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Newbie flash help

 
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forsaken



Joined: 20 Nov 2006
Posts: 4
Location: St. Louis, MO

PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 7:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,

I just bought my first ever 4x5 camera. Its pretty overwhelming, all of the new terminology and functionality

Anyway, it is a Graflex Crown Graphic. It has the "X" on the lens, which from my reading here indicates that it can synch with the shutter.

Here is the situation: It came with a "Graflite Jr. catalog # 2770" flash, which the seller told me was not the "master" flash (indeed - no button, a slave flash if you will) and no cable either. So obviously this is *somewhat* useless to me right now. My question is, what do I need to "get a flash going"? I know I need the right "handle" and I figure I can use the reflector and mount with that, and also a cable. I saw an earlier post which was a link to a site that sold the 2-post cable, but had different types of ends - not sure other tha 2-post what the other end should be. Also, what "size" of flash bulb should I be looking to buy?

So in summary:
What kind of handle should I be looking for?
What kind of cable should I be looking for?
What size of bulb should I be looking for?

The other question I have has to do with what the whole "camera back" thing is, but Ill look for the appropriate section of the forum to post that

Thanks for your help.
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Jack5541



Joined: 31 Jul 2003
Posts: 75

PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 12:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, your best bet is to keep an eye open on eBay for a good condition 3-cell Graflite battery case (catalog# 2773) with a 5-inch right angle reflector. These flashguns were made for almost 30 years, so usable ones are plentiful on the used market.
Here's a useful link with another link to a Graflite brochure...
http://www.graflex.net/speed-graphic/accessories.html#Flashes

For a sync cord with a Graflite you'll need a standard household plug at one end and usually a female bipost connector on the other end to attach to the shutter posts. Paramount Cords makes this type of cord and you might find it in a large, dedicated camera shop. Otherwise, look for one on eBay or a used camera dealer like Midwest Photo Exchange in Columbus, OH.

For flashbulbs...Again, the famous auction site would be your best bet. Look for GE #5
for B&W or #5B for color film. These are bayonet-base bulbs that put out alot of light with a 5-inch reflector. If you have a 7-inch reflector then that opens up the possibility of using larger, edison-based bulbs for an even greater blast of light using Press 40 or #2 bulbs, which are closer in size to a standard house light bulb.

Also, elsewhere on this site you can find flashbulb technical info, including a manual of flash pointers that was originally issued by the US Navy for its photographers, if my memory is correct.

Hope this helps.
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C. Henry



Joined: 13 Dec 2005
Posts: 357
Location: North East Georgia, USA

PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 3:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To add a little info to the previous reply, the corresponding Sylvania flash bulb numbers for the bayonet base bulbs are 25 for black & white film and 25B for color film. These bulbs are of almost identical specs as the GE 5 & 5B just made by a different manufacturer.

C. Henry
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jdman



Joined: 13 May 2001
Posts: 302
Location: Midwest

PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I the shutter has X then it will only sync with electronic flash. To use flashbulbs, you would have to rig up a solenoid to sync with bulbs. Russ
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t.r.sanford



Joined: 10 Nov 2003
Posts: 812
Location: East Coast (Long Island)

PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2006 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I never have mastered the model numbers of the (very extensive) Graflex line, but I got a Graflex "Graflite Jr." with a used "Century Graphic" in 1961. If yours is the same "Junior," and it well may be -- two D cells, no provision for solenoid firing (red button and switched connector) -- it certainly will work as a primary flash, with a synchronized front shutter (or a front shutter with mechanical synchronizer).

The warning about X sync is worth keeping in mind. If you're not familiar with flashbulbs, the trouble here is that it takes the burning foil a measurable amount of time to reach its peak light output. For that reason, leaf shutters designed to synchronize with the usual flashbulbs (M sync) incorporated a little timing mechanism that closed the switch to fire the flash before the blades opened fully. Thus, by the time the blades reached their full open position, the lamp was putting out its maximum intensity.

In the old days, you could use bulbs with X sync (which is for electronic flash and its all-or-nothing, "zero delay" light output) if you selected a sufficiently slow shutter speed.

The idea here was that the lamp was ignited when the blades reached their full open position. If they were still open a few hundredths of a second later, you got the full illumination. Some testing is required; 1/10 sec. often worked, as I recall.

Unless you really want to engage in historical pageants or reenactments, I think you would be better off with an electronic flash. You need a fairly powerful one, for most practical purposes, but they are readily available and they're not outrageously expensive.

One important reason that common, everyday flashbulbs are no longer made is that they were a thorough nuisance, and just about everyone who grew up struggling with them bought an electronic flash as soon as power, performance and princing permitted.

There is an extraordinary amount of good, hard-to-find information about flashbulb photography on this site!
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