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Flash bulb safety

 
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Eric in Vegas



Joined: 11 Aug 2023
Posts: 3
Location: Las Vegas

PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2023 11:23 pm    Post subject: Flash bulb safety Reply with quote

I finally got my Crown Graphic 23 working like a champ with a Graflite Jr. and would like to use it to photograph people safely. From what I read, they weren't failsafe when new and I'm using bulbs that are decades old. Some literature advises putting something between the flash and the subject. I'm thinking of some transparent plastic that clips over the front that doesn't make it too cumbersome swapping bulbs? Does anyone have any practical tips or advice on this based on experience? Thanks, Eric
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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1630
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2023 12:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, Kodak used to make a plastic sleeve that slipped over the flash reflector; the sleeve was clear on one side and opaque on the other, so you could select whether you wanted a strong or a diffused light. When I shot 35mm in the Kodak Pony 135, I used the sleeve only occasionally, for the reasons you state; it was awkward to change bulbs, and, as bulbs rarely if ever shattered (in fact never, in my experience), unnecessary. I still have the sleeve, and my original Kodaflash too, along with the camera, among the many ancient photographic relics from the film era stored in my now unused wet darkroom.

By actual count, I have 96 no. 5 and 5B flashbulbs awaiting use with my Century Graphic and Graflite Jr. When that day comes, I will not be using any protection over the flash. YRMV!
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Eric in Vegas



Joined: 11 Aug 2023
Posts: 3
Location: Las Vegas

PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2023 12:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Henry wrote:
Yeah, Kodak used to make a plastic sleeve that slipped over the flash reflector; the sleeve was clear on one side and opaque on the other, so you could select whether you wanted a strong or a diffused light. When I shot 35mm in the Kodak Pony 135, I used the sleeve only occasionally, for the reasons you state; it was awkward to change bulbs, and, as bulbs rarely if ever shattered (in fact never, in my experience), unnecessary. I still have the sleeve, and my original Kodaflash too, along with the camera, among the many ancient photographic relics from the film era stored in my now unused wet darkroom.

By actual count, I have 96 no. 5 and 5B flashbulbs awaiting use with my Century Graphic and Graflite Jr. When that day comes, I will not be using any protection over the flash. YRMV!


Thank you Henry. Your post was helpful. I'm still hesitant to trust the bulbs but I did find that Graflex also sold a shield that looks pretty simple to replicate.
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hsandler



Joined: 27 Apr 2016
Posts: 31
Location: Ottawa, Canada

PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2023 4:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have one of those soft plastic sleeves, resembling a little umbrella. Itís tinted blue on one half so you could theoretically shoot daylight colour film with non-blue bulbs through the blue side. But I never use the sleeve. Iím always at least 10 feet away when I shoot bulbs; they are just so powerful, you need some distance or else lenses that go down to f45. I have shot several hundred old bulbs, mostly M3 or Press 25 and never had one shatter. The lacquer coating always seems to prevent this. Plus the soft sleeves look dorky. If you can, go for a round hard plastic shield that clips onto the flash reflector.
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