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Thread: Large Format Field Camera connected to modern flash

  1. #1

    Large Format Field Camera connected to modern flash

    Hello! I am new to this very helpful forum - nice to meet you!
    I currently have a Graflex Speed Graphic which I love but the only problem is that I would like to use flash on location with it.
    At the moment, in the studio, if I want to use flash I set the shutter to 1 second and trigger the flash manually. On location this is more difficult so I am looking to buy a 4x5 which easily connects to a flash kit such as a Bowens or even a speed light.
    Any advice is much appreciated.
    Hannah

  2. #2
    C. D. Keth's Avatar
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    Re: Large Format Field Camera connected to modern flash

    You just need a cable to connect the PC terminal of the shutter to the PC terminal on the flash if it has one or to the shoe connection if it doesn’t.


    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ..._Shoe.html/amp


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  3. #3
    Drew Bedo's Avatar
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    Re: Large Format Field Camera connected to modern flash

    Someone here can probably give you a definitive answer. I will give you my understanding and experience with this aspect o LF imaging.

    Some models of the Graflex cameras have a flash syncvh on the focal plane shutter. However this is timed for flash bulbs which take longer to fire and have a longer dwell l time (stay bright longer). Leaf shutters of this era also have a flash synched for flash bulbs. "Modern" electronic strobes fire more quickly and have a flash duration that is shorter. This means that if used with the older synch set up, the shutter is not open or only partly open when the strobe fires. This older synch set up for flash bulbs is often called "M-Synch"

    Shuters set up for electronic strobes are often said to have "X-Synch". There was a generation of shutters that had both an M-synch and an X-synch setting. My Leica M-3 does. I used to have a Schneider Symmar convertible that had a swit6ch for both. I have used my "pre-Anniversary" Speed Graphic and my Kodak 2D with Vivitar 283 strobes using thatSchneider lens. Most newer "modern" LF lens/shutters have the X-synch only.

    I am open to correction on any of this from other members.

    Hannah . . .does any of this help?
    Drew Bedo
    www.quietlightphoto.com
    http://www.artsyhome.com/author/drew-bedo




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  4. #4
    Exploring Large Format Exploring Large Format's Avatar
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    Re: Large Format Field Camera connected to modern flash

    I wanted to shoot hand held flash at political rallies pre-virus, so I used a Crown Graphic, PC Sync-to-2.5mm cable (Paramount Cable has any combo you need, including custom), a flash trigger (Godox, in my case), and a couple of Godox AD 200's for 400 watt seconds of light. If I have it right, many Speeds have older lenses with shutters using Bi-Mount syncs when using the leaf shutter, but those Bi-Post cables are readily available too. I use an old Vivitar grip with a cold shoe to mount the trigger. It also has the ability to mount the shutter release cable very handily. My Schneider lens Compur shutter has both an M and an X sync with a selector switch. As indicated earlier, use the X with modern strobe and you're set.

    I also got an old Graflite Jr. Flash Tube to mount on the camera with another cold shoe on top in case I want to mount an on-camera flash in addition to the trigger. I found that I like the two-handed grip of using both the Vivitar and the Graphex grips.

    In one session, I set up a very large umbrella onto the AD200 Strobes on a very lightweight (but weighted) stand in the Stadium green room, and it worked like a charm for grabbing folks very quickly one after the other. More studio-like utilizing lighting on a stand. I havent' yet mounted a small speedlight on the camera, but it would be easy. The Godox system (called Flashpoint at Adorama with better warranty for those in U.S.) uses Bowens mounts if that is what you seek. Huge selection of strobes at very decent price point. But any system works, of course, with appropriate cable to trigger.

    But reviewing your question, I'm not sure if you are wanting to use your Speed, or maybe a different camera. Given the Speed's versatility, you could certainly use it as long as you have a lens with a shutter that has the X sync port and the right cable for your light or your trigger.

    Both the Vivitar grip and the Graflite Jr. disconnect super quickly from the setup for easy set-up and break-down.

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  5. #5

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    Re: Large Format Field Camera connected to modern flash

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Bedo View Post
    Some models of the Graflex cameras have a flash syncvh on the focal plane shutter. However this is timed for flash bulbs which take longer to fire and have a longer dwell l time (stay bright longer).
    the fp shutter has x-sync on the "T" setting.

  6. #6
    Drew Bedo's Avatar
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    Re: Large Format Field Camera connected to modern flash

    Quote Originally Posted by maltfalc View Post
    the fp shutter has x-sync on the "T" setting.
    Thank You for that. The pool of knowledge and experience on these forums is both wide and deep.
    Drew Bedo
    www.quietlightphoto.com
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    There are only three types of mounting flanges; too big, too small and wrong thread!

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    Re: Large Format Field Camera connected to modern flash

    Quote Originally Posted by maltfalc View Post
    the fp shutter has x-sync on the "T" setting.
    What good is that in situations where the ambient light can't be turned off?

  8. #8
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Large Format Field Camera connected to modern flash

    sin eater

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    Re: Large Format Field Camera connected to modern flash

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Fromm View Post
    What good is that in situations where the ambient light can't be turned off?
    it's not always bright out, and you can always use more flash with a smaller aperture or lower iso film or an nd filter. excuse me for pointing out an option everyone else missed.

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    Re: Large Format Field Camera connected to modern flash

    Quote Originally Posted by maltfalc View Post
    it's not always bright out, and you can always use more flash with a smaller aperture or lower iso film or an nd filter. excuse me for pointing out an option everyone else missed.
    That option is well-known. It requires more flash power. Perhaps if the OP has a mule to carry the batteries or a nearby wall socket to plug into ...

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