View Full Version : Packard Shutter w flash "sync"

Jim Andrada
28-Aug-2013, 21:47
I got a 5 x 7 Agfa/Ansco and it has a Packard Shutter "built in" - very nice. I noticed what look like a couple of pieces of speaker wire poking through the lens board and took a closer look inside - there's a spring contact rigged so that when the shutter "fires" and the piston rises, it contacts the flat spring. I can only think it's so you could fire a flash when the shutter opens.

Not sure if it's so unusual, but am curious to know if anyone else has one rigged this way. I have a few Packards and this is the first one I've seen like this.

28-Aug-2013, 22:16
My Packard has the same feature. It is not unusual.

Jim Andrada
28-Aug-2013, 22:26
Thanks Jac. Maybe I'll try it out!

29-Aug-2013, 04:02
Ditto here. I've never used it because I don't use strobes, but it's nice to know it's there.


Keith Fleming
29-Aug-2013, 12:39

You said your shutter has a couple of wires poking through the lensboard, but you didn't say whether there is anything on the outside end of the wires. Mine has a standard two-prong electrical plug on the outside end. It plugs into the sync cord of a couple of monolights I have. If my strobe had a PC connector, there are adapters I could buy.


29-Aug-2013, 17:29
i worked for someone in the 80s who had a packard that was synched. it worked flawlessly, and she had been using it steadily / professionally in a portrait studio
probably since the 1930s

29-Aug-2013, 20:02
It's very nice to have the sync'd version. I have several - and they work very well. With the pin pulled it works as "Time" Open the shutter than suck it closed with the bulb - AND the flash does not fire! Great for checking focus. With the pin the flash fires and I would guess it is operating about an instantaneous "30th" G

29-Aug-2013, 20:15
And yes they made them with a factory sync and many were field adapted by the user. I have seen micro switches and homemade contact assemblies of wood and brass positioned to contact the piston. I have one that was user modified internally, so I have no idea how they accomplished this ( Works so well so I have not deconstructed). It is wired to a couple of pins that connect to a graflex bipost style sync cord.

30-Aug-2013, 11:32
I've used the synched Packard mounted behind the lens board of a big Century studio camera rig I bought years ago. To be honest, I've done very little shooting with the beast (mostly small staged studio stuff), it's more of a huge conversation piece in the middle of my library, but I did do some demonstration shooting with it at a local museum a couple times. It was "dry" shooting, just going through the motions to show what old time photographers had to go through. For a little more fun, one time I hooked up a Graflex three cell bulb flash with a No. 5 bulb, plugged it into the standard connector on the Packard, and it worked perfectly. Nearly blinded half the people in attendance, but it worked...