Content copyright ESN labs 2020

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Quick speed testing can be done on any type of shutter. As long as you can get to both the front and the back of the shutter, you can test it. An LED light source is applied to front of the lens, and a single sensor is placed in the film plane area. Proper shutter operation can be determined in minutes.

2 Set the shutter to the “B” setting and hold it open through the next part of the setup. You can use a cable release to help hold the shutter open . Now turn on the tester and select the “simple shutter test” . The light source will turn on and a bar graph will be displayed on the LCD screen.

Light source  in front of the lens on both an antique and SLR camera

3 Move the tester to align the light beam properly with the sensor on the front of the tester. The optimum light level is about 70% of maximum.

It is best to leave the light source in place and move the sensor closer or further away to get the best light level. Make sure the f/stop is set to a wide open setting.

4 Now set the shutter back to it’s timed setting.  Press the start button on the tester. It will display “waiting for trigger” on the LCD.  Trip the shutter and the tester will capture the timing waveform and numerical data.  Repeat to capture a series of tests and get an average.

5 To view the results of all of the previous tests, press and hold the menu button “Summ”. A summary of the last 16 tests will be shown. Press the “retest” button to clear the screen and start the testing over.

Simple Shutter testing described

1 To set up for simple shutter testing, first place the included LED light source in front of the lens. Keep it close, but not touching. About 1/2” works well. If testing an SLR, first remove the lens and place the light source in front of the mirror, but not touching it. Use books or playing cards to set the height of the sensor so it is centered with the lens or the lens opening of an SLR

See the Phochron in action, testing an antique box camera click here

Here’s a video of the Phochron testing of a Bronica SQA  click here