Schneider Symmar 150mm f5.6 convertible in Synchro Compur shutter: worth fixing shutter? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

The lens is in good condition with a spot near its front that i'm assured by dealers won't affect the image, but the shutter has been tested as slow at all speeds, especially the faster ones like 1/400, which is off by 100%. i've had free tests and estimates done ($35-$45 depending on the repair shop here in nyc). i'm trying to decide whether to 1.) keep it, have the shutter overhauled, and buy $50 lens boards for them so i can use it in my new (used) toyo 45A, or on the other hand 2.) just sell it(i've been offered as much as $200 in cash and $250 in store credit. so i wonder: it worth fixing and buying a lens board for? (how good is it as lenses go, and what will i lose in the way of performance by not using the best lenses available? after all, it's not multicoated, and i've heard that when "converted" it's performance is poor) shouldn't i just trade it in towards a Sironar-S 150 with a good shutter? 2. is it fixable so that the shutter is very accurate? 3. is it important to have it professionally mounted on a toyo lens board, or can i do it myself?

thank you for your help. mark

-- Mark William Woods (, May 11, 2000


I recently had the same problem with my 135 symmar convertible. Steve Grimes didn't recommend repairing the compur shutter, so for $100, he fitted the lens to a used copal shutter (I figured the lens wasn't worth mounting in a new shutter). Even though you've got a fine lens, if you work with color film, you may want to trade up to a multicoated lens. As for mounting the lens, it depends upon your skill. I've mounted many lenses myself and made my own aluminum lens boards with no problems so far, although I'm always nervous about having the spanner wrench so close to the rear element.

-- David Brown (, May 11, 2000.

Even modern shutters are frequently slow at 1/400. You will probably never want to use that speed. With typical taking apertures of f16 to f32, you will find yourself rarely using speeds faster than 1/60. A repair cost of about $40 seems pretty reasonable. Another approach would be simply to write down the actual speeds and use those values rather than the values marked on the shutter. This will work as long as the shutter is consistent. It depends on your desire for a newer lens vs the thickness of your wallet. In either case (this lens or a replacement), you will need a lens board.

With a predrilled lensboard and the inexpensive Toyo wrench, it is an easy job to mount the lens. The Toyo wrench is very reasonable and works about as well as much more expensive wrenches. The difference is that the Toyo wrench is a metal stamping made to do only the standard size shutters while more expensive wrenches are continuously adjustable.

-- Michael Briggs (, May 11, 2000.

I agree that the faster shutter speeds are seldom even close to the marked value on LF shutters, even the newer ones though they do some better. If the speed is consistant, you can easily adjust exposures. The slower speeds on LF shutters are used the most. I probably shoot 90% of my 4x5 negs at 1/15 to 1/25 of a second, and that is rating 400 speed film at 160 for Tri-X and 250 for HP-5P. By the time you put on a filter and stop down to f16-f32, you are going to have to use a slow speed shutter. High speeds aren't only a problem with LF, 35mm seldom reached 1/1000 in the early days. Cycle your shutter a few times on all the speed settings and see if the shutter loosens up a bit. They tend to get gummy with misuse. It is a good idea to cycle the shutter a time or two before making an exposure.

-- Doug Paramore (, May 15, 2000.

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