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Flash purchase advise

 
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allenb



Joined: 09 Jul 2005
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Sat Jul 22, 2006 4:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've got a Pacemaker Crown (top rangefinder), and a Pacemaker Speed, and would like to start using portable flash with them. I do't necessarily care about using Graflex strobes from standpoint of authenticity, but would consider it if it is the best solution. Which strobes would be good candidates to look for, either new (modern units), or vintage? Thanks in advance.
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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1427
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Sat Jul 22, 2006 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been using a Vivitar 2800 on my Century. This is not the current model, I'm sure, as it's years old, but I'd bet used ones are out there. With a 4x5 you might want a more powerful unit such as the Vivitar 283. And you'll doubtless need to order a synch cord from a source such as http://www.paramountcords.com/graflex.asp . The Vivitar line has/had(?) a proprietary tip design so the "standard" ASA design won't fit. These and similar electronic flash units will synch with any shutter having an "X" setting, such as the Graphex. As for the focal plane shutter on the Speed I can't say, but many others on this board are qualified to advise on this.




[ This Message was edited by: Henry on 2006-07-22 06:38 ]
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3159
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Sun Jul 23, 2006 5:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a Metz 45 CT-5 which has more than enough power for 4x5. Sunpak also has some nice handle mount flash that will preform well with the 4x5's.
The sync contacts on the Speed's focal plane shutter were there for use with FP flashbulbs, electronic flash is too fast to work except for "T" with the governor lever in the high position which might give an even exposure.
Charles

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[ This Message was edited by: 45PSS on 2006-07-22 22:35 ]
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allenb



Joined: 09 Jul 2005
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Sun Jul 23, 2006 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So your sense is that a strobe would be fine with the Crown?
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alecj



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 853
Location: Alabama

PostPosted: Sun Jul 23, 2006 9:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, yes .... or no. It depends on which shutter you have. Describe the lens and shutter, looking specifically for a setting on the shutter with an X.
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clnfrd



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

PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2006 12:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the "vintage" stuff. I have several Honeywell (Heiland) Auto 770 strobes that do a good job with my 2X3's. They use 4 readily-availabe sub-C Nicads and utilize a charger and AC supply that works like a charm. They have an auto or manual function and look good attached to the cameras. Fred.
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ASpeedGraphic



Joined: 10 May 2006
Posts: 24
Location: Los Angeles, CA

PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2006 5:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello,

If you have a shutter with an X synch, I would recommend a Sunpak handle-mount flash and its acompanying filter kit, which has two wide angle diffusers that are necessary to cover wide lenses and also colored filters that have pretty much the same effect as glass filters over the lens, but without necessitating an exposure compensation on the camera (just have to fool your flash by setting a lower ASA number). A steal at $28 shipped from B&H. The Sunpaks are very reasonably priced for what they are, and although plastic and seemingly cheap, can really take a licking and keep on ticking. Metzes are not really any better in build quality and are a lot more expensive because of the name. I went in to buy a Metz, but was very disappointed in its build quality, so I opted for the Sunpak instead. It seems more solidly built and I find the controls very easy to operate. The older ones have a MUCH more solid metal baseplate, which fit the new handles, and which you can find used. With a heavy camera like a Speed, I believe its worth searching for one, especially given how cheap used flashes are. Then you'll have a backup also, or can shoot two flashes simultaneously. My only gripe is the skunky smell of the plastic when new and the lack of a backlight on the back, making it impossible to read the distance scale in the dark, and the aforementioned plastic baseplate. 622 is the best one because it has a 200 guide number, can be brought down to 1/128 power, and has several interchangeable heads that can be purchased separately, including one with a bare bulb. I got the 555, which is the mid-level one. I use it with the 28mm difusser on the Speed and get great results. Would be nice to have a brighter flash and have interchangeable heads, but for $200 brand new for the flash and filter kit, it can't be beat. A used Vivitar 285 on a shoe would look great too. I was unhappy with the Results from my Vivitar 283 and Sunpak 383. My Vivitar 285 looks good, but the Sunpak 555 is even better, and the well-located and easily detachable handle mount makes it not unlike using the original flash gun.

Keith

[ This Message was edited by: ASpeedGraphic on 2006-08-02 22:27 ]
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Murray@uptowngallery.org



Joined: 03 Apr 2002
Posts: 164
Location: Holland MI

PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2006 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

These are truly naive questions...

What difference does format make for the size (guide number or width of 'beam') of the flash?

I guess for a wide angle lens you 'see' a wider area and thus need to illuminate a wider area?

Thanks

Murray
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ImageMaker



Joined: 20 Jun 2006
Posts: 93
Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2006 5:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Exactly, Murray. If the lens has a wider FOV than the beam spread of the flash, you'll get dark corners. Most modern flashes are good for "mildly wide", say down to about 135 or 127 mm on 4x5, equivalent to about 35 mm on a 24x36 mm frame. Bulb flashes, especially those with shallower bowls or adjustable fan reflectors, could be used with wider lenses -- and a bare bulb gives 360 degree coverage, in theory. You can gain coverage with ceiling bounce, too, because the illumination of the subject is effectively produced by the relatively large lit spot on the diffuse ceiling instead of the shape of the reflector and optics of any lens in front of the flash.

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