I am trying to find the max flash sync speed for Polaroid 195 cameras. Because with a PC sync cord I want to connect it to a studio strobe

I found a manual for 180-model cameras here:


I see a 1/30 sec number in there, is that it? I hope not !

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Turn the ambient light down & 1/30 will be fine \$\endgroup\$
    – Tetsujin
    Mar 23, 2018 at 20:47

2 Answers 2


Your question seems to be based upon an assumption that your camera has a focal plane shutter.

The Polaroid 195 does not have a focal plane shutter. It has a leaf shutter in the lens. The considerations for sync speed when using a camera with a leaf shutter are different than when using a camera with a focal plane shutter.

Generally leaf shutters can sync with flashes at much higher speeds than focal plane shutters can. Even at the Polaroid 195's minimum shutter time of 1/500 second you should be able to sync with electronic flashes that have a duration of less than 2 milliseconds (1/500 sec).

The main issue with using larger studio flashes with cameras that have leaf shutters is the reverse of that when using speedlights with cameras that have focal plane shutters. Some studio strobes require longer times for full power output than the faster shutter sync speed of a camera with a leaf shutter. In such cases, the 'tail' of the flash at full power will happen after the shutter has already closed.


The “M” position is “Medium Synchronization”. The M setting applied electricity to a wire filled flash bulb 20 milliseconds before the shutter reached full open. This 20 millisecond delay was necessary to allow these old fashion flash bulbs to heat up and then blitz. So don’t use the “M” setting unless you have flash bulbs. If you use “M” with electronic flash, the flash will fire before the shutter opens.

The “X” position is “no delay”. In “X” setting the shutter opens, upon reaching maximum wide open, the electricity is applied to the flash and it fires immediately. This is the setting you should use for your studio and all other electronic flash units. The “X” synchronizes at every (all) shutter speeds.Because the same leaver (switch) was used for the self-timer and the synchronization setting, setting the leaver to “V” allowed time for the photographer to get into the picture a “selfie”.

Once set to “V” at the end of the allotted time, the shutter fired however the synchronization is set to “X”. This wasn’t good if you were using old fashioned flash bulbs because they need the 20 millisecond delay provided by the "M" setting. Because the flash bulb continues to output for a time, a slow shutter like 1/30 of a second will allow synchronization. However the warning is moot for electronic flash as it always works in the “X” setting.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, I figured when I connect it with PC sync cord to a modern studio strobe I should be in "X" setting. But trying to figure out what is the highest Shutter speed in that situation? so in studio with strobes, I should be in "X" mode and 1/30 ? \$\endgroup\$
    – Brandon
    Mar 23, 2018 at 21:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ Brandon -- All shutter speeds will work at "X" setting. To prove -- Open the camera back and flash at a white card. Looking through the lens at the white card, A full circle will display the flash -- proving synchronization. No circle or fraction of circle tells the tale -- if synchronization failed. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 23, 2018 at 23:28

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