Is this Copal #1 shutter on it's last legs? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I recently purchased a lens that was supposedly rated and ex+ from a dealer in Boston. I received the lens, and superficially, the lens is fine.

However, the shutter has an unusual problem that I was not informed about, and I don't know if I should make an issue of it or not. The shutter is an older Copal #1 with the M/X selection lever on it. When I go to cock the shutter, the cocking lever will travel part of the way and then it will get a bit difficult to rotate (compared to my other #1 shutters) and then *snap* right at the end. It doesn't do it all the time, but it does do it to one degree or another most of the time. Sometimes it doesn't do it at all.

It appears to do it at all shutter speeds, and with the blades open for preview or closed. It sort of feels like there is something that is interfering with the travel of the cocking mechanism, and when it finally overcomes the obstruction, it does it with a *snap*. The shutter sounds fine in operation, and I can't see the blades move when I cock the shutter.

Now, I've purchased a bunch of used lenses, but I have not run into this problem, and I don't know whether to consider it a 'fatal flaw' in the shutter, or simply a matter of cosmetics. That is, if this symptom is indicative of a serious problem or is merely a minor operational inconsistancy that will not develop into a shutter failure.

Since I just purchased the lens, I have a return period, so I was hoping that I could get some quick advice before I make a decision about calling the dealer. The final problem is that it's not a commonly avaiilable lens, so I don't want to simply return it if there is a problem, I'll probably try to negotiate a discount to cover a repair.

Thanks in advance for any input you may have.

-- Michael Mutmansky (, December 04, 2000


I wouldn't recommend accepting a lens rated "ex+" that didn't have a shutter that performed perfectly. Caveat Emptor.

-- Richard Weber (, December 05, 2000.

Any inconsistency in the operation of a shutter should be taken as a sign of excessive wear, damage, or a loosening of the assembly. From what you've described, it sounds as if there might be some wear or damage to the mainspring cock. I'd get the shutter looked at, otherwise continued use may damage it further.
I don't know what rates are like for repair in the US, but it should only take a 1/2 hours labour to check out the mechanism for damage. Repair cost would obviously depend on what was found.

-- Pete Andrews (, December 05, 2000.

Thanks, guys.

I did send the lens back, and the retailer agreed that the shutter needed to be replaced. (I can't figure out why they sold it as '100%' when there was so obvious a flaw!)

I found another source for the lens.

-- Michael (, December 14, 2000.

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