The End of the Copal Shutter 1946-2019

In 2013 the announcement was made that no more Copal shutters were going to be produced, which was a shock to large format photographers worldwide.

Over the last six years the stock of existing shutters has been at a high enough level that Photographers were still able to get their hands on these essential lens accessories.

Late last year we were made aware that Rodenstock’s stock of these shutters had finally been used up, and that no other lenses would be mounted in a Copal-0 mechanical shutter. And sadly today I must report that new Rodenstock lenses are no longer able to be purchased with mechanical shutter options.

The Future of Shutters:

We are left now with two options for our Actus and WRS camera system customers:

The E-125 and E-250 shutter system:
Built and designed by Sinar, this shutter system relies on an exterior powered control box to set shutter speed and actually trigger the shutter itself. Depending on the shutter model these units are capable of a max shutter speed of 1/125th or 1/250th of a second and allow for synchronization of flash units

Due to the form factor of these shutters, new Rodenstock optics are able to be delivered for use with both the Actus (unmounted) or mounted in the Cambo WRS mount.

Sinar E-Shutter mounted for WRS. The shutter is connected to the controller box by the thick cable attached to the shutter.

More information can be found by reading Sinar’s the E-Control PDF

Please note that the E-Controller itself is not directly available through Cambo USA, and instead should be ordered through your Cambo dealer of choice, many of whom are also Sinar-Leica dealers

Rodenstock Aperture-Only Mount:

A CAD rendering of the new Rodenstock Aperture Only shutter solution.
A Computer rendering of what the new Aperture-Only mounting solution will look like on an unmounted lens.

Technical Data:

  • Aperture size #0
  • Aperture control manual
  • Aperture range 6 f/stops.
  • 9-Blade Design
  • No Flash synchronisation
Rodenstock 23HR mounted for Cambo WRS shown in Aperture Only mount.

Coming later this quarter Rodenstock will be releasing a newly designed Aperture-Only mount for their current HR optics line-up.

This newly designed mount will share the Copal-0 sizing standard, which allows it to be used with all existing Copal-0 boards available today. And like the E-125/E-250 shutters, this new option will be available in both an un-mounted version or in a WRS lenspanel for use across the entire lineup of Cambo camera options.

This is a great option when working with the latest Digital backs that have a built-in sensor-activated Electronic Shutter (Such as the Phase One IQ3-100 and new IQ4 series digital backs). In this case, there is no need for a synchronisation between lens and back, as there are no moving and vibrating shutter parts. The desired aperture is set on the mount itself, and then the back can be fired either by touching the rear screen, or remotely via cable.

Unfortunately due to the current capabilities of the modern digital back sensor assembly, flash synchronization is limited and cannot be used in all shooting situations.

(We recommend reviewing information from your manufacturer specific to your digital back of choice for more information on this type of capture situation).

Better news for Actus camera users, as this allows for high quality optics to be used much easier than in the past with modern Mirrorless or DSLR cameras. Since ISO and Shutter speed are controlled on the rear-mounted camera, the aperture can quickly be adjusted and in many cases live view can accurately show a preview of the final image before capture.

What’s Next for Lens Shutters?

As digital back sensor technology continues to get better and better, and with the eventual packaging of a global electronic shutter into digital backs, the Rodenstock Aperture-Only mount will continue to be a light-weight and easy to use option for Photographers of all types.

As for now, we wait patiently what the future will hold, and hope to have something that is as long lasting as the legacy that Copal is leaving behind.

For more information, or to purchase lenses in E-250 & Rodenstock Aperture-Only mount, please contact your Cambo USA dealer of choice by visiting our Dealer page.