View Full Version : lens/shutter question - 180mm Carl Zeiss Jena Goerz-Dagor 6.8/compur

4-Feb-2004, 20:06
Hello..recently i acquired a 180mm Carl Zeiss Jena Goerz-Dagor 6.8 lens in an older style dial-set compur shutter. The shutter speeds are all off and so i'm wondering if it would be possible to directly remount this lens in a newer rim-set compur or perhaps a copal 1? I know i could sent it to S.K Grimes and have them remount it. I have used their wonderful services before in the past (and highly recommend them)..i'm going to attach 2 photos of the lens here


Both the front and rear cell threads look like they are 40mm ( i think a copal 1 is 40mm front/36mm rear ). The rear of the compur shutter has an extended or raised threaded rim about 8mm high from the flush back of the shutter.

Does any of this sound familiar to anyone? am i hoping too much to just switch out the old shutter with a newer/new one?

5-Feb-2004, 06:38
I don't know the answer to your question.

But why not just have S. K. Grimes company do a CLA of your existing shutter? It appears to be in fairly decent shape?

Ernest Purdum
5-Feb-2004, 07:03
Copal made a size 1 self-cocking shutter with 40mm threads front and back. The speeds are B, 1 to 1/125 second and it has a pc synch. It operates by cable release only - no release lever. There are two cable release sockets, one of which opens the shutter regardless of setting. There is also a tiny lever which seems to do nothing on the defective example I have. There is an iris diaphragm, but the shutter I have has never been mounted, and the scale is unmarked.

I have no idea what the application of this shutter was. I am guessing that it is one of the several types of special shutters that Copal made for Polaroid (it has similarities to the MP-4 shutter). I am also guessing that Jim Galli knows and perhaps will provide more information.

John D Gerndt
5-Feb-2004, 07:29
I guess we are all hoping for a “drop-in” solution to shutter problems. I have heard of a few and my eyes/ears are always sharp for this cheap and easy fix to a bad shutter. I hear that you can do it with a G-Claron and a couple others and then too I read that some of these direct from barrel to copal fixes don’t work out.

I have decided that photography is just plain expensive. Greed for lenses is rampant; I am quite guilty of it! The only way I have found to subdue the green-eyed monster is to remember that many of my favorite photographers did very, very well with very little equipment.

If this Goerz beauty is going to be a well and often used part of your kit, the best/cheapest solution is to have the shutter brought up to snuff, like Sandy King suggested.

Advice I have given (and actually follow!) is to rear mount barrel lenses to a #5 universal to get the variety of glass without the variety of shutters that go with the oldie-but-goodies.

Jim Galli
5-Feb-2004, 09:42
Hi all. Reading along and saw my name but don't know the answer either. I have more than one lens in dial set Compur and agree with Sandy that the original shutter should be very useable with a CLA. A Zeiss dagor is a lucky find and should be a good performer. I thought all the Zeiss ones were f9 WA types.

Richard Årlin
5-Feb-2004, 09:45
I just couldn't resist checking the number of my own Zeiss Goerz Dagor 240mm in a slightly different Compur shutter: 1025273. According to Lngubas@zeisshistorica.org it was manufactured in april 24 1929 in a batch of 100 lenses. It seems the lens was recalculated regularly and mine was so on May 5, 1928.

Cheers Richard

tim atherton
5-Feb-2004, 09:47
"Hi all. Reading along and saw my name but don't know the answer either. I have more than one lens in dial set Compur and agree with Sandy that the original shutter should be very useable with a CLA. A Zeiss dagor is a lucky find and should be a good performer. I thought all the Zeiss ones were f9 WA types."

Oooh - if anyone has an old Carl Zeiss Dagor 180mm f9 they aren't using, send it my way...


5-Feb-2004, 23:54
One reason i was thinking of swapping it out is because the aperture scale on the shutter doesnt match the lens..the lens is a 6.8 but the shutter scale starts at 4.5 so im thinking that this was not the factory mount it originally came in and it must of been swapped out at some time in the past..the shutter basically has only 2 speeds, the faster speed that i tested with a shutter speed tester is about 1/10 sec...the slow speed is fairly inconsistent but comes in around 2secs. The dial turns ok but it feels a bit wonky (sorry, i'm Australian, I don't know if thats a word used in the real world :-)) so it might need more than a CLA and if thats the case then trying to get a newer shutter that would be appropriate might cost about same as getting it repaired somewhere like sk grimes? that's my thinking anyway, that's why i was hoping someone might recognise the shutter and suggest a compatible newer replacement. The compur is 2cms thick like newer compurs and copal 1's i think.

Michael S. Briggs
6-Feb-2004, 00:29
Older shutters weren't as standardized as ones of recent decades. On those grounds, the chances for a direct fit into a modern shutter aren't good, but there isn't any way to tell without more accurate measurements of the threads (diameter and pitch), distance between the ends of the threads, and depth of the iris within the shutter. All of these dimensions have to match. If the dimensions don't match, custom machining would be required. A booklet that came with a Copal No. 1 press gives the front threads as 40 mm X 0.75 mm, the rear as 36 mm X 0.75, and the "front and rear lens mounting length" as 20 mm plus or minus 0.025 mm.

You seem to be guessing that the shutter can't be repaired. Why not send it to an expert and find out? Most will give free estimates. If a CLA will revive the shutter, then that will cost much less than a custom adaptation to another shutter. On the other hand, dial-set Compurs don't have a great reputation, so perhaps paying to transfer the lens to another shutter would be a better investment. The people at S K. Grimes could examine the shutter (and measure the dimensions) and advise you. In either case they could make a correct aperture scale.

Mike Brown
15-May-2005, 18:36
There isn't anything wrong with the reliability of a dial set Compur after it has
been CLA'd. Forget changing shutters and just get the original fixed. Paul Ebel
in Spring Valley, WI. will do a complete jopb for about $60.00. Write to me and I wil give you his address.

Ole Tjugen
16-May-2005, 06:09
Just a few days ago I discovered the dial-set Compur shutter on a very nice old lens (Xenar typ D 15cm f:3,5) would only fire at 1/200 - regardless of setting. A quick google search gave me a page with basic dismantling instructions, so I dug out my screwdrivers and got to work.

One hour, four Q-tips, two drops of fine oil (valve oil for brass instruments) and some drops of lighter fuel later the shutter was operating correctly again - and all times were less than 10% off.

They are quite simple, yet ingenious shutters. I will always try the repair myself before sending a shutter for surgery: Either I can fix it for free, or it will be expensive anyway.

BTW, the 150/3,5 shutter is another one of the non-standard threaded ones, so replacement is not an option.