It may be possible to get a solenoid that powers in both directions and remove the return spring. And yes theres and instant version, I saw one on Ebay, had two pneumatic cylinders instead of one.
Thanks for the info Jim. I wonder why all the old electronic shutters used such high voltages ? I saw an old ilex setup on ebay today, and it was quite a large package - no wonder why they weren't ever popular.
Yes, I know there are 'instant' packards. But I don't want to be stuck with one shutter speed. My whole purpose here is to have a shutter that has accurate-ish speeds in the common ranges. Plus, Im trying to be cheap
Again, I've never seen a packard as of yet, so Im not sure how Im actually going to apply this. But, I suppose, that is 1/2 the fun...
Quickie lesson on Packards of (which I am a fan because they work.) #5 Packard. Simple piston that opens and closes by air / vacuum. #6 Packard is the most common. It works the same but it has a pin that slides in and out from the front. When the pin is in it gives a constant 1/25th every time air is supplied. Remarkably repeatable if checked with a shutter speed tester. When the pin is 'out' it works just as the #5 does. The 5 and the 6 with the pin out have a lot more control than you would realize or think. If you squeeze and release the bulb just as fast as you can, bang it open and suction closed, it gives a very nice 1/8 second. If you slow that down just a bit......1/4 second, over and over. Slow it more, 1/2, 1, 1+ to minutes. Almost no one now gives this simplistic invention the credit it deserves. I can put a Nikon FM on 1/4 or 1/8 or 1/2 and listen to it 3 times, and I'll guarantee you I'll get very nearly the same thing with a Packard. Look at the stuff at my web pages. It's getting to where about 90+% of the pics I've got loaded there are done with a simple Packard shutter. The proof is in the puddin'. Of course this is from a guy who is happiest tooling around town in a 1939 Ford Pickup
One other Packard I didn't mention is the #8. It simply employs 2 pistons to accomplish what the #6 does with the push pull pin. Seems like a lot of extra bother and at 53 I'd forever be grabbing the wrong bulb. It has 2.
that's an excellent technique you describe there, that I've been practising for some time now. Most things that I'll write are similar to your experience, but some minor things can be added.
I've got a rather large packard shutter (7 1/2" board) and combined it with a HAMA digital sensor cleaning air bulb (everythin from HAMA, expept for negative sleeves, is featured digital these days...) that I paid way too much (14 Euro, argh). That particular bulb features a hole at the end that allows for some control with a packard shutter.
I don't know if all bulbs feature a hole (not at the blowing end, dumbo), but I do know that older models feature a valve (I also have an almost operational curtain shutter with a valve-featuring bulb).
I tested the times with my DV cam (visual: 24 frames/sec) and my Mamiya ZM Quartz (auditive: I like it better than a Nikon ), and came to the following times:
1. pin installed in shutter
- aggressive burst with closed bulb (thumb on the hole): 1/25th second
- soft burst with opened bulb (uncovered hole): appr. 1/15th second
2. pin removed from shutter with closed bulb:
- fastest push&release possible : 1/8th second
- with some excercise you get more control over the slower shutters speeds.
To close the shutter with the pin removed, the bulb must create suction and that's why the bulb should be squeezed and closed by covering the hole and release.
After reading your post, I went back donwstairs to play with the shutter and thus got similar results as you did.
The HAMA bulb I have, gives me a bit more advantage than you describe:
- without the pin in the shutter and the hole uncovered, I can perfectly emulate a T-setting: squeeze the bulb (shutter opens) and release for focussing. To close again, squeeze, cover the hole and release the bulb; great for +10 seconds exposures.
I guess that with older bulbs featuring a valve, the same is accomplished?
- with the pin installed: gently squeeze the bulb with uncovered hole and the shutter goes into T-setting. To close, just refire the shutter.
Packard shutters are wonderfull. Simple in desing and yet very effective. Other exposing techniques exist. I remember someone (Kerik?) doing an accumulated exposure of 6 subsequent burst to get the appropriate exposure time. Not bad, but you must be lucky as not to move the front standard for a hairs' thickness!
This is a wonderful thread that attests to the great design of the simple Packard shutter.
If anyone has any extra comments or mods that are better than the bulb or can give control of a solenoid with some advantage, I'd like to know. For example an off the shel timing circuit/controller would be intriguing.
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More about Packard's (quite a bit more)
Everyting you ever wanted to know about Packard shutters:
(about 1/3 down the page)
And from the horses mouth:
Not quite, Reinhold!
Originally Posted by Reinhold
Doug has no experience with solenoids in the Packard shutters and there's no more information at the Packard site that listing what you can order. The owner only knows how to make them as his Dad did before him. In fact, there's a need for articles on solenoid control of Packard shutters and timing circuits. One can find little bits around the net, but nothing authoritative.