The Prontor Prof. Shutters are Historygreenspun.com : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread
After hearing different rumors about the discontinuance of Prontor Prof. Shutters, I wrote to the Prontor Factory and got an "official" answer today:
The Production of Prontor Prof. Shutters has been stopped last year. On the Background of a shrinking shutter-market, a production with the quality standards assured by a Zeiss company was no longer economically reasonable. The last shutters have already been sold.
Let's observe one minute's silence in memory of another great product
-- Thilo Schmid (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 09, 2002
"assured by a Zeiss company was no longer economically reasonable. The last shutters have already been sold"
This does not mean that they are not available still.
This means that the Prontor factory has sold their inventory to the lens and camera manufactures who use these shutters.
Therefore there is still availablity but it is from lens manufactures primarily for "as long as supplies last"
What is no longer available from Prontor or the lens maufacturers is the Prontor Protronic Shutter system introduced 2 Photokinas ago and never produced commercially. Tis was an electronic shutter to compete against the Rollei and Horseman version.
-- Bob Salomon (email@example.com), January 10, 2002.
After speaking with Schneider's LF technical support, I was told that Compur shutters are also history. I spoke with their repair people, and they forwarded me to S.K. Grimes, who has spare parts for these shutters.
-- neil poulsen (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 10, 2002.
the end of Prontor includes actually the end of Compur automatically, since both have been manufactured at the same site and had almost the same price targets. Zeiss had merged FW Deckel (Compur) and Gauthier (Prontor) around 1984 (both had been Zeiss Companies for a long time before).
-- Thilo Schmid (email@example.com), January 10, 2002.
Thanks for the clarification; I didn't realize. Unfortunately, that's an interesting bit of "history". Neil
-- neil poulsen (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 11, 2002.
"Zeiss had merged FW Deckel (Compur) and Gauthier (Prontor)"
There is a lot more then that.
valetin Linhof's first product was a modern leaf shutter. he and his partner had a very sucessful business selling these Linhof shutters to various camera companies for use on their cameras. Even Kodak used their shutter.
But when Valetin Linhof decided to make his idea (the world's first all metal camera with a swing back) called the Technika he and his partner formed an independent company that his partner would run and own. His partner was F.W. Deckel. Deckel changed the name to the Deckel shutter, was absorbed into the Zeiss group and the shutter's name changed to Compur.
But it had it's start at Linhof.
Today, in Munich, at Linhof's facility on Rupert mayer Strasse there is still a Deckel building next dooe to the factory.
However the demise of these shutters is still a bit premature. Lens manufacturers bought the stock from Prontor Werke and can still deliver some lenses in Copal and Prontor. This has not been unexpected. In 1998 or 96 Prontor announced a price increase to lens manufacturers of over 1000% thousand, percent for their shutters. That was when you started to see the vast jump in Copal availability, especially in cameras like the Technorama. Compur/ Prontor products were no longer able to supply the profit Zeiss required of their unit from shutters. So it was simply attrition till they were gone. The last attempt to be competitive was the Protronic but it was too new to catch up t the Rollei. This is unfortunate as Rollei is a larger size and not available in a 3 size.
But if you want Rodenstocl can still deliver new lenses in prontor Pro on special order.
-- Bob Salomon (email@example.com), January 11, 2002.