Press shutters - why not more popular ?

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by nick mulder, Jan 23, 2011.

  1. nick mulder

    nick mulder Member

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    I finally used my pneumatic packard shutter the other day (on a Dallmeyer 4A, very nice).

    I realised I was taking 11x14" photos faster than I'd ever managed in 8x10" or 4x5" because I wasn't farting around cocking or checking shutters.

    Just squeeze, load, squeeze - etc...

    From a users standpoint a packard works as how I think press shutters do - they cock themselves in the same action as tripping the shutter. Yup, packards work differently, but I refer to the simplicity of a one action er... action.

    Why aren't they more popular ?
     
  2. John Kasaian

    John Kasaian Member

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    Ilex Universals are double action shutters. Those are very popular but haven't been made in years. Just about every Commercial and Wide-field Ektar lived in a Universal, and those are very popular lenses.
    I think Copal made or makes press shutters although I've never seen one though. Prontors were pretty popular, weren't they? They are nice little shutters.
     
  3. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I like press shutters, too. On Copal Press shutters, I believe the top speed is slower than on the standard version of the same shutter. I suppose if one is worried about shutter lag, there's a longer push with the press shutter than with a cocked standard shutter.
     
  4. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    alphax shutters are self cocking and pretty nice too ..
     
  5. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    I suspect the biggest reason the press shutters are less popular is that they're limited in their speed range. If memory serves, the fastest speed on a #1 press shutter is 1/125th, whereas on a manually cocked Copal #1, it's 1/400th.
     
  6. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    You might want to look into the SINAR DB system if you like using that shutter, but also want some modern engineering and a bit more capability behind it. It is self cocking (with a four second recommended delay between shots), has an automatic aperture that can be preset from behind the camera, has shutter speeds selectable from behind that camera, and with the use of an additional cable, it will automatically close the shutter upon insertion of a film holder. Another big benefit is that lenses that are normally very expensive are very cheap in the DB barrel mounts. You can also put any lens with a rear element that is smaller than the shutter opening onto the camera using extended lens boards. I don't think it is the best way to use a view camera in ambient light (which is why I sold my DB shutter and lenses), but it is certainly the most convenient and the fastest. I think it is absolutely ideal for someone using flash in studio a lot.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 23, 2011
  7. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    Press shutters sound good for doing multiple exposures -- as many exposures as one wants without touching the shutter. Otherwise with my way of working, the time to cock and fire the shutter is insignificant when compared to the rest of the process.
     
  8. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    I'm with Flying. Press shutters have limited top speeds -- Copal Press, 1/125; Ilex Universal, 1/100 and they don't come very close to that; Alphax, ditto -- so force one to use small apertures at high noon. This isn't always what the shot wants. And the limited top speed often limits how flash can be used out-of-doors. For flash 1/400 is preferable to 1/125.

    That said, a used press shutter often costs quite a lot less than the equivalent cock-and-shoot.
     
  9. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Press shutters put much more strain on cable releases, some don't have a long enough throw to fire them either.

    Ian
     
  10. nick mulder

    nick mulder Member

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    okidoke - speeds are the limiting factor...

    I'll take a peek into the Sinar DB system - I have a P system with enough bits to make two independent cameras now 4x5" and 8x10" ... might be worth a look :wink:
     
  11. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Shoot; if you already have a SINAR, it is a no brainer. Wish you would have asked before I sold my whole DB system a few months ago. Some rich 19 year old art student with zero personality ended up getting it for asking price because his teacher told him so! He had a brand new $8,000 Canon + thousands of dollars in lenses, not to mention the Mac, and was pissed that he was being forced to buy a 4x5 by the school. I am sure it will sit forever once he is done with the few classes he needs it for. Really ticked me off, but not enough to say no to the money.

    Be aware that the mechanical versions of the shutter max out at '60. You need one of the electronic ones for the faster speeds, and they are more expensive.
     
  12. premo

    premo Member

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    I've used packards for years, and like them. I change film speeds to avoid the speed limitations. But I usually shoot asa 25, so th instantanious speed works for me.