Optimism and 5x4 are not dead.

Discussion in 'Talk About Large Format Gear' started by David M, Mar 16, 2018.

  1. David M

    David M Well-Known Member Registered User

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  2. Stephen Batey

    Stephen Batey Well-Known Member Registered User

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    The whole gestation of this can be found on TalkPhotography in this thread; I never thought of reporting it here. Sorry.
     
  3. David M

    David M Well-Known Member Registered User

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  4. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Active Member Registered User

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    It's the wrong optimism in a way, far more important is that Rodenstock are making some LF Sironars again. The issue now though is there's no shutter manufacturer.

    Ian
     
  5. David M

    David M Well-Known Member Registered User

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    Any optimism is welcome; I'm inclined towards pessimism – "Cheer up, things could get worse! So I cheered up..."
    I assume that shutter-making is something that can't be started up from scratch in a shed in Liverpool or Brighton on a modest budget. Traditional clockwork shutters, that is.
    Are there any new technologies available? Could the technology in phone screens be used? I'm imagining a single unit that would act as both aperture and shutter by controlling the opacity of different regions. (Big hole, little hole, no hole...)
    You will understand I speak from a position of ignorance.
     
  6. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Active Member Registered User

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    I have a wide range of shutters, many of which I've restored or repaired, so it's something I've given some thought.

    It's easy to make a "Norka" style barn door shutter, Kodak were still selling them along with Thornton Pickard roller blind shutters in 1940.

    I have 3 electrically activated leaf shutters but have yet to make a controller for them, I think they were made by Prontor. A good engineer could easily make these in various sizes, but the solenoids actuating them are qite large unlike the Compur electronic shutters.

    Focal plane shutters wouldn't be too hard to make either, I've restored quite a few, the Graflex Speed Graphic (also MicroPress) style shutters would be the easiest to replicate, the Thornton Pickard reflex shutters are more complex - an early Leica cloth shutter is just a miniaturised version :D

    Shutters for low speeds aren't a problem, but high speeds with large lenses has always been an issue, Compound #3 shutter have a top speed of 1/100 and a Copal #3 is only a fraction faster at 1/125. There are electronic leaf shutters being made but only in one size, that's why I'd favour a focal plane shutter, you could probably control one electronically fairy easily. It was once possible to add a Focal Plane shutter to many British field cameras, I have a couple to restore (both Half plate), and in te 1950's MPP offered a rear FP shutter for their MicroTechnical cameras.

    Ian
     
  7. David M

    David M Well-Known Member Registered User

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    Interesting device.
    We are in an odd situation today. Digital technology has quite reasonably taken over most of what used to be done by film and a great deal of equipment is available second hand, much of it in excellent condition, which must be difficult for the industry. It's created anomalies; system cameras like Sinar have fallen in price much more than folding field cameras, because the customer base is presumably now mostly dedicated amateur landscape photographers.
    Who knows, we might even return to using top hats for gentlemen and bowlers for professionals, as shutters.
    (Honest flat caps i' t'North, of course.)

    (A final thought: but what would you use on Ilkley Moor?)
     
  8. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Active Member Registered User

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    David, because I have a number of barrel lenses I have the issue of no shutters on cameras themselves.

    Inadvertently I seem to have begun collecting shutters, this one's quite nice I was given it last Summer, seems to be rather rare:

    [​IMG]

    A Le Mignon (translates as "The Cute") it's on an 8" Rapid Rectilinear lens here. It was missing the piston that would have been triggered by an Air Bulb release, I used some brass and cut a nail tube to make a mechanical trigger, I tapped the end to take a modern cable release.

    [​IMG]

    Few if any here would know that Gitzo the tripod manufacturer made shutters up to 1992, most shutter production stopped in the 1960's though.

    [​IMG]
    This is a post WWII Gitzo studio shutter, it's finish is Hammerite and it has flash Sync, I've cleaned the blades recently.

    [​IMG]
    These are front mounting shutters and were made by a few companies AGI, Luc, Gitzo Fredrick Day etc. They came in various sizes. The Gitzo is the largest I've seen.

    The funkiest shutter around is the eve-lid :D

    Ian
     
  9. YorkshireBloke

    YorkshireBloke Member Registered User

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    Makes it hard for Adam to look at Eve? :confused:
     
  10. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Active Member Registered User

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    You wouldn't know an Eye-lid shutter was in use, they go on the back of a lens board :D

    So Eve could look at Adam and not realise when he exposed her . . . . . . . . . . .
     
  11. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Active Member Registered User

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    This web page is worth a look at :D

    Ian
     

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