Compound Shutter (?) Repair

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yossi

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Hi all,

I recently picked up a "bargain" LF lens from the local used camera store for a song (~$150). It is a Heliar 21cm 4.5 lens, sold as defective. The lens has slight edge separation and the shutter fires only at one speed, probably 1/50 seconds. Otherwise, the glass is clean and clear.

IMG_5011.jpg


I mounted the lens on my 4X5 camera and check the image on GG and was surprised by how nice the image was! It is soft and dreamy and yet sharp. So I sent it to a local camera repairman but was told that the shutter is a special one, known as Compound Shutter and he can't fix it! He told me that I could use it as is and still take nice portraits with this lens.

I am sure someone here may have repaired such a Compound Shutter before. Any recommendation/suggestion who to send it to? And possible repair cost?

TIA

yossi
 
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Ian Grant

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Sometimes all that's needed is a clean of the piston that controls the slow speeds, to the right of the shutter speed dial. It's marked 8 in that PDF file on the Compound page. If the lubricant had gone dry it's easy to clean with some Isopropyl alcohol, then just a tiny drop of machine oil.

Ian
 
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yossi

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Sometimes all that's needed is a clean of the piston that controls the slow speeds, to the right of the shutter speed dial. It's marked 8 in that PDF file on the Compound page. If the lubricant had gone dry it's easy to clean with some Isopropyl alcohol, then just a tiny drop of machine oil.

Ian

Thanks for the tip, but sorry for asking a dumb question: where is part 8 in the main shutter?

Screen Shot 2022-09-05 at 5.29.55 PM.png
 

Steve Goldstein

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Carol Flutot (flutotscamerarepair.com) is really good with Compound shutters. She's in California, a rather long way from Singapore, I'm afraid.
 

Ian Grant

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I'm not sure why SK Grimes don't like servicing Compound shutters. Plenty of repair shops will service them, I'd be surprised if there's not someone in Singapoore.

This lens and shutter look in very good condition, even my 109-year-old 12cm f6.8 Dagor's Compound #0 shutter still works very smoothly and accurately at all speeds, as do my 4 other larger.Compound shutters.

Ian
 

BrianShaw

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Their site gives good pictures of the mechanism, as well as some good precautionary guidance, if Yossi want to attempt to do-it-yourself. That was my only point in posting that link.
 
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yossi

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Gosh! Guess what: I accidentally found out that at M position, if I push the lever all the way to its left until it could not move anymore, then when I trigger the shutter, it works at all speeds!!

Screen Shot 2022-09-05 at 7.58.40 PM.png


What's happened?
 
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Tel

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For some reason, they used "M" for the "instantaneous" setting, which enables the speed selector. Most of these old shutters used the letter "I" for obvious reasons. I thought that maybe the Compound shutter was made in Germany, but it's a Bausch & Lomb product, so made in Rochester. Maybe M for "momentary"?
 

David Lindquist

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I'm not sure why SK Grimes don't like servicing Compound shutters. Plenty of repair shops will service them, I'd be surprised if there's not someone in Singapoore.

This lens and shutter look in very good condition, even my 109-year-old 12cm f6.8 Dagor's Compound #0 shutter still works very smoothly and accurately at all speeds, as do my 4 other larger.Compound shutters.

Ian
It's not just Compound shutters, SK Grimes stopped doing CLA/Repair on all shutters some years ago.

Guessing they decided to devote all their efforts to the design/manufacturing/machine shop work side of the business.

David
 
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Sometimes a new cam must be cut... and this is fairly straight-forward as the cam is made from brass and easily worked. Carol Flutot does exceptionally good work with these. Most complaints seem to stem from failing to allow a few seconds for the piston to settle in after setting the time. Despite appearing "klutzy" these are really good shutters (but are easily destroyed by folks attempting to lubricate them ) those shutter leaves are paper. The bore of the air piston does not require lubrication.
Joel
 

David Lindquist

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For some reason, they used "M" for the "instantaneous" setting, which enables the speed selector. Most of these old shutters used the letter "I" for obvious reasons. I thought that maybe the Compound shutter was made in Germany, but it's a Bausch & Lomb product, so made in Rochester. Maybe M for "momentary"?
Compound shutters were mostly made in Germany by Deckel, the inventor. B&L made them under license.

David
 

Ian Grant

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Compound shutters were mostly made in Germany by Deckel, the inventor. B&L made them under license.

David

Christian Bruns designed the Compound, the company Bruns & Deckel set up in 1903 manufactured them. Bruns left the company and designed the Compur slow gear train which he Patented, in Germany. Deckel had previously worked at Zeiss, reporting directly to Ernst Abbe.

In 1910 Carl Zeiss took a share in Deckel along with Bausch & Lomb, and Alfred Gauthier (Deckekel's main competitor). In 1911 Zeiss bought the rights to the Bruns Patent. The Compur is essentially a Compound with a slow peed gear train rather than pneumatic damping.

Ian
 
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yossi

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Nice history of Compound shutter.

Any clue why M needs to be pressed to the very left without letting go my finger, only then the shutter would fire at correct speed?

Once I stop pushing the lever, even if it’s at M position, the shutter only fires at one same speed!
 
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Tel

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It might be that the cam marked number 5 in the diagram needs adjusting, or it could be that the cover is slightly out of alignment.
 

BrianShaw

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… or it could be that the levers are gummy and/or improperly lubricated and/or bent. Or, spring(s) have lost tension and/or improperly positioned. The fact that it somewhat works is a very good sign that with a full proper servicing it could be a useful shutter in the future.
 

Two23

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For some reason, they used "M" for the "instantaneous" setting, which enables the speed selector. Most of these old shutters used the letter "I" for obvious reasons. I thought that maybe the Compound shutter was made in Germany, but it's a Bausch & Lomb product, so made in Rochester. Maybe M for "momentary"?

M = Moment, Z = Zeit = Time.


Kent in SD
 
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