not so different from a mechanical Sinar shutter, but it does not need any special (and very expensive) cable release.

Here you can see two pictures each of the mentioned shutters

have fun