F L U T O T ' S    CAMERA REPAIR

FAQ

 


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Frequently Asked Questions

Important. 

Please read this message (click here) before sending anything to us for repair.

Red, the Shop Cat

May I help you?


Do you repair cameras, or only shutters?

How should I pack it off to you?

What forms of payment do you accept?

Do I have to include payment with my equipment?

What is your turnaround?

Do you mount lenses or make lens boards and adapters?

Do you recoat lenses?

Will you accept work from outside of the United States?

You mention that you prefer that I remove the lens but since I have only been in LF photography a short time, I am nervous about taking a lens apart to remove the shutter. I've read that you just can't stick any shutter in any lens; that there are shims and other adjustments necessary to position the shutter exactly, maintain correct distance between front and rear elements, etc. This leads me to believe that the lenses are in a precise alignment and you need special knowledge to take one apart and put it together again.

My Synchro-Compur no longer functions. What can I replace it with?

How do I find the shutter size?

Do you make f/stop scales?

Where can I find a Copal shutter?

 

 


Do you repair cameras, or only shutters?

Although we used to repair 35mm and medium format cameras, we've recently refocused the business to LF shutters.  If you need a camera repaired, please check out some of our links.

 

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How should I pack it off to you?

First, do nothing until we've communicated by email or telephone.   If any Item is sent without contacting us first, it will be considered a "RUSH JOB" and will be charged accordingly.  Please see the announcements on the Contact Us page.

If possible, the aperture and shutter blades should be in the open position, especially for the larger shutters where the blades could get damaged during shipping.

Choose a box with enough room to allow two inches of cushioning around the item(s) you are shipping.  Wrap in bubble wrap and then place cushioning all around the item or items.

You can also use Styrofoam  “peanuts”, shredded paper, newspaper or foam.  Close and shake the package—if you can hear anything shifting, add more cushioning.

If you use those bags filled with air for packing, make sure that you have plenty of packing around your shutter/camera because those air bags do not hold the item in place. The shutter or camera can (and usually will) slip out of place and end up on the bottom of the box with nothing protecting it. Frequently, the bags deflate, causing the same problem. It would be better to use new paper than those air bags if you don't have other packing materials.

Recently, some of the packages we've been getting from UPS have arrived a bit squashed. But regardless of the shipper, make sure it's packed well.

Inside, enclose a completed copy of our Shipment Form.

You may ship the item(s) using any method you prefer!  We will ship it back using USPS unless you specify otherwise.  Be certain to insure your item(s) to cover its replacement value in the event a mishap occurs during shipping.

If you are shipping a shutter to us, please remove the lens elements from the shutter and remove it from the lens board if possible.  If you have the correct tools, make sure all blades are in the open position before trying to remove it, because one slip and the blades can easily be damaged.  If you don't have the proper tools or feel uncomfortable removing the lens board just send it as is and we will take of it.

Note: When removing the lens elements, watch for any shims (they look like a large washer or a flat ring) that might be behind the lens elements. They will need to be properly placed when you re-insert the lens elements. They may be found behind either front or rear elements, so if you find one, make a note of where you found it and keep it with your lens elements.  Most factory-mounted lenses do not have shims!

Ship it to...

Flutot's Camera Repair
14922 Janine Drive
Whittier, CA 90605

You are resonsible for the shipping insurance and we will need to know how much insurance you would like on your package for the return trip so we can charge you accordingly. There is also a $5.00 Shipping and Handling charge for all packages.

 

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What forms of payment do you accept?

We accept Postal Money Orders or certified bank checks made payable to Flutot's Camera Repair, and PayPal.  Personal checks will take additional time to clear the bank. We do not accept credit cards.

 

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Do I have to include payment with my equipment?

No. If it is something other than a CLAC, it is likely that parts will be needed.  We will examine your item(s) and get back to you with an estimate of the cost.

 

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What is your turnaround?

Because all of you good folks are using our services, turnaround time is now 4 to 5 weeks, depending on the availability of parts. If an item is needed by a certain date, please inform us of this and we'll try to do everything possible to get it back to you before that date. We will contact you as soon as we receive and assess your item(s).  At that time, we’ll have a better idea of what is involved and can give you a more accurate time estimate.

If an item is needed within a two-week period or to bypass the waiting list this is considered a RUSH JOB and an additional fee of $40.00 will be added. Compound shutters will require additional time because of the mechanism and certain additional steps and if any other item requires additional time you will be notified to ensure a good job.

 

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Do you mount lenses or make lens boards and adapters?

No! Please look in Links for referrals.

 

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 Do you recoat lenses?

 No! Please looks in Links for referrals.

 

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Will you accept work from outside of the United States?

Yes, we do!  Please email us first and let us know what you have and its problem. Then we can assess if it is a problem we can handle!    

 

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You mention that you prefer that I remove the lens but since I have only been in LF photography a short time, I am nervous about taking a lens apart to remove the shutter. I've read that you just can't stick any shutter in any lens; that there are shims and other adjustments necessary to position the shutter exactly, maintain correct distance between front and rear elements, etc. This leads me to believe that the lenses are in a precise alignment and you need special knowledge to take one apart and put it together again.

Most modern lenses (that is, those in "standard" Compur/Copal size shutters) were designed to fit their shutters without using shims. Those that do use them are usually process lenses that were not originally sold in shutter, but were barrel lenses that have been retrofitted. The most critical spacing is that of the rear lens cell to the iris, so if a shim is going to be used, that's the likely place. Unfortunately, that is also the one cell that MUST be removed from the shutter to mount the lens/shutter assembly to the lens board. Having said that, if the lens was mounted in the shutter at the factory, the odds are that no shims are present. Shutters are made to such a high degree of precision that 99% of the time, lens manufacturers have no trouble making the cell housings so that the optical spacing required are dead-on without adding shims. There are exceptions of course, but if reasonable care is exercised in the removal of a lens cell, any shims will be readily seen and can be placed with the appropriate cell for proper reassembly. It's not rocket science; these are uniform thickness spacers and are not tapered.

 

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My Synchro-Compur no longer functions. What can I replace it with?

Synchro Compurs and Copals have identical dimensions, so it's just a matter of swapping them out and having the aperture scales engraved. The Copals are different in that the apertures close in a logarithmic progression rather than a linear progression. That makes making the f/stop scales MUCH easier, especially for marking 1/3rd stop increments. There IS one exception, the "Copal Press" size 0 has a slightly different rear-cell-to-iris dimension, but it's usually not a big deal—the thread size is the same and most people want set-and-release type shutters anyway.

Also, some standard sized shutters were slightly modified by the lens makers to accommodate specific lenses. For example, the 90mm f6.8 Schneider Angulon in a size 0 Synchro-Compur—Schneider removed a couple of millimeters of thread for the front cell mount of the shutter to allow for a thicker shoulder on the lens cell to clear the shutter case. So if these cells are to me mounted into a Copal size 0, modification or machining must be done. (This can be done at S. K. Grimes—see the Links page.)

 

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How do I find the shutter size?

Synchro-Compur P are size #0 and the body is 58mm.
For more information with pictures: http://www.skgrimes.com/compur/slftime/index.htm

Synchro-Compur that are #1 have a 70.5mm body.
For more information with pictures: http://www.skgrimes.com/compur/synchro/index.htm

To see complete dimensions of all Synchro-Compur's, go to http://www.skgrimes.com/compur/index.htm

 

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Do you make f/stop scales?

No, you will need to send your shutter to Tim Sharkey or S. K. Grimes—see the Links page.

 

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Where can I find a Copal shutter?

You can buy a new Copal shutter from the dealer, or buy a used one at one of the auction sites (see the Links page)

 

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