Focal plane vs leaf

Discussion in 'Medium Format & Large Format' started by nealjpage, Sep 5, 2007.

  1. nealjpage

    nealjpage multi format master in a film geek package

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    It occurred to me while I was doing a bit of reading that not all of the Graflox LF cameras came with focal plane shutters--I believe (if I remember correctly) that the Speed Graphic and the Crown Graphic had the focal plane and leaf shutters and the Super Graphic only had the leaf shutter. It got me to thinking: what's the use of the focal plane shutters on a LF camera? Don't the big studio cameras only have a in-lens leaf shutter? The leaf shutter also allows one to sync up with faster flashes, right? So why even include the focal plane as an option? Seems that it's just a recipe for disaster, especially if you trip the FP instead of the leaf or vice-versa. :confused:
     
  2. Steph

    Steph No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    My guess is that if you have a focal plane shutter you can use barrel lenses (lenses withtout built in leaf shutters).
     
  3. Mitica100

    Mitica100 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Sorry for being so late with this but... Steph is right, the FP shutters allowed for a wide variety of excellent barrell lenses to be used. The older LF cameras had either pneumatic shutters on the lenses or FP shutters. The older Graflex (RB Series D or Super D) had FP shutters which could be set on various speeds, some up to 1/1000th of a second. No pneumatic or mechanical shutters were capable of reaching that speed. Were such high shutter speeds absolutely necessary during those days when the film emulsions were quite slow? I think we all know the answer to that. ;) Nevertheless they were made that way. I have a Contessa Nettel Deckrullo (4x6 inch) with a FP shutter still functioning today, the camera was made before 1919. It has a top shutter speed of 1/2000. The FP shutters were simple, easy to build and repair.
     

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