View Full Version : Unusual Packard shutter accessory

Doug Kerr
24-Jan-2007, 09:23
I recently acquired a large Packard Ideal shutter mounted on a lens board on the front of which was mounted an unusual accessory. It appears to be a pneumatically-operated flash sync switch.


The tube from the rubber bulb to the shutter is intercepted by this device. The pneumatic path passes right through, but a tap leads from the path, through a needle valve, to a pneumatic piston that operates an electrical contact, which is brought out to a bipost connector (not the same in dimensions, incidentally, as the bipost connector used on many lens shutters).

I assume the purpose of the needle valve is to provide an adjustable delay in operating the switch contacts. I am of course used to thinking, in flash sync systems, of just the opposite: an adjustable delay in operating the shutter after the sync contact is closed. But perhaps in the case of a Packard-Ideal shutter, this delay is to compensate for the substantial time required for the shutter to open after pneumatic pressure is applied.

One can see on the unit just the corners of what was apparently an identification decal. There are no remaining visible markings.

Does anyone here have any further information on this component?


Best regards,


Ernest Purdum
24-Jan-2007, 11:32
Fascinating gizmo!

Mark Sampson
24-Jan-2007, 11:46
Could it have been made by DeGroff? I have in my desk a piston/plunger made by them, with an airhose fitting at one end and the piston driving a cable release tip. It looks similar to your piece- someday I'll have to make myself a real bulb release with that part.

Robert Oliver
24-Jan-2007, 11:52
I have the same part and have also been wondering. haven't had time to experiment with it..