View Full Version : Using Chamonix cameras with barrel lenses

Darryl Baird
27-May-2008, 16:16
OK, so I got the camera and a few lenses in shutters and boards, but I want to set a couple of barrel lenses onto the camera and have a shutter to control the exposure. I have an iris lens holder (so far so good), but am having great indecision on my next step ... a Packard shutter isn't too good for faster shutter speeds, I don't know if a Sinar Auto aperture shutter will either fit or work properly, and I have a spare Ilex #5 shutter.

I know the cost to have several lens adaptors cut to fit the single shutter might be prohibitive, the Sinar route is an unknown (possible, but expensive even used), and I'm not too handy with wood, so a custom shutter box is probably not an option.

Has anyone else faced (and solved) this problem?

Frank Petronio
27-May-2008, 17:03
You could control exposures by using a range of slower emulsions and neutral density filters -- and do what Atget and Daguerre did -- get good at flashing black cards in front of the lens, not using any shutter at all.

Seriously, you could probably get yourself within a stop of the "proper" exposure....

Is this Chamonix larger than 4x5? Because I can't imagine an unridiculous way to mount a Packard or Sinar shutter on the little 4x5 model. Even the #5 seems like it would be pushing it.

Jim Galli
27-May-2008, 17:12
The Sinar Auto aperture doesn't seem viable for a 4X5? Chamonix. And the Ilex 5 if you checked with a shutter speed tester would turn out to be macroseconds different from a good running packard. I've used some spiffy petzval's and menisci on the 4X5 Cham with a front mounted Packard. It's ugly, but functional. I have one 5" packard with a sleeve that slides over the front of the different lenses. Some fiddling is involved but so far I've gotten the job done with it.

Darryl Baird
27-May-2008, 19:32
Sorry folks, I realize the 4x5 uses a smaller board on the front than my 8x10... that uses a standard Sinar board that's 5.5 inches square. My bad. I can probably afford a new fancy Packard for what I was thinking about spending on a used Sinar shutter... I just wanted to have an elegant (priss that I am) shutter capable of short exposures.

Frank, didn't you have a Sinar at one point? (I've been lurking in the archives looking at Sinar threads).

Frank Petronio
27-May-2008, 20:03
Yeah I had a Sinar shutter set up and it was really nice after you spend all the $$$ on the bits and pieces.... the shutter itself isn't so expensive but it can quickly get expensive and complicated to have all the parts working in harmony, the proprietary cable releases and interlinks are $125 each! But having the shutter close down and cock when you insert a holder is pretty darn slick (only with a Sinar system mind you).

I'd go for a Packard and one of those irises that clamp onto any old brass lens you can fit -- but I think you would also want a fairly beefy camera to support that set-up too.

The Sinar is more modern and slick but the Packard will do just as well and is available in different sizes, new, and is a lot less money.

Struan Gray
28-May-2008, 00:26
If the Chamonix has a detachable bellows, and if the bellows also uses Sinar compatible clamps, you can just use a Sinar shutter behind the lensboard in the normal way.

If not, you can mount the Sinar shutter back-to-front on almost any mount compatible with Sinar lensboards, and in any of the four possible rotations. Potential problems include the shutter controls fouling the front standard if you try to apply movements and (more serious for me) you lose the space between the lensboard and the shutter face. The latter means that lenses have to be mounted so that no screws or nuts project behind the lensboard, and the lens itself cannot project rearwards nearly so much as when the shutter is the 'correct' way round.

I use a Sinar monorail with my shutter, and have an iris on a lensboard which I hang on the front standard for ancient and project lenses. It's a nice combination.

PS: the shutters and cables are much cheaper in Europe. eBay.de has the best bargains, but there are brick-and-mortar stores like MXV and Ffordes in the UK who quite often have shutters and/or cables for sale.