View Full Version : Heiland Flash, Which Bulbs?

26-Apr-2010, 13:24
I recently bought a Graflex Super D and Heiland flash unit with one bulb (looks slightly smaller than a standard light bulb, but with lots of filaments inside). I'm wondering where I might acquire a sync cord and more bulbs (what is the size)? Any ideas for converting to an electronic flash that would work with the Super D? Is there any special setting on the Super D for syncing the focal plane shutter to a flash - like an M or X setting? I think I read max speed is 1/30 s?



Just came across this - still would appreciate any comments:


Mark Woods
26-Apr-2010, 13:56
Good luck on finding more bulbs. The sync cable was usually 2 wire zip wire (14/2) and the bulbs are slowly being used by films that love the fact that they burn for more than a second, and consequently can be photographed.

al olson
26-Apr-2010, 14:31
ParamountCords (http://www.paramountcords.com/) provides sync cords for vintage and specialty photographic equipment.

Your single bulb is likely to be all that you will find. Maybe at a flea market, a garage sale, or ebay. Hang on to it. It is a collector's item.:D

I don't know about the sync settings of your shutter. It sounds like it is much older and not likely to have the x-sync setting.

It could be, like a pre-1940 Speed Graphic that I own with a No. 2 Supermatic shutter, that there are no flash connections at all. Nor are there any for the focal plane shutter. However, since apparently you received the flash with the camera, there would seem to be some way to fire it from the camera.

Do you have flash connectors for a between-the-lens shutter? If not, an electronic flash will have to be timed when the focal plane shutter curtain is 100 per cent open, if that is possible. The old flash bulbs had magnesium foil that burned long enough for the slit on the shutter curtain to transit the film.

Maybe your best choice would be to get a lens with a more modern between-the-lens x-sync shutter.


Robert Hughes
26-Apr-2010, 14:35
Where to look for flash bulbs? For starters, go to http://www.flashbulbs.com (http://www.flashbulbs.com/index.shtml) (go figure), they're selling NOS and brand new bulbs there. And they've got those hot bikini-clad beach bunnies and sharp surfer dude music - it's the place to be! (I've never done bizness with them, so don't know if they actually have anything other than a site, but check them out and see what they can do for you).

A modern flashbulb mfg company is http://www.meggaflash.com If you need LOTS of light, RIGHT NOW, these are the go-to guys - look at this review (http://www.graflex.org/flash/meggaflash/) of the PF 300 and PF 330 bulbs.

When you do score some bulbs, you'll use the "M" setting on your shutter, which provides a delay between bulb triggering and shutter opening so the bulb can fire. Electronic flashes fire immediately, so you use the "X" setting for those.


Glenn Thoreson
26-Apr-2010, 18:48
The focal plane shutter will not sync with electronic flash at any of the marked speeds. However, you can use it for open flash. For electronic flash you need a front leaf shutter with an "X" setting. It fires the flash at the exact moment that the shutter is wide open. If you can find some 2A or #31 bulbs, they will sync withthe focal plane shutter to 1/1000 sec.

26-Apr-2010, 19:00
Thanks all for the info.

Found some prospects (2As and Press 40s) on eBay this afternoon, hopefully they'll still work :)

I believe my Super D is post war, it has a simplified shutter aperture plate, and bi-posts, the Heiland appears to have household type connectors (I'll have Paramount make a cable). I'll need to determine how to use the various bulbs and at which curtain aperture.

Glenn, re: the 2As - when using them should I select a specific shutter speed, or any suitable for hand-held photography? Any idea on the Press 40s?

Glenn Thoreson
27-Apr-2010, 11:27
I missed the part about it being a Super D when I read your post. Some Graflex SLRs will only sync at what amounts to about 1/5 second. The Super D may have a better range of sync speeds. You could try using an ohm meter on the terminals to see if that's true. As I am not that familiar with the SLRs, I would suggest visiting graflex.org for more detailed info. The Press 40 bulbs won't sync properly with the focal plane shutter due to it's short peak output. The #2, 2A and 31 bulbs were the only ones that had a long enough peak to accomodate the curtain travel time. The #6 bulb is for focal plane shutter sync but will only cover up to 2X3. Press 40 bulbs work fine with leaf shutters and M sync.