shutter setting during storage? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

A long time ago I was told that a shutter should be stored uncocked with the speed set to the 'T' setting. Is this true? TIA- Mark

-- Mark Audas (, May 23, 2000


Mark: I don't know the purpose of setting the shutter to "T", but leaving the shutter uncocked used to be recommended, and may still be. It keeps the mainspring from taking a "set" and losing tension. Also, it used to be recommended that the higher shutter speeds be set with the shutter tripped, as it takes a lot of pressure to reset the sppeds against the spring tension. Makes sense to me. Doug.

-- Doug Paramore (, May 23, 2000.

Ditto on all the above. I have also heard it said that shutters need to be regularly exercised. Take it out occasionally and run it through all its speeds.

-- Ed Buffaloe (, May 23, 2000.

Mark... I just read somewhere (it may have been the Graflex website) in the past few days that lenses should be stored as you stated.

The article explained that faster shutter speeds and slower speeds use different combinations of springs, and that placing the shutter to the "T" setting released tension on all springs...

Gee whiz, I used to remember where I read things, and where I put things, and peoples names, and stuff, but lately.....Oh well...

-- Dave Richhart (, May 23, 2000.

I'm not sure that the T setting is absolutely necessary, but it can't do any harm.

Make sure that the preview lever doesn't get displaced in storage as well, it's easy to knock the large lever on Copals and some Compurs. Storing shutters with the blades open, or partly open, isn't good for them either.

-- Pete Andrews (, May 24, 2000.

Springs don't 'set' if stored within their elastic range, and it would be a strange shutter that exceeded that. Unless the temperature gets very high (bye bye Canada Balsam) it's only in use that the metal fatigues.

One thing that can happen if a shutter is left unused for a long time is that dead lubricant, outgassed gunge and lint build up and solidify at contact points that should move freely. If this happens with the shutter cocked you can get sticking at the start of the shutter sequence (a Bad Thing) whereas if it happens at the end because the shutter was stored uncocked, it's irrelevant.

-- Struan Gray (, May 24, 2000.

Perhaps springs don't "set" if stored within their elastic range, but it has always been recommended that shutters be stored with the shutter uncocked. It has always been recommended that guns be stored withe hammer down for the same reason. It only takes a fraction of a second to trip a shutter, so I will continue to store mine in the uncocked position if for no other reason than that is what I was taught to do and it has always worked. Note to Patrick: Let's don't talk about loss of memory. I have got to the point where I can hide my own Easter eggs.

-- Doug Paramore (, May 24, 2000.

That note on memory was supposed to go to Dave, not Patrick.

-- Doug Paramore (, May 24, 2000.

Fear not Doug, I'm not about to sneak into your bedroom and surreptitiously cock all your shutters. If you read my post you'll see we both recommend the same course of action. I was merely pointing out that the 'same reason' which is usually given is nonsense and that there is a perfectly good explanation which isn't.

-- Struan Gray (, May 24, 2000.

Struan: I agree with your reason completely. It's something I never thought about. The old Compur shutters were very bad to stick due to the oil getting stiff. They needed to be taken out and run through the cycles at all shutter speeds on a regular basis. The oil in the old shutters used to be prone to creeping and would end up on shutter blades, which really locked them down tight.

-- Doug Paramore (, May 25, 2000.

The old advice used to be to store a "between the lens shutter" set for its slowest speed. Most shutters use a secondary spring for the fastest setting. You can feel this as you turn the shutter to 1/400 or 1/500. This spring is engaged whether or not the shutter is cocked if the shutter is set to this speed.

So, I keep mine on 1 second. I don't know how T and B act without cocking the shutter.

-- Charlie Strack (, May 25, 2000.

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