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06-01-2008, 07:55 AM   #1
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Sound of Spotmatic F Shutter at Slower Speeds

Hello, all,

I have been using my Spot F (tripod mounted) at slower speeds. I have taken a few shots at 1/15 of a second, and I have noticed that the sound the shutter makes is different. At higher speeds, it makes a "click" type of sound. At 1/15th, it makes something of a scratchy sound. The sound also seems like it has a longer duration. Is what I am experiencing normal?

Thanks,
Glen

06-01-2008, 08:02 AM   #2
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Try the different shutter speeds and try to notice exactly where the sound changes. I'm thinking that you're hearing the difference betweeen the shutter speeds above the flash sync point and those below. On speeds above the flash sync point, the front and rear shutter curtains are moving at the same time. On speeds below the sync point, they move separately, I believe.
06-01-2008, 08:16 AM   #3
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Does it sound like gears, similar to the sound when you operate the self-timer?
If so, this is normal. Mechanical shutter timing is controlled by a clockwork mechanism.
It should be most pronounced at 1 second and diminish at faster speeds.
Perhaps the tripod acts as a resonator, amplifying this effect.

Chris
06-01-2008, 08:35 AM   #4
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Keep in mind that slow speeds operate differently than high speeds, as TaoMaas said.

With a slow speed shutter setting, the first shutter curtain opens to completely uncover the film. Then, after the desired exposure time has been reached, the second shutter then covers then covers the film. Practically, this means the entire frame is exposed all at the same time.

On a high speed shutter setting, what happens is the two shutter curtains move almost simultaneously. The first shutter moves ahead of the second, then the second follows just behind it - "trailing" the first. A rectangle of light then moves across the film.

You might like to think of speeds at flash sync and below as "stamping" the film with the image from the lens, whereas the higher speeds are progressively printed like a computer printer. The differences in the mechanisms of the shutter speed are why older cameras like the old Leicas and Contaxes had two shutter speed dials, one for high and one for low.

The speed is the main thing, though. I'd be willing to bet that the same actions happen on any speed, apart from the differences between the two shutters, but at a higher speed it's harder for us to hear, because it's sped up.

06-01-2008, 08:36 AM   #5
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I thank you for the input.

TaoMaas: in terms of the flash sync speed, 1/60th and up have the same "click" sound. I have not tried 1/30th, but 1/15th does have the longer, scratchy type of sound.

Chris: yes, the sound is does sound like the meshing of gears, and seems similar to the self-timer sound. With regard to amplification via the tripod, I suppose this is possible--although I do use a carbon-fiber tripod. Carbon-fiber is supposed to help absorb resonances; however, to what extent it does so, I do not know.

Thanks again,
Glen

Last edited by zx-m; 06-01-2008 at 08:42 AM.
06-01-2008, 08:40 AM   #6
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lithos: I thank you for your comments.

All: I had been thinking that the mechanical workings produce different effects (especially when compared to an electronic shutter). Your comments have clarified the matter.

Thanks,
Glen

Last edited by zx-m; 06-01-2008 at 08:41 AM. Reason: typo
06-01-2008, 10:50 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by zx-m Quote
Hello, all,

I have been using my Spot F (tripod mounted) at slower speeds. I have taken a few shots at 1/15 of a second, and I have noticed that the sound the shutter makes is different. At higher speeds, it makes a "click" type of sound. At 1/15th, it makes something of a scratchy sound. The sound also seems like it has a longer duration. Is what I am experiencing normal?

Thanks,
Glen
You are hearing the clockwork type mechanism of the slow speed timing regulator.
It's normal.

Something you want to do with a mechanical shuttered camera is work the entire range of shutter speeds on a regular basis to make sure they keep working.
06-01-2008, 01:21 PM   #8
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That makes sense, and I will try to give the speeds some work. I appreciate the advice...thanks, Wheatfield.


Last edited by zx-m; 06-02-2008 at 07:00 AM.
06-02-2008, 06:56 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by zx-m Quote
lithos: I thank you for your comments.
Note: I should have said the fast shutter speed is like a printing with a silkscreen. Better analogy.
06-02-2008, 09:26 PM   #10
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zx-m, my Spotmatic SP makes the same noises at slow shutter speeds; your Spot F sounds normal to me, from what you describe.
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