View Full Version : Studio Shutter Repair

17-Mar-2011, 10:31
If like me, you have a lens with a Studio shutter that is missing the actuator block, and open/close lever... All is not lost. In this instance, I had a #5 16" Vitax lens with #5 shutter that had all it's aperture blades and appeared to work, it just needed some TLC.

Basically I used a piece of 1/32 brass sheet, and cut a rectangle out, large enough to cover the distance between the two mounting holes and someroom to spare. After measuring, marking, punching, and drilling the holes, I made a dry fit using 2 stainless screws cut down that were sourced from 'Hobby Town' originally used for some type of RC linkgage brackets or something like that. Dry fit was good... Now the hard part.

How do I interface the actuator lever??? Then I came up with a solution of using a brass tube, and a nylon 'shuttle' for want of a better word. This 'shuttle' had a notch cut into it to engage the actuator lever. The brass tubing and nylon shutter was sourced from ACE Hardware in their small parts sections... Select the tubing and nylon so they slide over each other easily, but not too sloppy.

Then came the cap for a cable release. This was just a small knurled brass screw/knob that was a push fit into the end of the brass tubing. I soldered this in place. Make sure to take a cable release into the store to select the right sized knurled nut.

Then I made the eliptical cut in the tubing using a sanding roller in my drill press. Just move the tubing backwards and forwards and eventually you will break through and create the eliptical shaped hole. Make sure to smooth out any swarf that results from the sanding and test fit the nylon shuttle that it moves unhindered up and down the tubing still. The nylon shuttle also has a hole in it through the middle, I inserted some brass rod into this hole so that adjustments could be made once it's all bolted together.

The really hard part involves soldering the brass tubing to the sheet. For this, I used some pliers and made particular attention to alignment.... Once you are ready, then start heating one end up in the flame of a small blow torch... Once it's heated, gradually feed in some regular rosin core solder where the metal pieces touch making sure that NONE gets inside the tube piece!!!

I soldered one end to the middle, and let it cool. Then I held the piece with the pliers at the joined end and soldered the remaining half, and let it cool again.

Then I made a small lever out of brass sheet for the open/close function and placed a pin the correct distance away from the center screw so that it engage the open/close mechanism. The pin was made of a small piece of brass rod that was pushed through a drilled hole in the lever, and soldered like above.. Voila!!

Here is the end result fitted to the Vitax lens. Once the cable release is fitted to the knurled nut end, the metal rod inside the nylon shuttle can be pushed out to engage the cable release end by inserting a jewelers screwdriver into the other end of the shutter tube. Once there is contact, a small dab of epoxy can be placed inside the back of the shuttle to make sure it does not slip... screw the assembly onto the lens and go shoot!!! This ended up costing me about $10 in materials overall... If you are good wiht hand tools, it should be easy.

Enjoy, YMMV.

17-Mar-2011, 10:47
Very nice work, Andrew. I'd gladly pay you to make one for my #5 studio shutter, since as simple as it is--I don't have the tools.

Steven Tribe
17-Mar-2011, 11:07
You might want to use solder with a high silver content which has a lower melting point temperature.

17-Mar-2011, 12:35
This is yet another reason I prefer a barrel over studio shutters. Is there any chance that knurled nut with the cable release thread has a manufacturer name and a part number?
The rest looks pretty basic, but short of buying the threaded knurled nut, this step would be tricky. It would involve a drill, a tap and a vise. It could easily damage the knurling if not careful.
Good work... and inexpensive!


17-Mar-2011, 13:17
Chris, I added a picture of the knurled nut I used above.... Basically, the main tube is 11/32" outside diameter. I found a knurled nut that would allow the smooth/round end to be inserted into the 11/32" tubing..... To do this I wrapped a small piece of solder in the small groove around the middle of the nut. I push fit the nut into the end of the tube, and then heatied it up with a blow torch.... As for an actual part number, I do not have that.... just find one that will allow the smaller non knurled end to fit into an 11/32 tube and you are set.

17-Mar-2011, 13:45
Fortunately my Vitax lives in a barrel, but this thread will offer help to those with the same problem on various size studio shutters.
Thanks for posting.