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Flashgun Shields and Bursting Bulbs

 
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Graflite



Joined: 08 Nov 2001
Posts: 103
Location: Southeast US

PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2002 3:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Occasionly I see up for auction on e-Bay the Graflex flashgun shield for the 5 inch #2749 reflectors, but have never seen a shield for the 7 inch #2747 reflectors, does anyone recall one being made or being used much with the 7 inch reflector?

I don't have a shield for my flashguns so awhile back I bought a pack of Saran Quick Covers in the medium size which covers nicely the 7 inch reflector, but is a little baggy on the 5 inch reflector, these covers are blue tinted and I figure a light loss of maybe 1/2 stop? when I use them.

And lastly has anyone ever had a bulb actually explode across the room, I have had them fizzle out on me without firing, but don't ever recall one actually blowing up.

I was just curious and wanted to hear about any stories you might have heard about bursting bulbs and perhaps your worst mishap when using flashbulbs, and what happened afterwards.
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Stephen Furley



Joined: 11 May 2001
Posts: 79
Location: London, England

PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2002 9:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote]
On 2002-01-06 19:17, Graflite wrote:
Occasionly I see up for auction on e-Bay the Graflex flashgun shield for the 5 inch #2749 reflectors, but have never seen a shield for the 7 inch #2747 reflectors, does anyone recall one being made or being used much with the 7 inch reflector?
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I have never seen one, and Graflex did not list one in their catalogue. I cannot say for certain if any other company made one.
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I don't have a shield for my flashguns so awhile back I bought a pack of Saran Quick Covers in the medium size which covers nicely the 7 inch reflector, but is a little baggy on the 5 inch reflector, these covers are blue tinted and I figure a light loss of maybe 1/2 stop? when I use them.

And lastly has anyone ever had a bulb actually explode across the room, I have had them fizzle out on me without firing, but don't ever recall one actually blowing up.
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Never, when a bulb is fired the internal pressure should drop as the oxygen is consumed, if any air had leaked into the bulb then the pressure could rise, hence the blue safety dot, but even if this happened I doubt if any fragments would get very far due to the coating on the bulb. The only uncoated bulbs I have seen are a few very old collector's peices, I don't think it is likely that anyone is using uncoated bulbs today. The risk is small, but I would still recommend using a shield if working close to a living subject.
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I was just curious and wanted to hear about any stories you might have heard about bursting bulbs and perhaps your worst mishap when using flashbulbs, and what happened afterwards.
----------------
Shightly burned fingers when removing a hot bulb, nothing worse than that.
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daleraby



Joined: 24 Nov 2001
Posts: 60
Location: Green Bay, Wisconsin

PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2002 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've probably fired something less than 100 but more than fifty 5-B and Press-25 bulbs over the years. I've never had one explode. I have had them shatter, but none of the glass shards ever left the lacquer coating.

The Saran Wrap cover sounds like a good idea, at least for close up work with living subjects.
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Les



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

PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2002 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the idea of the sheild came up with the smaller bulbs because you'd be that much closer to the subject.

I get the impression that nobody in their right mind (back then) would set off a #40 less than 15ft of somebody, so the subject couldn't get hurt from flying glass (now the press photographer next to you from the competing paper, elbowing you out of the way to get the same shot didn't count, It's okay if hgot hit with flying glass)

I too have had bulbs shatter but none of the glass left the laquer coating. Infact in was a common pastime at weddings for the kids to break all the glass in a used bulb but leave the coating intact.

Worst war story I have is I discovered on more than one occasion that certain shutters MUST BE COCKED BEFORE you put the bulb in. Syncro-compurs that xenars come in are notorious for having the contacts closed unless the shutter is cocked. There's more than one bulb in the land fill with my fingerprints imbedded in the hot laquer.

While not as hazardous today as it was back in the days of double knit polyester, static electricity can set of bulbs. This is why the box says never to put the bulbs in your pocket.
Also if you put a second bulb next to one in the flash, tape it so they are touching, the energy given off the first, will fire the second even though it's not in the circuit.

I proved both points one dry evening in the seventies. Had two bulbs in my pocket go off for no particular reason. Melted the pants to the pocket lining, and the lining to my skin.

It's also fun to watch what waitstaff do with spent bulbs. At the banquets I've been to most of the staff under 20 don't have a clue, don't know what to do and keep moving them aside when they empty ash trays, etc. The women over 40 know what they are and don't hesitate to put them in the trash.
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Graflite



Joined: 08 Nov 2001
Posts: 103
Location: Southeast US

PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2002 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the information and your recollections on flash bulbs, I found them very informative and an insight to an era that is passing quickly from us.

I forgot to mention in my earlier post of another idea that I use for storing unused flashbulbs that don't have boxes anymore, so that they don't fire or become broken.

I like to go camping and often take my best shots while camping at various parks in the central Florida area, and when camping I store eggs in the cooler in a hard plastic square egg container that holds 12 eggs.

So I bought some extra containers and store my flashbulbs in them, I have seen them in green, blue and orange and they will safely hold a dozen #5 or #25 bulbs.

I thought of color coding the egg cases as to the bulb inside, also the cases will hold M3 and M2 bulbs, but they do rattle around.

Just an idea for an item that works for me, does anyone in the forum use common items such as this in their photography that they would care to relate?

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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1443
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2002 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Where do you get the square eggs?

If you accidentally fry up a flashbulb or two for breakfast, I bet you have them "over light."
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Les



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

PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2002 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Henry,
you get square eggs from the rare breed known as the "Oooh Aaaaah chicken"

which got it's name from the sound it makes when she lays one them there square eggs.

Oh are we off topic on this one!

:smile:

[ This Message was edited by: Les on 2002-01-07 12:17 ]
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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1443
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2002 1:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whaddayagonna do? I was born too late for vaudeville.... (thank G-d!)
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Graflite



Joined: 08 Nov 2001
Posts: 103
Location: Southeast US

PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2002 3:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, now that I think about it, "square" eggs would be a pain in the a _ _

Actually I had thought of using the original cartons that the eggs came in for my flash bulbs, but then I kept trying to put the flashbulbs in the fridge, but then again, flashbulb omlets will certainly "lighten" up your cooking
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Les



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

PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2002 4:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, now that I think about it, "square" eggs would be a pain in the a _ _


Not quite, but very close!!!


will SOMEBODY pleeeze stop me before hurt someone!
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alecj



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 853
Location: Alabama

PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2002 2:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ESPECIALLY for the hen!
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WeegeeJr
Guest





PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2007 11:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tagging on to an old topic -- I just encountered an incredible, exploding flashbulb.

Using a vintage Wabash Superflash Press 25 with my Graflex 3-cell, fortunately only in a non-subject test. Fired the bulb, and it popped much like someone slamming an air-filled plastic bag, half the bulb ending up in pieces of various sizes about 3 feet away, and some interesting embers falling to the floor.
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alecj



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 853
Location: Alabama

PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 2:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hope that, as a true Graphic professional, you acted like that was just normal and went on with the show. Never let them see the fear in your eyes!
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Woodyspeed



Joined: 10 Mar 2009
Posts: 8
Location: Washington

PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:36 am    Post subject: Exploding flash bulbs Reply with quote

To answer the question of do flash bulbs explode, the answer is yes. Most of you have probably never seen a #100 before, but these were notorious for exploding at the rate of 3 out of 4, leaving nothing but the screw base in the flash. Number 50's did explode on occasion but very often, and the smaller bulbs almost never.They did however give a lot of light. Most of us in the sixties when electronic flash was appearing did not like, or trust the electronic flashs.

Then, there was flash powder, still used into the seventies at least by me. Shooting in paper mills was a bitch since powder was the only thing that would light up those big dark water everywhere buildings, and you really had to watch you did not get your powder wet, or damp which made it explode instead of just flash.
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