I can not get the shutter of the Schneider Kreuznach 135/3.5 Xenotar to open. I tried to explain what I know in this picutre: image

Anyone any idea? I'm afraid I don't have a manual for the lens and haven't found one online.

  • I think this lens has a leaf shutter, right? Added that tag — edit it out if I'm wrong!
    – mattdm
    Jan 3 '16 at 18:22
  • This is a Linhof shutter? It is quite possible to have the glass and the shutter made by completely different companies.
    – user13451
    Jan 3 '16 at 18:50

Your shutter is a Linhof-branded Synchro Compur. (Only the bezel part is Linhof.) It appears from the picture you posted to have a press focus (the little square tab/button thing near the shutter speed indicator); that button will open the shutter for focus after the shutter has been cocked, and will close if you re-cock the shutter.

(Note: not all Compurs have the press open function.)

  • OK, I noticed now, that the lightway is clear and open for the time of exposure cock the shutter an release (that is I saw a very brief image on the focusing screen. excited :). I'm afraid I cant really move the square thingy with the lever. (I'll indicate on a picture in a second, to avoid confusion) A second please..
    – Martin
    Jan 4 '16 at 19:25
  • you are talking about the thing in the red square here, right? I'm afraid I can't move it in any direction (push to symmetry center of the lens, pull, push radially where there are some lines visible on the camera.) I don't want to damage using force...
    – Martin
    Jan 4 '16 at 19:39
  • Just missed the five minutes mark for the edit button :( OK of course I can set shutter speed "Bulb" and expose all the time while I compose the image. This could work when the cable release can be fixed... :)))
    – Martin
    Jan 4 '16 at 19:45
  • Also dont fire the shutter with the press focus engaged. Damage to the shutter may result. Not sure if OP is planning to use this camera but I suggest reading Ansell Adams 'The Camera' before further fiddling.
    – HamishKL
    Jan 5 '16 at 2:16
  • Correct answer, user47638. See the image for my answer for the missing step. Thanks a lot! HamishKL, yes I definitely will use the camera. Thanks for the hint and suggestion
    – Martin
    Jan 5 '16 at 9:41

With large format, unless you have an oddball focal plane shutter (I've seen some - more often in a press camera, which you might have here), the camera that you have has a leaf shutter - the aperture and the shutter are between the front sent and rear set of the elements.

I'm personally most familiar with the Copal brand shutters:

enter image description here

In this image you can see the f/stop select (silver triangle) which is part of the lens, the shutter select (red line on ring), the shutter release (top of the image), and the lock open (bottom black triangle).

Another view of a Copal shutter (that first one was a #0, this is a #1):

enter image description here

To shoot a photo, one would typically:

  1. open up wide (f/5.6 for this shutter)
  2. then push that black triangle to the lock open position
  3. do your focusing and standard adjustments
  4. then stop down to what you want for the f/stop to be to check for the depth of field
  5. release the lock open position
  6. insert the film holder
  7. select the shutter speed
  8. cock the shutter
  9. release the shutter (cable release)

Now, lets look at this for another view of a variation on this lens:

enter image description here

You can see the similar parts - the shutter speed select, the aperture select at the bottom, the shutter cocking. However, this shutter doesn't have the lock open that the Copal shutters do.

What you will need to do there is set the shutter to either 'M', 'B', or 'T' depending on the labeling of the shutter so that it it is open for a long period of time. It is possible that these are different things - you will note that 'T' and 'B' are both on the Copal shutter - one is a bulb (as long as you hold the bulb tight it will stay open - the 'T' is for a timed release where you press it once to open, and press it again to close.

You will want a cable release.

You may find that watching this video of a Copal No. 1 shutter being twisted about and worked with or a 6000 FPS video of the shutter opening and closing - note that the shutter and the aperture are different things, though really close together.

That green knob that you didn't mark... it may be a lock open. Though, I'm not familiar with that shutter.

  • With the green Knob I can choose between M and X (looking from the Fotpographers side of the camera (W otherwise..;)). Could it be that a cable release is required to open the thing? I'll reread what you posted some more times and watch the videos. Thanks so far. I'll report back
    – Martin
    Jan 3 '16 at 22:34
  • 1
    Ahh, that is then related to the flash sync. M was for medium speed electric flash bulbs and X is the traditional 'sync on full open shutter'. The 'M' had to fire just before the shutter was fully open.
    – user13451
    Jan 3 '16 at 22:36
  • On a 'B' setting, a cable release held in will keep the shutter open. If you have a 'T' setting for the shutter it may be easier to work with. And yes, a threaded cable release is necessary equipment for large format work.
    – user13451
    Jan 3 '16 at 22:38

Finally. "user47638" was basically right:


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