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Using a Graflite 3 Cell handle w/ modern flash?

 
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Martin G



Joined: 09 Aug 2004
Posts: 5
Location: Austin, Texas

PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2004 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd like to build hot shoe adaptor to fit the top of my Graflite flash handle. I found a PVC cap that fits but I'm trying to decide how to wire the hot shoe. The simplest way would be to get a hot shoe with a PC connector on the side. Then I'd use a bi-post to PC cable to the Supermatic shutter. Tripping the shutter would fire the strobe, right?

Another option would be to connect the hot shoe to the circuit inside the Graflite handle and use a household to bi-post cable from the shutter outlet on the handle to the shutter. This would work also, right?

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glennfromwy



Joined: 29 Nov 2001
Posts: 903
Location: S.W. Wyoming

PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2004 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like you are on the right track. Either method should work fine. Go for it!

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Glenn

"Wyoming - Where everybody is somebody else's weirdo"
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Les



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 2682
Location: Detroit, MI

PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2004 1:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

yes either method will work, but don't try to use batteries in the Graflite case to power, or help power the hot shoe flash. Most modern flashes are 6v and, unless you add an extension, the Graflite will be 4.5v. And 4 D cells start out weighing a lot, and by the end of the evening weigh as much as a Mack Truck.
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t.r.sanford



Joined: 10 Nov 2003
Posts: 812
Location: East Coast (Long Island)

PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2004 1:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paramount offers a hot shot as an optional connector ("tip") for a custom cord. One of these with a female bipost at the other end of the cord (whose length you can specify when ordering) would be a secure solution.

The old Graflex "Stroboflash I" and "II" (at least) featured large but lightweight heads, with the electronic components sharing a shoulder-strap-equipped case with a couple of very heavy dry batteries. The head had a 1/4x20 socket underneath, and you could attach a heavy rubber boot with an embedded bolt to the head, then fit the whole thing snugly onto the tubular battery-box of your "Graflite" or other bulb flash.

Today's flashguns tend to have all the electronics in the "head" (so to speak), even if they work with an external high-voltage battery pack. The mass perched atop the battery-box presents a mechanical challenge: if you secure it with a single fastener (e.g., a tripod screw), it will try to rotate when you're not looking.

It might be worth thinking about cutting a square hole in your PVC cap, sized to receive the foot of the hot shoe adapter, and secure the adapter in place with a metal slide or clamp inside the cap.
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Martin G



Joined: 09 Aug 2004
Posts: 5
Location: Austin, Texas

PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2004 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Those custom Paramount cords seem a bit pricey. I'm hoping to be able to get by with a standard cord or I'll solder something up myself. I admit it, I'm cheap!

Cutting a square hole in the PVC cap is a Great Idea. I plan on putting a slot on the inside of the cap like the one in the original flash bulb head so that the flash always faces forward.

Thanks for the good advice folks!
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alecj



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 853
Location: Alabama

PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2004 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Graflex made a battery cap, which included a tripod screw, just for that purpose. Last time I looked, Lumedyne had a similar product.

Graflex also made a short HH to HH cord exactly for THAT purpose. I see them advertised from time to time. Like Les said, it is only for sync, not for power though.

I use a Vivitar, with a foot that has a HH plug. Also, years ago, I had Paramount make a Dual Post to Vivitar cord. That worked the best. Pricy, but it is reliable [important, with the cost of film] and much easier to set up.
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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1446
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2004 9:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I concur in the bipost/Vivitar endorsement, in fact I had Paramount make up two of them, in different lengths, for my set-up. As a once-in-a-life-time expense it's a bargain, in my book. My old daddy always said, "You only buy a good tool once."
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Martin G



Joined: 09 Aug 2004
Posts: 5
Location: Austin, Texas

PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2004 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got it rigged up the other night and it works. I modified a PVC pipe cap. I added a set screw with a little knob so that the cap would always be in the same place like the original flash bulb head. I cut a channel in the top of the cap the same width as the hot shoe so that it would always be pointing in the right direction. I've ordered a flash cord from Paramount but in the meantime I cut the end off of another cord and put on two small alligator clips to attach to the bipost on the shutter.

I loaded a sheet of B&W Polaroid, peeped through the Sports Finder and tripped the shutter using the body release. It worked great! I can hardly wait to get the proper cord from Paramount!
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Martin G



Joined: 09 Aug 2004
Posts: 5
Location: Austin, Texas

PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2004 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just an update. I did get the Vivitar to work on the hotshoe adaptor that I made to fit the three cell handle. I found that th light from the Vivitar falls off just at the edge of the image. Not a big deal but still not quite right.

I picked up an old 770 Strobonar. I rebuilt the battery pack in the head. The flash works fine. I haven't tested it with the Speed Graphic yet but it should work just fine and give me more than enough flash coverage.

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t.r.sanford



Joined: 10 Nov 2003
Posts: 812
Location: East Coast (Long Island)

PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2004 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you're using a Vivitar "283," you can get a lenticular wide-angle beamspreading insert for it. You'll recall that, if you're using a 127 or 135mm. lens on 4x5 or, to a lesser extent, a 127mm. lens on 3x4, the angular coverage is a bit wider than "normal," and a flashgun without a WA reflector setting or built-in beamspreading screen is likely to give you slight vignetting.
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Martin G



Joined: 09 Aug 2004
Posts: 5
Location: Austin, Texas

PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2004 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The lens is an Ektar 127. The flash was a Vivitar 273. It's basicly a 283 but with fewer features. I tried the strobonar the night before last with some Polaroid pack film. It worked just fine. I took the mounting rings off the Graflite and put them on the strobonar. I'm going to take it to our departmental holiday party to shoot candids just for fun.
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