The End Of Copal Shutters

thronobulax

Active Member
Registered User
This is an old article but just came to my attention:

 

Marley

Active Member
Registered User
I think most of us know there is a finite 'life' for the leaf shutters we pretty much all use. Prices of lenses with working shutters will rise at an accelerating pace until supplies on the used market run out. After that we will either have to learn to accept that film photography will be forced back to it's most primitive beginnings with the lens cap being our fall-back position ... or a market will be created by the returning demand for film based photography that will make it profitable for a new shutter manufacturer to emerge.
Many people are working hard to keep film alive - I'm trying to do my own little bit (as are many others) on YouTube, and there are committed and enthusiastic suppliers of materials like Analogue Wonderland who deserve our custom ... but ultimately it's up to all of us to create demand again.

We desperately need a new generation of film enthusiasts - because the issue won't be lack of spare parts for our shutters - they are all mechanical, and pretty much any good engineer could fabricate replacement parts. The issue will be lack of trained camera repair people to access problems and fix them.
 
Last edited:

David M

Well-Known Member
Registered User
I’ve just sent a shutter off to be serviced. The cost of a single replacement spring astonished me, although it’s very much less than the cost of a “new” shutter. I might eventually decide to have all of them serviced before the supply of spare parts expires.

It’s possible that someone may take up the shutter challenge, as Intrepid and others took up the camera challenge. I’d expect it to be very different. Perhaps iPhone-controlled and powered by rechargeable battery. Perhaps one size-fits-all, with stepping rings for the lens cells. Perhaps no moving parts at all with something like a (…yet to be invented…) clear-to-opaque membrane in place of the shutter and aperture assembly. New technical possibilities might emerge…
 

Marley

Active Member
Registered User
Or we could do a bit of DIY using the instructions found in a number of old books ... this one is circa 1914

20210709_100818344_iOS.jpeg
 

Stephen Batey

Well-Known Member
Registered User
Steve Lloyd of Chroma Cameras is working on a shutter, as it happens...

And are Packard shutter still being made - I thought that they were.
 

thronobulax

Active Member
Registered User
Photography moved from being a community of specialists of craft to commodity. But we're clearly headed back to the specialist era. I've already designed and build my own temperature controlled development timer for film and and paper. Now I'm contemplating a new project to build my own VC head using LED arrays.

View cameras are relatively easy to build but a shutter? That strikes me as very much the domain of a very capable machinist. S.K. Grimes in the US does specialize in shutter work - both adjustment and reshuttering of older lenses. I have two Artars that their founder, Steve Grimes, did some two decades ago and the work - albeit expensive - was flawless. One wonders if there will be enough trade to keep them going for a long time.
 

David M

Well-Known Member
Registered User
Reliable mechanical operation demands a high degree of skilled precision. Controlling the shutter with a miniature computer, of the kind readily available for hobbyists, might make most of that skill less unnecessary. It might be the future of shutters. Whoever would have thought that my kettle would need computing chip? Or a light bulb?
 

Ian Grant

Well-Known Member
Registered User
I sit on my shutter mountain, lost count and some very rare at least one probably a prototype and it works perfectly.

That reminds me I must restore my Dual shutter TP Triple Imperial Reflex, has a front mounted between lens TP shutter as well as as a Focal plane shutter. So best of all worlds :D

I have maybe 15 Prontors NIB, a Compound, Ibsors, Alpax and others all with blank Aperture scales and unused, bu my main arsenal is my TP shutters somewhere between 60-80 and all sizes some quite large.

I invest in shutter :D I'll give you a peek of my eye-lid in action soon . . . . . . . .

Ian
 

Marley

Active Member
Registered User
View cameras are relatively easy to build but a shutter? That strikes me as very much the domain of a very capable machinist. S.K. Grimes in the US does specialize in shutter work - both adjustment and reshuttering of older lenses. I have two Artars that their founder, Steve Grimes, did some two decades ago and the work - albeit expensive - was flawless. One wonders if there will be enough trade to keep them going for a long time.
The book I showed that page from has been with me since as long as I can remember (my grandfather originally bought the whole series. Building roller blind shutters and simple focal plane shutters is far easier than anything involving leaves ... there are way fewer moving parts, and with large format cameras everything is much bigger and easier to make/assemble. I noted that a Kickstarter to build a new 35mm SLR failed because of the lack of availability of shutters ... and with 35mm I'm not surprised.

Here's an interesting article ...
https://hackaday.com/2013/10/23/arduino-controlled-single-leaf-shutter/#comments
 

Marley

Active Member
Registered User
What's the book's title/author?
The Amateur Mechanic by Bernard E Jones ... published circa 1914. It was published in four parts with several revisions. I have five volumes (two very different part 3s).
There are two camera making articles ... both fascinating. The making a hand or stand camera one details building plate holders which is interesting reading.
 

Ian Grant

Well-Known Member
Registered User
1626539085045.png

This home made shutter came with a large TP shutter, actually I've had it a couple of years and never really looked at it properly. It's not working at the moment. So people did read these articles and there's also a book on building cameras and shutters etc it was reprinted in recent years and ias also available as a PDF on the Internet archive website, just need to remember the author :D

Ian
 
Top