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Thread: nice new lens, but sticky shutter

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Apr 2021
    Location
    Orlando
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    10

    nice new lens, but sticky shutter

    Hi everyone!

    I received a nice new (used) Nikkor 75mm this morning, and in testing things out found that the shutter was sticking below 1/8 second. So, I promptly initiated a return on Ebay.

    But, continuing to "exercise" the shutter, it seems to have gotten nearly completely better at all speeds.

    So my general question, as all of our gear ages--I would imagine that as mechanical devices this is all somewhat to be expected as they're not making this stuff any longer. So my thought is to keep the lens and if it acts up regularly to send in for a CLA. As time goes on it might seem that finding gear, particularly shutters that are perfect will become increasingly difficult.

    So it might also seem that buying a "new in box" Copal shutter that has not been cycled since it was made would be an also risky/iffy proposition.

    Is my thinking correct on this, or am I sort of all wet as a newbie? A final thought: my Mamiya lenses have not been getting a lot of use the last couple years, and one of my wide angle lenses had a "sticky shutter" in the slow speeds. Some exercising seemed to help in that case as well! That would seem to substantiate my thoughts some?

    Wayne

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Newbury, Vermont
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    1,260

    Re: nice new lens, but sticky shutter

    Giving a sticky shutter a bit of exercise can usually get things working OK in the warmer months...but up here in Vermont, the stickiness will typically return once more as the weather turns colder. Maybe not a problem in Orlando?

    I actually just disassembled a Copal #1 shutter to clean and re-lube the slow speed mechanism (Googled to get a decent youtube about this). Pretty straightforward...need to turn a half-moon cam to remove faceplate, then remove three screws to lift the slow speed mechanism out, dip in alcohol and use sewing machine oil to re-lube, then reinstall...and now works like a charm.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Apr 2021
    Location
    Orlando
    Posts
    10

    Re: nice new lens, but sticky shutter

    Thanks, I think I watched that video too! Actually, it was enough to scare me away from attempting a diy clean and lube. You're also right, cool not much of a problem right now. Though, some of better shooting weather during winter might warrant keeping an eye on this shutter. Since I posted, have had the shutter on my desk and I'll pick it up and fire a few times periodically. I don't want to speak to soon (or jinx it) but actually seems to be working perfectly fine!

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Apr 2021
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    Orlando
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    10

    Re: nice new lens, but sticky shutter

    Maybe the plane ride from Japan via Fedex was cold enough to slow things down??

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    2,280

    Re: nice new lens, but sticky shutter

    "New Old Stock" never implies perfect as new. Lubricants dry out often turning into clay or similar sticky Gooo preventing proper operation of the mechanical bits.
    What Looks perfect on the outside could easily be a horror story inside.

    While exercising this shutter might get it sorta running again, it's actual shutter speeds and reliability remains questionable. What this shutter needs is a proper Clean-Lube-Adjust by a highly skilled and qualified individual to make it good again. This is another potential "penny wise-pound foolish" event in the making as the belief of new-old-stock in the box IS new become the reality of a sticky shutter. Exercising the shutter sorta gets it to perceived working again only to discover when images made with film by this shutter has incorrect exposure resulting in a long list of problems and wasted resources and time involved with the making of those images.


    Bernice

  6. #6
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Dec 2011
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    16,625

    Re: nice new lens, but sticky shutter

    It also could be an on shelf reject

    Pros used to try as many lenses as possible and pick the best

    The losers went back on shelf for us...

    Almost all OLD lenses were sent to user for examination, approval, then billed

    Read that in old catalogs

    Linhof Select is a real thing
    2022

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    2,280

    Re: nice new lens, but sticky shutter

    Been there done this, thanks to a excellent LF camera dealer that would allow try lots before buy.

    Back then it was test and check out the lens lots to make sure making the commitment to purchase and own as each lens was not low cost back then. Dropping over $1000 and much more on a single new LF lens back then was common. The lens to be purchased had to earn it's keep or there would be little reasons to own-use it. The ones that were not suitable, were often returned and others tried. That said, it was remarkable how consistently excellent those new LF lenses were. This was not true for vintage lenses back then like APO artar, Dagor, Heilar, Xenar, Ektar and ... ya had to test and try before buy. Some were absolute duds with apparent previous user abuse in hidden ways. The shutters on these vintage lenses were a constant source of frustration. They had to be serviced with C_L_A before they could be trusted to be exposure time believable or reliable. Eventually this got so tiresome and all the vintage in shutter lenses were replaced by a Sinar shutter.. problem with these vintage shutters went away long as the Sinar shutter was maintained as needed.


    Bernice


    Quote Originally Posted by Tin Can View Post
    It also could be an on shelf reject

    Pros used to try as many lenses as possible and pick the best

    The losers went back on shelf for us...

    Almost all OLD lenses were sent to user for examination, approval, then billed

    Read that in old catalogs

    Linhof Select is a real thing

  8. #8
    Ray Van Nes
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Calgary, AB Canada
    Posts
    145

    Re: nice new lens, but sticky shutter

    Needs cleaning and all will be well. Someone like Carol Flutot can sort that for you.

  9. #9
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Feb 2007
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    5,952

    Re: nice new lens, but sticky shutter

    Not being able to do simple repairs on lenses and shutters puts one at a serious disadvantage in this line of work.

  10. #10
    Photographer
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Pine Junction, CO
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    917

    Re: nice new lens, but sticky shutter

    A thing that has worked for me occasionally is to remove the lens cells, and then squirt a little lighter fluid into the shutter, and then exercise it. My guess is that it liquifies the previous lube. Worth trying.
    Keith Pitman

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