The professional way to MUZZLE the noise created by Nikon and Canon cameras.

While imitators have come along, Jacobson sets the industry standard for muffling and silencing of sound, dependability, durability, efficiency, ease of operation and reliability. The new Sound Blimp is designed for the Canon 5D Mark 3 & Mark 4, the industry’s most popular cameras. A new Utility bar option is available that can hold French flags, an auxiliary microphone, led lights and even a GoPro camera! In addition a side door allows easy access to the cameras external control panel and the LCD screen is visible through a viewing window.

1968 - An early Jacobson Sound Blimp on set with actor Burt Lancaster


Irving Jacobson began designing custom products for photographers in 1955 from his location on Vine Street in Hollywood, Jacobson Photographic Instruments was born.


It revolutionized the industry in 1966, when Irving Jacobson, cooperating with photographer Bob Willoughby, developed a device to take set pictures silently. The Sound Blimp camera enclosure was born and photographers could now take stills on set during the action. No need to coerce recalcitrant personnel after the shoot for publicity photos.


Since taking the realm in the mid 1970’s Irving’s son, Mark Jacobson and the Sound Blimp have been synonymous. Mark continues to run JPI to this day and continue on his father’s legacy.


 Irving Jacobson of Jacobson Photographic Instruments was a photographic engineer and a man of many inventions.


It all began in the summer of 1937 when the initial curiosity in photo-mechanical problems had started with Irving. This was all due to a well known photojournalist by the name of Frank Filan who was complaining about his camera. Irving said to Frank, “for heavens sake, stop griping. I’ll fix your camera.”


Thus, began the career of Irving Jacobson, holder of 15 US and many foreign patents of devices designed for the photo-optical industry. The primary function of JPI is to modify existing photographic equipment so that it can do jobs for which it may have never been intended or for developing special systems. Some of Irving’s better know equipment include his blimps for 35mm motor-driven cameras. These blimps are used in motion picture and television sound stage photography where the noise of the camera would ruin a take. It is used today in many areas where a silent camera is needed.

Mark Jacobson


Jacobson Photographic Instruments very own Mark Jacobson has graced the cover of the local Ventura Blvd Magazine. Some of Irving Jacobson’s early inventions are profiled and the origins and history of the sound blimp is told with some interesting tales from the past. Read an excerpt below and be sure to check out the full article in Ventura Blvd Magazine, on stands Wednesday April 29, 2015.

The story of how Irving Jacobson forever changed the art of photography and how, in a small NoHo studio, his son Mark is keeping his memory and legacy alive.

On a crisp and chilly morning back in 2006, I got a frantic phone call from my husband, Michael, who was working on the CBS Studio Center set of Malcolm in the Middle as the unit photographer. He was busy snapping Cloris Leachman and Bryan Cranston as they exchanged their typically snarky, snappy dialogue.


“I am using a sweater, and it is not working,” he blurted out. “If they notice I don’t have it, I’ll probably get fired. You’ve got to go get it ASAP. Thanks. Love you. Gotta go.”


The it was a piece of professional photography equipment called a sound blimp, a must-have device for a photographer trying to get images on a TV set while actors work nearby. The blimp mutes the jarring, metallic click of a camera’s shutter, which can easily disturb an actor in the middle of a scene.


So I raced down Laurel Canyon to search out to the only man in Los Angeles (or at that time, the world) who would either save the day or potentially end my husband’s career. We’d always heard rumors about Mark Jacobson. Photographers whispered that he had no competition and could make photographers wait for months for this specialized piece of equipment

Written By Staness Jonekos | Photographed By Michael Becker

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