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Front or focal plane shutter

 
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mopar_guy



Joined: 07 Aug 2008
Posts: 126
Location: Washington, the State

PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 2:06 am    Post subject: Front or focal plane shutter Reply with quote

Hi,
For my Speed Graphic it seems that I mostly use the front shutter. Lately I have been training myself to use the focal plane shutter more. I have read that at one time the focal plane shutter was primary and the lens shutter was "additional". I was wondering how much the focal plane shutter is being used these days.

Dave
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George B



Joined: 05 Jun 2008
Posts: 34
Location: Northern New Jersey

PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 4:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Dave,

I hardly ever use mine. I feel it's about as accurate as a speedometer in a 1949 Hudson Commodore. In other words... it's all over the place.

Where did you read at one time the rear shutter was primary ? Hey, maybe I'm missing something here and I need to be educated (adjusted).

Front shutter kind of guy,
George

BTW: Wouldn't it be cool if there was a place on this forum where we could post our most excellent Graflex pics. Without one it's like being all dressed in rubber with nowhere to go.
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Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 1889
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 10:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dave, I use my 2x3 Speed's FPS with a couple of barrel lenses that can't be hung in front of a leaf shutter, otherwise I usually use the leaf shutter.

My camera's FPS is accurate, but at the apertures I normally use the shutter speed required for good exposure is often slower than 1/30. The FPS' slowest timed speed is 1/30.

I don't often need a shutter speed faster than 1/400, but when I do its time for the FPS.

Most of my macro/closeup shots are taken with electronic flash. The FPS doesn't synch with electronic flash.

Cheers,

Dan
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Les



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 2682
Location: Detroit, MI

PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
how much the focal plane shutter is being used these days.

Rarely as I use a Crown

It might be better with a Pacemaker that has synthetic rubber shutter fabric, but when I trip the shutter in my Anniversary Speed it looks like Herman Munster playing the pipe organ--- it coughs up a lot of dust!

And since I use that camera mainly for flash work it doesn't make sense to use the FP shutter.

I did take a trip to Stratford Ontario last summer and used a Pre-Ann with a good FP shutter to test out my 152mm Baltar and it worked quite well. Using the FP shutter is a bit slower than a front shutter as you have to unwind it to the O position to view the image then wind backup to the shutter speed.

And to George B. Front shutters special order only until some time in the Pre-Ann era, I'm guessing around '30-'32 when flash bulbs took over and the idea of synchronized flash became a reality.
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mopar_guy



Joined: 07 Aug 2008
Posts: 126
Location: Washington, the State

PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 11:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't remember exactly what I had read, only that it was written on the 1940's. At that time, an older photographer may have been more used to a Pre-Anny Speed and maybe a little slow to fully embrace the new-fangled flash bulbs. The author of what I was reading referred to the rear shutter as "primary" and the lens shutter as "supplementary".

Funny how times change.

Regards,
Dave
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troublemaker



Joined: 24 Nov 2003
Posts: 715
Location: So Cal

PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2009 7:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

All my good running focal plane shutters run truer to speed, in fact really close, as compared to front leaf shutters which very from right on, to too fast, to too slow by as much as two stops (ussualy on the fast speeds).
The thing about leaf shutters is the springs can't open and close the leaves as well as a curtain aperture opening passing by the plane. Note for example that big shutters max speed is 1/50th or 1/25th. The 1/1000 speed available on FPS Speed and Graflex cameras, if in reasonable condition, should be far more accurate than say a 1/200 on a lot of these 1950's and 60's leaf shutters. I don't have any leaf shutters that fire off at closer than a stop or more slow.
I recently tested one of my 23 series Pacemaker Speeds and found 1/500 speed to be only about a tenth of a stop off, and the front leaf shutter at 1/400 about one and a third stop slow which seems to be about average for my vintage leaf shutters. So it does matter to me regarding exposure compensation wouldn't you think? And if you read up on how the FPS exposes the film evenly across the plane, as compared to a leaf opening and closing middle out and back you'll maybe not wonder so much why FPS shutters can be really nice to have and use.
I think they are cool. Not much advancement in a hundred or more years, just a simple wind up mechanism that is easy to service, opperate, and dependable and consistent. What more could you ask for in a wind up camera? But if we are talking FP flash bulbs we have a problem... You need fixed lighting.
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camz



Joined: 15 Apr 2004
Posts: 123
Location: Southern CA

PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2009 5:01 pm    Post subject: FPS Reply with quote

I work with vintage barrel lenses, so a functional fps is a must. I've found that when you service the shutter and calibrate the actual speeds, the fps is very reliable and consistent. For studio work, try the open flash technique.
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troublemaker



Joined: 24 Nov 2003
Posts: 715
Location: So Cal

PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2009 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also, except with barrel lenses lacking front shutter, I'll favor the front shutter rather than the rear for slower speed and timed exposures from 1/10 down. Reason being camera shake. Not much can beat a smooth releasing Graphex or Supermatic shutter using a pneumatic bulb release when making long exposures. I have used time exposure mode with rear shutters on Graphic and old RB Graflex but it needs to be on a sturdy support, and you can lock out the mirror on the Graflex. Still, nothing's gonna beat a well running FPS for accuracy above 1/50th unless put up against a brand new leaf shutter with new springs, and I still would bet on the FPS above 1/250.
The only way to get great accuracy with a vintage front leaf is to properly clean, service and then use a speed tester to make a reference card and adjust aperture accordingly.
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