Barrel Lenses & Shutters : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

A few questions on a solution for an economical (read cheap) lens for a 8x10 camera:

1. What are some of the better/highly regarded barrel/process lenses out there for LF work?

2. Is there a modern equivalent to a Packard Shutter?

3. If the answer to # 3 is "no", what are people who are using these lenses do for shutters? I mean, with 100 ISO, @ f64, in bright sun youre still talking 1/6 th of a second. Youd have to be pretty skilled to do that with a lens cap (repeatedly at least).


-- sheldon hambrick (, January 21, 1999


You can still buy Packard shutters. I dont remember where, but I see adds for them from time to time in shutterbug, or View Camera mag. I bet Steve Grimes knows. Steve Grimes can also mount your barrel lenses into shutters, although that will probably make the cost on par with a shuttered lens.

-- Ron Shaw (, January 21, 1999.


Packard shutters are not too hard to find. They are still made but are expensive and there are so many used ones around it makes more sense to get an old one. There are two types, those that only have "B" and those that also have an"I" setting (for "instantaneous"). The I setting lets you squeeze hard and the shutter will open and close quickly. How quickly? Well, it depends. I guess between about 1/10 to 1/60th or so. Depends how hard you squeeze.

Most of my exposures are made in less than bright light. I haven't had much luck with the "I" setting so I try to get my exposures down to a second or more. This means using a filter, shooting at f64, possibly overexposing your film, and so forth. But actually I find I rarely have to make many concessions. I almost always use a light yellow filter, which knocks it down a stop, and I don't have any problems with shooting at f64, I rate my film at about 80 but it has enough latitude to overexpose a stop if I need to.

The only problem with this is I can't use Tri-X, which is my favorite film. Luckily I can't afford the stuff anyway.

I have had great luck with all process lenses I've tried, including the cheaper ones.

-- Erik Ryberg (, January 21, 1999.


well, the Packard shutter, yes. if you look in the Edmunds Scientific Catologe (i don't know if that's spelled right or rightly named, but your local reference librarian can probably help you out) there is a plasic which i understand is light-tight which turns clear when a electric current is applied. i've talked with one of the techs here at the university about this and he thinks it can indeed be used as a shutter on a LF camera. he says it is in-fact used as a shutter on the camcorders. i've seen a sheet of it; it looks like a piece of plastic. i guess the voltage requirement is well within what a small battery packs. i've been meaning to follow up on this, but as yet i haven't had the time to experiment. so, the way i see it you would need a piece of this plastic and a little timer programed to deliver jolts of f stops. this combination would produce a very accurate device i'm told, and you would be able to regulate both time and (i'm told) aperture too, in which case you wouldn't even need an iris. i don't know if this is star wars stuff or not. the tech says it's possible, and he has a rep for building some very tricky stuff. if anyone has already tried this, please e-mail me the particulars.

good luck, david

-- david clark (, January 21, 1999.

Packard shutters are avialable new at:

Packard Ideal Shutter Company 117 Vine Street P.O. Box 169 Hammonton, NJ 08037-0169 Phone # 1-800-257-8541 Fax 1-609-561-3298. WEBSITE =

For $89.00 you can get one that'll fit a 6" X 6" Deardorff board and it has a 2 3/4 inch opening. Seems a fair price to me especially when you price a re-shuttering job. That's less than some lensboards go for new. The "I" setting should give you about 1/25 of a secoond. From what I understand, Morely Baer used a packard fairly extensively up until his death. They also have electrically powered models available.

-- Sean yates (, January 22, 1999.

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