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Thread: Weegee fact or? 1/200 with flashbulbs?

  1. #1

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    Weegee fact or? 1/200 with flashbulbs?

    While writing a note, I researched Weegee today.

    From Wikipedia,

    "Photographic technique[edit]
    Most of his notable photographs were taken with very basic press photographer equipment and methods of the era, a 4x5 Speed Graphic camera preset at f/16 at 1/200 of a second, with flashbulbs and a set focus distance of ten feet.[7] He was a self-taught photographer with no formal photographic training.[citation needed] Weegee developed his photographs in a homemade darkroom in the rear of his car."

    I am wondering if 1/200 a second shutter speed is too fast for flashbulbs? Is wikipedia wrong?

    I think I have seen Weegee photos with 2 and 3 flashbulb handles. Maybe his 'blast' of light did it.

    I always set for way way slower like, 1/30th. One bulb.

    Any ideas?

    Complete Weegee Wiki here. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weegee
    Last edited by Randy Moe; 24-Jan-2017 at 15:54. Reason: Add Wiki link

  2. #2

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    Re: Weegee fact or? 1/200 with flashbulbs?

    Aren't these leaf shutter cameras that synchnat any speed?

  3. #3
    jp's Avatar
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    Re: Weegee fact or? 1/200 with flashbulbs?

    No, different syncs fire the flash before the shutter open, so the flash impulse has time to peak when the shutter goes open if using a leaf shutter.

    With a focal plane shutter, the flash has to glow the whole time the curtain is moving across the film and shutter speed is derived in part from the slit width.

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    Re: Weegee fact or? 1/200 with flashbulbs?

    Synchronization delay is a separate issue. What is the "burn time" for the bulbs typically used, and how long does the shutter need to stay open in order not to lose too much of the illumination? 1/200 sounds too fast to me too, but I don't have much intuition for the duration of bulb flash other than to think that it must be substantially longer than that of electronic flashes in common use.

  5. #5

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    Re: Weegee fact or? 1/200 with flashbulbs?

    I think flashbulbs are rated as 15 to 30/1000 burn time. My strobes are up to 1/10,000 second.

    The FP (focal plane) bulbs burn longest to keep light on the moving slit. Leaf shutters move differently.

    This question may depend on which shutter Weegee was using.

  6. #6

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    Re: Weegee fact or? 1/200 with flashbulbs?

    A properly synced gun will fire the bulb so it is at it's peak when the shutter is wide open. The reason for the 1/200 shutter speed is to eliminate as much ambien light as possible enabling the negative to be properly exposed by the flash bulb. When I used bulbs I rarely used a shutter speed slower than 1/200. Some shutters synced accurately at 1/400, and one made by Kodak at 1/800th.

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    Mark Sawyer's Avatar
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    Re: Weegee fact or? 1/200 with flashbulbs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Moe View Post
    This question may depend on which shutter Weegee was using.
    Synched to the leaf shutter...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails aaaaaaaaaa.jpg  
    "I love my Verito lens, but I always have to sharpen everything in Photoshop..."

  8. #8
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    Re: Weegee fact or? 1/200 with flashbulbs?

    I shoot at night with flash a lot, and have tried bulbs as well. There are different speed bulbs--the smaller ones like you'd use for journalism can be pretty fast. I also do not doubt the exposure setting of f16. O. Winston Link routinely shot bulbs (really big ones) at ISO 100 and f11-16, according to what David Plowden once told me.


    Kent in SD
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    Re: Weegee fact or? 1/200 with flashbulbs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Sawyer View Post
    Synched to the leaf shutter...
    OK, I will try that. Flashbulb, f16, 1/200 and be there. I have a Ham Transceiver that picks up local Police. I hear the news too soon. Like 3 days before it's reported...

    Love that wire 'Sports Finder' they work well.

    Do you have any idea how fast his film was?

    Thanks

  10. #10

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    Re: Weegee fact or? 1/200 with flashbulbs?

    Randy, I believe that the fastest b/w film at the time of WW2 was Super-XX @ ASA 200. I believe ASA 40 was 'fast' in 1930. Photojournalists would regularly use paper developer (e.g. Dektol) with film to gain speed and contrast. But figuring these things out accurately would take some research... different films used different speed ratings, ASA, Weston, Schooner, DIN, etc. And I recall reading that the American Standards Association changed their measurement methods in the '50s, making Tri-X ASA 400 instead of 200... There were other films meant for PJ work with flash, as well; Kodak made Super Panchro-Press Type B, Royal Pan, and maybe more. The big bulbs they used, too, would have made slower films practical; I've seen household-base flashbulbs that put out as much light as a 1000w/s flash. I'm rambling here, this is all before my time, but maybe an old handbook like "Graphic Graflex Photography" or a vintage Kodak Photoguide would be more help.

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