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Thread: Shutters for very fast pinhole exposures

  1. #1
    Senior Member dwerg85's Avatar
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    Shutters for very fast pinhole exposures

    I have a wide angle 4x5 camera that with "normal" ISO speed films is pretty much impossible to expose by hand outside. I've been looking around for LF shutter that might work, but all of them look like they are too small and thick and will cut off my image circle.
    Has any of you put a mechanical shutter on a wide angle before? If so what would be a good direction to look for something that would work?

  2. #2
    Hey Omar,
    Check out the polaroid mp-4 shutter, they come up alot on ebay. I put one on an isolette and managed a 25mm focal length. They are low profile and have a big opening!
    They have a nice range too, T,B,1,2,4,8,15,30,60,125.
    Last edited by Jimmy G; 08-14-2014 at 03:52 PM.

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    Senior Member dwerg85's Avatar
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    Thanks, i'll check those out. My 4x5 is 32mm tho. So not completely sure it will work. It's very sensitive to stuff that stick out around the aperture.

  4. #4
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    Omar, would a Packard shutter work for you? I believe the model 6 has an instantaneous speed of about 1/25 sec. They're pretty thin, about 1/4" I believe. http://www.packardshutter.com/

  5. #5
    Senior Member dwerg85's Avatar
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    Looks like something that might work barry. Bit of overkill tho. I'll see about jimmy's suggestion first i guess. Or start using ND filters.

  6. #6
    Paper negatives are typically much slower than film, which might obviate the need for a mechanical shutter. So too with using Arista Ortho Litho film (available from Freestyle Photo), which has a speed somewhere in the same range as paper.

    Personally, I typically choose a combination of a slow medium (paper or ortho film) with a shaded location, which gives me soft lighting (helping to offset the intrinsically higher contrast of paper) and a slow enough shutter speed to time by means of a lens cap shutter. Of course, this method is only valid if you are staging still-life or portraits. For scenic, architectural, etc., you have to deal with whatever light you find.

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  7. #7
    Senior Member dwerg85's Avatar
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    Those are what I actually use for outside work right now. Lith film to be exact. But I've been shooting humans for a bit now with pinhole for a couple of photographs, and lith and paper are of course very conducive to blurry people if the exposure is not very short (not that I really care, but not like I have an option either). I basically want to give myself at least the option to shoot higher speed film if i wanted to.

  8. #8
    I'm pretty sure, convinced in fact, that you won't find a shutter that won't vignette with 4x5 and 32mm FL. (excepting focal plane shutters).
    With the polaroid mp-4 the maximum diagonal angle of view possible is 115 degrees, with your 32mm you need 136 degrees. The minimum FL you will get away with, with this shutter is 50mm...still pretty wide.

  9. #9
    Senior Member dwerg85's Avatar
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    Thanks for doing the calculations. I guess there's a new excuse to build a new camera

  10. #10
    The mounting threads and face plate of traditional shutters could be removed for wider coverage. Box camera shutters traditionally had a single fixed speed between 1/25 and 1/50 of a second, and were quite flat when removed from the camera. Their speed could probably be changed slightly by altering the mainspring and increasing the shutter's moving mass.

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