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First flash outing--any advice?

 
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rsdean



Joined: 27 Jun 2002
Posts: 52
Location: NE Maryland

PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2003 1:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got a box from Fred Lustig last week, with the serviced lens for the camera, the HR flash unit checked out, a repaired solenoid cable for it and a 5" reflector for small bulbs. My older son is being recognized at school on Wednesday, so it seems like a good excuse to use up a few of the hoarded flash bulbs. I've read the theory--get the guide number for the shutter speed and film speed combination then set the aperture for the distance. (The distance should be easily controllable for this setting, so all the more reason to try it out here.)

Any advice? I've never tried this before.

Rob Dean

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jdman



Joined: 13 May 2001
Posts: 302
Location: Midwest

PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2003 2:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't forget the shutter speed at higher shutter speeds, guide numbers drop. Example
ASA 125-200 At 1/125 shutter equals 200 GN, but at 1/500 GN will be 100. that is for 10 feet. Strangely at high shutter speeds a Strobe with a GN of 120 will out perform a #5 bulb. ust follow the info on your bulb package and go for it. Russ
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RichS



Joined: 18 Oct 2001
Posts: 1467
Location: South of Rochester, NY

PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2003 4:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My first suggestion would be to clear the flash with the school first. Nowadays they may not know what it is and wonder, and not in a good way! (half kiding by the way...)

Second suggestion: Hand out sunglasses to everyone else there who will be in front of that flash! How many people today have been on front side of a bulb flash???

Third suggestion, from my wife... Explain all this to your son first and then figure out how to handle the worst case of embarrassment he's ever had

Good luck! And gfo for it!!

Rich...
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alecj



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 853
Location: Alabama

PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2003 4:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

By small bulbs, I assume you're talking about 5s, or 25s. Don't let anyone get close in front of the flash when you use it [especially if you don't have a reflector shield]. Those bulbs can pop when triggered. I've seen them shatter. Not often. But around kids, be careful with it.

Go for it. Tell them you're just playing with it, to see what you can get from it. That way you don't create unnecessary pressure on yourself. If it's an important event, I'd backup the outfit with another camera, and ask somebody to take a few shots with it just to ensure you get something. Better than making excuses to your son and your wife!
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rsdean



Joined: 27 Jun 2002
Posts: 52
Location: NE Maryland

PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2003 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For this operation I was going to use some Press 25s (with blue dot warning system) that came in the original box with all the guide number info. I'd expect for a "handshake" scene that 1/100 would be plenty to freeze what action there is, so use the guide number accordingly. I'm loaded with Tri-X at the moment, so should be able to be far enough back for safety. Any idea where one could get a cover for later use?

The pictures aren't critical, so I am just playing around. This is the quarterly honor roll breakfast, and would be the first time in the three years he's been there that I'd taken a camera at all--of course, there's only one more before he moves on to high school, so it would be nice to capture one. Maybe I will take a backup. (My 35mm rig is a fully manual K-1000, though, so it's still a little hard to hand it off to anyone else...)

Rob Dean

PS As for the embarrassment, he's used to it by now.

Rob Dean

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clnfrd



Joined: 26 Mar 2002
Posts: 616
Location: Western Kentucky Lakes Area

PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2003 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most "later" flashbulbs had a heavy plastic coating applied to prevent shattering. Even if the glass breaks, it is contained in the plastic coating. To be absolutely safe, you can use a large clear plastic baggy as a temporary flash guard slipped over the reflector and bulb. Fred.
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rsdean



Joined: 27 Jun 2002
Posts: 52
Location: NE Maryland

PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2003 11:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for that advice Fred. That's what I ended up doing for confidence in safety. As it turns out, though, it was all for naught, as I should have polished the bulb bases to ensure good electrical contact. I couldn't get one to flash when I needed it, and when I polished one up to try again, I found that I was going to need that special developer for the darkslide. I'll set aside the bulbs for maintenance before any future outing. (And check the socket contact area, too, I suppose.)

Ah well, live and learn...

Rob Dean

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alecj



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 853
Location: Alabama

PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2003 11:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rob, there were adapters made for flashgun testing, using flashlight bulbs. Look for one. Unless there is a lot of crud on your bulbs, chances are it was crud on the contacts, and/or sync cord connections. Did Fred check your sync cord? You can check that w/o using up expensive bulbs.

There's no substitute for practice. After all, its not something you're normally doing every day. Practice, w/o film. Then, choose projects w/o pressure to build up your confidence.


[ This Message was edited by: alecj on 2003-02-12 15:54 ]
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clnfrd



Joined: 26 Mar 2002
Posts: 616
Location: Western Kentucky Lakes Area

PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2003 3:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would recommend buying a low-priced volt-ohm meter and learning how to use it. You can use the ohm-meter to check continuity of each of the two wires in your sync cord...and to check if the sync contacts are working in your shutter. You can use the voltmeter to check if the 3 or 4-1/2 volts are being applied to the bulb contacts of your flash unit when you snap the shutter. You'll get just a slight kick on the meter, but it'll tell you if it's working. If you short across the two contacts on the flash unit, no bulb in the socket, of course, you can check if you're getting the full battery voltage to the bulb socket. If you want to know more, I can explain the exact procedure. Fred.
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