FAQ

1. Why are Paramount Cords “better”?

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Take a close close look at the construction of another popular brand of sync cord vs a Paramount heavy duty cord. In addition to being made of very heavy wire gauge, other important features are built into each cord. The stranded wires inside the cord are parallel throughout, eliminating twists and kinks that can cause breaks and malfunctions.

Our PC tips are not soldered, because solder connections are brittle. Instead, Paramount wraps the conductors between metal and nylon bushings so that the PC can rotate 360 degrees without breaking. Since the most common cause of PC tip breakage is constant movement during insertion and removal of the tips in the camera, Paramount knurls the metal inside its the PC tips so that they will not spin when inserted and removed. These are just some examples of how we are constantly perfecting our manufacturing process. All our cords are assembled by hand and inspected throughout the process, a rarity in manufacturing today!

2. Why doesn’t Paramount manufacture a cord that will last forever?

We do have the technology at Paramount to make a cord with an even stronger PC. While we are able to manufacture a PC out of stainless steel or another hard metal, we don’t because it would wear out your camera contact before the cord!

3. Do coiled cords last longer than straight cords?

Since both our coiled and straight cords are manufactured with exactly the same construction techniques, their life spans are a result of the way each photographer uses the cord. Cords should be kept dry and dirt-free, best accomplished by storing them in plastic bags. Regular conditioning and cleaning with our PC Tip Conditioner is a major help in maintaining cords. Coiled or Straight? It’s a matter of personal preference!

4. Why does my sync cord seem to work OK and then suddenly malfunction at the least opportune time?

Most cord problems are caused by the PC tip. In addition to tightening and cleaning the tip with our PC Tip Conditioner, there is another important preventative measure: the pins on the PC should be bent slightly off-center. Leaving the center pin dead on-center can cause a dead spot (no contact). This can be corrected by bending the pin off center slightly with a jeweler’s screwdriver or paper clip. wpe26.gif (623142 bytes)
This technique will put added pressure against the center contact, often restoring contact and reliability.

5. Do the gold-plated cords work better?

Yes. Gold plated contacts are best because the properties of gold make it the optimum conductor of electrical signals. The computer industry uses gold contacts to maintain good contact on cables and computer chips. Gold resists tarnishing and gives better long term performance. Of course, when the cord malfunctions because of a break, the gold contact is of no value.
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PC Long tip ( Gold Plated )

6. What is the PC Tip Conditioner and how is it used?

The “PC Tip Conditioner” is a tool that is used to reshape worn PC tips and to restore contact. When PC tips become loose and fall out of cameras, many photographers bite or crimp them with pliers. Our tool features a precision tapered hole that reshapes, tightens and keeps it “round shape”, plus a chain that may be attached to your key ring or camera bag.

This tool is available in two models:

PC Conditioner (Cat# PCC): Tightens the standard PC and PC Long Tip


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PC Conditioner Plus (Cat# PCD): This tool Tightens, loosens and “CLEANS” PC tips. The PC female located on the front of the tool burnishes the inside of the PC while pulling out any dirt. Features three holes to tighten all the PC tips we manufacture. Our most popular tool.

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PC inserted into tapered hole tightens and reshapes the PCPicture on left:
New style PC Conditioners


7. How do I tell the difference between a PC and a PC female?

The gender of the PC is determined by the center contact. If there is a pin in the center of the PC it’s a male. If the PC has a hollow tube in the center, it’s a female. Most cameras are equipped with a PC female. Most sync cords have a PC male.

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PC Male PC Female

8. Do I need a different cord for the “older style” Hasselblad C Lens cords, and the newer “CF” and “T*” (T star) lenses, and what are the differences and problems?

Hasselblad ” C” Lens
( Older type )
Identification: The Hasselblad C lens is usually silver in color. The PC sticks straight out of the lens like a nipple. The tip is mounted to the lens by a small rivet or screw on either side.
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Problems: Most cords are loose fitting and fall out of the lens. Also, if the quick focus handle is used, the cord will hit it when focusing.

Solution: We have designed Tip # 8 to be used with this lens. The PC is heavier to fit tighter. The inside diameter of the PC is smaller to lock in better. The plastic molded design on this tip is narrower and will clear the quick focus handle.

wpe2D.gif (45306 bytes) Hasselblad CF Lens, T Star, T* (newer type) “
Identification: These lenses are usually black. The PC connector is inside a black hex shaped nut. Between the nut and the PC is a small rubber O ring (sometimes difficult to see).

Problems: If the standard PC is used, it will not go all the way down, because the O-ring is being squeezed as it goes in. Even when everything appears to be operating properly, the standard PC should not be used on these lenses. In time, the O-ring will dry out and flatten. As you continue to use the lens, the O-ring may start to shred and an unwanted lens repair may become necessary.

Solution: Our PC Long Tip and PC Long Tip (Gold Plated) are designed with this lens in mind. It is tapered at the tip and will clear the O-ring, pushing it aside as it goes in. The longer tip was fits properly in the lens.


Newer Hasselblad lens ( with locking feature )  Use the PC Long Tip of the PC Long Tip ( gold plater )

9. I have newer Hasselblad CF and Older C lenses; is there a cord I can use for both?

Yes, we manufacture a cord (Y-cord) with duel tips, Y-Hass-C-CF

To help photographers avoid fumbling with cords when changing lenses, we developed this cord so that not even a second need be lost. We can also make Custom Y-Cords for any specific need you may have, no matter how simple or complex.

10. Does the length of the cord affect its performance?

No, there is no loss in performance even with very long cords, which we make. However, for practicality, we usually limit cords to 100 feet in length.

11. Why does the Paramount Metz sync cord have only one contact on each side while original Metz cords have six or eight contacts on each side?

The multiple contacts on the Metz cords were designed to connect with dedicated modules.

 

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Since PC fittings have only two contacts, the other contacts have no function and have been omitted on the Paramount cord.

12. Is the 1/4 inch stereo plug necessary for White Lightning units, and can I use my Monolite cords with the 1/4 inch mono plug?

The 1/4 inch stereo plug is required for White Lightning units to operate properly. The 1/4 inch mono plug should be not be used.

13. Why should I use a “Sync Filter” or “Low Volt Trigger” between my camera and flash?

You wouldn’t think of operating a computer without a surge protector, and it should be equally as important to protect your expensive camera with a sync filter or Low Volt Trigger. Many photographers don’t use these devices simply because they do not realize the danger, or that a solution exists, but it’s virtually essential to use them. Excessive voltage can render cameras inoperable, especially those with electronics. Even manual cameras have contacts that can burn out (like points on a car). Some flashes can produce sync voltage in excess of 300 volts (example: older Vivitar 283 units), which can quickly destroy a camera. These filters and Low Voltage Triggers (Sync Filter , LVT-H and the LVT-M) will drop any sync voltage to a safe 6 volts, protecting your camera from dangerous voltage spikes. Power pack sync voltages vary widely from manufacturer to manufacturer and even model to model of the same brand. When packs are wired together on one sync line (example: Y-cord), it is important for the sync voltages all to be identical. We will custom-make all cords needed to fit these filters and triggers.

14. Why doesn’t my camera have a PC on it ?

Many cameras today do not have PC fittings and are equipped with only a hot shoe. This is an attempt, by the camera manufacturer, to limit flash use to only original equipment. There may be a good reason for the omission of the PC on these cameras. If in doubt always use a sync filter or LVT when using hot shoe cords or adapters