Copal Shutter Repairs On The Rise – Updated

 In ALPA, Arca Swiss, Cambo, Sinar, Tech, Tech Camera

A must read if you use a Technical Camera or View Camera.

This is a re-print/re-edit from an article we posted back in 2010 regarding Copal Shutter repairs, and the recent increase we had seen in the occurrence of those repairs. Since shutter repairs can be expensive, and the original article was posted 4 years ago, I felt it would be a good idea to refresh it and bring it back in front of users as a reminder for proper use of this equipment.

Below is an explanation of one potential (and preventable) reason for copal shutter failure as provided to us from one of our close partners, Cambo. One of the most valuable resources Capture Integration enjoys is the direct interaction our company has with the technicians and engineers from the manufacturers we represent.

This email came from the Head of Technical Services at Cambo.

We would like to share with you some experiences that have occurred 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/CMOS-back always in place, it is tempting to cock the shutter directly after the shot, and perform time adjustments after that. 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 travel is 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.

Recent Posts