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Flash Help

 
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errickrb



Joined: 13 Apr 2008
Posts: 3
Location: California

PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2008 8:44 am    Post subject: Flash Help Reply with quote

Hello, i'm a newbie (almost 16 years old) with a late 40's Century Graflex, which I inherited from my grandfather (who passed in 1996) about a year or two ago, and in the past few months I've almost figured out how to sorta use this camera. I also had the shutter fixed up so it would actually close as fast as the markings indicate it would.

Prior to this I used my father's Minolta XD-11 and it had a red X to indicate flash sync but the Graflex's Century shutter doesn't have any markings at all to indicate flash sync. We've also bought a sync cord.

So could anyone tell me how to syncronize this shutter up with a electronic flash? Is the Honeywell Strobonar 600 powerful enough for a medium format graflex? And is ASA 400 in the late 60's the same as ASA 400 nowdays as far as light sensetivity?

Heres a picture if it helps at all-



Thank you . I've wasted too many rolls trying to figure this thing out by myself.
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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1442
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2008 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First off, welcome to the wonderful world of Graphic cameras! It's good to see the interest in these fine cameras continuing with the up-and-coming youths of our fair land. It bodes well for the future!

As to your X-synch: you're in luck. The Century shutter, which is self-cocking, is not only ideal for hand-held work, but it's also got built-in X-synch (he says confidently as he quickly moves toward his gadget bag and lens stash), but only at 1/200 sec. shutter speed, i.e., zero-delay electronic flash. This may restrict you somewhat in choice of film (higher ASA/DIN numbers) and shutter openings (larger ones, with consequent shallow depth of field).

BTW, your Century shutter does indeed have shutter synch indications, but unless you have the instruction manual you won't necessarily know what they mean, so I'll give them here. Red-marked speeds (1/10, 1/25) are for "M" synch (class M flashbulbs) green (1/50, 1/100) is for "F" synch (SF and SM bulbs), and black (1/200) is for "X", as mentioned. Since you're unlikely to be using flashbulbs, this limits you to "X". Hopefully you have instructions for your Honeywell flash that include a table giving you specific f-stops for various speeds of film at 1/200 sec., and a range of distances over which the flash illumination will be effective.

Other members of the Board who are more knowledgeable than I about the Honeywell will be sure to chime in with further advice---how about it, guys, let's extend a helping hand to our "newbie."

P.S. One other important note: if your Century shutter speeds are only marked in black and red, then the shutter will not synch with electronic flash, according to the Century instruction manual.
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3229
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 1:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

errickrb,

Here is the simple test for flash sync:
Open the focus hood, remove the film holder or remove the roll film holder from the back of the camera.
Open the camera for shooting.
Connect the flash.
Point the camera toward a light colored wall.
Looking thru the camera back at the rear of the lens with the lens aperture wide open, f4.5 on your lens, fire the shutter:
Shutter blades seen in the lens opening=flash not synced.
No shutter blades seen in the lens opening=flash synced.
Test each shutter speed.
Works for any falsh/lens combination.

Type M flash bulbs required a 25ms delay so the flash gun would fire 25 ms before the shutter blades reached full open so that the flash bulb would be at peak when the blades reached full open.
Type F flash bulbs were gas filled and required a 5ms delay. 5ms is so short that F sync setting can be used for electronic flash. Some shutters have F/X marking at the same point on their sync selectors.

The shutter can be modified so that it will X sync at all speeds.

Do a (web?) search for Calculating Guide Number and calculate a guide number for each shutter speed that is not fully synced and the shutter baldes are at least 3/4 open and use that number for calculating exposre.
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C. Henry



Joined: 13 Dec 2005
Posts: 358
Location: North East Georgia, USA

PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 3:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

errickrb;

The flash Sync test recommended by 45PSS will help. One point, "flash not synced." as used in the post by 45PSS will be flash fired too soon with an electronic flash. The duration of an electronic flash's illumination is only 1.4ms or less so your shutter will not close before the flash has ended. 1/200 second is 5ms.
While I am not familiar with the Strobonar 600, many models of the Strobonar (770, 772, 780S) have a calculator dial on the back of the head. If the capacitors of your unit are in good condition you should find that the recommended aperture settings will be in the ball park assuming that the sync is on the money.

C. Henry
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tsgrimm



Joined: 04 Apr 2004
Posts: 158
Location: SE Michigan

PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Regards old Strobonars, etc.

I has been my experience that old portable strobes have lost one f stop or so over time due to the aging of the capacitor(s) and the NiCad batteries.

If you don't have a reliable modern flash meter, see if you can get a hold of one and perform your own tests to establish a reliable guide number for ASA (ISO) 100. Otherwise, there is always the expose a roll of film at a known distance (usually ten feet) at different apertures and judge your own exposures way of doing it. If you opt for the latter, use friends or family wearing medium colored clothing (gray sweats maybe) and, if possible, holding a gray card.

Hope that I have helped.
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errickrb



Joined: 13 Apr 2008
Posts: 3
Location: California

PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 7:37 am    Post subject: Thanks Reply with quote

Haha i'm surprised by how many responses i've gotten. Thank you .
Well I do have a flash meter, but it's about as old as my camera, and i'm not really sure how to calibrate it. Unfortunately, my shutter does only have red and black numbers, so I guess that means it doesn't sync right? And of course, i'd love to shoot flashbulbs, but they're just too expensive.

Well we ordered some Ni-MH replacement batteries, I figure that should help some in keeping the strobonar truer to the dial on the back, right?

Well, I did compare the flash to a flash from my dad's minolta. Albiet it's from the late 70's , but we still do get good picture from it, and it's (the strobonar's) duration seems shorter then the minolta's, would that be due to the capacitor? Unfortunately the honeywell manual doesn't come with a table, besides the one thats on the back of the flash.

I did 45pss's test, and I saw shutter every time, even on the B setting. So it does appear to be a sync. problem, which means I should probably bring it to the repairman and get it modified before trying to make a table right? Again, much appreciated.

P.S. What is the flash bulb equivalent for electronic flash (A,B,C,D) ?
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3229
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2008 4:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Soooooo, you are M synced across the board. Remove the lens cells and the front cover from the shutter. You will see a resistor connected to one of the flash sync connectors. Sorder a piece of wire across the resistor. Relace the front cover and lens cells. ( Stop by redwood city and I'll do it for you.) 1/100 or faster is where you would see less of the shutter blades.

Google>Strobonar= http://mikebutkus.com/chinon/flashes_meters/honeywell_strobonar/honeywell_strobonar.htm (4th listing in the results) scroll down to the 600 pdf manual. Guide number is 80@ISO 25 (approximately a press 25 flash bulb); flash duration is 1/1000 second.
If you have not done so read the articles on flash bulbs on this site. Home page> Technical Information >and Article headings.

Batteries: weak=slow to charge, quick to run down. Replacing: newer with a higher amp hour rating will work better than the origionals, lower amp hour rataing would not work as well as origionals.

Electronic flash: turn off only when the unit is fully charged, ready light on.
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errickrb



Joined: 13 Apr 2008
Posts: 3
Location: California

PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2008 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, it`s working now, all I have to do is test it out now with a roll of film, so thank y'alls .
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