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View Full Version : LF Studio Flashbulbs last night: Selfish images



Randy Moe
26-Apr-2015, 11:34
At 2 AM, I got the bug to start shooting selfies with flashbulbs.

I am no expert at flashbulbs and tried 2 different kinds and made 2 brackets with each type. 4 shots all scannable. The best is below. 8X10 Ektascan, P5 @ f45 1/8th. No PS, no Curve, no spotting

I guessed at GN and exposure from the paucity of info online. Most of my bulbs are unmarked and came without the box, which has the instructions...

Following a Mortensen scheme, this is one small Agfa BC (battery/capacitor) flash unit that still works. I have a few that don't. Bad capacitors.

I used a bare bulb on myself, but will use the Graflite with double plastic shatter shield on any other living creature, maybe not plants...

First time doing this and it is amazing to watch how slow the bulb burns and the color, which is far different than any strobe I have seen.

132989132990132991

Peter De Smidt
26-Apr-2015, 11:50
Fun stuff, Randy. I might be able to scrounge up some flash bulbs for you.

Jac@stafford.net
26-Apr-2015, 12:27
[...]it is amazing to watch how slow the bulb burns

Imagine the output of a big flashbulb that burns for 1.75 seconds.

We should speak in terms of lumen-seconds for flash so we can wrap our heads around their massive output compared to anything electronic.

Randy Moe
26-Apr-2015, 12:29
Fun stuff, Randy. I might be able to scrounge up some flash bulbs for you.

Thanks Peter, I actually have secondary use for used flashbulbs. a close friend uses them in her sculpture. She wants all I produce, Here is her work, but she prefers the interesting shapes of used ones.

132992

Randy Moe
26-Apr-2015, 12:35
Imagine the output of a big flashbulb that burns for 1.75 seconds.

We should speak in terms of lumen-seconds for flash so we can wrap our heads around their massive output compared to anything electronic.

Jac, you are the flashbulb expert, and have given me much advice. I am slowly wrapping my head around how they work.

I love the fact if I calculate correctly, I don't need to meter. It's Sunny 16 inside now!

Lumenate me. Please!

Peter De Smidt
26-Apr-2015, 12:35
My parents owned a sweet shop during the 1950s, counter, soda fountain, pinball machine, grill.....People dropped film off to be developed, which was developed by a lab in Sheboygan. My father was in his 20s, he coached middle school baseball, and lot's of young men spent loads of time there. Occasionally, he'd do things like replace the light bulb in the bathroom with a flashbulb.

Jody_S
26-Apr-2015, 13:45
Thanks Peter, I actually have secondary use for used flashbulbs. a close friend uses them in her sculpture. She wants all I produce, Here is her work, but she prefers the interesting shapes of used ones.

132992

Those are amazing!

BrianShaw
27-Apr-2015, 07:41
Hey Randy... very cool! I use flashbulbs but never a shield, and never had one "explode" either. I understand the value of the shield, though. Question: is there any significant light loss with that translucent shield?

Randy Moe
27-Apr-2015, 10:57
Hey Randy... very cool! I use flashbulbs but never a shield, and never had one "explode" either. I understand the value of the shield, though. Question: is there any significant light loss with that translucent shield?

Hi Brian,

I cannot answer your question, as I have not used it yet. I am just starting to use flashbulbs and the 4 shots on the weekend were my first in years. Even decades ago, I seldom used flashbulbs as I never had much success as a teenager 40 years ago.

When I do use it, which will be soon, I will add a stop for the shield and report results here.

What size bulb are you using?

BrianShaw
27-Apr-2015, 11:15
Press 25, AKA GE #5, in Graflite with 5 inch reflector. I have some #11 but haven't used them.

Michael Graves
27-Apr-2015, 12:00
132989132990132991

I like the selfie. It reminds me a lot of my first mug shot...only I looked younger way back then.

Randy Moe
27-Apr-2015, 12:05
I like the selfie. It reminds me a lot of my first mug shot...only I looked younger way back then.

First MUG shot! :) We have a bar here with a mug shot backdrop for 'fun'...

I'm still pissed I got fingerprinted one time, at age 16, as a requirement for USPS summer work. Old J Edgar got me...

Jac@stafford.net
27-Apr-2015, 12:34
Keep in mind that you can use a flash meter with flash bulbs if the meter has a cord. Bulbs come up too slowly to trigger the meter on their own. The cord triggers the meter and bulb.

Bulbs generally take 20 milliseconds to rise; that's what the shutter speed M takes care of - it fires the flash before opening the shutter.

Enjoy!

Randy Moe
27-Apr-2015, 13:57
Keep in mind that you can use a flash meter with flash bulbs if the meter has a cord. Bulbs come up too slowly to trigger the meter on their own. The cord triggers the meter and bulb.

Bulbs generally take 20 milliseconds to rise; that's what the shutter speed M takes care of - it fires the flash before opening the shutter.

Enjoy!

Jac, I know about M sync, but modern Copal shutters don't have it, so I compensated with slow shutter speeds, 1/30, 1/15. 1/8 to allow all the light in. I still don't know the sweet spot for Copal shutter speeds and flashbulbs.

I am going to try some corded flash bulb tests with my Sekonic L 758, i hope it can handle the 22.5 volt and up capacitor spike, or that will be an expensive lesson. I am more willing to sacrifice my D70 to the research muse. I am ordering this to use flashbulbs with D70 for testing. http://www.amazon.com/Nikon-AS-15-Sync-Terminal-Adapter/dp/B00007EDY5/ref=cm_rdp_product

Jac@stafford.net
27-Apr-2015, 15:42
I am going to try some corded flash bulb tests with my Sekonic L 758, i hope it can handle the 22.5 volt and up capacitor spike, or that will be an expensive lesson. I am more willing to sacrifice my D70 to the research muse. I am ordering this to use flashbulbs with D70 for testing. http://www.amazon.com/Nikon-AS-15-Sync-Terminal-Adapter/dp/B00007EDY5/ref=cm_rdp_product

Okay. Don't know what that unit is supposed to do but it has no flash circuit protection. Perhaps the Wein Safe Synch would be better. The Graflex flash would be safer. No circuit protection needed.

The cord goes from the meter to your flash gun. The camera is not used.

FWIW, Wein's slaves are cool because they aren't fooled by TTL preflash of some digital cameras.

Randy Moe
27-Apr-2015, 15:54
Okay. Don't know what that unit is supposed to do but it has no flash circuit protection. Perhaps the Wein Safe Synch would be better. The Graflex flash would be safer. No circuit protection needed.

The cord goes from the meter to your flash gun. The camera is not used.

FWIW, Wein's slaves are cool because they aren't fooled by TTL preflash of some digital cameras.

Yes, the cord goes to meter, but the cord also carries full switching power, that is my concern for any meter, camera or shutter.

Yes, it appears i need to use this. http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/245292-REG/Wein_W990560_Safe_Sync_Hot_Shoe_to.html?_escaped_fragment_=/BI/572/kw/0-50Sbid2&gclid=CNTx1MrJl8UCFdcSgQod_3MA1w to protect a camera.

This will protect my meter. http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=&sku=273330&gclid=CNeK8O7Jl8UCFc3m7AodRjgAMA&Q=&is=REG&A=details

Randy Moe
27-Apr-2015, 16:09
Last night I tested this to slave fire a second flashbulb holder. http://flashzebra.com/opticalslaves/0003.shtml

It did not work for that, yet works great as a slave trigger for my old Novatrons and Normans.

Flash Zebra is a great company but they don't have Wein copies...

I have bought quite a few of their unique products. I highly recommend Flash Zebra, and I have no connection to this tiny company.

Jac@stafford.net
27-Apr-2015, 16:15
Last night I tested this to slave fire a second flashbulb holder. http://flashzebra.com/opticalslaves/0003.shtml

Oi! The price is right! If you don't use pre-flash TTL, it's the way to go.

blindpig
19-Jul-2015, 11:48
Randy it's a good idea to have a shield over your flash gun,BELIEVE ME ! I had an assignment to photograph a coral group entertaining diners in a company cafeteria just before Christmas.It was myself and two assistants and I was using a 4X5 graphic with a flashgun attached.The assistants were holding extension flashguns connected to mine with cords,spaced about 8' to 10' either side of me and we all three were loaded with number 22 bulbs( about the size of 250 watt incandescent light bulbs).Everyone was enjoying their meals and the music when I attempted the shot...There was the sound a 12 gauge shotgun might make going off inside the room and the glass envelope of my bulb was describing an arc over three or four dining tables between me and the stage with glowing coils of filament streaming out behind.Needless to say the music stopped instantly as well as food being transferred from plate to mouth. Quietly, we gathered up our equipment and slunk out.By the way the picture was great.
Don

premortho
19-Jul-2015, 12:05
I got in the newspaper game too late to use those monster flashbulbs. I used Sylvania Press 25's. With a Graphlite mounted on the side rangefinder. I bought one of those flash guards as soon as they became available. With the clear side out, I used the same exposure as I had bare bulb. The first one I bought had clear on one side, and frosted diffusion on the other side. The second one I bought had blue on the other side, which I used for Ansco Super Plenachrome film packs. Super Plenachrome thought that the blue flash was sunlight, so no exposure calculations.

Randy Moe
19-Jul-2015, 12:10
Randy it's a good idea to have a shield over your flash gun,BELIEVE ME ! I had an assignment to photograph a coral group entertaining diners in a company cafeteria just before Christmas.It was myself and two assistants and I was using a 4X5 graphic with a flashgun attached.The assistants were holding extension flashguns connected to mine with cords,spaced about 8' to 10' either side of me and we all three were loaded with number 22 bulbs( about the size of 250 watt incandescent light bulbs).Everyone was enjoying their meals and the music when I attempted the shot...There was the sound a 12 gauge shotgun might make going off inside the room and the glass envelope of my bulb was describing an arc over three or four dining tables between me and the stage with glowing coils of filament streaming out behind.Needless to say the music stopped instantly as well as food being transferred from plate to mouth. Quietly, we gathered up our equipment and slunk out.By the way the picture was great.
Don

Notice my cover. http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?121911-LF-Studio-Flashbulbs-last-night-Selfish-images&p=1239154&viewfull=1#post1239154

rbultman
19-Jul-2015, 13:24
Really stupid question...how do you focus an LF camera for a selfie...?

I tried to use a plumb bob but I couldn't quite get it.

Randy Moe
19-Jul-2015, 13:28
Really stupid question...how do you focus an LF camera for a selfie...?

I tried to use a plumb bob but I couldn't quite get it.

Timer and string.

rbultman
19-Jul-2015, 14:12
I get that a timer and string work for releasing the shutter, but how does that work with focusing?

Randy Moe
19-Jul-2015, 14:23
I put a light stand right next to were I will sit and make a string to reach from my eyebrow to camera, then I move the stand, sit down, trip the timer, check my string focus, drop the string and bingo.

richardman
19-Jul-2015, 14:25
I get that a timer and string work for releasing the shutter, but how does that work with focusing?

You use a dummy, and Randy is no dummy XD

The string is for focusing: you put a dummy and focus on that. Use a string to note the distance. Then position yourself where the dummy was, and make sure the string is at that length...

rbultman
19-Jul-2015, 14:29
Nice. Thanks guys.

blindpig
20-Jul-2015, 10:26
Sorry Randy, Guess I couldn't help my self when some folks started talking about exploding bulbs,had to share that experience.I'll try to keep anecdotes to myself and not steal a good thread.
Don

Randy Moe
20-Jul-2015, 11:13
Sorry Randy, Guess I couldn't help my self when some folks started talking about exploding bulbs,had to share that experience.I'll try to keep anecdotes to myself and not steal a good thread.
Don

It's OK, your warning is a possibility.

A lot of things we do as reenactors is soon to be banned, litigated or otherwise eliminated.

Flash bulbs in a dry forest could start a fire, flash bulbs while filling a car with gasoline is also a major problem!

There are new consumer chemical laws coming to USA which will slow down or end access to photographic chemistry.

We are nearly extinct on many levels.

I am very happy to be 65 and will enjoy my last moments doing what may soon be the hysterical past. :)

Ian Gordon Bilson
19-Sep-2015, 21:23
Those constructions are excellent. If your artistic friend runs out of dead flashbulbs,you could introduce her to radio valves.
Essentially similar, but amazing levels of internal complexity.
Thanks Peter, I actually have secondary use for used flashbulbs. a close friend uses them in her sculpture. She wants all I produce, Here is her work, but she prefers the interesting shapes of used ones.

132992

Randy Moe
19-Sep-2015, 22:11
Those constructions are excellent. If your artistic friend runs out of dead flashbulbs,you could introduce her to radio valves.
Essentially similar, but amazing levels of internal complexity.

I gave her 6 small ones recently. She prefers small pieces. I let her go through my tiny nuts, bolts and other parts drawers every so often. Some guy wants to use one for a product trademark. I told her get a supply of the consumable product for life as payment. She was not going to ask for anything...

Jac@stafford.net
20-Sep-2015, 08:41
Thanks Peter, I actually have secondary use for used flashbulbs. a close friend uses them in her sculpture. She wants all I produce, Here is her work, but she prefers the interesting shapes of used ones.

132992

How did I miss this post? Your friend has resurrected Gyro Gearloose's helper (http://static.comicvine.com/uploads/scale_small/1/19151/670004-elf_duesentrieb.jpg)!

premortho
21-Sep-2015, 09:30
Randy, you very rarely need a meter outside with flash bulbs,either. I used the same Sylvania Press 25's outdoors as well as inside. I used to run around the western San Fernando Valley as my beat for the local rag that I worked for as a teenager. I got the job because I had my own Speed Graphic. Essentuelly, you control the background light with the f stop, and the foreground people illumination with the distance from the lens. Once you get the guide number locked in your head for the film/bulb combination you use, it is very simple.
Jac, you are the flashbulb expert, and have given me much advice. I am slowly wrapping my head around how they work.

I love the fact if I calculate correctly, I don't need to meter. It's Sunny 16 inside now!

Lumenate me. Please!

BrianShaw
21-Sep-2015, 09:40
Green Sheet??

Randy Moe
21-Sep-2015, 09:41
Randy, you very rarely need a meter outside with flash bulbs,either. I used the same Sylvania Press 25's outdoors as well as inside. I used to run around the western San Fernando Valley as my beat for the local rag that I worked for as a teenager. I got the job because I had my own Speed Graphic. Essentuelly, you control the background light with the f stop, and the foreground people illumination with the distance from the lens. Once you get the guide number locked in your head for the film/bulb combination you use, it is very simple.

Good advice. I understand Press photographers always used a flashbulb, inside, outside, daylight and not.

I am old now, but never used flashbulbs or strobe when younger. GN usage took me a while and to complicate matters I have a large quantity of M2 and M3 which are unmarked and mixed up. They differ by 2 stops I believe.

Jim Noel
21-Sep-2015, 11:05
Hey Randy... very cool! I use flashbulbs but never a shield, and never had one "explode" either. I understand the value of the shield, though. Question: is there any significant light loss with that translucent shield?

The translucent shield is more to diffuse the light than reduce it. The loss is probably less than 1/4 stop.
You are bringing back memories. Iused thousands of flashbulbs prior to the invention of the light weight electronic flash. I still prefer them, and rarely use the strobes. I have never had one explode.

Jim

Jim Noel
21-Sep-2015, 11:07
Keep in mind that you can use a flash meter with flash bulbs if the meter has a cord. Bulbs come up too slowly to trigger the meter on their own. The cord triggers the meter and bulb.

Bulbs generally take 20 milliseconds to rise; that's what the shutter speed M takes care of - it fires the flash before opening the shutter.

Enjoy!

SOme bulbs have a 20 ms delay, most have a 5 ms delay, and argon filled ones have zero delay.

Jac@stafford.net
21-Sep-2015, 11:39
SOme bulbs have a 20 ms delay, most have a 5 ms delay, and argon filled ones have zero delay.

We have a simple disagreement possibly about the meaning of 'some' and 'most'. All my M synchs delay ~20 ms (M and MF). I have Edison/Mazda bulbs, none the newer small bulbs that might rise at 5ms. The tiny zero-delay bulbs are uncommon and useless to me.

And I have a case of bulbs with a duration of 1.75 seconds, allowing just about any delay wanted, but I can't imagine not using M and a longish exposure. They are great for motion work.

premortho
22-Sep-2015, 06:33
Yes! Is it still going?
Green Sheet??

BrianShaw
22-Sep-2015, 06:40
Yes! Is it still going?

Long gone, unfortunately. When they decided to become a real newspaper they let the Green Sheet die. What great memories, though. I loved that newspaper. The Daily News still exists, as LA's second largest newspaper.

premortho
22-Sep-2015, 06:42
Randy, I strongly advise you to use one class of flashbulbs for everything. I use the so-called midget bulbs - - the Sylvania Press 25's and GE 5's. These are very easy to find. On evil-bay. You'll get confused with all the different bulbs guide numbers. KISS rule applies. Good luck.
Good advice. I understand Press photographers always used a flashbulb, inside, outside, daylight and not.

I am old now, but never used flashbulbs or strobe when younger. GN usage took me a while and to complicate matters I have a large quantity of M2 and M3 which are unmarked and mixed up. They differ by 2 stops I believe.

BrianShaw
22-Sep-2015, 06:51
Randy... are you still using a LawrenceWalsh FlashRule ?

Randy Moe
26-Sep-2015, 09:27
Yes I use the Laurance Flash Rule.

I was gifted many odd large bulbs. I also bought small bulb lots, closed case lots are best. I am working my way through about 3000 various bulbs.

No hurry.

I find them fascinating.

Basicly, I am giving myself the late 50's to 60's photo education I never got when it would have been most useful...