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Thread: Shutter replacements

  1. #1
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    Shutter replacements

    Could someone explain how lenses are mounted into copal shutters? If you have a lens and the shutter goes out, can you buy a new or used copal and with relatively little difficulty re-mount your lens? I've sort of imagined that LF lenses are like two assemblies (front and back) and that you just have to mount them into the shutter.

    Is this about right? Or is it much more difficult than I'm imagining? I'm fairly mechanically inclined but of course I don't have precision equipment to make alignments of lens elements if that kind of thing is needed.

    This is relevant to me, because it will affect my decision making when looking for bargain lenses for my first LF setup.
    Last edited by walter23; 1-Oct-2006 at 17:21.

  2. #2

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    Re: Shutter replacements

    Quote Originally Posted by walter23 View Post
    Could someone explain how lenses are mounted into copal shutters? If you have a lens and the shutter goes out, can you buy a new or used copal and with relatively little difficulty re-mount your lens? I've sort of imagined that LF lenses are like two assemblies (front and back) and that you just have to mount them into the shutter.

    Is this about right? Or is it much more difficult than I'm imagining? I'm fairly mechanically inclined but of course I don't have precision equipment to make alignments of lens elements if that kind of thing is needed.

    This is relevant to me, because it will affect my decision making when looking for bargain lenses for my first LF setup.
    Hi Walter,

    Welcome to the club...

    Yes, a shutter can be replaced without much difficulty. You can generally order them new through a retailer such as Midwest Photo or Badger Graphics.

    All you would do is to unscrew both the front and rear elements from the shutter and screw them back onto a working shutter. No problems at all. Some lenses will need a shim and, that being the case, when you remove the elements from the old shutter... you'll also see the shim. Be sure to keep that and use it with the new shutter when you remount the lens elements.

    Lastly, you can buy used shutters off the bay for reasonable amounts. In general, a brand new Copal 1 will run you about $250 and a Copal 3 will cost about $450.

    Good luck...

    Cheers
    Life in the fast lane!

  3. #3

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    Re: Shutter replacements

    Sort of almost. In theory you can just get a replacment shutter and swap out the elements, any spacers & scale. Mic the overall length of the original mounting first and make sure it mics the same after the transplant and you should be OK....except for Copal 3 shutters as there are a couple of different versions of the 3. I'm not sure if they would work the same way with those unless you had the same version as the original (I'm sure others here would know for certain.)
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  4. #4
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    Re: Shutter replacements

    Quote Originally Posted by walter23 View Post
    If you have a lens and the shutter goes out, can you buy a new or used copal and with relatively little difficulty re-mount your lens?
    You can, but if it's in a Copal to start with, usually it will be easier and cheaper just to have the shutter repaired.

    Remounting a lens in a different shutter makes sense if it's in one of the few older shutter types that are difficult to repair or unreliable when you do. But then you have to be more careful about swapping, because the mount diameters and cell spacings may be different across the different shutters. Because many older shutters can be repaired successfully, it always makes sense to inquire first about repair before going to the trouble of buying a replacement shutter.
    Last edited by Oren Grad; 1-Oct-2006 at 18:46.

  5. #5
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    Re: Shutter replacements

    Thanks for your valuable advice. It turns out I lost my ebay bid anyway (pesky last minute snipers); it was for a rodenstock 150 with an otherwise fine shutter that had a broken cocking level return spring. Any of you guys the one who bid over what I was willing to pay for this?

    Nevertheless this will be good to know for future lens purchase options.
    Last edited by walter23; 2-Oct-2006 at 10:47.

  6. #6
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    Re: Shutter replacements

    BTW, the aperture scale is obviously marked on the shutter... but the actual f-stops as a function of diameter would be very dependant on the specific lens mounted, right?

    So if you wanted to find a replacement shutter for a lens would it have to be not just, say, a copal 0, but a copal 0 with the aperture scale (and maybe even opening diameter) calibrated for your specific lens?

    Thanks. This is just curiosity at this point.

  7. #7

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    Re: Shutter replacements

    Quote Originally Posted by walter23 View Post
    BTW, the aperture scale is obviously marked on the shutter... but the actual f-stops as a function of diameter would be very dependant on the specific lens mounted, right?

    So if you wanted to find a replacement shutter for a lens would it have to be not just, say, a copal 0, but a copal 0 with the aperture scale (and maybe even opening diameter) calibrated for your specific lens?

    Thanks. This is just curiosity at this point.
    Short answer, yes, the new shutter will have to have its aperture scaled to suit the lens you put in it. New (as in new from the factory, not as in used but new to you) shutters typically come without an aperture scale. Machinists like SKGrimes will engrave the shutter to suit or attach the correct factory-made scale for you.

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