View Full Version : 8x10 beginner problems needing help here!

12-22-2009, 10:34 AM
so today my grover 8x10 rolled in and i decided to give it a test run and boy is that large ground glass impressive- been shooting 4x5 for a while now so i know my way around largeformat-
ok to the problems-
I decided to shoot paper so loaded up and the lens i have is the commercial ektar 12 inch- which has a bipole so i made a cable for flash and looked through it and tripped the shutter- i could see that it was tripping the flash at a same time as the shutter but all my paper just came out blank-
it paper emulsion insensitive to electronic flash??
or is it my bipole x-sync make shift that's faulty?
would be glad to get any responses as it can be frustrating...ah

12-22-2009, 10:58 AM
Paper is pretty darned slow compared to film. I recall it is like ASA 4 or something. You would need a lot of flash power to make an exposure. I bet you just don't have enough light. An f/8 flash exposure at ASA 100 would need a exposure of about f/1.8 or 1.4 on paper (if my math is correct). I'm sure your Ektar is around f6.3 wide open . . .

You could try opening the shutter on B or T and then popping your flash several times. That might work for a static subject.

David A. Goldfarb
12-22-2009, 11:11 AM
Not sure about that particular shutter, but some Ilex shutters that would be used on a 12" Comm. Ektar have an adjustable delay for electronic flash or for bulbs of various types. If the sync setting says "M, X, Off" it should be on "X". If you've got a setting that says "Blue 20, White 5, Red 0" it should be on Red, and there may be a separate lever to cock for the flash sync. It sounds like your flash is synched properly, and it is probably the case that you just aren't exposing sufficiently for paper, as the previous poster says (figure exposure at ISO 2-6, and you could be getting high-speed reciprocity effects with flash, so maybe you need even more).

12-22-2009, 01:19 PM
thanks guys-
i thought about the reciprocity thing and blasted away- no luck-
well it happens the shutter hasnt got any of those delay settings, looks like the previous user removed the flash delay unit and closed that part up with a plate not sure though-
am going to bite the knife and try the flash exposures out with fomapan-
it 's going to be a night mare if that lens wont do flash sync.

ok this is weird as it gets, just developed a sheet of foma film and it's just blank- seriously i am confused-
when i trip the trigger i can see the flash is going off but dunno anymore

12-22-2009, 01:26 PM
Have you looked through the lens while firing the flash? In a half dark room it is very easy to tell if the flash is syncing to the shutter in real time: crank the shutter speed up near the fastest speed, hook up the flash, look into the back of the lens (or the groundglass with a darkcloth and without a holder) and fire away. If you don't see the flash, it is going off to early or (more likely) too late. You can try using a significantly slower shutter, or send the shutter off for repair.

Hope that helps.

John Jarosz
12-22-2009, 01:27 PM
just try an ambient light photo. Get that to work and then try a flash exposure.

I know you said you've done 4x5, but have you been removing the dark slide?


Jeff Searust
12-22-2009, 01:41 PM
yeah-- forget the flash here. I use paper in my 5x7 regularly, and the last image I took was indoor but fairly well lit, and I exposed for over a minute. Get the thing working fine on natural or hot light first. Another way to use flash is to open the shutter, set off the flash by hand and close the shutter-- forget syncing with the shutter.

12-22-2009, 02:36 PM
thanks again- and hooray-
i thought leaf shutters dont mind syncing speed but mine seems to bother it syncs at anything below 1/100(presumably a defaulty shutter)
but thanks alot for the support-
i ended up spoiling like 4 sheets just figuring out which of them will take.
had i read Tomf2468's suggestion it wouldnt have gone that far- but now i am a happy 8x10 user and wating for my first sucess neg to dry so i could pop that contact

12-22-2009, 04:36 PM
i thought leaf shutters dont mind syncing speed but mine seems to bother it syncs at anything below 1/100(presumably a defaulty shutter)

I think you're confusing sync speed with flash delay. A regular old flash bulb burns for eons compared to a xenox strobe. The delay was to give the flash bulb time to ignite before opening the shutter. For higher shutter speeds that's still fine for a flashbulb because the bulb is still burning, but a xenon stobe will have already extinguished by the time the shutter gets open if you don't use X sync.

If the lens only has one sync, and it's not X, then it's for flash bulbs, not electronic flash. A lot of the old Argus 35mm units do not have X sync - made for bulbs only, but they will work properly with an electronic flash if the shutter speed is slow.

I'd bet you'll find that that shutter is M-sync, but it does OK on the slower speed with an electronic unit.