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Thread: Shutter Speed Tester

  1. #1

    Shutter Speed Tester

    This may be the wrong place to ask this question, but has anyone tried one of those phone apps to test shutter speeds on both leaf and focal plane shutters? I have looked on Ebay for the traditional ones. Either not complete or too expensive for my needs. I have a Samsung phone. I know there are a couple of apps out there that rely on acoustics, but to get a light transmission reading there is an attachment of some sort for your phone. Thanks!

  2. #2

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    Re: Shutter Speed Tester

    I purchased the simple sensor from the eBay seller based in Romania. Instead of plugging into an iPhone you hook it up to your computer and use Audacity to analyze the readings.

    At this point I can say it works, but I haven't tested all my shutters properly yet because need to round up a proper light source. That's surprisingly difficult. The ideal light source is a Mag light with the head screwed off so it's just a naked bulb, but those can't be purchased retail anymore where i am. Everyone has gone to LED lights, which don't work properly. This will be a project for the next few months.

  3. #3

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    Re: Shutter Speed Tester

    I tried the phone app that uses acoustics to measure shutter speed and found it difficult to properly place the begin/end markers. I, then, bought the sensor attachment thinking this would provide more accurate readings; never could get it to work so I returned it. Some time later I bought a dedicated tester off eBay. If memory serves, it was around $75 and works as intended.

  4. #4

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    Re: Shutter Speed Tester

    Quote Originally Posted by JimboWalker View Post
    This may be the wrong place to ask this question, but has anyone tried one of those phone apps to test shutter speeds on both leaf and focal plane shutters? I have looked on Ebay for the traditional ones. Either not complete or too expensive for my needs. I have a Samsung phone. I know there are a couple of apps out there that rely on acoustics, but to get a light transmission reading there is an attachment of some sort for your phone. Thanks!
    There are optic testers at ebay for smartphones for some $30, optic but connected to the audio input. I use one of those but I connect it to an oscilloscope, perfect. Search: shutter tester. For some $80 you may get an standalone model with its own display.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  5. #5

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    Re: Shutter Speed Tester

    Quote Originally Posted by rdeloe View Post
    I purchased the simple sensor from the eBay seller based in Romania. Instead of plugging into an iPhone you hook it up to your computer and use Audacity to analyze the readings.

    At this point I can say it works, but I haven't tested all my shutters properly yet because need to round up a proper light source. That's surprisingly difficult. The ideal light source is a Mag light with the head screwed off so it's just a naked bulb, but those can't be purchased retail anymore where i am. Everyone has gone to LED lights, which don't work properly. This will be a project for the next few months.
    What's wrong with using LED lights? I could imagine LED's and flourescants plugged into the wall might have issues with them flickering on and off at 50-60Hz. But I would think a battery powered one would work just as well as a regular incandescent bulb, since it would be a constant on as well. Unless the photodiode only read IR, which would be a bit weird of a product design. I know most photodiodes read better in the IR region, but they should still read enough of the visible spectrum to do this job without any problems, I would think.

  6. #6

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    Re: Shutter Speed Tester

    Quote Originally Posted by jim10219 View Post
    What's wrong with using LED lights? I could imagine LED's and flourescants plugged into the wall might have issues with them flickering on and off at 50-60Hz. But I would think a battery powered one would work just as well as a regular incandescent bulb, since it would be a constant on as well. Unless the photodiode only read IR, which would be a bit weird of a product design. I know most photodiodes read better in the IR region, but they should still read enough of the visible spectrum to do this job without any problems, I would think.
    According to the guy that made the testing unit I bought, you have to avoid weak light sources, light sources that have multiple lights (common for an LED flashlight), and light sources that have a reflector. Apparently multiple light sources introduce very large errors.

    I read the instruction manual again. You can use an LED if you can avoid multiple light sources and reflectors. I ruled them out in my mind when writing my previous post because I have not seen an LED light source that meets this test. I sent the guy a picture of a tiny LED flashlight I have -- super bright, one "bulb". He said it wouldn't work because it has a reflector.

    This is the kind of cheap light source he thought would work well. There are probably a gazillion of these things floating around in peoples' junk drawers... Sadly, my junk drawer doesn't have any!

    Click image for larger version. 

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  7. #7

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    Re: Shutter Speed Tester

    this was covered so many times. here are some great diy gizmos...

    https://www.largeformatphotography.i...r-Tester/page2

    btw any battery operated light source will suffice.

  8. #8

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    Re: Shutter Speed Tester

    If anyone wants to try it, this is the one I bought: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Camera-shut...item23a9ca33a5

    I think the picture Pere showed, above, is of a device made by the same guy.

  9. #9
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Shutter Speed Tester

    that's the guy who sold a few of us very nice simple shutter testers a while back.

    I have one that's works on iOs with his app and almost any LED flash worked for me. But I can't find it after my move...

    Go to his eBay page and look around.
    sin eater

  10. #10

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    Re: Shutter Speed Tester

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Moe View Post
    that's the guy who sold a few of us very nice simple shutter testers a while back.

    I have one that's works on iOs with his app and almost any LED flash worked for me. But I can't find it after my move...

    Go to his eBay page and look around.
    The one I bought is the most basic. He makes and sells more sophisticated versions. He was very responsive on email, and he supplied a nice instruction manual. Recommended.

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