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View Full Version : Anyone ever drill through a Packard shutter to mount the hose?



Joe Smigiel
10-Jan-2004, 13:54
I just acquired an 11x14 Burke & James camera and I want to put a large 8 1/2" square Packard shutter in it. However, the shutter barely fits behind the lensboard frame. Its snug and I need this large shutter for a couple lenses that I have.

I'd rather go through the lensboard rather than the frame when drilling a hole for the air hose and I think I might be able to drill through the shutter near one of the corners in order to position the hole in a bottom corner of the lensboard. I took a smaller Packard apart and it appears the air hose wouldn't interfere with the shutter operation if I drilled close to a corner on the shutter, but I'm not sure the blades move the same way when assembled vs when one of the shutter covers has been removed for observation.

Has anyone done this? Does it work? Know of anything that might be a complication?

TIA

Bob Fowler
10-Jan-2004, 19:06
I happened to do some Packard modifications last night...

Is there a specific reason you want to use an 8 1/2" square packard? What is the diameter of the rear of the lens you are using? Acording to the Hub Photo Service (http://www.hubphoto.com/packard-shutters.htm) web site, an 8 1/2" Packard would have an opening of 5"! That's a damn big piece of glass! If you're using that size shutter only because you have one available, I'd suggest getting a more realistic size (unless you NEED a 5" hole). There are a bunch on that famous auction site now. You could also off-load your shutter there and possibly wind up with what you need at a net cost of zero.

FWIW - My modifications last night consisted of adding flash sync to a #6 Packard that I use in front of my 305mm f/9 Apo-Nikkor (another auction site acquisition). Adding sync wasn't as easy as I had hoped, but it was easier than I feared! :-) I had no option but front mounting as I shoot with a Toyo monorail and the shutter would not fit behind the lensboard and still allow for easy lens changes. Front mounting a Packard is quite easy and you get the added plus of not drilling holes through your lensboards (or worse).

For my front mounts, I use a circle cutter in my drill press to cut a slightly undersized hole in 1/2" birch plywood. I then mark a square 1" larger than the diameter of the circle (centering the circle) and cut it out. This forms the basis of a friction fit mount for the lens barrel. I use a sanding drum in the drill press to bring the hole to final size and to allow for a felt lining to prevent scratching the lens barrel. I then cut a square out of 1/8" Baltic Birch plywood the same size and the Packard, mark and cut the hole for the center, then glue on 1/2" thick birch ply ring. When the glue is dry, a couple quick coats of flat black Krylon spray paint, add the felt for inside the mounting ring, attach the Packard with 2-56 machine screws and nuts, and you're cooking with gas.

OK, I rambled my ass waaaaay off topic.... Sorry...

Bob Fowler
10-Jan-2004, 19:42
" I took a smaller Packard apart and it appears the air hose wouldn't interfere with the shutter operation if I drilled close to a corner on the shutter, but I'm not sure the blades move the same way when assembled vs when one of the shutter covers has been removed for observation.

Has anyone done this? Does it work? Know of anything that might be a complication?"

Silly me for not answering this before... If you drill out the screw hole in the lower corner - the one directly under the piston - you should be able to fit a piece of brass tubing through the shutter and lensboard without problem. Just fit a short length of tube from the back end of the board to the piston and you're all set.

If you wanted to make it a bit more elegant, solder a brass washer to the tube and position it so that the washer is between the lens board and the shutter. That way you can have more support on the tube when you plug in your air hose.

Joe Smigiel
11-Jan-2004, 07:10
"Is there a specific reason you want to use an 8 1/2" square packard? What is the diameter of the rear of the lens you are using? Acording to the Hub Photo Service web site, an 8 1/2" Packard would have an opening of 5"! That's a damn big piece of glass! If you're using that size shutter only because you have one available, I'd suggest getting a more realistic size (unless you NEED a 5" hole)"



Thanks for the reply Bob. Yes. That's the size I need. The rear of the lens barrel measures 4 5/8" diameter although the rear element is slightly less at about 4 1/4". I have several Packards slightly smaller (e.g., 7" square) but they won't do the trick.

Bob Fowler
11-Jan-2004, 07:51
4 5/8"? Woohoo! Nice big piece o' glass! What is it?



Just wondering... Does your lens protrude past the back of the lens board? If so, how are you planning on mounting the shutter and clearing the rear?

Joe Smigiel
11-Jan-2004, 14:34
It's an 18 inch f/4 Wollensak Verito diffused focus. Actually, I have two of them plus a 22 1/4" front extension lens element for them. One is mounted with the rear flush on a 6" metal lensboard that appears to be custom-milled for this lens. It also incorporates a Studio shutter. The other in a standard barrel has a flange and the rear of the lens protrudes 1/2" beyond the flange. Once mounted on a 7/16" thick board, it may just barely protrude into the shutter opening but still clear the shutter blades.

The standard lensboard for the B&J camera is 9" square. I have an lensboard reducing adapter board that allows 6" square lensboards. I plan to mount the shutter permanently to the back of the 9" reducing board so that I can use the big Veritos plus all the smaller lenses I have for it. Those include a 210 Angulon, 14 1/2" Verito, 480 Apo-Nikkor, 19" Gotar, 21 1/4" Ektanon, 24" RD Artar, and what I believe to be about a 36"+ old brass projection lens. The camera lets me focus the 24" RD Artar at about 15', but I'll have to build another extension track to get closer or use longer lenses. I think the present bellows is good to about 36" or so.

I really bought the B&J to get shooting while I continue with a camera-building project from which I keep getting distracted. I'm building an 11x14 portrait camera, probably a tailboard design, to hold these big lenses. I have a new black bellows that extends to 52" for it and allows the use of the 8 1/2" Packard. I actually bought the Verito lens first with the idea of doing 11x14 portraits and contact printing the negatives. When the lens arrived, I realized the 8 1/2" Packard was the only shutter that could work (other than a Studio shutter which lacks flash synch). So then I bought the shutter and next, the bellows. Along the way I managed to pick up a brass photographer's "watch the birdie" whistle that I'll incorporate into the camera. The camera is to be black walnut with brass hardware. Tomorrow I gain access to a woodshop through a community education program so I'll be able to continue the woodworking. I also have access to a machine shop and have managed to mill some of the brass hardware. I'm not very good at any of this stuff, but it is fun and interesting to me. I find the designing portion very challenging, so even if it takes a long while to finish the camera, I'm enjoying it and learning alot.

To the best of my knowledge, other than the B&J there isn't any 11x14 field camera that will accomodate such a large lens and Packard shutter. Maybe a Deardorff field (never seen the field version), but otherwise I think only a studio machine will handle them and I want to go into the field. Other 11x14 field cameras such as Korona, ROC (I have one of these), Wisner, Lotus, Phillips, etc., have too small of lensboards although they may be great for landscapes and more compact lenses and shutters.

Bob Fowler
11-Jan-2004, 14:52
WOW! I want to see this puppy when you're done! make sure you post some pix of it on-line, it sounds like it's going to be very, very impressive.

Bob