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Century Graphic and modern electronic flash.

 
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rfrazier



Joined: 07 Mar 2009
Posts: 5
Location: Oxford, UK

PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2009 10:48 pm    Post subject: Century Graphic and modern electronic flash. Reply with quote

Well, relatively modern, a Vivitar 283.

Hello,

This is my first post.

I recently acquired my first Graflex camera, a Century Graphics with a Kodak Ektar 101mm lens, and Kodak Synchro-Rapid 800 shutter. The shutter has a place for a flash sync cable, with (I take to be) an ASA bayonet fitting. I thought about using my Vivitar 283 with it (with Vivitar grip).

I suppose that I could look around and find an ASA bayonet to PC adapter. My question is about something I read with relation to that shutter on a Kodak camera (Tourist). In the manual for this camera, it said the following about this shutter.

Quote:

This shutter is not made for use with electronic flash units which are flashed by means of heavy-duty relays or solenoids. Such units may completely destroy the shutter contacts.


I'm not familiar with how all older electronic flashes worked, but I know that the Vivitar has a rather high triggering voltage. Is this the sort of thing that is meant by "heavy-duty relay"? So, would it would be necessary to get one of those voltage reduction jobbies sometimes used on digital cameras when using old flash units?

Best wishes,
Bob
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sevo



Joined: 18 Oct 2008
Posts: 34
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Essentially, you have to be careful with old flashes and new equipment, as the 60-300V trigger circuits on directly fired electronic flashes will fry electronic cameras. The situation the Tourist leaflet warns against (hooking up a relay triggered flash without relay), would require one of the first generation (pre sixties) electronic (at that time usually grid powered) flash units - if you had such a rare item, you'd probably be more worried about the flash than the shutter, and would be familiar with all issues.

I.e. you can use any old or modern flash with a Graphic. But old electronic flashes should only be hooked up to electronically controlled cameras after crosschecking compatibility tables.

One thing to watch out though is the way old Graflex flashes are hooked up - solenoid connectors on flashes aren't used to trigger the flash, but rather emit power to trigger the camera via the solenoid. If you fix up a old flash with modern assumptions as to how flashes work, you could wire it up the wrong way and toast the shutter.

Sevo
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rfrazier



Joined: 07 Mar 2009
Posts: 5
Location: Oxford, UK

PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sevo, thanks very much for that.

Best wishes,
Bob
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alecj



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 853
Location: Alabama

PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 3:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not ALL of the Vivitar 283 flash units have high voltages. Do some research. The later ones are perfectly safe for this use.

I ran into that vis-a-vis my Leica M6TTL. Fortunately, I had a low voltage model 283. Don't give up yet.
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sevo



Joined: 18 Oct 2008
Posts: 34
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

alecj wrote:
Not ALL of the Vivitar 283 flash units have high voltages. Do some research. The later ones are perfectly safe for this use.


As far as use on a Graphic is concerned, any Vivitar flash is safe. Even the "dangerous" flashes from the sixties up into the mid eighties were designed to be safe for mechanical switch triggers. The thing they may be incompatible with are cameras with a electronic flash trigger circuit (i.e. just about anything from the AF and digital age).

Sevo
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rfrazier



Joined: 07 Mar 2009
Posts: 5
Location: Oxford, UK

PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guessed that the Vivitar would be okay with the shutter and they were on about something else in that manual. But, guesses go wrong, so I thought it prudent to check. And am grateful to have got so quick a reply. Thanks again.

Here's the camera.



It has a Singer RFH on the back at the moment. I've ordered a Grafmatic for it. So far, I've only shot one test roll to make sure of it (e.g., that exposures turned out as expected). I'm planning a trip at the beginning of next month, and this will be the camera I take, instead of my Pentax K10D digital (or Bronica ETRSi). The RFH for colour 120 film, and the Grafmatic for BW. So, before I take it on a trip, I'll have to shoot a few films to get more of a feel for it.

Best wishes,
Bob
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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1443
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 11:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've used the Vivitar 2800 (not the same critter as the 283, I know) on my Century, with Graphex full-synch shutters, no problem.
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alecj



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 853
Location: Alabama

PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2009 12:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fine looking camera, rfrazier. Brings back lots of memories of the one I used for many years.

Be on the lookout for the special left-hand grip they made for this camera. You won't believe how much easier it is to use for your off-tripod work.
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ahiongnet



Joined: 15 Apr 2009
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 2:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hi, rfrazier

I have a same lens and shutter as yours. I don't know how to open the shutter for ground glass focusing. There is no Press Focus button or others on this shutter. Do you have any suggest for that?
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Les



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

PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 4:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Either set the shutter to T or use a locking cable release and set the shutter to B.
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rfrazier



Joined: 07 Mar 2009
Posts: 5
Location: Oxford, UK

PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 9:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is no "T" setting on the shutter, so I have to set it to "B" and use a cable release. I just got back from a holiday, and took only the Century Graphics (leaving my DSLR behind). Fewer exposures, but better, I hope.

Best wishes,
Bob
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ahiongnet



Joined: 15 Apr 2009
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 1:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Les, rfrazier for quick reply. . Will practice more recently.
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