Shutter works ok?

Discussion in 'Collector's Corner' started by Richard Madrid, Jan 4, 2007.

  1. Richard Madrid

    Richard Madrid TPF Noob!

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    I just bought a 1940's German rangefinder, it's a FUTURA S made by Futura Freiburg BR. and the lens is a FRILON f 1.5 50mm.

    Can't find much about it on the net.

    It comes without the instruction book. It's pretty straight forward except the following: Shutter speed are B, 1, 2, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, 250 & 500. Works at all speeds (I don't have facilities to check speeds but they look about right), but, if shutter is cocked (film advanced) while b through to 250 are sellected, you can't sellect 500. After firing the shutter you can then select 500 and advance film (advance wheel appears to offer slightly more resistance than with the lower speeds). After advancing with 500 selected, you can go down the range but can't go back to 500.

    Does anyone know if this is correct of could it be that the shutter is faulty?
     
  2. Mitica100

    Mitica100 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Futura S was made in 1950 at the Futura Kamera Werk in Freiburg. The normal shutter/lens combo was the Kuhnert Frilon 50/1.5 in a Compur Rapid, speeds from B, 1-400. Yours having a 500 max speed seems to be a variation. It's a pretty well made camera, with a pretty fast lens.

    As I don't have much of an idea on how the camera operates, I would suggest posting some pictures. That way I can tell a bit more about its operation. Some cameras were notoriously engineered (mis-engineered) like the Russian range finders, where you had to wind the film first and then set the shutter speed, otherwise damage to the shutter mechanism occured. Perhaps there is a trick as to set the 1/500 properly and without effort. Pictures might help. ;)
     
  3. Mitica100

    Mitica100 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Well, don't worry about pictures, I found some on Ebay.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Looking at it, as you said, is fairly simple to operate. Hence I don't believe there are any tricks to setting the speed to 1/500. There must be some gunk accumulated in the shutter mechanism which makes it hard to set at that speed.
     
  4. Mitica100

    Mitica100 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Also, since this has a max speed of 1/500, I assume it is a later model than yours, perhaps made in the early to mid 1950s.
     
  5. Mitica100

    Mitica100 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    More info on the Futura S:

    http://jeanc.bouss1.free.fr/dossier_collection/appareils/futura_s.html
    (hope you read French)

    Also all lenses made for it are:

    Elor f/2,8 50 mm, Evar f/2 50 mm, Frilon f/1,5 50 mm, Futar f/3,5 45 mm, XĂ©nar f/2,8 45 mm, Ampligon f/4,5 35 mm, Tele-Futar f/3,8 75 mm, Tele-Elor f/5,6 90 mm, f/5,6 100 mm, Frilon f/1,5 70 mm

    The last one is very rare, bringing about $1,000.

    http://www.photographica-auctionen.de/auctionlist/objectWinInfo.asp?objektnr=29&auktionsnamn=Photographica%201

    http://www.kaiserstuhl-photo.de/museum/nach45/pages/futuraS-Mus-gr.html


    As for its value, I can put it around $100 in good condition and with the lens. What could make it very desirable is one of the rarer lenses mentioned above.

    I hope this helps a bit.
     
  6. Richard Madrid

    Richard Madrid TPF Noob!

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    Yer, That's my camera. I guess you're right. It probably needs a service but I'm going to put a film through it first to see if it works. I'll try to avoid the 500th incase sellecting it puts a strain on the mechanism. If the rest works, I'll give it to someone to give it a once over.

    I got it through ebay (I paid a bit more than the above estimate, about $160) and overlooked the fact that the take up spool was missing. I've improvised with the spool from a plastic re-usable 35mm chassis inserted upside down and it seems to work. I understand that Leicas & Contax from the period also used a take up spool. So far I've tried a Leica one but no luck. I imagine, given that these aren't common cameras, it could be tricky to find a spare original.

    Thanks for you're advice
     
  7. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You have two choices:

    1. Accept the shutter quirk and learn to work with the limitation.
    2. Have the camera checked and repaired if needed.

    #1 is by far the less expensive of the two.
     
  8. montresor

    montresor TPF Noob!

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    On the shutter speed issue, I wonder if it isn't similar to my Speed/Crown Graphics -- there are two springs in the Graflex shutter, one for everything through 200, and a second spring for 400. You can feel the second spring cut in when moving to 400, it takes a little extra effort. Anyway, I was told that it's better to avoid changing shutter speeds on these old boys if the shutter is already cocked. Your camera's a rangefinder, it appears, so it's not like the Contaflex SLR where you need to cock the shutter to move the mirror out of the way just to see through the lens. Nice looking camera, by the way! f1.5 is pretty fast for a vintage lens.
     

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