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Nikon RF Shutter Speeds and Measuring
Old 03-30-2019   #1
cwereley is offline
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Location: Sudbury, Northern Ontario, Canada
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Nikon RF Shutter Speeds and Measuring

Hi All,

Have been using various Nikon RF cameras over my SLR's after catching the bug about 1.5 years ago. Often use my chrome dial S2 that was purchased and arrived in great shape. Did a minor CLA on it and started snapping photos. I wanted to know how accurate this old camera would be with its shutter speeds and downloaded an App for my phone, but it only used sound and was terrible. However it has the option to purchase a light sensitive plug that goes into the headphone jack so I went for it...

A few days ago it arrived and I decided to begin testing the shutter speeds of my cameras and recording the information. The app does indeed work my measuring the length of time light is exposed to the instrument plugged into the phone.

I decided to setup and start with my S2 Chrome Dial. Using a small and simple LED flashlight, S2 with lens and backing removed and my iphone App and headphone plug. Plan was to take three measurements of each and then calculate an average. I was simply amazed on the results for my S2! Reading more about the App, speeds in excess of 1/250 sec are not recommended. I soon discovered why, as the amplitude of the light wave on the app display is off the screen, making it impossible to select the correct starting and end points of exposure.

Do any others measure and record their speeds? What type of instruments are you using?

See my results below from 1 sec up to 1/250... if my copy/paste from Open Office Calc works here...

Camera Nikon S2 Rangefinder 6142802
Device – Photoplug and iPhone App for Shutter Speed
Date March 25 2019
Notes – Did minor CLA on camera after purchased

Setting Decimal Test 1 Test 2 Test 3 Average Delta
1 sec 1.000 1.100 1.100 1.100 1.100 0.100
1/2 sec 0.500 0.455 0.476 0.455 0.462 -0.038
1/4 sec 0.250 0.208 0.208 0.208 0.208 -0.042
1/8 sec 0.125 0.118 0.115 0.115 0.116 -0.009
1/15 sec 0.067 0.071 0.071 0.071 0.071 0.005
1/30 sec 0.033 0.039 0.039 0.038 0.039 0.005
1/60 sec 0.017 0.018 0.019 0.017 0.018 0.001
1/125 sec 0.008 0.008 0.008 0.008 0.008 0.000
1/250 sec 0.004 0.005 0.004 0.004 0.005 0.001

Ah, copy paste worked...

WOW! Not bad for this old camera. Looking forward to hearing about other methods, results. Anyone else measuring and recording their shutter speeds?


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Last edited by cwereley : 03-30-2019 at 18:31. Reason: space columns. preview looked ok, actual post was crammed
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Old 04-09-2019   #2
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Fraser is offline
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I bought one of these a few years ago used it for a bit then started doing the trick with dslr shooting through shutter you are testing.
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Old 04-09-2019   #3
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I've been using that iPhone app for a number of years now. I have found that I get the most accurate readings when using an incandescent light source, not an LED light source. My understanding is that an LED light source pulses at a high rate of speed, where as an incandescent light source, like an incandescent tungsten light bulb in a light socket, or one of those old MAGLITE battery powered flashlights is more of a constant source light source. And yes, you do have to stay below 1/500th of a second shutter speed.

I agree with you, the Nikon Rangefinders are really a joy to shoot.


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Old 04-09-2019   #4
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for real accurate measurements you will want a tester that can at the very least test the front and rear curtains speed
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Old 04-09-2019   #5
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You can do it old school. Basically you start with a film and developer that you know makes a good negative. Use hand held meter, tripod, and maybe a ND filter . Run through all the shutter speeds adjusting the aperture to maintain a constant exposure. Develop film and compare frames.
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