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Thread: How to keep the shutter open?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Oct 2003

    How to keep the shutter open?

    Hi everyone! Sorry for the rediculous question, but i am brand new to this. How do i keep the shutter open on my new graflex 4x5 to focus? i was just playing with it yesterday and was holding the shutter on bub to do this. i'm sure there's an easier way! ;-) thanks, Mel

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Sep 2003

    How to keep the shutter open?

    hi Mel, It's tough to answer, not knowing what type of Graflex camera you have and, more specifically, what type of shutter/lens you have on it. On standard Graphex or Rapax shutters there is a focus/preview lever above the flash sync posts on the right side (as you are looking at shutter from the front). Can you be more specific?

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Calgary, AB Canada

    How to keep the shutter open?

    If you can attach a cable release to the shutter then just use the lock feature on the cable release. Lock the shutter open until you are finished focusing then release it when done.
    Eric Rose

    I don't play the piano, I don't have a beard and I listen to AC/DC in the darkroom. I have no hope as a photographer.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Dec 2001

    How to keep the shutter open?

    Mel, use Time or "T" on the shutter.

  5. #5
    tim atherton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 1998

    How to keep the shutter open?

    Mel, it depends on the particular shutter - modern copals and variations thereof have a handy little knob/lever to do this. Older shutter vary considerably. Some need you to use the T setting, as mentioned - cock the shutter, set it on T, fire the shutter, compose, reset the shutter speed, re-cock and fire again.

    What shutter is yours?

    Others may have a small lever to slide or push in - but in many case, it won't let you do that until AFTER you have cocked the shutter (shutters like Ilex/Kodak/Rapax/Graphlex/Optex/Wollensak etc) - and it's often a different shape and location on the different brands.

    So try cocking the shutter and looking for a little lever that works once you've done that!
    You'd be amazed how small the demand is for pictures of trees... - Fred Astaire to Audrey Hepburn blog

  6. #6
    Whatever David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Honolulu, Hawai'i

    How to keep the shutter open?

    In addition to the possibilities mentioned, on some older shutters you might have to set the shutter on T or B and depress the release WITHOUT cocking the shutter.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Besançon, France

    How to keep the shutter open?


    I've seen recently a xenar graflex lens with a simplified Compur shutter.

    I do not know whether you have this model or not, but it worked like that. There is a small white-aluminum catch-button that, when pushed "ON", will stop the main actuation lever half-way with the shutter blades wide open. When you have finished to focus, you relase this small lever "OFF" and the blades close. Then you have to re-tension the lever and fire as usual with the catch-button "OFF".

    On another Synchro Compur I own, there is a very similar button, placed almost at the same place. Its purpose is different. It allows some extra travel to the main spring-lever in order to tension an additional (strong) spring for the self timer. On this Compur, there is another small lever to open/close the blades in a push(with fingertip)/pull(with finger nail) action, but preferably with the main spring lever tensioned and ready to fire.

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