Cable Release for Alphax shutters? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Two of my favorite lenses are in Alphax shutters. It's hard to fire these Alphaxes with any of the common cable releases that come across my desk. I've heard others complain about this. I've pretty much taken to contriving long exposure times (often not hard) and tripping the shutter (on "T") by hand. Has anyone encountered this problem with Alphaxes? If there is some particular type of cable release that works, what is it? Thanks. -jeff buckels (albuquerque)

-- Jeff Buckels (, November 28, 2001


I've found the long throw releases seem to work fine. I know Tiffena nd HP Marketing make these. I'm sure there are others as well. Cheers, DJ.

-- N Dhananjay (, November 28, 2001.

Hi Jeff,

If my memory serves me right, Alphax made a series cable releases for their shutters. The thread hole on Alphax shutters is straight, not angled like all modern shutters. So the thread on the tip of an Alphax cable release must also be straight. I will try to find my Alphax cable release and email you a pic to demonstrate just that. On the other hand, as ND pointed out, some non-Alphax long cable releases might do the job, although not perfect. In addition, check with Steve K. Grimes, he has seen enough shutters and cable releases. Regards,

-- Geoffrey Chen (DB45TEK@AOL.COM), November 28, 2001.

Hi Jeff, I've had the same problem, but all you need is a robust cable with a longish throw. Now the Ilex shutter is a different story, for that one I had to get an older cable which has a piston of larger diameter. You can fire the Alphax with cables found on the shelf. Calumet is supposed to have good cables. Best, David

-- david clark (, November 28, 2001.

I've just picked up a large Alphax, ex an oscilloscope camera. The iris is nearly 2" diameter, and the top speed is only 1/50th, so it must be one of the largest they made. Anyway, after a little TLC to get it on its feet again, it fired with the first cable-release that I tried on it. It does need more pressure than a pre-cocked shutter, but it's easily useable with a long throw cable, as long as you don't try to bend the cable into too tight an arc.
I'm over the moon, by the way. At last, I've found a shutter that'll take those nice old 300 and 360mm process lenses!

-- Pete Andrews (, November 29, 2001.


I don't know whether this solves your problem but here goes.

A month ago I was in the process of taking a nice picture of the moon setting over the cityscape of Brussels, when the cable release suddenly was blocked. In desparation I tripped the shutter by lightly touching the declencher on the shutter with my forefinger.

When looking at the developed film I was surprised to see that there was no degradation of the picture. And that with using a 600 mm Fujinon on 120 film (on a Toyo field). I was able to trip the shutter by hand without any negative consequences whatsoever. Since then I routinely trip the shutter with the same finger whenever I do not have any cable around.

This even enables me now to put again to good use an old Tele Xenar 270 on my Linhof, on which the opening for the cable release has fallen off (a recurrent problem on the old Compur shutters).

Good luck Emil

-- Emil Ems (, November 29, 2001.

Thanks for all the help. Three points: (1) Emil: You know, I too have been tripping the shutter with my finger with no apparent problems. I guess I just considered myself lucky. (2) I spoke to Steve Grimes about this problem, and he said what you need is a good robust cable with a throw of 18mm, which is about 4mm longer than with the ubiquitous (cheap) black cloth-covered cable releases (which work fine on all my other shutters); (3) Emil once more: Those cable release sockets are very replaceable; contact Grimes. -jb

-- Jeff Buckels (, November 29, 2001.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ