Testing a Barnack
Old 09-28-2012   #1
Vics
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Testing a Barnack

I have a feeling one of you must have devised a one-roll test for checking a Barnack's functionality. If you have, serve it up for all to see.
The things I'd like to know include:
Light leaks
Shutter curtain pinholes
Shutter speed accuracy (relative to the other speeds?)
Flash synch
Practical condional of the attached lens (some ugly glass still make great pics)
RF function
Anything else you can think of...

Thanks in advance. My IIf arrived today and its Summaron comes tomorrow. I'm anxious to test it this weekend.
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Old 09-28-2012   #2
helenhill
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Just shoot a Roll and see how your Negs come out
that's what i do ...
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Old 09-28-2012   #3
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Just load the roll, shoot & develop. Only until you see the results will you know if the camera is ok. Good luck with the 1st roll.
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Old 09-28-2012   #4
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At least for testing flash sync you don't have to waste film:
Unmount your lens and the bottom plate, put a white piece of paper between film plane and curtain and then fire the flash on the curtain. If you see a whole white frame it works.
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Old 09-28-2012   #5
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Thanks, NeeZee. Is that an ordinary PC connectore on these cameras?
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Old 09-28-2012   #6
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My practice has been to shoot a roll of cheap 24-exposure color film and get it developed at the local mini-lab. I meter a scene or scenes, and then take one shot at each film speed in sequence starting with the slowest and working to the fastest (or vice versa), w/ the appropriate f stop adjustment. If the camera is working properly, all of the prints should be properly exposed, w/ no white spots on the prints (indicating a hole in the shutter curtain) or underexposure along one edge of the print (indicating that the shutter is capping and should be adjusted).
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Old 09-28-2012   #7
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Among other things, shoot something with an even shade from left to right (eg. even blue sky) to check the shutter-curtain speeds are even across the frame. Do this at a slower speed, rather than the fastest, as that is where the effect of a sticky shutter will be easiest to see.
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Old 09-29-2012   #8
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My lens arrived this morning, and the first thing I've noticed is that the camera or the lens focuses past infinity. Is this a problem with my newly CLA'd Summaron, or with the RF in the camera?
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Old 09-29-2012   #9
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With any camera, listen to ALTERNATE shutter speeds, e.g. 1 - 1/4 - 1/15 (1/20) - 1/60 - 1/250 etc. Then listen to 1/2 - 1/8 (1/10) - 1/30 (1/40) - 1/125 etc. MUCH easier to hear differences than listening to adjacent speeds.

Otherwise: shoot at all speeds, ideally in bright sun with several seconds (or minutes) between exposures, twisting and turning the camera too see if there are any light leaks; change the lens in reasonably bright light; half way through rewinding, part-cock the shutter before finishing rewinding...

Cheers,

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Old 09-29-2012   #10
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Thanks, Roger. Can you help with my focus problem? Focuses past infinity.
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Old 09-29-2012   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vics View Post
Can you help with my focus problem? Focuses past infinity.
Sorry, no, can't help on that one. Can you try another lens? That'll tell you if it's the camera or the lens. My guess is that it's almost certainly the camera. Can anyone here remember how to adjust infinity focus on a IIf? I don't think it's difficult.

Martin's suggestion is good too, but I'd add shooting at a high speed as well as low because this may reveal tapering (blind separation distance changing with a narrow slit). Underexposing will make this still more obvious.

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R.
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Old 09-29-2012   #12
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Vics,

It's likely that the infinity setting of the RF is off a bit. A small but unlucky bump can do that. Seeing how packages can get knocked about in the mail, it's not at all unlikely that the infinity setting has gotten thrown off. Before checking anything else, adjust infinity on the RF and check how it behaves at infinity and 1m.

Edit to add: Vics, Roger: infinity adjustment on a IIf is done with a tiny little screw behind a cover screw next to the VF window on the front. Turn in the direction in which you want the ghost image to move.

Derk
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Old 09-29-2012   #13
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All good advice! Also, test the T setting as its very helpful when loading the trimmed leader.
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Old 09-29-2012   #14
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Raymond, It would help it I had a T setting, as it is I have to use B and just hold the release down while pushing the film in. Barnacks seem to need three hands sometimes. Learning...
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Old 09-29-2012   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Penny Lane View Post
Vics,

It's likely that the infinity setting of the RF is off a bit. A small but unlucky bump can do that. Seeing how packages can get knocked about in the mail, it's not at all unlikely that the infinity setting has gotten thrown off. Before checking anything else, adjust infinity on the RF and check how it behaves at infinity and 1m.

Edit to add: Vics, Roger: infinity adjustment on a IIf is done with a tiny little screw behind a cover screw next to the VF window on the front. Turn in the direction in which you want the ghost image to move.

Derk
BINGO!!! Thanks, Derk and Roger! My wife has the steadier hands and the wolf-like vision, so she fixed it in just a few minutes, following Derk's directions.
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Last edited by Vics : 09-29-2012 at 14:13. Reason: typo
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Old 09-29-2012   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vics View Post
Thanks, NeeZee. Is that an ordinary PC connectore on these cameras?
As far as I know, the IIIf and IIIg are the only Barnacks with flash synchronization. There are many earlier models modified later on with a synch port either upgraded by either Leitz or third party mechanics. My IIIf has an ordinary PC synch - not sure if that's the norm or if it was modified at some point. If you have a IIIf it should synchronize correctly with electronic flashes at 1/50s at '20' (on the dial under the shutter speed dial) or '0' at 1/25s and longer. If it's an older model you just have to find out the shortest synch time using the method described above.
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Old 09-29-2012   #17
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The first test roll (very random shooting) is in the dryer now. I'll look in the morning, but so far it looks pretty good. no sign of light leaks OUTSIDE the frames. Frame spacing looks fine. I'll make a contact sheet tomorrow night and maybe print some pictures. Damn! I love shooting this little camera!
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Old 09-29-2012   #18
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Flash options - for both prewar and postwar models - exist without drilling holes to add a PC socket. One involves an attachment to the shutter speed dial (which is keyed, and turns with shutter travel). The flash or bulb is triggered at the suitable moment. An option offered by Leitz is coded SELSY/SELIS (prewar/postwar) and is a baseplate that couples to a rotating screw at camera bottom. (The same access method is used by rapid winders). SELSY/SELIS has settable delays, and a household plug for your sync cord. Ingenious, eh?
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Old 09-30-2012   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Penny Lane View Post
Vics,

It's likely that the infinity setting of the RF is off a bit. A small but unlucky bump can do that. Seeing how packages can get knocked about in the mail, it's not at all unlikely that the infinity setting has gotten thrown off. Before checking anything else, adjust infinity on the RF and check how it behaves at infinity and 1m.

Edit to add: Vics, Roger: infinity adjustment on a IIf is done with a tiny little screw behind a cover screw next to the VF window on the front. Turn in the direction in which you want the ghost image to move.

Derk
Dear Derk,

As soon as I read what you'd written, I remembered: thanks. Yesterday I was staring at the front plate of my IIIa, half-remembering... but it's been at least a couple of decades since I even thought about it.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 09-30-2012   #20
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Test roll came out fine. the last two frames overlapped. I'll watch to make sure that it's not chronic. TThe spacing of the frames is consistent, but very small. Is that because I'm shooting with a wide lens, a 3.5cm? Shutter test looks fine. No evidence yet of any light leaks.
Test is more or less complete, except for the flash synch.
No more excuses. Now I have to go shoot!
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Old 09-30-2012   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vics View Post
Test roll came out fine. the last two frames overlapped. I'll watch to make sure that it's not chronic. TThe spacing of the frames is consistent, but very small. Is that because I'm shooting with a wide lens, a 3.5cm? Shutter test looks fine. No evidence yet of any light leaks.
Test is more or less complete, except for the flash synch.
No more excuses. Now I have to go shoot!
You got it!

Cheers,

R.
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Old 09-30-2012   #22
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When you ask about "testing a Barnack", I can only assume you are talking about testing "the Barnack", and I have some thoughts on that matter.

I would think that if you tested Barnack it would be an unpleasant mess.

First of all, you'd have to dig him up, and if there was anything left he would be horribly decomposed.

Then, you'd have to decide what to test him for. Arsenic? A beating? Morphine overdose?

I'd think it would be difficult, at best.

Having said that, I was present the last time he was tested, I would guess around 1976.

I was allowed to keep his upper plate and one piece of the dessicated lich, which to my uneducated eye appears to be a left testicle. Both are in a bell jar on my piano.
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Old 09-30-2012   #23
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Quote:
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...The spacing of the frames is consistent, but very small. Is that because I'm shooting with a wide lens, a 3.5cm? ...
Quite likely.

The frame spacing should be exactly 8 sprocket holes, measured from the left edge of one to the left edge of the next image or 8th sprocket hole. Many wide angle lenses will throw their image under the frame mask creating an image wider than 36mm and hence narrowing the gap between frames.
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