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Thread: Copal shutter problem...

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    775

    Copal shutter problem...

    I have a Rodenstock 210 Apo-Sironar S lens that has a bum shutter. The speeds seem accurate except for 1/60th, which sticks open and seems more like a half-second. I shot a few test sheets yesterday so I'll know soon if the other speeds are working properly. But they seem to be. I don't have a shutter tester but I did test-fire it next to a known-accurate #1 shutter on a different lens. All the speeds seem good except the 1/60th.

    I need the lens for an upcoming trip (in about a week) and I don't have time to get it properly fixed. So I have two options.

    1. Use it as-is for the trip. I can't remember the last time I used 1/60th, so I could live without it. The fear would be that it may die completely, and that would be a problem since I need the lens for my project.

    2. I could buy a new Copal shutter...B&H has them in stock and I could have it tomorrow. Then I could get the bad shutter fixed later and I'd have a spare, not a bad idea since a few of my main lenses are in Copal #1 shutters. My question here is--since I have the aperture scales and the shim that is currently between the front cell and the shutter--can I just swap the cells, shim and aperture scale onto the new shutter? Or does it need some other sort of calibration?

    What's the best course of action? I'd kind of prefer to just use it as-is, but I'm curious what the chances are that the shutter could lose other speeds.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Seattle area, WA
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    913

    Re: Copal shutter problem...

    Hmm I suspect your other speeds are well.. suspect too. Usually if one speed isn't working there is a problem with all of them. A cheaper option then buying a new shutter would be looking for a lens with dirty glass but a working shutter. You would still have to deal with the aperture scale problem this way though.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    775

    Re: Copal shutter problem...

    Quote Originally Posted by domaz View Post
    Hmm I suspect your other speeds are well.. suspect too. Usually if one speed isn't working there is a problem with all of them. A cheaper option then buying a new shutter would be looking for a lens with dirty glass but a working shutter. You would still have to deal with the aperture scale problem this way though.
    I was afraid of that but I was hoping to hear that it's common for only one speed to go bad .

    I did think about buying a beater lens for the shutter, but an older shutter might also need a cla or repair. And it wouldn't be much cheaper than the shutter.

    To be clear, my trip is solely for a photo project and I need my gear to be reliable.

    The aperture scale from the current shutter seems to be attached with two screws--is it a big deal to just transfer it to the new shutter if I go that route?

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Gulfport, MS, USA
    Posts
    873

    Re: Copal shutter problem...

    Before I did ANYTHING else, I'd pack up the shutter and send it to Carol Miller at www.flutotscamerarepair.com for a CLA. She's a fine craftsman and is very reasonable; she does get backed up at times, so contact her thru her site before sending the shutter and she'll be able to give you a time estimate.

    I know this won't help for the upcomming trip, but it could give you a lens you'll be happy with for a long time.

  5. #5
    Carpenter
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Pismo beach, Ca
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    93

    Re: Copal shutter problem...

    What about renting a lens for the trip and getting your shutter fixed when you get back?

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Sep 1998
    Location
    Oregon now (formerly Austria)
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    2,468

    Re: Copal shutter problem...

    Here's my 2 cents:

    If you really need to use this lens on your trip, simply use slower speeds whenever possible. You can hear if your shutter is accurate up to 1/8 sec. with your ear. We musicians count sixteenth notes at fast tempos that are even faster with lots of accuracy. Just get a watch with a second hand and get that one-second pulse going in your head. Now fire your shutter on the 1 sec setting and see how it is. If it's slow, you can estimate and compensate. Do the same for 1/2 sec, 1/4 sec and 1/8 sec. dividing the 1 sec pulse into half and then quarters and eights (one-and-two-and; one-ee-and-a two-ee-and-a, etc.). You can find where your speed are at the lower end of the scale surprisingly close this way.

    Make estimations based on that and use your shutter at those slower speeds. When you get back from your shoot, send it off for a CLA.

    If possible, use exposure times of one second or faster with the shutter on B or T setting to be extra sure of accuracy.

    Of course, I'm assuming that you are shooting B&W and will err on the side of overexposure when in doubt. With color negative film, you have a lot of latitude as well. If you're shooting transparencies, all bets are off.

    Best,

    Doremus Scudder

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    775

    Re: Copal shutter problem...

    I have read about Carol and intend to send her the shutter at some point. She has a special notice on her site about a backlog and waiting list. So regardless of what I do for the trip, I'll send her the shutter after I get back.

    I'm fairly sure that the speeds in the range I normally use are accurate or close to accurate. And I shot some test sheets so I'll know for sure in a day or two. I shoot color neg, so even if they're a stop slow I'd barely notice it. (The 1/60th is a few stops slow, it's open dramatically longer than the 1/30th setting. As I said it's closer to a half second.)

    So my questions remain...what are the chances that the shutter with one bad speed would remain working that way for a few more weeks of heavy use? Is it likely the rest of the speeds would go bad?

    And, all the past threads I've searched out say that the problems with swapping a shutter for a new one are getting the spacing right with shims and making an aperture scale. Since I already have both, is the actual shutter unit interchangeable?

  8. #8

    Re: Copal shutter problem...

    Noah,
    Once a shutter starts to go, it is really unpredictable when it will get worse. With a new shutter you eliminate this risk.
    Copals are consistent in spacing so a new one will accept your cells and shim and will space the cells perfectly. If the shutter you are replacing is a new Copal with the sloping front, same as the one you are buying, the aperture scale will transfer with no problems.
    Happy travels,
    Bill

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