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06-06-2008, 07:11 AM   #1
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Consistency of Mechanical Shutters?

Inspired by another thread, I was just at the Kiev Camera Web site...interesting.

I was reading the description of the Kiew 88cm medium format camera, and noticed it states that the 1/1000 speed should be used "only if necessary," as this speed (the highest) could be inconsistent because it is a mechanical camera. I have never heard this about mechanical shutters. Thus, should I assume the 1/1000 on my Spotmatic F (a mechanical camera) is probably inconsistent?


06-06-2008, 07:34 AM   #2
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Based on experience with older K88's, the 1/1000 is closer to 1/800 but seems to vary between 1/600 and 1/1000, depending on weather, orientation, magnetic fields, how you hold your mouth.....
This is based on taking some consecutive slide exposures back when I started using mine. The slower speeds are more accurate.

My old 35mm cameras (20+) never seem to vary more than 1/3 stop, which is more than accurate enough for the print film I use.
06-06-2008, 07:41 AM   #3
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the old Pop Photo (and I recall Modern too) had a tolerance of +- 25% to 1/250, and +- 35% 1/500 and over. They also showed pre and post torture test results, as well as error caused by extreme temperature.

on PopPhoto - Digital camera reviews, digital SLR Tests, photography news and all things digital imaging. search for 'featured used camera' and there's a list of vintage reviews. Many good brand / model cameras had shutters that were off the tolerance at highest speeds.

The only Pentax, the Spottie F, was well within tolerance. The Nikkormat FT2 was something like 70% fast at 1000 after torture. The Nikon FM and Leica R3 were well within tolerance. Canon F1 was just at the tolerance border at 1000, and 50% slow at 2000. (heh heh)

In MF, for example, the Bronica SQA was a bit more than 45% slow at 500.
06-06-2008, 02:10 PM   #4
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Typically the top shutter speed is suspect on most cameras with mechanical shutter.

The SP500 had an unmarked setting past 1/500. Pentax wouldn't label it 1/1000...



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