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Old 09-29-2018, 12:59 PM
Johndeere Johndeere is offline
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Default Flash Bulbs and More

Welcome to my new camera business. Just joking but my wife might argue I am buying inventory.

Let's get to flash bulbs. This is something I never used. I don't count the magic cubes. I have an old Honeywell tilt a mite flash. It came with my first SLR back around 1971. However I had bought a Honeywell electric flash to go along with my Honeywell Pentax H1a so I never used it.

This month I bought another H1a, I had sold my first one back around 1977. This week in was in a junk store and bought flash bulbs for the flash. I think I got a deal getting 200 for $5.

I had to order a new battery for the flash which I did through B&H Photo.

I am excited to try this out. Shooting film all with 1960 state of the art equipment. In addition I have now put together my original SLR outfit to the best of my memory.

My current 35mm camera body count is at 15 and includes Nikon, Pentax and yes Canon.

My goal is to move into the medium format bodies someday in the future.

So does anyone have any tips using flash bulbs?
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Old 09-29-2018, 02:09 PM
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Jim Jones Jim Jones is offline
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You got a bargain, 200 for $5. I suspect the prevailing price on ebay for actual sales is much higher, especially for the larger sizes. I have a bunch of the smaller ones if you run short.

As for tips, they are simple enough. They had to be, since they were the only way most people with cheap lenses and slow film could do much indoors. The bulbs also put out quite a bit of light. Usually the carton gives the guide number, or at least a chart from which the guide number can be derived. This is all you need to know to calculate exposure. There is a delay, usually about 20 milliseconds, between when battery power is applied until the light builds up to maximum power. Older shutters may have a F-M-X selector that lets one choose between the faster F class or the normal M class bulbs and the X electronic flash delay setting. Lacking this adjustment, 1/30 or 1/15 second usually works. Some flash bulbs were colored blue for color film. The clear glass bulbs are brighter, but too warm in color for anything but B&W film. If you need technical information on the type of bulbs you have, let me know or you can probably download it. O. Winston Link produced some fine night photographs of trains taken with flash bulbs, lots of them. It took something like a car battery to trigger them all. A major library may have books on his works.
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Old 09-29-2018, 02:20 PM
Johndeere Johndeere is offline
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Thanks Jim. I started reading up on flash bulbs. I'm using the clear M3 bulbs for black and white.
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Old 09-29-2018, 11:29 PM
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Jim Jones Jim Jones is offline
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My favorite reference source on flashbulbs is too old to cover the M3. Apparently it should work well with M sync. The clear bulbs will give an amber cast to color photography. I believe the color temperature is about 4000K. I'll check to see what old flashguns and bulbs were left at the farm after moving into town two years ago. I should have a 22.5 volt battery powered gun for Leica and perhaps other battery-capacitor flashes. That 22.5 V battery is a pain. Most flashguns worked well enough with just two batteries. I should have a few of them, too. A few hundred bulbs were lost in a darkroom fire decades ago, but I still have plenty. Mailing them may be a problem, since they can be ignited by a strong electrical surge, even without direct contact. The flash from one bulb can ignite others in contact with it. For convenience the old newspaper photographers sometimes carried them in a pocket, and rarely they would all go off. Ah, the good old days!
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Old 09-30-2018, 12:37 AM
Johndeere Johndeere is offline
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Cool.

I don't know why I never experimented with flash bulb photography. It is like an entire hole in my photography has been found. Well I guess I should add large format, medium format and the list can go on.

I'm excited though. I love film and while im on a film kick right now I love digital too.

I really wish I could find someone local that likes the darkroom , it would be nice to work with someone. There is so much experimentation on this side too.

I'm a boring shooting partner. I like what I like and it seldom matches a partner.
But back to bulbs, I have a lot to learn to bad your not here.
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Old 10-12-2018, 12:14 AM
Johndeere Johndeere is offline
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Well my battery came in. I'm going to try everything out. How do you get a guide number? I'm using a Honeywell tilt a mite, clear m3 bulb. Sync at 30 or 45 and 400 speed black and white film. I think it may be 270 but I'm just not sure
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Old 10-20-2018, 01:45 AM
Johndeere Johndeere is offline
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It's done yes I did my first real flash bulb photography. My daughter and wife certainly noticed the flash bulb. A lot more output than a regular flash.

It was fun and extremely cool to use a flash bulb for the first time.

Now the question is did I do the math right?

Give me a few days to get everything processed. My gut tells me I may have overexposed the shots. I beleive I had everything correct but based on the input from my subjects there was a lot of light.

In any event if you want to have some fun try a combination of film and flash bulbs.
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Old 10-20-2018, 01:03 PM
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Jim Jones Jim Jones is offline
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The instructions on a pack of clear M3 bulbs suggests a guide number of 450 to 650 at low shutter speeds in polished reflectors. For some of the small reflectors double the exposure.

An old trick that may or may not be absolutely reliable is to secure additional flashbulbs against the one that is electrically triggered. The flash from that one bulb may trigger the others. Slave flash guns were also available that were triggered at a distance from another flash. A number of flash bulbs wired in series or parallel could be triggered from a large enough battery.

Google O. Winston Link for information on a famous night photographer of trains using dozens of huge flash bulbs. Multiple bulbs were also used for large interior shots. Flash bulbs remain a practical way to get a lot of light for a little price.

Let me know if you run low on flash bulbs. I have a carton of 144 clear M3 bulbs and an assortment of other sizes.
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Old 10-21-2018, 03:46 AM
Johndeere Johndeere is offline
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I will take them. I will get back to you later. I should be in bed I habe to be up at 3am. FISHING in my last tournament for the year. Low 30's, mix snow and rain with wind.

Just taking my point and shoot with me. I picked up some outdated film I want to try while fishing the tournament. It all dates back to 1989and 2004. It was a dollar a roll. In was at a local shop and asked if they had any E6. I got this strange look from the young lady at the counter.

Then I said slide film. After talking to someone she comes out with three box's filled with film from the freezer. I bought a couple of rolls of Ektachrome and a 25 speed black and white film can't think of the name it started with an E.

Oh well I will take the flash bulbs provided I don't fall over and freeze to death today. I catch up with you later just check your PM here if is active. I'm never sure what works around here at times
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Old 10-25-2018, 01:32 AM
Johndeere Johndeere is offline
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First let me say there is nothing and I mean nothing as nice as a flash bulb. Yeah it old, outdated and takes a little thinking but even today's modern flash can't beat it. At best it can come close to matching the flash bulb.

Look I'm not saying toss away your flash and use flash bulbs. The easy to use modern flash is here to stay. What I am saying flash bulbs have their place. They can make a large difference in a simple portrait photo.

I plan on experimenting more with them and I consider this part of improving my photography skills by not limiting myself. I like to be a little different. So that means giving it a try with digital too.

Jim I sent you an email through the site. I guess it will work unless you changed your email.
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