How do you set shutter speed on Seneca Special 5X7? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I'm a 49 year old photography 'student' and an avid ebayer. I have owned and used several MF cameras in 6x45,6x6,and 6x7. I now want to learn Large Format. I recently bought a Seneca Special 5X7 in original case, early 1900's I supect. I cleaned the lens ineer and outer on a Wollensak shutter, Rochester, NY, checked the bellows and went on to discover the speed setting consists of T, I, and B. That's it, no numbers, no nada. My next step is have the 'only speed' measured and go from there. Unless there is an option. Help! Here I am searching the web for I truly believed one could find anything on here. I have yet to find anywhere on the web that my 'new' 5x7 ever existed. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks,

-- R. Juan Clements (, August 31, 2001


T and B are Time and Bulb respectively, but you probably already know that. The "I" setting is "instantaneous," I do believe. How instantaneous "I" really is, I couldn't tell you, but I probably wouldn't put it much past 1/25th of a second, assuming that the shutter is workingn properly.

-- David Munson (, August 31, 2001.

Dave is correct that the "I" setting was usually 1/25th of a second on the old shutters. You can actually get by pretty good with one shutter speed, plus bulb. Zillions of Packard shutters were and are still being used with a single shutter speed of 1/25th. Your Seneca camera is not an oddball. A lot of them were sold in the early part of this century. A trip through the history section of this forum should turn up some answers for you. As for the shutter, you can remount the lens in a different shutter or add a newer one by either making a new lens board or adapting the one you have.


-- Doug Paramore (, September 01, 2001.

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