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View Full Version : Weegee fact or? 1/200 with flashbulbs?

Tin Can
24-Jan-2017, 15:38
While writing a note, I researched Weegee today.

From Wikipedia,

"Photographic technique
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

Fr. Mark
24-Jan-2017, 15:47
Aren't these leaf shutter cameras that synchnat any speed?

jp
24-Jan-2017, 15:51
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.

24-Jan-2017, 15:58
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.

Tin Can
24-Jan-2017, 16:09
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.

Jim Noel
24-Jan-2017, 16:13
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.

Mark Sawyer
24-Jan-2017, 17:23
This question may depend on which shutter Weegee was using.

Synched to the leaf shutter...

Two23
24-Jan-2017, 17:39
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

Tin Can
24-Jan-2017, 18:14
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

Mark Sampson
24-Jan-2017, 19:38
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.

LabRat
24-Jan-2017, 19:42
You can sometimes find old Graphics with 10-16-100 carved into the top or back somewhere, that means 10 (ft) hyperfocal focusing distance, (f)16 aperture setting, and (1/)100th speed setting that with the Fast Pan (EI 50) film and a #5 flashbulb, the camera would shoot night or day like a big box camera...

There were some minor variations if the subject was close or far to this rule, but this was the baseline setting...

Steve K

Jim Galli
24-Jan-2017, 19:59
1/200 would indicate a Compur shutter of the period with a sync. Tested, that shutter speed would very likely be closer to 1/50th - 1/80th second. They never achieved the advertised, especially at the top end. He probably used GE #50 bulbs. Common as dirt for press photogs in the day. After a few hundred pics you just learn a foolproof bulletproof formula and consistency is achieved. The system was brute force. He didn't have to think about focus. Rack it out to the stop which is set for 10 - 15 feet, and the f16 takes care of the rest. With a loupe, the images would not impress us as terribly sharp, but news photogs did not care about that. The halftone process would take care of the rest. He wasn't making art.

24-Jan-2017, 20:41
1/200 would indicate a Compur shutter of the period with a sync. Tested, that shutter speed would very likely be closer to 1/50th - 1/80th second.

http://camera-wiki.org/wiki/Flashbulbs

...cites durations of roughly 10 ms for F, X and S bulbs. At 1/200 you'd be throwing away a lot of the light and compromising your guide number, at 1/50-1/80 you should be getting all the punch you've paid for.

BrianShaw
24-Jan-2017, 21:53
Somebody might want to google "flash efficiency factor". When shutter speed gets faster than about 1/60, some of the flash light is lost. At 1/200 a lot of it is lost so exposure must be compensated accordingly.

But maybe one really needs an old book. Seems like the internet is too high tech to yield such archaic information!

One can observe the concept in the guide number tables, for example:

https://www.graflex.org/flash/ge-5.html

24-Jan-2017, 22:34
....He wasn't making art.

....but it turned out that way just the same.

bloodhoundbob
24-Jan-2017, 22:35
I shot many high school dances using film packs (probably Tri-X) using big ole' #22 bulbs. Was probably shooting at f-8 or 11, but can't remember what shutter speed for the life of me.

Tin Can
25-Jan-2017, 00:20
Somebody might want to google "flash efficiency factor". When shutter speed gets faster than about 1/60, some of the flash light is lost. At 2/200 a lot of it is lost so exposure must be compensated accordingly.

But maybe one really needs an old book. Seems like the internet is too high tech to yield such archaic information!

One can observe the concept in the guide number tables, for example:

https://www.graflex.org/flash/ge-5.html

Yes, old books! Navy manual as found at http://www.graflex.org/flash/navy/ has all the answers presented in a smart way. Even showing how to analyze flashbulbs and sync by photographing them with Azo. Heck my Speed was made in 1951, my birth year and a year the Navy book was published.

I also have some very old, undated Azo that works well for me.

As for Art...

He left the building.

Jac@stafford.net
25-Jan-2017, 07:12
The answer appears to have been made, so an aside: I have a dozen of these bulbs (http://www.meggaflash.com/index.php/meggaflash-bulbs/pf330-flashbulb). Duration almost two seconds, peak for ~1.75 seconds. You can fit a lot of 1/200th second exposures in there.
.

BrianShaw
25-Jan-2017, 07:34
In terms of flash duration... those bulbs are waaaaaaaaaaaay out there, Jac. Does that filament burn from top-to-bottom (or bottom-to-top)? Or have you never looked into the bulb whilst it was burning????

Bill_1856
25-Jan-2017, 08:10
For you youngsters: These cameras were fired by solenoids powered by the batteries in the flashguns, and the sync delay was determined not by the shutter, but by the adjustment of the solenoid/shutter trip lever.
There's a hell of a lot of light in a Press 40 flashbulb.

Jac@stafford.net
25-Jan-2017, 08:16
In terms of flash duration... those bulbs are waaaaaaaaaaaay out there, Jac. Does that filament burn from top-to-bottom (or bottom-to-top)? Or have you never looked into the bulb whilst it was burning????

Very good!:)

Brian, I have not yet fired one! Frankly, they scare me. I'm hoping to find a collaborator who wishes to experiment. I also have a few Mazda #75 bulbs that I wouldn't load without welding gloves and goggles.

Bill_1856
25-Jan-2017, 08:18
The other thing that you need to remember is that Weegee was a world class Bullsh**ter, and anything you read about him should be taken with a grain of salt!

Jim Galli
25-Jan-2017, 08:19
In 2016 we try to make the numbers add up, but having lived through the era of brute force, and I always seem to parallel to automobiles, in that era you had 315 horse power under the hood but everyone knew you only needed 55 of those to get from stoplight to stoplight. Weegee could waste lumens and photons like crazy. He had a formula that worked, and the rest could go to waste.

As to art, maybe if I wait long enough, my crap will be considered art. But, oh yeah, I'll be as dead as weegee by then.

jnantz
25-Jan-2017, 08:48
as jr "bob" dobbs said " too much is always better than not enough "

Bob Salomon
25-Jan-2017, 08:50
For you youngsters: These cameras were fired by solenoids powered by the batteries in the flashguns, and the sync delay was determined not by the shutter, but by the adjustment of the solenoid/shutter trip lever.
There's a hell of a lot of light in a Press 40 flashbulb.

And the synch delay in the shutter. That timed the shutter to be fully open when the bulb reached its peak output. If it was electronic X synch then the shutter fired the flash when the film was fully uncovered be the shutter.

The solenoid only fired the shutter, not the bulb.

In other words, the solenoid fired the shutter, the shutter fired the flash. Both were powered by the batteries in the flash holder.

BrianShaw
25-Jan-2017, 08:59
And the synch delay in the shutter. That timed the shutter to be fully open when the bulb reached its peak output. If it was electronic X synch then the shutter fired the flash when the film was fully uncovered be the shutter.

The solenoid only fired the shutter, not the bulb.

In other words, the solenoid fired the shutter, the shutter fired the flash. Both were powered by the batteries in the flash holder.

Typo, Bob? Flashbulb triggered by a shutter on "X" would cause the shutter to open before the rise-time of the flashbulb burn.

I think you meant "X synch then the shutter fired the flash when the film was fully covered by the shutter."

But delay, whether induced by shutter or solenoid was only to get the shutter opened after the flashbulb burn started and as near the peak burn as possible (for full efficiency). When shutter speed is higher than 1/30 the exposure impact is due to the shutter being opened only during a smaller and smaller proportion of time during the flashbulb burn period. Burn time being essentially a bell curve and the area under the curve captured by shutter speeds greater than 1/30 being different... hence exposure correction needed.

But you know this... my diatribe is not intended to educate you, of course. :)

Bob Salomon
25-Jan-2017, 09:27
Typo, Bob? Flashbulb triggered by a shutter on "X" would cause the shutter to open before the rise-time of the flashbulb burn.

I think you meant "X synch then the shutter fired the flash when the film was fully covered by the shutter."

But delay, whether induced by shutter or solenoid was only to get the shutter opened after the flashbulb burn started and as near the peak burn as possible (for full efficiency). When shutter speed is higher than 1/30 the exposure impact is due to the shutter being opened only during a smaller and smaller proportion of time during the flashbulb burn period. Burn time being essentially a bell curve and the area under the cucrve captured by shutter speeds greater than 1/30 being different... hence exposure correction needed.

But you know this... my diatribe is not intended to educate you, of course. :)

No, I said that the shutter timed the firing the flash bulb to be open when the bulb hit peak outcome.
If it was an electronic flash then it fired the flash when the shutter fully exposed the film, that was X synch.

What I didn't mention was F synch for gas filled bulbs.

seezee
25-Jan-2017, 11:44
I've seen household-base flashbulbs that put out as much light as a 1000w/s flash.
There's a scene in the Preston Sturges film "Sullivan's Travels" where you can see a press camera with one of these bulbs. I did a double take when I saw it and had to rewind + pause to confirm what I'd seen.

Jac@stafford.net
25-Jan-2017, 12:05
No, I said that the shutter timed the firing the flash bulb to be open when the bulb hit peak outcome.
If it was an electronic flash then it fired the flash when the shutter fully exposed the film, that was X synch.

What I didn't mention was F synch for gas filled bulbs.

Of the several solenoids I have, the only adjustment is for length of throw which simply guarantees that the shutter is triggered. The shutter incorporates the delay(s). One particular shutter has three different settings for delay on a small dial.

An oddball flash is the Flash Tronic which accepts all kinds of bulbs and it does not use a battery. Instead it has a magneto built in and uses an adjustable cam (http://www.digoliardi.net/flasht_tronic_cam.jpg) to control delay which requires disassembly. :( Most of mine mount on the side of the camera (http://www.digoliardi.net/flashtronic-leica.jpg), however there are some oddball mounts including one for early LTM Leicas (http://www.digoliardi.net/leica-flashtronic.jpg).

BrianShaw
25-Jan-2017, 12:40
No, I said that the shutter timed the firing the flash bulb to be open when the bulb hit peak outcome.
If it was an electronic flash then it fired the flash when the shutter fully exposed the film, that was X synch.

What I didn't mention was F synch for gas filled bulbs.

BrianShaw
25-Jan-2017, 13:00
Of the several solenoids I have, the only adjustment is for length of throw which simply guarantees that the shutter is triggered. The shutter incorporates the delay(s). One particular shutter has three different settings for delay on a small dial.

[snip all that Leica stuff].

It depends on configuration and shutter ... as you know. I use flashbulbs on Anniversary graphic, mostly with a Dial Compur shuttered lens. Hence no synch at all so the solenoid throw is the only way to adjust the delay. Sometimes use with a Graphex X-M (red)-M (black) shuttered lens. I can configure to have the delay determined by either the solenoid or the shutter... depending on how I wire it up.

Jac@stafford.net
25-Jan-2017, 15:26
It depends on configuration and shutter ... as you know. I use flashbulbs on Anniversary graphic, mostly with a Dial Compur shuttered lens. Hence no synch at all so the solenoid throw is the only way to adjust the delay. Sometimes use with a Graphex X-M (red)-M (black) shuttered lens. I can configure to have the delay determined by either the solenoid or the shutter... depending on how I wire it up.

Brian, that information is worth a detailed DIY. Clearly, my experience is incomplete.
.

BrianShaw
25-Jan-2017, 16:20
Brian, that information is worth a detailed DIY. Clearly, my experience is incomplete.
.

I learned all of the tricks I know from the Graflite instruction manual. It's all there but the flexibility makes it a moderately hard read. If one has xperience reading wiring diagrams it helps.

Doug Herta
26-Jan-2017, 00:34
OK - I am game to try.

I have the 1946 Speed Graphic with Ektar 127mm lens and Supermatic shutter (I know -too new). Flash with 7-inch polished reflector. The #50 bulbs on hand are S (slow peak) that require a 30ms delay, and the Supermatic only allows for setting a 5ms or 20ms delay. The crumbling cardboard sleeve indicates that if the shutter cannot be adjusted for 30ms then a shutter speed of 1/50th or slower must be used. So that won't work for the experiment.

The Sylvania #2 and the MegaFlash PF200 (both medium peak) have identical guide number specifications. It looks like if I use FP4 (rated at ISO 100) at 1/200th of a sec I would have a GN of 260, which should be plenty bright at 10-15 feet at f16. Some of the Sylvania "Blue Dot" bulbs have a dot that is still blue(!) so they are still sealed and likely candidates for this experiment.

For the full Weegee experience I need a dark night (plentiful this time of year in Seattle), and dead bodies or a burning building (neither are plentiful nor desirable).

Would this be legitimate excercise? Should I be using slower film? Bigger flash bulbs? If I use dual bulb arrangement you will probably see the flash in Minneapolis.

BrianShaw
26-Jan-2017, 05:45
You'd do a lot better if you used the class-M bulbs rather than trying the specialized/extreme bulbs until you learn the basics. FP-4+ is a fine film to use with bulbs. You'll be surprised how much light is in those bulbs so save your phantasy about using more than one for really expansive scenes. Also suggest you use a more traditional shutter speed for flashbulbs. You'll have better success I think.

Jac@stafford.net
26-Jan-2017, 07:09
Bigger flash bulbs? If I use dual bulb arrangement you will probably see the flash in Minneapolis.

:) That would freak us out. Actually two bulbs add one stop, then to add another stop you would need four.

To be even more genuine, develop the film in the trunk of an old car.

LabRat
26-Jan-2017, 07:21
Two Bulbs on camera!?!!!

Perfect for that "deer in the headlights" look on your (victim) subject...

(And the last thing they saw before the aliens started the exam...) :-@

Steve K

mjork
26-Jan-2017, 11:40
When you are taking Weegee style photos of some outdoor crime scene, don't forget that the guide number table printed on the flashbulb package isn't meant for that use. The assumption for those GNs is use indoors in some medium sized room. Outdoors the flashbulb will be exactly one stop less effective.
For example the official GE #5 flashbulb GN for your FP4+ (ISO 125) at 1/200s is 180. But outdoors you should use GN 120 instead. That would mean using approximately f/11 at 10ft.

Tin Can
26-Jan-2017, 11:45
Good advice. Never heard that before.

Thanks!

Bob Salomon
26-Jan-2017, 13:38
When you are taking Weegee style photos of some outdoor crime scene, don't forget that the guide number table printed on the flashbulb package isn't meant for that use. The assumption for those GNs is use indoors in some medium sized room. Outdoors the flashbulb will be exactly one stop less effective.
For example the official GE #5 flashbulb GN for your FP4+ (ISO 125) at 1/200s is 180. But outdoors you should use GN 120 instead. That would mean using approximately f/11 at 10ft.

Actually for average rooms. That would not be the correct GN in large spaces like churches, gyms, auditoriums, etc. it also assumes average reflective surfaces. It would be incorrect in very dark walled rooms.

David Lobato
26-Jan-2017, 17:05
Weegee could waste lumens and photons like crazy. He had a formula that worked, and the rest could go to waste.

One would learn from experience how to settle on their own flash method. So what if a shutter is open for less time than the flash duration? With as much light as those flashbulbs output one might only need a portion of the flash duration to properly expose a sheet of film. Especially at less than 15 feet away (look at those old photos, prone man 5 feet from the camera, crowd 15 feet away). Then tailor film speed and developing to that normal exposure. Once dialed in it's the same again and again.

Jac@stafford.net
26-Jan-2017, 18:22
[...]Then tailor film speed and developing to that normal exposure. Once dialed in it's the same again and again.

Hah. Weegee tailoring his development? From the trunk of his car or home? I think not.

BrianShaw
26-Jan-2017, 19:01
It's not about wasting or conserving lumens. It's about knowing how many lumens the film sees. That's done mostly with exposure settings; not so much with processing mods.

Bill_1856
26-Jan-2017, 21:56
I don't recall any of my pre WW2 shutters having sync posts.

BrianShaw
27-Jan-2017, 06:07
I don't recall any of my pre WW2 shutters having sync posts.

True, I have the same memory/observation... but why is that an impediment?

LabRat
27-Jan-2017, 07:43
True, I have the same memory/observation... but why is that an impediment?

Yea, the earlier solenoid systems were the standard, but the later delay sync shutters could be dialed in for different delays for different types of lamps... But most of the delay shutters sync had to be cocked, adding an extra step while fast shooting... And firing the flash from the flashholder made the condition of the sync contacts less critical, and less dependent of contact problems from cords, etc transferring enough low current from some batteries to reliably fire a bulb (but enough to trip the solenoid)... I'm sure there were photogs that were for or against each system...

At least sync triggering was later appreciated when early strobes came along, and if they had X sync, they were good to go...

Steve K

Neil Purling
1-Feb-2019, 03:46
I was wondering about a lot of aspects of Weegee's technique.
In the back of my copy of Naked City Weegee mentioned that he used Kodak Super Panchro Press Type B. I have no idea about the speed (in modern ASA) that film would have had back in the 1940's.
He didn't say what bulbs he used. I assume that with the 200th sec he wanted to exclude ambient light.

Tin Can
1-Feb-2019, 06:58
Lately, as in last month, I shot # 2 bulbs with the B for bulb setting on my shutter

Open B, hand fire the slow big bulb, shut B

Jim Noel
1-Feb-2019, 12:01
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.

Speaking from experience I must say that there was no ASA in the 1930's. Most photographers used Weston speeds, as did most meters. Super XX was rated at Weston 100, not ASA 200. I must have uysed 1,000 sheets of SUper XX, and still have a little bit in the freezer.

Tin Can
1-Feb-2019, 16:04
'Modern' Blue Dot Sylvania no. 2 bulbs are as big as 100 watt incandescent with the same medium screw e26/27 base. 70,000 lumen seconds.

They list possible 'Tungsten Film Speeds' from 10 to 500, ASA is not mentioned. No Zip Code is one clue to age of the sealed case I opened. Zip Code was invented in 1944.

ASA came into use in 1943.

The cardboard box is stamped 'Union Camp' which was formed in 1956.

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4882/46768067712_458f1039ea_z.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/2efJza3)Untitled (https://flic.kr/p/2efJza3) by TIN CAN COLLEGE (https://www.flickr.com/photos/tincancollege/), on Flickr

https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7805/32944846108_8cf7140d07_z.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/ScdWY5)Untitled (https://flic.kr/p/ScdWY5) by TIN CAN COLLEGE (https://www.flickr.com/photos/tincancollege/), on Flickr

Jac@stafford.net
1-Feb-2019, 16:51
Translate that, Randy. Does that bulb really permit 1/200th of a second?

BrianShaw
1-Feb-2019, 16:56
Yes, but at a reduced efficiency. Hence the lower guide numbers as the shutter speed increases. Basically, at any speed over 1/30 the film will only see a part of the light from the flash bulb.

Translate that, Randy. Does that bulb really permit 1/200th of a second?

Tin Can
1-Feb-2019, 17:17
Yes, if timed correctly to peak with film speed and correct aperture. Distance is the thing.

ASA had to be used by the time of these printed instructions for those bulbs. 1955 to 1963.

So ISO/ASA of 100 is GN 260 at 1/200 as marked on box.

I would pick f22 at 10 feet and burn a case setting the damn solenoid timer or the adjustable flash time on the shutter.

Instead I do 1/30 with a Packard or use open bulb.

Now stay still, you dead body. Not you Jac, the corpse WeeGee was shooting...

YOU TAUGHT ME THAT, JAC!

Take GN divide by distance and you have the f stop. 260/10=26 round to f22 Shoot film 2 at f16.

Translate that, Randy. Does that bulb really permit 1/200th of a second?

Tin Can
1-Feb-2019, 18:31
Of course. I shoot a lot of Packard shutter with DIY Micro Switch using radio to fire modern strobes.

I always choose 1/30th or bulb.

I really like the extended glow of a big flash bulb, even if most of it is just fireworks.

Yes, but at a reduced efficiency. Hence the lower guide numbers as the shutter speed increases. Basically, at any speed over 1/30 the film will only see a part of the light from the flash bulb.

Jac@stafford.net
1-Feb-2019, 20:18
Randy, I asked because 1/200th of a second is difficult to reach with all but a couple flash bulbs, and I know Weegee did not use either. Just curious, my friend, and hope I'm not missing something.

Mark Sampson
1-Feb-2019, 20:56
Buried deep in my memory is the fact that there were longer-duration flash bulbs designed to use with focal-plane shutters. Some cameras, like early Pentaxes, have a separate PC connector labelled 'FP'. You can find references to these bulbs in old tech manuals. I've never seen or used any of these; their time was before mine. But the question doesn't get any simpler with that information...

Tin Can
2-Feb-2019, 07:33
http://camera-wiki.org/wiki/Flashbulbs

http://www.wikiwand.com/en/Flash_(photography)#/Flashbulbs

The problem is all our shutters and FP cameras are now very old.

My 1951 Speed does have a flash bulb bipin fitting connected to contacts for the moving curtain. My curtain works fine, the contacts must be corroded as they do not work.

My camera looks like new. I have tried the FP flash feature. :(

Leaf shutters HAD delay also but do to not work very good now and shutter repair has become a lost art.

Solenoids delays also existed, but most are disconnected, failed or hard to adjust.

I have tried all methods.

Yet I do believe an expert at flash bulbs like WeeGee could shoot at 1/200 anytime he wanted, which may have not been necessary at all times. Since he shot a lot of static crime scenes where nothing moves.

A synchronous event is happening near me!

Bloodhoundbob and I are going to the local college, SIUC tuesday to see an exhibition of the local flash bulb expert!

I assume he used many large flashbulbs for his LF cave negatives. They are still the preferred lighting method as they are small, lightweight and very powerful.

Charles Swedlund photograph exhibit of various caves in the region (https://news.siu.edu/2019/01/013019-art-fact-exhibit.php)

Flash bulbs are still made in Republic of Ireland for movies, caving and large empty buildings. (http://www.meggaflash.com/)

Bernice Loui
2-Feb-2019, 08:27
Those# 2B or #50 flash bulbs were often used for interior flash photography. The camera was set up, Edison bulbs would be removed and replaced with# 2B / #50 flash bulbs. Come night the single exposure was made by pulling the dark slide, open the shutter or remove the lens cap then flip the light switch on to fire all# 2B / #50 flash bulbs.

There is a second clock work wind lever on some Ilex shutters with a small three position wheel on the side marked with color dots. The color dots noted flash sync type of F, M or X. The color dot corresponded to the delay required for the type of flash bulb to be used with X being used only for electronic flash. Flash trigger delay is to allow the bulb to "burn up" to full light output before shutter action. What is mostly forgotten today, the amount of light output from flash bulbs is surprising and quite remarkable. There are no second chances with flash bulbs, which puts greater demands on the photographers ability to get the image required in one exposure.

Bernice

Jac@stafford.net
2-Feb-2019, 08:37
A helpful tip for using Edison/Mazda base bulbs in series, especially in large installations using AC mains current, is to put a conventional tungsten bulb as the first bulb in series to absorb surging.

It is possible to use a flash meter with bulbs if you have a PC cord socket on the meter. It can provide a good starting point for tests. (At \$1 to \$5 each today, bulbs are still rather spendy.)

Tin Can
2-Feb-2019, 08:45
Thanks Bernice and Jac for the tips.

I have more than 3000 flash bulbs of all sizes!

The big ones are bulky, rare and now valued \$10 US and up.

The sealed box cases of No. 2 were given to me by a stranger who found them in his new old home. He did not want to toss them out.

He joined this forum specifically to find me and give them away. He was not a photographer and perhaps never here again.

Thank you anonymous donor!

Bernice Loui
2-Feb-2019, 09:40
Think the largest Edison/Mazda base flash bulb was a #75, 180,000 lumen seconds ?
http://lampes-et-tubes.info/fl/fl043.php?l=e

Consider the size of any electronic flash to produce THAT amount of light.

Then there was the extremely common GE flash cube that was used on Kodak Instamatic and similar cameras.

Flash bulb "guns" often had a ejector mechanism to rapidly dump the HOT flash bulb allowing another to be rapidly installed. These were the staple of Press Photographers and other Photographers who needed a lot of light for their image making needs. These were the days of 4x5 Speed Graphics and similar 4x5 press cameras.

Bernice

Jac@stafford.net
2-Feb-2019, 09:50
Think the largest Edison/Mazda base flash bulb was a #75, 180,000 lumen seconds ?
http://lampes-et-tubes.info/fl/fl043.php?l=e

Consider the size of any electronic flash to produce THAT amount of light.

They were used for night aerial photography. I have three and they just scare me! I also have bulbs that burn for 1.7 seconds. Also scary. :)

invisibleflash
2-Feb-2019, 10:22
Weegee was pretty flexible. I don't think he was stuck on one setting.

Here is his take on it...including the ten foot shot.

https://archive.org/details/WeegeeTellsHow

Tin Can
2-Feb-2019, 11:38
Great link with very clear audio

Thanks for posting and getting back to using the archive

Neil Purling
2-Feb-2019, 23:47
If you are photographing a corpse in a shop doorway & it IS starting to move then is was only a drunk sleeping it off. If it was shot and obviously re-animating then you have proof of the beginning of a zombie apocalypse. Take the shot & run like hell or shoot it between the eyes.

Seriously: My Crown Graphic has the Kodak 127mm Ektar in a Supermatic shutter. It is 'X' contact. Strange for a shutter made around 1948. It means I have to use 1/25th sec until the solenoid I ordered arrives' Ill send the whole thing off to SK Grimes for a CLA & maybe they can set the solenoid to trip with a 20mS delay.
The guide number for 1/25th with a #2 bulb is scary. It means I can use my stock of Eastman 4512 copy film which is 12ASA developed to a normal gamma and still get f16 at 10ft.

rjbuzzclick
3-Feb-2019, 12:49
My 1951 Speed does have a flash bulb bipin fitting connected to contacts for the moving curtain. My curtain works fine, the contacts must be corroded as they do not work.

My camera looks like new. I have tried the FP flash feature. :(

Randy, FWIW, on my Pacemaker Speed Graphic, the focal plane shutter curtain only has sync contacts for the bi-pin connector on the 1/30 speed. None of the other speeds have contacts nor will trigger the flash. I'm not sure if this is the case or not for the earlier versions.

Just to contribute to this conversation, here is the procedure I use for setting up the solenoids on my Graphics. I don't remember where I found it, either online, or in one of the 'Graflex Graphic Photography' books. It works for me-YMMV:

The following instructions are applicable to solenoids mounted in a clamp type mount shown in Figure 2. The same instructions may be used as a guide when adjusting solenoids mounted in a bracket type mount shown in Figure 3.

1.Loosen clamp screw so that the solenoid may be moved up or down
2.Connect solenoid release lever link to shutter release lever stud.
NOTE: The solenoid should be located in the mount perpendicular to the shutter release lever so that the solenoid armature is pulling straight into the coil assembly of the solenoid on its downward travel.
3.Set shutter at its top speed and cock. I've seen suggestions of using second to highest speed-RJR
4.Connect a solenoid cord from the solenoid to the SOLENOID outlet in battery case.
5.Press battery case switch button and hold. This will permit the solenoid armature to remain in the downward position until completion of the next step.
6.Slowly move solenoid away from shutter until shutter releases. Tighten clamp screw.
7.The solenoid armature should be at the bottom of its stroke when the shutter release lever is at the point of tripping. To test this adjustment,
cock the shutter and slowly press down by hand on the shutter release lever. At the exact point where the shutter releases, energize the solenoid by pressing the battery case switch button and hold. There should be no further movement of the shutter release lever.
8.Slowly back off solenoid cap until shutter holds in cocked position. Check adjustment by operating the solenoid. Do not proceed to the next step until this adjustment is correct.
9.Set shutter on TIME position and cock. Allow at least one second after cocking before pressing the battery case switch button. The shutter should open. Pressing the battery case switch button again should close the shutter. If the shutter fails to operate, proceed with the following adjustments, as required.
10.Adjust the solenoid cap by slowly screwing downward until shutter opens. Test after each fractional turn.
11.If shutter opens but will not close on TIME, the solenoid should be loosened in its mount and adjusted. Cock shutter. Pull down on solenoid until shutter releases. Move solenoid up in mount until shutter resets itself. A slight click will be noted. Tighten clamp screw to hold solenoid firmly in mount. Final adjustments can be made with cap adjustment (step 10).
NOTE: Because of the length of stroke and return spring characteristics of some shutters, the shutter cannot be operated on TIME and BULB with a solenoid connected. Some shutters will not hold open on BULB.
12.Test shutter synchronization by making practical test negatives. Synchronization may be tested with a reliable testing device also.
13.After repeated adjustments, if shutter and solenoid can not be synchronized correctly, the shutter should be overhauled.

Tin Can
3-Feb-2019, 13:02
Reid, fantastic data!

I will try that soon as I just bought a good lens/shutter with solenoid and Speed lens board here on the forum.

I printed out your entire message and will seal it in plastic to hang on my wall.

I do that with things I want to keep handy and remember to do. Saving to computer does not work for long for me...

And that 1/30th curtain speed is a vital tip. I felt the contacts, but may have not used 1/30th.

Thank you!

Jac@stafford.net
3-Feb-2019, 13:06
rjbuzzclick, your post should be FAQ and in the front page of this group.
Thanks very much. I have a fist-full of solenoids to try.

And what Randy Moe wrote!

rjbuzzclick
3-Feb-2019, 15:50
Randy and Jac,

You're both very welcome, I hope you find it useful.

One other point on solenoids, there is a Graflex #2 and a Graflex #3 solenoid. From my understanding, the #2 goes with the 2-cell handle, and the #3 goes with the 3-cell handle. I believe that if you switch handles it changes the timing on the solenoids. There 'might' be the possibility of damage to the #2 solenoid if used with a 3-cell handle, but I'm not 100% sure on that.

Mark Crabtree
4-Feb-2019, 09:19
I messed with flash bulbs a little a number of years back. It really is simple, though foreign to most of us.

Another good source for info on using press cameras, and on using them with flash bulbs, is the Navy training manual. The one I have is Photographer's Mate 3 from 1961. Clear and concise information. The best exposure information for flash bulbs I found was in the old Kodak Professional Photoguide. Mine is a 1981 printing. That has one of those nifty calculator dials that covers a lot of variables - maybe TMI, but answered a lot of questions for me.