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Thread: Tech Camera Users with Copal-shuttered lenses please take note

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    Tech Camera Users with Copal-shuttered lenses please take note

    Please note this warning about Copal shutter failures in tech lenses and possible reasons and ways to prevent it from Capture Integration:

    This email came from the Head of Technical Services at Cambo. Note that while his English is very good he is not a native speaker.

    We like to share with you some experience that occurs lately more than previously.

    Schneider as well as Rodenstock confirm that there is an increase of needed repairs for Copal shutters. We also notice this, where in the past the Copal shutter was a reliable product for years.

    One of the possible reasons might be a different way of use by the newer generation of users
    who shoot digital and may use a different workflow compared to the old style Large Format Shooters.

    The traditional way of working is to open the shutter for viewing, then close the shutter before setting the shutter speed and aperture, and only then cock the shutter just before releasing the shutter. This is trouble free.

    Appearantly with the workflow of digital shooting with a CCD-back always in place, it is tempting to cock the shutter directly after the shot, and perform time adjustments after that. On itselves this is OK, but once the shutter is cocked, and then the shutter opening lever is opened for viewing and the shutter speed setting ring is being used, the mechanism will be destroyed after some time. This can be noticed also because the time setting travels very difficult and stiff in that case.

    So, please consider that the shutter speed setting may NOT be used when the lens is open and the shutter is already cocked.

    This information applies to any lens mounted on a Copal shutter, independent of the type and make
    of the camera.

    Original: http://www.captureintegration.com/20...s-on-the-rise/
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Re: Tech Camera Users with Copal-shuttered lenses please take note

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    So, please consider that the shutter speed setting may NOT be used when the lens is open
    and the shutter is already cocked.

    This information applies to any lens mounted on a Copal shutter, independent of the type and make
    of the camera.

    Original: http://www.captureintegration.com/20...s-on-the-rise/

    Thanks for the reminder.

    Bob

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    Re: Tech Camera Users with Copal-shuttered lenses please take note

    I discovered this on the Alpa site quite some time ago. There it states that for Copal 0 shutters changing shutter times after cocking the shutter (especially times around 1/30 sec) will destroy the shutter. If you do it you will see "a golden shiny covering of the aperture blades from the abrasion of copper."

    I also remember reading somewhere that you will see specs (like dust specs) inside the lens from changing shutter speeds after cocking the shutter, probably specs of metal.

    However, what is frustrating is that the Copal 0 Instruction Manual states that: "Charging the shutter, opening or closing the shutter blades, changing the shutter speed, changing the aperture stop . . . . all these can be manipulated in any order you like without the least ill effect on the shutter mechanism."

    So, perhaps Copal should foot the bill for those expensive repairs.

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    Re: Tech Camera Users with Copal-shuttered lenses please take note

    How does the above relate different to a tech camera for digital, as compared to one used for film, or even a panoramic camera?

    Should I worry of my Schneider 90/8 in Fotoman 617 ???

    Thanks

    Regards
    Anders

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    Re: Tech Camera Users with Copal-shuttered lenses please take note

    Anders,

    I believe that this advice applies to any lens mounted in a Copal shutter. The medium you're shooting and the format of the camera is irrelevant.

    Steve

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    Re: Tech Camera Users with Copal-shuttered lenses please take note

    Quote Originally Posted by Anders_HK View Post
    How does the above relate different to a tech camera for digital, as compared to one used for film, or even a panoramic camera?

    Should I worry of my Schneider 90/8 in Fotoman 617 ???
    "This information applies to any lens mounted on a Copal shutter, independent of the type and make of the camera."

    The "digital" part here refers to slight changes in user-habits related to live view, sliding backs, ground glass viewing. For instance one might stop down the aperture of the lens while using Live View to get a real-time DOF preview, and when changing from, say f/11 to f/16 might take the opportunity to adjust the shutter speed at that moment to compensate for the smaller aperture (on the final capture to be taken after the Live View). This is fine to do if the lens is not cocked.

    Also I think there was (at least for me personally) much more of a "checklist" workflow in the days of film since a mistake could cost $5 of film and processing and considerable time. With that checklist mentality I would check shutter open/closed, aperture, shutterspeed, film back properly inserted, and THEN cock the shutter and remove the dark slide.

    Now that a mistake is shown immediately (black frame, overexposed from forgetting to stop down from viewing aperture etc) on the LCD it's easy to fall out of the checklist-method and start doing things in haphazard order - this would be one downfall of that. My college photo professor for View Camera Technique would be ashamed of me :-).

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    Re: Tech Camera Users with Copal-shuttered lenses please take note

    Digital backs allow for many many more shots in a short time...so if your technique is incorrect with regards to this issue it will be magnified as you expose 40 50 even 100 shots in a session. Not many 4x5 shooters doing those numbers on a regular basis.

    Bob
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    Re: Tech Camera Users with Copal-shuttered lenses please take note

    Is there any warning about Prontor Professional Pro 01S shutters? These are always cocked.

    Kumar

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    Re: Tech Camera Users with Copal-shuttered lenses please take note

    Kudos to Doug for getting this out for everyone. While I don’t use my groundglass that much it is nevertheless sobering news for me as I can’t think of anything worse than being on a side of a cliff and finding my lens useless.

    I’m reassessing my workflow to ensure this doesn’t happen.

    Kumar – form what I gather this relates to the copal shutter system only. Going out on a limb here however if the Prontor Pro 01S shutters are always cocked then I don’t see a real concern. However it wouldn’t hurt to contact them and ask referencing this information.

    Don
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    Re: Tech Camera Users with Copal-shuttered lenses please take note

    Quote Originally Posted by FromJapan View Post
    Is there any warning about Prontor Professional Pro 01S shutters? These are always cocked.

    Kumar
    Bob, IIRC the press shutters are not actually always cocked --- I am pretty sure what they do is cock on the first part of the plunge stroke, then release at the end of the stroke. Some even have a separate release socket for cock only, allowing the cock and release socket to serve as just release.
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    Re: Tech Camera Users with Copal-shuttered lenses please take note

    I am usually worn out after time travel as well.
    It is easy to understand.
    -bob

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    Re: Tech Camera Users with Copal-shuttered lenses please take note

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Libby View Post
    Kudos to Doug for getting this out for everyone.
    And to Jack.
    Monochrome: http://mochro.com

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    Re: Tech Camera Users with Copal-shuttered lenses please take note

    Back in the days of wakeup cables (pre P65+) I was always in the habit of cocking the lens right after the exposure, otherwise you'd get a timeout error and then have to restart C1P, yada yada yada. It made me want to get all my lenses into Press Shutters. Now, I'm trying to break myself of the habit or at least remember to fire the shutter before changing speeds.

    Sure makes shooting with my D3 look really painless.

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    Re: Tech Camera Users with Copal-shuttered lenses please take note

    Thanks Jack for your valuable hint .
    I read something about this issue some time ago but can't remember where .
    But since then , my workflow is to set the shutter speed first and then cock the shutter .

    Regards Jürgen

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    Re: Tech Camera Users with Copal-shuttered lenses please take note

    Sure makes me glad I went the Sinar Shutter/DB mounted lenses route a few years ago while they were quite affordable.

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    Re: Tech Camera Users with Copal-shuttered lenses please take note

    Quote Originally Posted by epatsellis View Post
    Sure makes me glad I went the Sinar Shutter/DB mounted lenses route a few years ago while they were quite affordable.
    I don't see the connection. No matter what kind of shutter you have it can fail. This is simply a note to remind you of what order-of-operations will ensure the longest life for this particular kind of shutter.

    As one set of data points we have many many tech camera users and I'm only aware of two copal shutter repairs amongst them during the last 2.5 years. In my position in tech support I often self-task myself with informing users of things that will reduce their chance of problems from a fraction of a percent to a smaller fraction of a percent.

    In this case I found it worthwhile to mention because 1) the advice is very easy/free to follow and 2) I know that this particular kind of camera is used often by photographers who are in the middle of nowhere, far from backup-gear/repairs and only have one or two lenses.

    Also: I could be mistaken (please correct me if I'm wrong) - but doens't the shutter system you've opted for preclude having a copal shutter in each lens? In other words if you have three lenses and your Sinar shutter fails what do you do? Granted the chance of either a copal shutter or Sinar shutter failing in the field is very very small. But in the case of the copal shutters mounted in each lens if the shutter does fail you can simply switch to another lens since each lens has it's own shutter.

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    Re: Tech Camera Users with Copal-shuttered lenses please take note

    The chance of a copal shutter failing you in the field is very low, and generally you could simply switch to a second lens should you have the very bad luck of having it happen to you.

    However, I thought it would be useful/fun to point out that if you use a Phase One back you have the following fail-safe option if (for instance) you didn't have a second lens.

    0) Start with the lens open but manually covered by something opaque (your hand, a lens cap, etc etc).
    1) Wakeup the back using the "wakeup button" (if you use a Kapture Group One Shot Cable then push it half way down and release)
    2) Within five second push and hold the wakeup button - the back will begin exposing - continue to hold the wakeup button
    3) Uncover the lens (remove your hand or take off the lens cap) for the period of the exposure
    4) Cover the lens again so that no light is hitting the sensor
    5) Release the wakeup button and wait for the back to do it's black-calibration exposure and save the file.

    This of course would only be practical at "shutter speeds" of around half a second or longer. And it's unlikely you'd ever need this bit of knowledge.

    But hey, its Saturday and this seems like a good Saturday afternoon post.

    This is the technique I use when using a Phase One back with exotic "lenses" such as a pinhole lens or microscope lens (which of course lack copal shutters) on camera bodies with no focal plane shutter. When using such "lenses" on a body like the Phase One DF the bodies' shutter can do the work.

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    Re: Tech Camera Users with Copal-shuttered lenses please take note

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpetersonci View Post
    0) Start with the lens open but manually covered by something opaque (your hand, a lens cap, etc etc).
    1) Wakeup the back using the "wakeup button" (if you use a Kapture Group One Shot Cable then push it half way down and release)
    2) Within five second push and hold the wakeup button - the back will begin exposing - continue to hold the wakeup button
    3) Uncover the lens (remove your hand or take off the lens cap) for the period of the exposure
    4) Cover the lens again so that no light is hitting the sensor
    5) Release the wakeup button and wait for the back to do it's black-calibration exposure and save the file.

    This of course would only be practical at "shutter speeds" of around half a second or longer. And it's unlikely you'd ever need this bit of knowledge.
    Couldn’t help but picture Mathew Brady or Alexander Gardner as they set their subjects up, removed the dark slide and lens cap and counted seconds in their head before replacing the lens cap and dark slide. Talk about stepping back in time….

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    Re: Tech Camera Users with Copal-shuttered lenses please take note

    Doug,
    you raise some interesting points. Yes, were the DB (DBM, with manual aperture control actually) the only lenses I had, I'd have a spare Sinar Shutter. Fortunately, they're not, and I tend to shoot with either of my scan backs more often than not (obviating the need for a shutter altogether, naturally). The suggestions above are a good habit to get into, and the mental "checklist" is something I never got out of the habit of doing personally.

    Though in reality, on film my exposures tend to the long side after filtration and reciprocity corrections, hence the lens cap or Packard alternative would be a perfectly reasonable option in case of failure. The Packard I have mounted similarly to a Sinar Shutter for my 16x20/20x24 camera already so it wouldn't be terribly bad. Where I really lean on the Sinar is in the studio, when shooting digitally and film in parallel. For tabletop work, the Sinar makes the rather annoying task of changing aperture, closing down, cocking shutter, loading filmholder, remove darkslide, then expose into not much more than inserting a filmholder, removing the darkslide and tripping the shutter.

    One has to wonder if the old practice of regular service on our tools has fallen by the wayside. With the rapid decline of local, reasonably well qualified repair shops these days, a one or two week turnaround just won't cut it anymore, and I suspect that the quick, competent CLA that the tech could perform over the weekend every 6 months or so have disappeared.

    erie

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    Re: Tech Camera Users with Copal-shuttered lenses please take note

    Quote Originally Posted by cmb_ View Post
    I also remember reading somewhere that you will see specs (like dust specs) inside the lens from changing shutter speeds after cocking the shutter, probably specs of metal.
    I too remember reading this a whild ago - I think from Sinar/Leaf guy.

    Good timely reminded: set and then cock.

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    Re: Tech Camera Users with Copal-shuttered lenses please take note

    Hmmmmm... Just discovered this thread. I've been doing it wrong all this time!

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    Re: Tech Camera Users with Copal-shuttered lenses please take note

    One question that is not entirely clear to me. I understand that it is really bad to change shutter speed with the shutter cocked. However, what about this workflow:

    1. open shutter and aperture compose
    2. change shutter speed
    3. change aperture.
    4. cock shutter.
    5. realize that you haven't closed the shutter yet => close shutter
    6. trigger shutter.

    ie closing the shutter late. A few times I forget closing the shutter, and only note it when I cock the shutter, as the shutter then will make a ticking sound until I close it.

    My understanding is that changing aperture with the shutter open or closed does not matter at all. Changing shutter speed I think should be okay with the shutter open, but possibly cocking the shutter while it is open and then close it could be harmful?

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    Re: Tech Camera Users with Copal-shuttered lenses please take note

    Huh. With my 617, the thought of changing the shutter speed after cocking the shutter never occurred to me. I only ever cocked the shutter once everything was set and i checked it twice. But good to know that it will ruin it if done.
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    Re: Tech Camera Users with Copal-shuttered lenses please take note

    Quote Originally Posted by wryphotography View Post
    Huh. With my 617, the thought of changing the shutter speed after cocking the shutter never occurred to me. I only ever cocked the shutter once everything was set and i checked it twice. But good to know that it will ruin it if done.
    Same here, cocking the shutter is last thing I do. Unless I forget to....

    1. Close the aperture after focusing (either live view or GG)

    2. Forget to cock the shutter

    In either case 1 or 2, I feel a bit like an idiot, and have to wait for the back to do its thing, usually a 3 - 4 second process - and a error message on the screen. Then a hit on the head and carry on, and do the last thing.

    It never dawned on me to adjust the shutter speed last thing. I always feel that exposure setting and framing were the preparation, cocking and firing were the end.

    Sorta Ready Aim Fire

    Phil

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    Re: Tech Camera Users with Copal-shuttered lenses please take note

    Well, today I was out shooting and it took me a while to get used to the change in workflow. By the end of the day though, I remembered to refrain from cocking the shutter immediately after making an exposure. I can't believe I haven't heard this information before and that it's not mentioned within official lens / shutter documentation.

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    Re: Tech Camera Users with Copal-shuttered lenses please take note

    You can change it after cocking, but the added tension on the timing cams and clockwork may render less accurate/consistent speeds and can cause undue wear to the shutter speed timing mechanism.
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    Re: Tech Camera Users with Copal-shuttered lenses please take note

    i leave the shutter un-cocked when the lens is not in use; generally cocking just before making the exposure

    jm

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    Re: Tech Camera Users with Copal-shuttered lenses please take note

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    You can change it after cocking, but the added tension on the timing cams and clockwork may render less accurate/consistent speeds and can cause undue wear to the shutter speed timing mechanism.
    Yeah, I've been in the habit of cocking the shutter immediately after each exposure so to ensure a long life for my shutters I'll make sure to change my workflow.

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    Re: Tech Camera Users with Copal-shuttered lenses please take note

    Thanks much for this.

    So its "CASC"?

    Close shutter
    Aperture set
    Speed set
    Cock shutter

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