Graflex.org Forum Index Graflex.org
Get help with your Graflex questions here
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Basic Flash Advice for a Graflex Crown Graphic Special 4x5

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Graflex.org Forum Index -> Flash Help
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
beeger



Joined: 04 Mar 2010
Posts: 5
Location: Minneapolis, MN

PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 9:44 pm    Post subject: Basic Flash Advice for a Graflex Crown Graphic Special 4x5 Reply with quote

I am a happy owner of a Graflex Crown Graphic Special 4x5 (Schneider Xenar 4.7/135mm with a Compur P shutter). It's a relatively late model with the top mounted rangefinder. I've had great success restoring and getting the camera working up to spec.

I would like to pick up a "period appropriate" Graflex flashbulb style flash. Can someone offer me some guidance? I have a number of questions.

Here's what I know:
* I believe I am looking for the 3-C cell body with either the 5+? or 7+? (I forget the exact dimensions) reflector.
* Because my shutter has a PC style sync connection (both X and M settings) I think I need a "household-to-pc" cord.
* I also need some sort of bracket to mount the flash gun on the right hand side (right hand side of the person holding the camera) of the camera. The camera has a 3 inch long chrome metal bracket of some sort on it, but it seems to be only part of the setup. Pictures of other brackets I have seen have a little lip at the top and bottom that fold out away from the camera. My bracket does not have these, and is mounted to the camera by a single screw at the top and two smaller screws at the bottom.
* Also, I'm curious if I would be able to use the shutter release on the side of the camera for taking pictures, or is there a shutter release on the flash body itself?

Any advice would be appreciated. I've been around cameras as well as on/off camera strobes for many years. I'm comfortable with the fundamentals, but this is my first attempt at a "vintage" flash setup. I've tried searching for this information in the different forums, but I'm having difficulty isolating the information that pertains to my specific situation.

Thanks.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Les



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

PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Crown Specials were sold with either a 3 cell Graflite or Graflite Jr. flash. Either 5 or 7" reflector will work as long as there's some black plastic on it (the previous all metal Graflex 5 & 7" reflectors are not compatible)

The Standard Graflite flash has a square red button and a rotary switch and can do many different things, including tripping the shutter from the flash. The Graflite Jr. doesn't have the remote open flash switch or the rotary switch.

Yes a household to PC cord is what you need.

My Crown Special came with a Graflite flash with a Heiland mounting bracket that fits the rail directly. This bracket can be seen in this auction:
http://cgi.ebay.com/Heiland-Vintage-3-Cell-Flash-Unit-for-Graflex-Camera_W0QQitemZ310203317151QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item48398efb9f#ht_8178wt_958

The other way is via the "Graflite flash bracket" shown here:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Graflex-Graflite-Flash-Mount_W0QQitemZ120538789269QQcmdZViewItemQQptZFilm_Cameras?hash=item1c10abf595#ht_500wt_973

Notice you'll need the insulation paper and the fiber washers or you'll go blind and burn through flash bulbs faster than you can say d'oh!

Make sure your Graflite flash comes with these brackets:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Pair-Graflex-Graflite-Flash-Mounting-Brackets-Black_W0QQitemZ280471613120QQcmdZViewItemQQptZCamera_Flash_Accessories?hash=item414d692ec0#ht_500wt_973

(these are military, civilian ones are silver). These are easily mounted with a screwdriver (actually the slot is wider than normal so you can use one blade of that household to PC cord) But here's where I digress from the Graflex instructions. Graflex says to put the fixed bracket on the bottom and the release bracket on top. This sets up a dangerous situation when carrying the camera by the flash if your thumb should touch the release button the camera spills to the floor and you invent some creative 4 letter words. I say put the release bracket on the bottom and the fixed bracket on top hook pointed up. In this manner if the flash does release the camera is still hooked to the flash.

Yes you can use the body side release with the flash hooked up to the shutter sync. But I've found the side release to be useless. the cable is sluggish and that paddle that supposed to trip the shutter gets in the way and needs constant adjustment.
Tripping the shutter from the flash can be done with the Graflite flash, but you'll need to mount a solenoid on the lensboard and I don't think the Compur P shutter is set up to have a solenoid hook on to it.
The easiest way to shoot is to take a standard 12" cable release and tie it to the top mount of the handle. Graflex sold a small plastic piece that screwed to the body to hold a standard cable release but they are hard to find if they didn't come with your camera.
_________________
"In order to invent, you need a good imagination and a lot of junk" Thomas Edison


Last edited by Les on Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:57 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Les



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

PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One more thing. The 5" reflector goes with #5 /#25 bayonet bulbs and can manage with the smaller M-2, 3, 5 flash bulbs with a cheap adapter. Since these are cheaper than the large Press 40 / #11 flash bulbs, it makes sense to get a 5" reflector to use and a 7" reflector and some #11s when you really want to blind a person.

Note too the Syncro Compur and I believe the Compur P keep the flash contacts closed until the shutter is cocked, so make sure the shutter is cocked before you put a bulb in the flash or it will go off in your hands, and you'll leave your fingerprints in the molten lacquer safety coating. (Been there, done that)
_________________
"In order to invent, you need a good imagination and a lot of junk" Thomas Edison
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
alecj



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 853
Location: Alabama

PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Download this for lots of good information on this subject.

http://www.southbristolviews.com/pics/Graphic/manual-pdf/GrafliteManual.pdf

Note the other good Graflex information on that site.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
beeger



Joined: 04 Mar 2010
Posts: 5
Location: Minneapolis, MN

PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, guys. This is really helpful. I appreciate you taking the time to respond.

The bracket currently attached to my camera is different than the type I typically see identified as a Graflex bracket. I believe it might be a Heiland bracket based on comments above. If this is the case, is it best to stick with a Heiland brand flash unit? I imagine that switching the brackets isnít difficult, but I donít really want to create more holes in the case then are already there (assuming that this is how these are mounted).

Les Ė you mentioned that I will need ďÖ the insulation paper and the fiber washers ÖĒ Iím not quite sure what this means. I do understand your comment about the flash contacts (good tip! I like having fingerprints ).

Brad
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Les



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

PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does your bracket look like the one on this camera?

http://cgi.ebay.com/GRAFLEX-4X5-CROWN-GRAPHIC-SPECIAL-122788_W0QQitemZ140386707753QQcmdZViewItemQQptZFilm_Cameras?hash=item20afb32929#ht_3680wt_780

This is the typical Crown Special "strip" bracket. Certain Heiland flash brackets (like the one linked to in my previous post) will fit, but the original Graflex flash (non-Graflite) flash will also fit, and so will some other 1940s flashes that are really anachronistic for this camera.

This is the bracket that the Graflite bracket which is commonly associated with Graflex flash units attach too. In the link I posted above you'll see this Graflite bracket and a piece of insulating paper and insulating washers.

the Graflite flash uses the body as one of the conductors, like any flashlight. So does the shutter (at least some shutters). We need to keep these grounds insulated from each other or I expect lots of flash bulbs going off at the wrong time.
_________________
"In order to invent, you need a good imagination and a lot of junk" Thomas Edison
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
beeger



Joined: 04 Mar 2010
Posts: 5
Location: Minneapolis, MN

PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 8:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, thatís my bracket (and camera) exactly.

Ok, so if I understand correctly, a standard 3 C-cell Graflex Graflite flash unit and clamps will work for this bracket. I should look for both a 5Ē and 7Ē reflector (with plastic on the back) in order to give me options in terms of bulbs. Iíll also need a household to PC cord. Sound right?

Iíll need to check the bracket on my camera to see if the insulating paper and washers are there as you describe. Iíve never noticed. Iíve never removed the bracket so I hope these are in place. If not, I canít imagine it's hard to improvise something. (?)

Alec Ė Iíll be sure to read through the manual link you posted to give me some more background. It looks very helpful.

Brad
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Les



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

PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

click here:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Graflex-Graflite-Flash-Mount_W0QQitemZ120538789269QQcmdZViewItemQQptZFilm_Cameras?hash=item1c10abf595#ht_500wt_973

Here's the bracket and the paper. The paper goes between the two brackets. But now that I think of it, the standard bracket is screwed to wood, so I'm not really sure what the purpose of the paper is.

Here's a typical 5" reflector attached to an extension (an extension is the top half of a flash unit and allows you, via wires, to set off two bulbs at a time).

http://cgi.ebay.com/Graflex-Flash-Head-Reflector-Graflite-Extension-Unit_W0QQitemZ260561913275QQcmdZViewItemQQptZCamera_Flash_Accessories?hash=item3caab345bb#ht_500wt_973

Here's a mixed lot: If you want the 7" look for a reflector like the one on the right of the picture. the reflector in the back goes to the old style Graflex flash and won't fit a Graflite

http://cgi.ebay.com/Graflex-large-format-flash-accessories-as-shown_W0QQitemZ360240932518QQcmdZViewItemQQptZCamera_Lenses?hash=item53e00866a6#ht_1887wt_958
_________________
"In order to invent, you need a good imagination and a lot of junk" Thomas Edison
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
beeger



Joined: 04 Mar 2010
Posts: 5
Location: Minneapolis, MN

PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry, I need a little clarification. The info you are providing is very helpful, Iím just trying to digest everything.

So, I need one of these: http://cgi.ebay.com/Graflex-Graflite-Flash-Mount_W0QQitemZ120538789269QQcmdZViewItemQQptZFilm_Cameras?hash=item1c10abf595#ht_500wt_973

Ö to screw onto the bracket that is already attached to my camera Ė my bracket is exactly like the one in this picture:
http://cgi.ebay.com/GRAFLEX-4X5-CROWN-GRAPHIC-SPECIAL-122788_W0QQitemZ140386707753QQcmdZViewItemQQptZFilm_Cameras?hash=item20afb32929#ht_3680wt_780

Am I correct? If so, that clears something up for me Ö I didnít realize that was a bracket-on-bracket situation required here. To further this thought, I would then need two standard clamps like this (granted probably not in black): http://cgi.ebay.com/Pair-Graflex-Graflite-Flash-Mounting-Brackets-Black_W0QQitemZ280471613120QQcmdZViewItemQQptZCamera_Flash_Accessories?hash=item414d692ec0#ht_500wt_973

Ö to attach the Graflex Graflite ďbodyĒ (battery chamber) to the camera.

Am I following you correctly?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Les



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

PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep. 100% correct.

Now careful shopping might get you the bracket, the rings and the flash in one auction. Do a search on ebay for "Graflite flash" or "Graflex flash" and you'll see some flashes without rings (the pair of brackets that attach to the Graflite bracket. )
_________________
"In order to invent, you need a good imagination and a lot of junk" Thomas Edison
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
beeger



Joined: 04 Mar 2010
Posts: 5
Location: Minneapolis, MN

PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 9:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great. Thanks again. Ebay here I come.

Just to be clear: I shoudl only look at unit with reflectors that have black plastic on the back, correct? The ones without the black plastic (all metal) are not compatible.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Les



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

PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep
_________________
"In order to invent, you need a good imagination and a lot of junk" Thomas Edison
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Graflex.org Forum Index -> Flash Help All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group