Looking for heavy duty air shutter release

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I have a need for an air shutter release on steroids. My requirement is to trip a copal "press" type shutter. Since press shutters don't have a "T" setting, the ideal air shutter release should be able to trip and hold the shutter open while in the "B" setting.

I have an inexpensive (~$8) Tundra air shutter release which works great with standard copal shutters, but is just shy of being able to trip the press shutter. I purchased the Hama air release from B&H (~$33) and found it to be identical to the Tundra except a $25 label which said "Hama" was placed on the reel. It was returned, and now I'm back to the drawing board.

Any leads on a heavy duty air shutter release would be appreciated.

-- Larry Huppert (Larry.Huppert@mail.com), September 09, 1999


I have used the De-Groff Airway shutter on a # 4 Ilex self-cocking shutter with mixed results - sometimes it trips and sometimes it won't. It seems to require a great deal of "oomph" on my part to get it to work consistently. Both of my press shutters are marked with T and B however. I have not used the De-Groff on the B setting. That would seem to require some kind of valve to prevent the air from escaping the system to maintain pressure on the shutter trigger during the exposure. The De-Groff is the biggest baddest air release I know of, but there may be others. It goes for around $65.00 (+/-) and has a lifetime warranty to the original owner. Linhoff I believe markets a cable release that goes for around $200.00 - it incorporates a variable timer so you can set the timer dial, trip the shutter, walk away and two hours later the timer will release the shutter.

-- Sean yates (yatescats@yahoo.com), September 09, 1999.

I'm sorry, the mechanical timer/cable release is made by Prontor, it sells for closer to $600.00 and it's maximum setting is 32 seconds. They do recommend it for macro work though.

-- Sean yates (yatescats@yahoo.com), September 09, 1999.


Is the De-Groff still being manufactured or is it only available on the used market? If it is still a current product, do you have any address and phone number for the company?

Thank you.

-- Larry Huppert (Larry.Huppert@mail.com), September 09, 1999.

Calumet lists the Degroff for $74.95. Their URL is:


-- Dick Streff (ds85035@navix.net), September 09, 1999.

De-Groff is here in Indiana, but I can't recall where. If I find my registration form I'll e-mail it. I don't know if you can buy from them direct or if you have to go through Calumet. Again, although it is a good product and the beefiest air-release I know of, I don't think it'll hold a shutter open on B as the air slowly leaks out of the mechanism.

I would guess the way to go would be to use a locking cable release for composing & focusing and the air release for tripping the shutter.

-- Sean yates (yatescats@yahoo.com), September 09, 1999.

Anyone trying to find Calumet Photo at the URL someone gave above is in for a bit of a shock. The correct URL is:


-- Richard Rankin (rpr@coolabah.com), September 10, 1999.

Thank you for your responses. Let me add what I've learned over the past day about solving this problem.

I went to the local Calumet store and tried the Degroff release on a Copal Press. It would in fact trip the shutter. The pressurizing bulb has a valve in it which lets air back in after its been compressed. As such, squeezing the bulb and holding it won't work for the "B" setting. However, I believe with a small modification it will work great. I'm going to add an aneroid valve (the valve used in the manual version of the instrument which checks blood pressure) in-line after the bulb. Hospital supply stores sell these valves for about $7. I don't know yet if I'm going to have an issue with tubing size compatibility between the Degroff and the aneroid valve.

The tubing on the Degroff unit isn't very long (about 5 ft), so the Calumet stocked item wasn't useful for my requirements. If you buy the unit from the manufacturer, they will deliver it with as much tubing as you desire (@$1/ft beyond 5 ft). From Degroff, the item is $79.95.

Degroff is sold by: Dave Cook 709E Oakside South Bend, IN 46614 (219) 288-2506

-- Larry Huppert (Larry.Huppert@mail.com), September 10, 1999.

To all it may concern. YES I do make the De Groff Shutter Release and I would be happy to talk with any of you. Some of the units in the past wouldn't hold pressure for a long time but I didn't really make them for this. The majority of the units are made for the portrait photographers and the commercial people that have the newer lenses. I would be happy to work with anyone who needs a unit that would trip one of the older shutters. We'll just have to work on the sizing of the piston to make sure that it doesn't leak. You may need to send me a lens so I can actually try the unit on it before I send it back to you. Please let me know if I can help you.

-- David Cook (degroffproducts@aol.com), January 30, 2001.

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