View Full Version : Recommend Me A Flash For Infrared With The Speed Graphic

Peter York
19-Sep-2011, 18:09
Hi all,

So to play Weegee properly, I want to get a flash unit for my Pacemaker Speed Graphic. While I plan on using this unit under normal circumstances, I also want to attach an 89B Wratten filter and shoot IR820 at night. This film has an ASA of approximately 1.5, and Id like to use anywhere from f/5.6 to f/11 with distances of 30 to 5 feet. Lenses will range from 100mm to 210mm.

Can you recommend a flash unit that will get the job done? Id prefer one that is relatively inexpensive.


19-Sep-2011, 18:24
Your standard Graflite flash will work with an IR filter over the bulb, or maybe you can find some IR flashbulbs. With those, you don't need to use a filter over the lens.

Peter York
19-Sep-2011, 18:30
Bill, I'd rather go with electronic flash rather than flashbulbs.

19-Sep-2011, 21:42
Hey Peter I like the Honeywell / Rollei Strobonar 682s if you can find one
it uses 6 AA batterys & uses the same clamps as graflex BUT most of the
Honeywell use graflex clamps

Robert Hughes
20-Sep-2011, 07:26
I've got one of those Honeywell Strobonars, an old one from the 1950's probably. The battery section doesn't work anymore, but when I plug it in, it's got a huge flash! No power control - you want it dimmer? Move it back, or throw a Kleenex over it.

Peter York
20-Sep-2011, 07:34
Thanks banjo and Robert.

Does the Strobonar 682 allow for manual power selection (i.e., 1/2 power, 1/8, etc.)? I'm assuming that auto won't work very well when an IR filter is attached, and I will have to run some tests to identify the proper amount of output for certain situations.

20-Sep-2011, 07:46
2m at f/5.6, iso 1.5 -
my post-it note is telling me you're looking for a guide number of 450, in meters, at iso 100.

Though I'm not good at big numbers, would need corroboration, but it sounds about right.

I doubt if a half power switch will get much use...

Peter York
20-Sep-2011, 08:22
Thanks Joseph.

Given your estimate, let me rephrase my question. What are the most powerful flashes available?

Robert Hughes
20-Sep-2011, 08:34
Meggaflash (http://www.meggaflash.com/) bulbs - they put out!

20-Sep-2011, 08:37
As far as portable infrared flash is concerned, bulb flash with the strongest bulb you can still get - generic electronic flashes have relatively modest IR output, and on camera flashes usually filter even that to prevent burn injuries.

Studio flashes often have no IR filter and are higher power in general, and frontal traffic cameras have strong near-infrared flashes, but both are essentially grid devices and only portable as far as you can heave a power generator around...

21-Sep-2011, 13:55
Maybe something with an array of infrared LEDs? enough of those should put out some light (IR)... and still be battery-powerable.

Peter York
21-Sep-2011, 15:17
I will probably just go with a Metz 45, as I need a flash unit for more normal circumstances as well. The Strobonars are cheaper but I'm worried about their condition. If this setup is not powerful enough for infrared at close distances, I'll add a Vivitar unit. If that fails, I'll give up.

There are IR flashbulbs available, but at approximately $5 each I can't justify the expense.

Thanks to all for the suggestions.

21-Sep-2011, 15:46
You might look at Norman 200B and 400B flash units. These battery powered units have been or used to be the industry standard for power, ruggedness and reliability. Relatively inexpensive on feebay. I like them as they are pretty bombproof.

23-Sep-2011, 10:55
Check out this guy's website/blog:


I don't know if he's a member here, but he's on RFF and APUG. He's shot a lot with an Olympus XA and an IR filter over the flash. Might be some worthwhile info there.