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Thread: UK Lens repair and shutter installation for Cooke Aviar

  1. #1

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    UK Lens repair and shutter installation for Cooke Aviar

    Reaching out for tips on a specialist large format repair service in UK (ideally). I have a lovely TTH Cooke Aviar 8 1/2" f6 lens with a mangled iris. If the aperture mechanism can be fixed that would be wonderful but can anyone advise on whether such a lens could be fitted with a Copal or other shutter which includes an aperture mechanism? If so, who might be able to do this? From the old Taylor Taylor Hobson/Cooke literature it indicates that they did offer a service to install shutters in these lenses but that was more than half a century ago...Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2

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    Re: UK Lens repair and shutter installation for Cooke Aviar

    You could try: https://www.newtonellis.com. They recently serviced an 1895 TTH lens for me, although you will have to ask whether they can fit a shutter. You could also ask https://skyllaney.com who might be able to tackle such a job. Also Cooke themselves may be able to suggest a specialist.

  3. #3

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    Re: UK Lens repair and shutter installation for Cooke Aviar

    Thank you. I'll give them all a try. I'm a bit surprised that the UK doesn't seem to have at least one specialist like S.K. Grimes. We've had more than 150 years to create a few!

  4. #4

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    Re: UK Lens repair and shutter installation for Cooke Aviar

    Most of our optics makers were absorbed into the Rank Organisation in the '60s, or moved into military and specialist optics design and supply where some of them remain. I would say that the consumer large format optical market became uneconomic a long time ago in the UK. That said, there are a number of repairers still going who can probably repair such lenses still but specialist services such as fitting shutters may be tricky.

  5. #5

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    Re: UK Lens repair and shutter installation for Cooke Aviar

    Snap! I have the identical lens, right down to the 'X5' and 'Copying'!

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    Just to show you what can be done in the way of shutters Jose at Custom Photo Tools (in Portugal) made me this brass Ilex No 5 to Whitworth 2" adapter so that I can use my TTH RVP with it... Here it is dwarfing a Canham board.

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    Your Aviar 8 1/2" will have a 1 3/4" (1.75") Whitworth thread at 24 TPI - that's 44.45mm in diameter. I don't know what other shutters you could use but there are plenty of very knowledgeable folks here

    Although older shutters can have the advantage of many-bladed, circular apertures there are also disadvantages - they can be hard to find, tend to have a limited range of speeds (often the higher speeds fire at all the same speed - slower!) and (if you are planning on using the shutter aperture) you will have some aperture calculations to do.

    Good luck - let us know how you get on!

  6. #6

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    Re: UK Lens repair and shutter installation for Cooke Aviar

    Thanks Peter - that is good information. I was recommended (by Cooke) to try True Lens in the UK and am awaiting a response. It is feeling like a long shot to get this lovely optic back in commission but I'm making my best effort. As a user can you tell me if it is worth the trouble? I know back in the day these were highly rated lenses but should I console myself - in case of failure - with something more practical already in shutter?

  7. #7

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    Re: UK Lens repair and shutter installation for Cooke Aviar

    Quote Originally Posted by apbphoto View Post
    Thanks Peter - that is good information. I was recommended (by Cooke) to try True Lens in the UK and am awaiting a response. It is feeling like a long shot to get this lovely optic back in commission but I'm making my best effort. As a user can you tell me if it is worth the trouble? I know back in the day these were highly rated lenses but should I console myself - in case of failure - with something more practical already in shutter?
    Sorry, I haven't tried it yet... but the Aviars / Aviaricas are highly regarded, a dialyte design I believe.

    Maybe balance the cost of the aperture repair against the value of the lens in a repaired state. I would imagine that you would be a little out of pocket.

    If you don't want to stretch to a shutter you could always try the lens with paper negs to start with - at a speed of ASA 3 or 6 you're talking seconds (or maybe even minutes, depending on the time of day) and can just do the 'top hat' technique of taking the lens cap off and then putting it back on. It's cheap too

  8. #8
    Martin Aislabie's Avatar
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    Re: UK Lens repair and shutter installation for Cooke Aviar

    Have you tried Black on White in Bristol - http://www.bonwcameras.co.uk/

    I have used them many times and found them very good with shutters.

    It is worth at least giving them a call about what they can and cannot do for such a lens.

    Good luck

    Martin

  9. #9

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    Re: UK Lens repair and shutter installation for Cooke Aviar

    Quote Originally Posted by Martin Aislabie View Post
    Have you tried Black on White in Bristol - http://www.bonwcameras.co.uk/

    I have used them many times and found them very good with shutters.

    It is worth at least giving them a call about what they can and cannot do for such a lens.

    Good luck

    Martin
    Thanks Martin. Yes I tried them but they said they couldn’t do it. Newton Ellis too busy to take new business. S K Grimes are up for it but would be a large multiple of what the lens is worth. Hmm

  10. #10
    Ron (Netherlands)'s Avatar
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    Re: UK Lens repair and shutter installation for Cooke Aviar

    Looking at German shutters this lens would need at least a Compur 2 or Compound 3 shutter - and since these are mostly made with continental thread - you would also need a tailor made adapter; all in all quite costly.
    btw Acme no 3 might also fit, and maybe the Betax shutter which have imperial threads.

    some specs



    What is exactly wrong with the aperture in your lens; are parts really broken or 'only' misaligned?
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