View Full Version : Anyone Remember the Ghostmaster?

Neal Chaves
28-Feb-2011, 16:12
The flash fire control system for leaf shutters. I developed, patented, manufactured and distributed it in the 1990s. It sold quite well for a while, but the advent of 35mm cameras with second curtain sync and shortly after that the increased use of digital and Photo Shop effects caused me to take it off the market.

Anyway, I have been thinking of making some again in small batches and offering them to the large format community. About the only X-sync leaf shutter it does not perform well with is the Seiko.

The cigarette pack sized unit has a monoplug synch cord input from the shutter and can plug into a strobe with a monoplug receptacle. In addition, there are two PC outputs, an "instant/delay" switch and a test button that simulates the shutter contacts. Think of it as a stereo converter for flash sync.

One of the PC outputs is always "instantaneous", firing the strobe as soon as the shutter opens. If the selector switch is in the instantaneous position, the second PC and the monoplug will close instantaneously as well, but these two channels are electrically isolated. Now the fun part.

If the selector switch is in the delay position, one PC and the monoplug will fire a connected strobe when the shutter starts to close, at any shutter speed from 1/60 to as long as you want. This is the basic "closing shutter sync", the same effect as "second curtain sync" on focal plane shutters. But with the Ghostmaster, you have the ability to fire two strobes, one when the shutter opens, and one when it closes, so many more special effects are possible. You can put the motion trails of moving objects behind them, where they belong, of course, but you can also easily do split diffusion and filtration like the Hosemaster, or even pull focus between the two pops.

You can find my US Patent 5,530,320 free on-line. I let it go into the public domain. I changed some of the components and tuned it extensively, however, before putting it in production.

If there is a member who uses multiple strobes who wants to experiment with the Ghostmaster and will post results, I can supply a complimentary unit. If there is interest, I'll make up a short run as I have plenty of parts. Cost will be about $100.

Tracy Storer
3-Mar-2011, 16:50
I'm intrigued, and have questions. I'll look whether the patent answers them, but I might like to check it out and if I do, I'll post results.

Neal Chaves
3-Mar-2011, 19:03
I am sending my one available unit out to a forum member for testing, but if you PM me with your mailing address I will send you a copy of the old instruction book which should answer all your questions. I hope to build a few more units before the end of the month. Thanks for your interest.

2-Apr-2011, 20:23
Please Help,
Do to the death of a neighbor who was a professional photographer i inherited several pieces of camera equipment that i know nothing about and dont want to dispose of these items if there is a value to them and could really use your help. 1st items being a ghostmaster flash fire control system and according to the manual it is the monoplug type and 2nd is a kowa prominar anamorphic 16-h #64173 lens any help you could provide will be greatly appreciated. Thanks In advance for your assistance

Phil Graves mcflip40@hotmail.com

3-Apr-2011, 06:12
First why don't you PM Neal Chaves.
Second the lens is a cinematic lens