View Full Version : Sharing a shutter between lenses

John O'Connell
9-Apr-2004, 09:56
I'm getting ready to set up a barrel lens for my 8x10 for my summer photography season. I was assuming I'd be ordering a Packard shutter once I decided on the lens. But if I find a lens that would only cost a little more than a Packard to machine onto the Copal 3 I already carry, I could avoid the bulk and cost of the Packard and an additional 5" lensboard, air bulb & hose, etc.

Plus I could just gin up a little box for the two groups of the long lens and avoid another big piece of Tupperware in my already large & unwieldy 8x10 backpack.

Others have occasionally mentioned this idea and people usually disapprove, saying that it's simply impractical, you accidentally expose with two mismatched elements, it's tough to remember which aperture scale to use, etc. But if you can avoid the weight of an Ilex 5 or Copal 3 in your bag, why not avoid it?

David A. Goldfarb
9-Apr-2004, 10:04
I use a 12" Dagor and a 19" Apo-Artar front mounted on an Ilex #5 shutter that normally contains a 10" WF Ektar, and it works for me for 8x10". I get three lenses with plenty of coverage, less bulk and weight, and consistent shutter speeds from one lens to the next.

You're not likely to mismatch elements, if you have the basic organizational skills required for large-format photography. If you were to commit such an unlikely blunder and got something that was able to produce a focused image, you would notice immediately that the focal length was wrong.

Plenty of people have long managed with convertable lenses, and the aperture scales are usually engraved logically in order of focal length, and if you're accustomed to it, they are not easy to confuse.

I may eventually have the Dagor and Apo-Artar remounted, though, in their own shutters, because I'm also using them on 11x14", and I really need all the coverage they can give, and through front-mounting is not a major restriction for 8x10", I do get some vignetting when I try to use them with movements on 11x14".

Dan Fromm
9-Apr-2004, 10:42
John, I share a Copal #1 among a number of lenses, most of them set up to screw into its front via a variety of adapters. FWIW, the last time I checked, SKGrimes' price for a "large" adapter for front mounting was $125. This quote was for an adapter to accept a 260/10 Process Nikkor, and was based on the lens' barrel's diameter. Other machine shops' prices may differ.

Anyway, one of these lenses lives on the shutter in a "Tupperware" (Rubbermaid food storage container, really) box, three of them go into one food storage container, the last has its own container. This is fairly practical and seems preferable to having a shutter for each of the lenses. Each end of each lens is capped for protection and the storage containers are all dust tight.

I like your idea. Go for it!



Ernest Purdum
9-Apr-2004, 13:26
You might want to consider a lens that would fit right into your Copal #3. The later type 355mm G-Claron comes to mind, but there are others.

The Copal #3 is too small for many lenses when it comes to front mounting. If your shutter is one of the all-black types with two diaphragm scales, I suppose you coud use one for each lens.