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flash for hand held 4x5"
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peegeenyc



Joined: 15 Jan 2004
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2004 11:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hi all
I'm new to hand held 4x5" and want to get a powerful flash that is small and on-camera (not on a huge bracket etc)

I was thinking about flashbulbs and wondering as a newbie what is a small on camera reflectors to take mid-power bulbs?
(sorry I know I'm not using the right terms)
I see lots of bulbs on e-bay, but ??? for what's right for me (color 4x5", 150mm)

I need to get to f22 at 6ft, or more, for depth of field.

any recommendations what I should look out for?

thanks,
Paul
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3210
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2004 12:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use a Metz 45CT-4, its bracket conntcts to the camera tripod socket and can be adjusted to be next to the camera as a Graflite 2773 or Strob 250 or 500 would be or up to 3 inches or so out. The head is at about the same height as a graflite 2773 bulb will be also. The weight is close also. Sunpak handle mounts will be simular. But if flash bulbs is what you want then a Graflite 2772 or 2773 with 5 inch reflector is what you are looking for. The 2773 is more common and more versitle.
Charles

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alecj



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 853
Location: Alabama

PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2004 1:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paul, look for #5 or #25 BLUE bulbs for your color film shots. They should produce adequate light for your stated needs.

The #2772 battery case [holds 2 D cells] and the 5" reflector Charles mentioned should do the job adequately, and be relatively cheap.

[ This Message was edited by: alecj on 2004-01-15 17:40 ]
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t.r.sanford



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

PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2004 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If small and on-camera implies something not attached by clamps to the side of the body, and if authenticity is not a high priority, you might look for a "BC folding fan flash," as they were called in the late '50s -- if memory serves, the Honeywell "Tilt-A-Mite" was typical.

These were designed to slide into an accessory shoe atop the camera, so you'd need to attach such a shoe; they still can be found in the few surviving old-line camera stores.

BC folding fan flashes used a small "radio" battery (often 22-1/2 volts) that charged a capacitor to insure a good hot spark through the magnesium foil, even when the battery was not new. In my recollection, they were a good deal more reliable than the low-voltage, high-current flashes that used two or three 1-1/2 volt cells (the big difficulty about flashbulbs was that they tended not to go off, at critical moments. Much effort was expended in trying to work around this tendency.)

The reflector of a BC folding fan flash was made up of springy metal leaves, all pivoted around the flashbulb socket, You fanned them out, then flexed the last one forward and latched it to the first one, to make a concave reflector. When the reflector was collapsed, all the leaves stacked themselves in front of the flashgun body, and you could put the thing in your pocket.

The segmented reflector leaves had a pebbled finish, and the assembly was less efficient than the rigid paraboloids, like the 5-in. "Graflite" reflector; you lost about two stops. But we used "Graflite" flashguns, and #5B or #25B blue bulbs, with color films working at ASA 32 or ASA 50. Today's materials give you more flexilibity in choosing a light source.

If you do want a handle-mount gun, some were designed for battery-capacitor operation (Heiland made one that worked very well). I recently have come across material suggesting that Graflex made a capacitor accessory for its "Graflite" system, but I never saw one.

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peegeenyc



Joined: 15 Jan 2004
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2004 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks all,

I'm trying to avoid anything on a bracket so the Metz 45s and 60's, which I know and have owned are kind of out. for now.

I might try the tiny flashes with folding reflectors. I know the ones you mean. it's all about keeping it ultra small but powerful.
I was dissapointed to read that you drop 2 stops though for not using a proper fixed 5" reflector. What bulbs do these baby flashes use?

otherwise it might be a 5" graflite... on the smallest handle I can find.

incidentally I tried a little Olympus gun - T32, very compact and powerful - that gave me F16 at 5 ft, (100asa) I just need an extra stop or so... Would I really suffer by using 400asa film? (I mean, I don't want my 400asa 4x5" results to look like 100asa 6x7 after all this effort !)

Paul
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t.r.sanford



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

PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2004 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The folding fan flashes of the late '50s and early '60s used the same bayonet-base flashbulbs as the 5-in. "Graflite" head, i.e. #5 and #25 (and their -B, blue, siblings) for M synchronization, #6 and #26 for long-peak focal-plane shutter synch.

Around the turn of the decade, smaller bulbs with the same power output became available, e.g. the M5. Many of us took to these just because they were smaller, and you could put a couple of sleeves of them in a jacket pocket without difficulty. You needed a reducing adapter to use them with a gun, folding or fixed; I used M5s with my "Graflite" 5-in. reflector in this way. The adapter originally was made for the (rather dim) M2 bulbs, the first miniature style.

The last development was the AG-1 all-glass bulb, the size of a peanut, which put out a good deal of light because of its long burn. It would provide focal plane shutter synchronization with the horizontally-traveling cloth FP shutter of a "classic" 35mm. camera like the "Exakta." You could get a tiny adapter/reflector that fit back into a gun designed for miniature lamps, or your M2 adapter. There also were very, very small folding BC fan flashes (Agfa made a nice one) that worked with AG1s.

I have no idea whether an AG1 would synchronize with the Graflex FP shutter. I also have no idea whether M5s or AG1s are still available at all, although from time to time, it appears that somebody discovers a warehouse full of unsold flashbulbs somewhere!

The loss of illumination with the pebbled reflector may not be too serious, if you're using EI400 film. Some people preferred the rather more diffuse shadows provided by that kind of reflector.

The 5-in. polished "Graflite" reflector was about as efficient as they come; as I recall, you lost one stop if you used the shallower, faceted 7-in. reflector, or if you used the similarly-shaped rigid but matte-surfaced reflectors found (e.g.) on some Kalart guns.
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peegeenyc



Joined: 15 Jan 2004
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2004 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hey - thanks for the interesting info t.r.
feel like I'm getting somewhere now -
so if I was to get one of these small pebble fan reflectors which you can pick up easily, and use the AG1 bulbs, then, (excuse my ignorance) I presume I could put such a fan holder in any large format cameras flash shoe adapter, and use the sync cord to the lens at a slow speed?

question 2, and an important one: what guide number would you think a last generation AG1-B bulb would be in these holders - for 100asa - I'm looking for a ball park figure - 120? 150? 180?

because if its 100 or below I may as well use a regular electronic flash!

paul
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t.r.sanford



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

PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2004 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you can get them, I'd recommend trying your initial tests with M5Bs rather than AG-1Bs. The AG-1 was a technical marvel, but not quite as bright as a #5 or #25 or M5. And it required a little tiny reflector (the AG-1 adapters I saw included these reflectors), which produced very sharp, harsh shadows when used on camera.

As you suggest, medium-peak bulbs will provide more exposure when used at slower shutter speeds. This was one of the differences we had to get used to when affordable electronic flash came along.

I'll try to rummage up some old bulb flash equipment and data sheets, with an eye to providing guide number suggestions. A nice "modern" feature about those BC folding fan flashes was that they were supplied with exposure calculator dials on the back -- unlike the older, professional gear.
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peegeenyc



Joined: 15 Jan 2004
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2004 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks T.R.

I'm rummaging around on Ebay at the moment, and it seems worth trying to get a few 5B's and 3B's to see where that gets me power wise.
will report back in a few weeks with info,

all the best,

Paul
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Les



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 2682
Location: Detroit, MI

PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2004 10:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

FYI: Kodak dropped 400 ASA color film a while back, so unless you have a freezer full, you'll have to stick with the 100 stuff, or go to black and white.

Les
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peegeenyc



Joined: 15 Jan 2004
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2004 10:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

really? I just bought a box 4x5" portra 400 last week - should I stock up asap?

thanks, Paul
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worldphoto



Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Posts: 199
Location: Southern California

PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2004 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have had good luck with my Heiland Tilt-A-Mite and my two Graflex BC-Cartridges. The BC-Cartridge with one reflector will work in a #2773 battery tube with a dummy battery extension (Yes, I even fire my HR solenoids with this arrangement). For multiple flash I use the Graflite jr battery tube with an extension tube because the available 22 1/2 volt batteries are longer.
Harry Martin
It is good to read some open positive talk about BC-Units. Mine all work great for three years now. I did all the testing I needed about three years ago and posted the results on this Forum.

Quick answers to the two comments below:
(1) Les Both.
(2) Alec It works for me.
Perhaps, more detailed answers later if anyone really cares.

B-C Cartridge Instruction sheet says under 'FOR SOLENOID OPERATION' "a shutter speed of 1/50 or less should be used to insure the shutter's remaining open long enough to catch the peak of the flash.". I've used up to 1/100 without any trouble.

[ This Message was edited by: worldphoto on 2004-01-19 21:51 ]

[ This Message was edited by: worldphoto on 2004-01-27 21:30 ]

[ This Message was edited by: worldphoto on 2004-02-06 12:06 ]

[ This Message was edited by: worldphoto on 2004-02-08 04:59 ]
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Les



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 2682
Location: Detroit, MI

PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2004 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

you say you're triggering the HR solenoids with it, but are you using the solenoids for sync or just to trip??

Les
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alecj



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 853
Location: Alabama

PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2004 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm surprised you can fire solenoids with such a high voltage. I thought they were not rated higher than 4.5 volts. Are the ratings different between Graflex and Heiland?
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t.r.sanford



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

PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2004 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I see there have been some past posts mentioning Cress Photo (www.flashbulbs.com). I found them a couple of years ago, linked to the Paramount site. If I needed flashbulbs, I'd surely give them a look.

This Irish Meggaflash outfit sounds interesting. One of their lamps seems to put out more light than the ferocious #3 of happy memory. Does anyone know why they don't have a U.S. distributor/reseller?
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