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Suggestions for flash with Packard shutter...

 
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vic valis



Joined: 21 Nov 2001
Posts: 247
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 2004 6:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

...I've fianlly gotten near finishing a combination lens-shade/front mount bracket for my Number Six Packard and will be giving it a test run sometime with my Verito lens. This will be a new thing for me, as all my lighting experience is either with electronic flash or hot lamps. Being as I'm too lazy to dig up my old photography books to refamiliarize myself with the principals of flash photography, can anyone recommend either a site out there on the interner I can read while at work, or does anyone have any suggestions from experience? Specifically, I need to read up on metering, et al. I will occasionally be using a Vivitar 283, which should be no problem what with the built-in scale, but more often than not I would be using monolamps. Please share your wisdom.

jeff

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t.r.sanford



Joined: 10 Nov 2003
Posts: 812
Location: East Coast (Long Island)

PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 2004 6:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are a lot of decent flashmeters available. One of the oldest, the Wein "500B," might work well in your application. No cables, no synchronization; you just set it at the subject position, fire the flash from the shooting position, and read the scale.

One thing you can do with a flashmeter is determine a "guide number" for a non-automatic flashgun that does not have an exposure calculator. The idea is to get a correct exposure for the film you propose to use at 10 feet (as verified by an actual photograph), then multiply the aperture by 10. The resulting number, divided by a distance, will give you the correct aperture. For example, if f:16 is correct for an EI 100 material at 10 feet, the guide number is 160. If you move in to 7 feet, you divide 160 by 7, get 22.85, and use f:22.

Is your studio shutter synchronized?
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vic valis



Joined: 21 Nov 2001
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Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 2004 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The lens itself is in the old Studio shutter with only an open/close lever. The Packard sutter is synchronized. And I do have a flash meter, so I'm set there. My laziness tends to overcome my ambition, and thus I try to put as little brain power into my research as possible, but I guess a little experimentation will be unavoidable.

jeff

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t.r.sanford



Joined: 10 Nov 2003
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Location: East Coast (Long Island)

PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 2004 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my youth, Packard-Ideal shutters were grouped, generically, as "studio" shutters, along with the "Ilexpo" and other similar devices.

I also have an old portrait lens with the "studio" shutter you reference -- I've toyed with the idea of autoaating the open/close function and incorporating a synchronization switch in the automation, but I don't use the lens that much, and life is too short!

It seems to me that you are all set, and the only experimentation you'll need to do is use the meter for an actual exposure test, to make sure that you, it, the flash, the film and the developer all are in agreement about what constitutes correct exposure.
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RichS



Joined: 18 Oct 2001
Posts: 1467
Location: South of Rochester, NY

PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 2004 11:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Will the Packard synch with an electronic flash? I've been looking for a Packard for a while and wanted one with flash synch, but wondered if they worked with electronic or not?


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alecj



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 853
Location: Alabama

PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2004 12:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's the folks to ask:

http://www.hubphoto.com/packard-shutters.htm

They say one of their shutters has "instantaneous" sync settings, but at a max speed of 1/25, I don't know if that means "X". Why don't you ask them and let us know. I'd be interested in hearing the result.

[ This Message was edited by: alecj on 2004-03-21 16:32 ]
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vic valis



Joined: 21 Nov 2001
Posts: 247
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2004 1:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've heard enough people on various boards mention the Packard/electronic flash combo working to have decided to go for it. Does take some practice, that much I know... just watching it in action without having wired up the x-synch yet, looks like you have to squeezt the bulb quick and hard and make damed sure the hole on the bulb is completely covered, or else the shutter will be slower than 1/25.

jeff

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alecj



Joined: 09 May 2001
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Location: Alabama

PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2004 2:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you check that site, you'll see that company even has Packard Shutters operated with SOLENOIDS! Looks just like the ones on our Graphics. They say they make their own!

[ This Message was edited by: alecj on 2004-03-21 18:23 ]
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t.r.sanford



Joined: 10 Nov 2003
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Location: East Coast (Long Island)

PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2004 3:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The "Packard-Ideal" shutters should be pretty easy to synchronize, by installing a miniature lever-action switch above the cylinder in a place where the piston will hit the lever when it's nearly to the top.

In my long but infrequent experience with the unsynchronized kind, they offer surprisingly repeatable results. You do have to give the bulb a good brisk squeeze, especially with the larger sizes.

I, too, am intrigued by the solenoid-actuated ones. It occurred to me years ago that, if one had a continuous-duty solenoid of sufficient oomph, one could use a 555 timer and a handful of components to rig up a shutter for accurately-timed long exposures. Getting one of those solenoid-driven Ideal shutters is on my to-do-when-funds-permit list. Alas, it has been there for a long time!
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Nick



Joined: 16 Oct 2002
Posts: 494

PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2004 3:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

On 2004-03-20 22:25, vic valis wrote:
...I've fianlly gotten near finishing a combination lens-shade/front mount bracket for my Number Six Packard and will be giving it a test run sometime with my Verito lens. This will be a new thing for me, as all my lighting experience is either with electronic flash or hot lamps. Being as I'm too lazy to dig up my old photography books to refamiliarize myself with the principals of flash photography, can anyone recommend either a site out there on the interner I can read while at work, or does anyone have any suggestions from experience? Specifically, I need to read up on metering, et al. I will occasionally be using a Vivitar 283, which should be no problem what with the built-in scale, but more often than not I would be using monolamps. Please share your wisdom.

jeff



The speed of the shutter doesn't really matter. A slow flash might last 1/300th of a second. If the shutter speed is longer then that you're going to have the shutter opened for the whole time the flash is flashing.

Okay not quite right. If your flash isn't that powerfull and the shutter speed slow enough [or some combination] then the ambient light starts becoming an issue. That's why flash meters some times show the percentage of light that is flash. You can take advantage of this by using a slow shutter speed. The warm room lights will give the colour film some warmth. How much depends on how long you keep the shutter open versus the power of the flash. Or you can totally get around all this by turning off the room lights opening the shutter and then popping the flash. Close the shutter and turn the room lights on.

So the shutter speed doesn't matter. That only leaves you two things to control exposure. The obvious one is F/stop. The other one is distance of the lights to the subject. Move the lights further away and the light power drops off. So open up the aperture. Move closer and you need to close the aperture.


Go to the Sekonic website and download the manual for the 358 flash. It's not too expensive considering what you get. The meter will likely do more then you might need. It does more then I can figure out. Reading the manual will help understand how to meter. Then you can decide which meter you want.

Can I ask what lights you got? B&H seems to have a good deal on the Excalibur lights and from the sound of it they're powerfull enough. I'm hoping to buy one soon unless somebody knows the things are crap. I won't need them often but I will need a light. So something that can only put up with part time use is fine.
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RichS



Joined: 18 Oct 2001
Posts: 1467
Location: South of Rochester, NY

PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2004 4:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not going to bother the manufacturer because I'm not yet ready to purchase a new, synched shutter. If/when I am, then I deserve their time to answer my questions. Until then, I'll ask people who may knw thw answer, and keep my eyes open for a used one...

And I don't believe home-made solenoid setups are too practical. If I remember from their web site, their solenoids run at 120 volts! I've passed on quite a few electric Packards...

But adding synch is probably easy? I have an old one here, without the instantaneous option on the shutter. Squeeze-open, let go-close. wen I get the time, I'll look into synch unless I run across a newer one some day...


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t.r.sanford



Joined: 10 Nov 2003
Posts: 812
Location: East Coast (Long Island)

PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2004 4:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am puzzled by the Hub site's mention of a 120V. power supply. I think it likely that this is a transformer, for people who don't have one. I have a 120V. solenoid around somewhere, and it's far too powerful to use on something like an "Ideal" shutter. Most of the solenoids that turn up on the surplus market seem designed to work on 12 volts.

There are a lot of simple ways that one might add synch to the bulb-only "Ideal" shutter. You could put a small alnico magnet on the upper end of piston, and install a tiny reed switch at the top of its travel; and so on and on.

The challenge that has occupied my idle moments is how to arrange for the circuit to break immediately after making, so the synch switch does not stay closed during a long exposure. This mmay not be a problem with new electronic flashes, but it was with older ones. It's certainly not rocket science, but the solution probably will raise the parts count somewhat.
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RichS



Joined: 18 Oct 2001
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Location: South of Rochester, NY

PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2004 5:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got the impression that the solenoid itself was 120v. But they didn't make it all that clear and I could be very wrong about it?

There's a very valid point I didn't think of. Yes, keeping the connection closed, even for a 1/100 of a second would be too much for some flashes. Fabricating a mechanical device (contact on the way up, push away, no contact down) is easy in the mind. Too much work to be practical. But I would bet there's a momentary contact switch around that serves that purpose already, someplace? We've got some very bright people here. Maybe one of them will come up with a simple solution? And how does the Packard do it now since it obviously would have the same problem?

This is all going to get my interest to the point of just buying a new shutter with synch just to see the darn thing work! Unfortunately, I'm rebuilding a computer and the replacement parts have just avalanched into a whole lot more than I was planning.

Too many projects, too little time & money....


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Nick



Joined: 16 Oct 2002
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2004 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The 120V I think is just so you can plug it into the wall. It's very much a studio item. I saw mention of some one using automotive points to convert a packard to sync. I don't remember points so I'm not sure how well that would work. All you need to do is complete the circuit so it trips the flash. Isn't that all the sync does?
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t.r.sanford



Joined: 10 Nov 2003
Posts: 812
Location: East Coast (Long Island)

PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2004 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There used to be a kind of mechanical synchronizer designed to upgrade set-and-release shutters with arming levers that rotate to set and rotate back when released -- i.e., "Compur" and "Rapax" and "Supermatic," but not Ilex "Acme." The synchronizer was a short cylinder that could be adjusted along a short curved track which screwed onto the lensboard. A length of flat spring protruded radially from the side of this cylinder, and was struck by the arming lever when you released the shutter. The lever brushed past it, closing the circuit briefly and then reopening it. Of course, when you reset the shutter, the lever pushed the spring arm the other way, so it did not close the circuit again.

I suspect that something like this could be done with an "Ideal" shutter, if the piston continues to move up a bit after the blades have opened fully.

If it does not, one rather complex solution would be to arrange a miniature dual-pole single-throw switch at the top of the piston's travel. One circuit would charge a capacitor; the other would discharge it through a relay or a transistor, which in turn would close the flash circuit. When the swtich was struck, it would release a pulse from the capacitor to trigger the flash, while simultaneously prevening the capacitor from recharging until the piston went back down.

The trouble with this is that it would require a power supply for the capacitor, and seems more complex than it needs to be. I'd be glad to know more about very small momentary-contact switches!
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