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Shutter tester for shutter speed up to 1/1000th $14.99
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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 10:37 pm    Post subject: Shutter tester for shutter speed up to 1/1000th $14.99 Reply with quote

Hello!
Decided to test my shutters a few months ago. Everything I found was either to expensive or not accurate enough. Besides my passion for photography and old camera equipment I also enjoy electronics and messing around with the soldering gun. Built the first shutter tester from the various plans you can find on the internet but the outcome was not very satisfying.

Thought to my self that I can improve the design and in my humble opinion I think I did. Took me about 4-5 thousand tests done with various light sources and photocells to end up with satisfying results. Might seem a lot of work but it was just some relaxing time spent with my cameras for me.

Decided to sell these for 2 reasons:
1) The extra money to the buy more old cameras and lenses fund is more than welcome.
2) I've seen the testers made with the internet plans go at ridiculous prices. I know that it's a free market and everyone can ask what they like but in my opinion that does not make it right. And because it's a free market I decided to ask much less than the other people selling testers. $14.99 seemed a reasonable amount for the tester, packing and handling, different paypal/ebay/bank fees and my camera fund. Sadly, paypal, ebay and the banks end up taking the lion's share form the $14.99. The paypal withdraw fee alone is $2.50 for Romania. What I'm trying to say is that I'm not doing this to get rich and I'm not making a living out of it. I'm just spending my spare time doing what I enjoy and (in my opinion) helping camera enthusiasts doing what they enjoy.

Every shutter tester will be tested before shipping. You will receive an email with an Audacity file containing a test done at 1/1000th of a second with the actual shutter tester that you will buy. I guarantee that every shutter is capable of measuring speeds up to 1/1000th of a second. It's neither magic nor rocket science. It's the result of those 4-5 thousand tests mentioned earlier.
You also get a PDF English manual with detailed information on how to use the shutter tester, a tracking code for your item and all the customer support you need.

The tester comes in 2 versions. First one is the box type and the second one is the compact cable type. There is no difference in performance between the two of them The cable one has the advantage that it can be used for cameras with bellows, TLRs and other cameras that have the shutter far from the edge of the back of the camera. By using a small tube you can place the tester as close to the shutter as you want.
There are no loose wires and there is no battery. This means that no maintenance is needed. The tester works just like an electret microphone (a microphone that does not need a power supply). I have not heard of any computer sound cards that don't support electret microphones but you should still check if your sound card does.
You will need a computer with a sound card and the Audacity audio editor for recording your tests.
The box shutter tester comes with a 1.2 meter (4 ft) cable with 3.5mm male jack connectors. The cable one comes with a 2.5 meter cable (about 8ft) with 3.5mm male jack connector. You can get a 5 meter ( about 16 ft) extension cord for an extra $3 if you want or a 10 meter one for $5 (about 32ft).
Shipping varies from country to country. There is a table with about 100 countries in my eBay ads. I'm eBay user vfmoto.
Box
Cable

Regarding shipping I have some bad news and some good news. The bad news is that shipping is very expensive for a $14.99 item. Shipping can go as high as $20 or more. I can provide the receipt so you can see that I'm not overcharging in shipping. The good news is that the shipping cost is for a weight of 1kg. This is good news because the testers are very lightweight and small. According to some rough measurements I took, a cable tester weighs about 60 grams. That means that 15 testers and a box weigh approximately 1kg and the shipping price is the same. Also after the first kg the price per/kg is lower. This is very useful for group buys or if you want to sell them locally to cover the price of your tester.
I offer discounts for multiple testers. 5% for 5 or more, 10% for 10 or more and 20% for 20 or more.

For example:
Shipping 1 tester to the USA with priority mail is $14.99 + $17 = $31.99 for one tester shipped.
Shipping 5 testers to the USA is $14.25 x 5 + $17 = $88.25. $88.25 / 5 = $17.65 for one tester shipped.
Shipping 15 testers to the USA is $13.5 x 15 + $17 = $219.5. $219.5 / 15 = $14.63 for one tester shipped! The discount is $1.49 per tester and shipping is $1.13 per tester. That's why in the case of a group buy the price of the shipped tester is lower than the price of a single tester.
Shipping 20 testers to the USA is 20 x $12 + $17 + $10 = $267. $267 / 20 = $13.35 for one tester shipped! The $10 are for the extra kg.

To get accurate quotes PM me or ask in the thread.

Payment: Right now I accept only PayPal but if you have a better alternative that is safe I am willing to take it into account.

Can't believe I wrote so many words for a tiny tester. If you have any questions just ask!
Cheers!


PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 11:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Many thanks ! This is a very important equipment.


PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you do any instructions on adjusting the shutter speeds on various cameras, Spotmatic for instance?


PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 11:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

peterqd wrote:
Do you do any instructions on adjusting the shutter speeds on various cameras, Spotmatic for instance?


No I don't. You probably need a service manual for that.


PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 11:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

vfmoto wrote:
peterqd wrote:
Do you do any instructions on adjusting the shutter speeds on various cameras, Spotmatic for instance?


No I don't. You probably need a service manual for that.

OK, thanks. In that case I'm not interested, sorry.


PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 4:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

peterqd wrote:
vfmoto wrote:
peterqd wrote:
Do you do any instructions on adjusting the shutter speeds on various cameras, Spotmatic for instance?


No I don't. You probably need a service manual for that.

OK, thanks. In that case I'm not interested, sorry.


No problem! Smile


PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 6:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

An electret microphone means you are measuring sound, not light?


PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ludoo wrote:
An electret microphone means you are measuring sound, not light?


Hello, ludoo!
I said that it works like an electret microphone. I did not say it is an electret microphone. I was saying that you don't need a power supply to use it just like you don't need a power supply to use an electret microphone. The tester is measuring light!

Cheers! Smile


PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

vfmoto wrote:

I said that it works like an electret microphone. I did not say it is an electret microphone. I was saying that you don't need a power supply to use it just like you don't need a power supply to use an electret microphone. The tester is measuring light!


Thanks for the clarification! I will probably order one today.

I think that if you managed to lower shipping costs -- eg omitting the cable which looks like a regular 1/8 male-male and can be bought locally, slipping the tester into a simple padded envelope, and sending as normal registered mail and not as a packet -- you could raise the tester cost a little. I would not mind paying 20 euros for a working tester, if shipping was around 8, maximum 10 euros.


PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 10:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ludoo wrote:
vfmoto wrote:

I said that it works like an electret microphone. I did not say it is an electret microphone. I was saying that you don't need a power supply to use it just like you don't need a power supply to use an electret microphone. The tester is measuring light!


Thanks for the clarification! I will probably order one today.

I think that if you managed to lower shipping costs -- eg omitting the cable which looks like a regular 1/8 male-male and can be bought locally, slipping the tester into a simple padded envelope, and sending as normal registered mail and not as a packet -- you could raise the tester cost a little. I would not mind paying 20 euros for a working tester, if shipping was around 8, maximum 10 euros.


The cable tester was designed for low shipping rates but the Romanian Post Office rules killed the low shipping dream.

When you send something abroad you can send mail or package. The mail must have a maximum thickness of 20 mm (2 cm). Shipping mail to EU is about 1 euro for 100 grams and a little under 2 euros for the rest of the world. And that's priority mail. That is why the cable tester was designed to be compact enough to fit in a box and still be under the 20 mm rule.

Sadly, the Post office considers mail to be ONLY documents and paper. And they check your item!

The package rules state that you have to pay by the kg. 1 kg is the lowest unit of measurement. I shipped a box tester to the US a few hours ago and total weight was 80 grams. Still had to pay for 1 kg. This is why the cable extra weight is not relevant.

And this is why group buys are so cheap compared to the single item buy.

Shipping to Italy is about 10.5 euros for 1 kg, priority shipping. Funny thing is that the second kg is only 2.2 euros. For one kg you pay 10.5 euros and for 2 kg you pay 12.7 euros.

If you can find a friend or another camera enthusiast and buy 2 of them you can reduce shipping at 5 euros each.

I know it's hard to buy something and pay for the shipping more than you payed for the item. I have no idea what I could do to reduce shipping. I tried the cable version and it did not work but I found out that the cable is better than the box because you can insert it closer to the shutter. I only have one box tester left and I am thinking of discontinuing them because of that.


PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

vfmoto wrote:

The cable tester was designed for low shipping rates but the Romanian
Sadly, the Post office considers mail to be ONLY documents and paper. And they check your item!


Nice, for privacy and intimity Rolling Eyes In France mail should also be only for documents and papers, but they don't have the right to open the package to see what is actually in the letter.


PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 11:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Strange, as being part of the EU you should have similar regulations: here you can send international registered mail -- which means cheaper and with a tracking number -- if you stay below 2kg and have a box whose sum of all dimensions (width + height + thickness) is a maximum of 90cm, and whose maximum single dimension is 60cm.

Domestic registered mail is different, and it has similar requirements to the ones you mention.

Have you read the postal regulations fully? Is there explicit mention of the package content? Are you sure they are not mixing up domestic and international rules?

The last question is the most important one, as it sometimes happens to me too here, that they try to reject an international package citing domestic requirements. On one occasion I had to ask them to show me the relevant rules, and I was proved right.

BTW I'm not trying to save on my shipping costs, only it seems a pity that you have to sell what looks like a good product at a lower price, to compensate for high postage costs.


PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 11:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just bought the box version on ebay. Smile


PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CarbonR wrote:
vfmoto wrote:

The cable tester was designed for low shipping rates but the Romanian
Sadly, the Post office considers mail to be ONLY documents and paper. And they check your item!


Nice, for privacy and intimity Rolling Eyes In France mail should also be only for documents and papers, but they don't have the right to open the package to see what is actually in the letter.


The EU ones are not required to be inspected by customs officers but for the one I sent to the US a few hours ago I had to go to the Post Office with the tester, a box, scissors, wrapping paper and tape. You pack the item in front of the customs officer. And this is how you do it for every country that is not an EU member.

Quote:

Strange, as being part of the EU you should have similar regulations: here you can send international registered mail -- which means cheaper and with a tracking number -- if you stay below 2kg and have a box whose sum of all dimensions (width + height + thickness) is a maximum of 90cm, and whose maximum single dimension is 60cm.

Domestic registered mail is different, and it has similar requirements to the ones you mention.

Have you read the postal regulations fully? Is there explicit mention of the package content? Are you sure they are not mixing up domestic and international rules?

The last question is the most important one, as it sometimes happens to me too here, that they try to reject an international package citing domestic requirements. On one occasion I had to ask them to show me the relevant rules, and I was proved right.

BTW I'm not trying to save on my shipping costs, only it seems a pity that you have to sell what looks like a good product at a lower price, to compensate for high postage costs.


That is similar to our rules. They even call the 20 mm thick mail a flat pack. The clerk at the post office said that they feel your envelope. If there is something suspicious (like a small box) they make you open it even if it is destined for the EU. Best case scenario is you look like an idiot. Worst case scenario they call security and you spend the next hours explaining why there is a cable in your envelope instead of a love letter. I will try to go to another post office and talk to them.
Quote:

Just bought the box version on ebay. Smile

Great! The box type is about 22 mm thick without packing so it's impossible to send it as mail no matter what.


PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

vfmoto wrote:
The EU ones are not required to be inspected by customs officers but for the one I sent to the US a few hours ago I had to go to the Post Office with the tester, a box, scissors, wrapping paper and tape. You pack the item in front of the customs officer. And this is how you do it for every country that is not an EU member.


Next step : Thay will ask you to build the tester in front of them, with their materials Laughing


PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2010 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CarbonR wrote:
vfmoto wrote:
The EU ones are not required to be inspected by customs officers but for the one I sent to the US a few hours ago I had to go to the Post Office with the tester, a box, scissors, wrapping paper and tape. You pack the item in front of the customs officer. And this is how you do it for every country that is not an EU member.


Next step : Thay will ask you to build the tester in front of them, with their materials Laughing

A friend of mine shipped some books one time and I asked him "So, what are you going to do if they start reading your books?". He didn't think it was funny at the time. Very Happy


No more box testers available but if somebody wants one I will try and make some more.

Cheers,
Florin Wink


PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2010 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Would you be able to post a few photos? You can upload them directly to the forum with the "Upload picture" button inside the post editor.


PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2010 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scheimpflug wrote:
Would you be able to post a few photos? You can upload them directly to the forum with the "Upload picture" button inside the post editor.


Sure!

One second test. 0.9984 seconds.


1/1000th of a second test. 0.001020 seconds.


The cable tester.


Box tester.


A test done with the tester that ludoo ordered. You get to see it before he does. Laughing 0.001043 seconds.


A test done with a tester that was shipped to the Netherlands today. Also a forum member and just like in ludoo's case you get to see it before he does. Laughing 0.001066 seconds.
The graph looks a little wonky because I was in a hurry to pack it an go to the post office in time. Did not align it quite right but because I got the 1/1000th result I did not repeat the test. Same reason for the 0.001066 value. That's 6% off from perfection. The shutter that I use for testing has an error of 2-4%.


Three more tests that show that lightning can strike twice in the same place...if you have an electronically controlled shutter. Wink

0.000998 seconds


0.000998 seconds


0.001020 seconds, same as the first 1/1000th screen shot.


The last 3 were done for the shutter that was shipped to the US. I don't know if he is a member on the forum.

If you control all the variables and take your time to do it right you can get 8 identical values for every 10 measurements. I'm talking here about an electronically controlled shutter.

You will notice that the graphs are not the same for the 1/1000th value. Main reasons are graph zoom, light intensity and alignment. I mostly do it on purpose to show people that you can be creative and do the tests in a way that is comfortable for you as long as you follow some rules.

Cheers,
Florin Wink


PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2010 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I built one by myself based on same idea what is well know on net. This is a life saver if you have many old equipments. Price is bargain what Florin offer.


PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2010 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Uhhh, like, I need this yesterday. You seem to have sold out. Will be have more???/ Very Happy


[EDIT] Ah, i see the cable version is still offered. I read the advantage of the cable version; what's the advantage of the box version?


PostPosted: Sat May 22, 2010 3:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Attila wrote:
I built one by myself based on same idea what is well know on net. This is a life saver if you have many old equipments. Price is bargain what Florin offer.


Thank you for the kind words, Attila. It's not that my price is low. The price of the other people selling it was high. Saw figures close to $50. That's a crazy price!

rawhead wrote:
Uhhh, like, I need this yesterday. You seem to have sold out. Will be have more???/ Very Happy


[EDIT] Ah, i see the cable version is still offered. I read the advantage of the cable version; what's the advantage of the box version?


I was going to say none but that is not true. The box one is easier to align and easier to set up. 2 rubber bands and you're done. And in the case of some 35mm cameras you can place it directly on the shutter housing and that way you know your tester is parallel to the shutter and the light hitting the photo cell is perpendicular to it.

The cable tester needs more time for alignment. The best example are the 2 screen shots made for ludoo and the dutch member. Both of them were done in a hurry and ludoo's turned out a bit better.

If you take a bit of time the cable tester is not that bad to set up. You can roll some A4 paper into a tube and strap it with a rubber band to your cell phone for example. I will post some pictures later so you guys can understand. Very Happy

Depends on what you want because a cable tester can do anything a box tester does but a box tester can't do everything a cable one does. I am talking here about putting it in narrow places. Performance is the same for both.

The cable tester was developed for low shipping rates but that didn't work. I will probably buy some more boxes on Monday and build a few.

Edit: According to the tracking code the tester shipped to the US left Romania the same day I left it at the post office. Priority $17.

Cheers,
Florin Wink


PostPosted: Sat May 22, 2010 4:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

vfmoto wrote:
Sure!


Excellent! Thanks for being so thorough with the photos! Cool


PostPosted: Sat May 22, 2010 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cool, I'm ordering the cable one today Smile


PostPosted: Sat May 22, 2010 5:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rawhead wrote:
cool, I'm ordering the cable one today Smile


Great! In your case you don't have to request an invoice. USA is set to $17. Very Happy


PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Made a new batch of box testers. Got some gray boxes too.



New eBay link for the box tester is link.

Feedback is all positive so far.

Cheers,
Florin Wink