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Kodak Anastigmat Needs New Shutter Because I'm An Idiot
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2014 10:09 pm    Post subject: Kodak Anastigmat Needs New Shutter Because I'm An Idiot Reply with quote

So, a LONG LONG time ago (Right? Because even if it was only a few years ago, I need to distance myself from my previously less-wise self), I was gifted an old Speed Graphic 4x5 camera. It sort of seemed as if it had been taken to sea and never dried off, just stored. The leather was hard and peeling, corrosion has begun to take it's toll on many of the mechanical parts, etc. Nevertheless, the lens, a:

Kodak Anastigmat 6-3/8 in. f/4.5 (EE32-193K No. 32)

appears to be in pretty alright condition. With a caveat. The shutter mechanism was fouled up and stuck. At that time, my exposure to 4x5 was limited to Sinar F and P cameras via school and it was basic shooting. Also, because the cameras were the school's, everything was kept in working order. Suffice it say, I never had to do any servicing or anything. Just shooting. Ambitious as I was, I decided to open up this Kodak lens and see what was under the hood. This was partly because the camera itself seemed so hopeless that my losses seemed null should things go awry, and partly because I was stupid. I recall a number of pieces immediately springing all over the place. I believe I ultimately realized I would never spend the money to have it repaired, but I also didn't think I would ever learn enough to do it myself. And my greatest oversight was not thinking about the fact that someday (TODAY) I might have the money and interest to have someone have a look at the lens. I like to bring things back to life, even if it isn't always economical. Well, too late. I gutted the thing.

Fast forward to today. I do now own a fully functional Speed Graphic. I was wondering about trying to use this old Kodak lens. The optics of the initial Kodak lens I described are seemingly intact (maybe not, have a look at the images). Some cleaning marks, and extremely faint signs of fungus or lens separation perhaps on the rear element. But as noted above, the shutter is shot...literally devoid of the internal components (which are somewhere in a parts container). Are there any shutters I can look for, to replace the Kodak No. 3 shutter I destroyed? Like is the size standard or synonymous with any other manufacturer's shutter size?

Is this lens any good in any of your opinions? I realize most say, try it and find out! Just curious about other's thoughts if they have used it. Is it even worth it, given the condition of things? Appreciate anyone's 2 cents.

Lens Assembly

Lens "Dis"Assembly

Lens Elements

Front Element Showing Flaws

Rear Element Showing Flaws

PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2014 1:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Dave,

The shutter is a common one plugged in a common - for that time - Kodak lens.
As the lens itself is in a nearby miserable state - and this can or not be viewed in the photos you would make - it's a matter of trying... For economical reasons I would consider get a new lens already shuttered for your camera. I use to see Kodak Ektar lens 135/4.5 for 60-100 USD in good shape at ebay.com. It's a terrific lens, the best lens line which Kodak had made.

I know nothing about the supermatic shutter's size - threads and distance between elements fitment - but last month I sold a Ilex Acme shutter #3 at the large format photography forum for 50 bucks like new. I purchased the shutter for a lens project which didn't go and sold it - pic bellow.

The one you opened and disassembled can also be eventually found at ebay, if my memory doesn't fail I remember to have seen one for 40 USD for sale.

There is a giant amount of lens for sale already shuttered for sale, in several conditions and price tags. I'm sure this sad event will not stop you to go ahead and use the camera. Shit is like this, sometimes it happens to everyone of us, one day or another,

One idea is also to buy a lens you're interested in fitted in the same shutter you have, and use both lens cells with the same shutter.
So the part you have to take with you and not throw away is the retaining ring: it's quite common to find a lens without it,



PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2014 3:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As said by Renato, this is a very common lens and if you want a direct replacement there are usually some on eBay in Kodak Supermatic shutters.
Heck, I've had and sold three of them in the last few years, and still have two.
They are ordinary Tessars, nothing special really.
You can probably even find compatible cells on eBay.
A bit long for 4x5 on a Speed Graphic if used as a rangefinder camera but reasonable for movements.
The Supermatic shutters are really easy to get working as the guts are accessible without disassembly other than unscrewing the lens cells.
In nearly every case a bit of lighter fluid plus working the action gets them going. When they dry out a bit of graphite lube should do them for years.
They are also inherently reliable. Yes, I really like them vs Compurs. The speeds may not be so accurate but they are much more likely to work.

PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2014 4:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BTW, the common 161mm Kodak Projection Anastigmat - an enlarger lens- seems to be the same as this. They are just Tessars. I have used the longer ones in this series as taking lenses and they do very well. I see several on eBay now.
I have swapped cells from Wollensak enlarging lenses on to standard shutters and they work fine. I suspect the Kodak projection cells would be direct replacements for yours.
Also consider Wollensak lenses as replacements.

PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2014 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies. Yeah, it's a relief to know I didn't goof up any particularly special lens. In the time of writing my previous post, I had actually ordered a Graphex shuttered, functional Optar 135mm f/4.7 (with a lens board). My understanding is this was one of the typical lenses sold with the Speed Graphic. I have read the Ektars are better lenses, but I don't believe I have enough experience with 4x5 to make that judgement just yet. So as both of you, Renato and Luisalegria, suggested, I went ahead and picked up a functioning lens already shuttered.

Regarding the Kodak 6-3/8" f/4.5, I guess I will just hang onto it and patiently await a replacement shutter, simply for the sake of making something old and non-working, useful again. Interestingly enough, the Graphex lens I bought, mentioned above, came with a second Graphex shutter (fully functional). Not surprisingly, it isn't the correct size for the Kodak cells.

Is there any reason to think that "No. 3" is a standard? Is the No. 3 Kodak Supermatic and the Ilex No. 3 ACME the same thread size, and thus would accept the same size cells? Or are these markings brand specific?

PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2014 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Dave,

Really don't know the thread sizes, but you can ask via email or make a phone call to http://www.skgrimes.com/, as they're specialists in lens shutter installation..



PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2014 12:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks again, everyone, for the input! Renato, I contacted SKGrimes about it and they say the Kodak lenses used threads specific to the brand so my most likely option is to keep an eye out for another, functional No. 3 Supermatic shutter in need of cells. SKGrimes can also custom make pretty much anything so the option to have a shutter custom threaded is there, but would run $300+ which, in this case, is quite cost prohibitive given the commonality and mediocre performance of the optic. So...I will be patient.

But again, thanks!!