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  1. #11
    lxdude's Avatar
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    Another important factor regarding the quality of light is the reflector shape and size.

    Most portable electronic flashes cast light that is highly directional, designed for maximum throw. The reflector size is smaller than flashbulb reflectors, and is rectangular rather than round, giving a "shaped" throw and a sharper more point-source effect. Light is projected outward with less bounce within the reflector and less diffusion.

    The round flashbulb reflectors are larger for the amount of light put out, are usually deeper and are curved differently.They create a larger light source to begin with, which gives a nicer look. The full conical shape of the light coming from a bulb reflector means there is more reflected fill from below and above if surfaces are reflective (if there's enough distance to allow reflected light to hit the subject). Flashbulbs put out enough light to give reach yet provide a softer light with more gradual edge cutoff, especially true with bulbs that mount with their tops pointing toward the subject. It is a treat to look at old news photos and see the different quality of the light, including daylight fill.

    That's why the (discontinued) Sunpak 120J is in such demand. It mimics a flashbulb setup with a large round pebble-grain-finish reflector and a round bare "bulb" in the center. It's a nice unit, with the reflector movable forward and back for regular or wide angle coverage plus bounce and swivel, and multiple power settings enable a longer flash duration. It's the closest I've seen to a flashbulb setup, nicer than most diffusers or bounce reflectors, IMO.
    Last edited by lxdude; 03-24-2014 at 01:31 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    I do use a digital device in my photographic pursuits when necessary.
    When someone rags on me for using film, I use a middle digit, upraised.

  2. #12
    Ken Nadvornick's Avatar
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    Very good points. I use one of those standard 5-inch reflectors with the Press 25s. That's huge compared to an electronic unit.

    I also have a very nice sample of one of those 7-inch reflectors and a box of full-sized General Electric #22 bulbs. But I don't use those as often as they are just too powerful for anything reasonably close. A pair of them might work well for Grand Coulee Dam, though...

    Ken
    "They are the proof that something was there and no longer is. Like a stain. And the stillness of them is boggling. You can turn away but when you come back they’ll still be there looking at you."

    — Diane Arbus, March 15, 1971, in response to a request for a brief statement about photographs

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Nadvornick View Post
    Very good points. I use one of those standard 5-inch reflectors with the Press 25s. That's huge compared to an electronic unit.

    I also have a very nice sample of one of those 7-inch reflectors and a box of full-sized General Electric #22 bulbs. But I don't use those as often as they are just too powerful for anything reasonably close. A pair of them might work well for Grand Coulee Dam, though...

    Ken
    I have 2 cases of #22 bulbs, they work great in a 7" reflector with Arista Ortho Litho film when shooting at 6-12 ASA

  4. #14

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    To answer the original question, some of the older GE bulbs had a number stamped in ink on the metal base, either a "5" or "6". Also, Westinghouse made #5 bulbs that looked like the GE #5.
    Dave

    "She's always out making pictures, She's always out making scenes.
    She's always out the window, When it comes to making Dreams.

    It's all mixed up, It's all mixed up, It's all mixed up."

    From It's All Mixed Up by The Cars

  5. #15
    StoneNYC's Avatar
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    New flashbulb shipment, unexpected find.

    If they made "reusable" flash bulbs I would consider them, but piles of bulbs and waste it's too much to juggle without making it not as fun... Lol.

    Still I have a bunch of them, but no flash unit device to fire them...
    ~Stone | "...of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong." ~Dennis Miller

  6. #16
    lxdude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StoneNYC View Post
    If they made "reusable" flash bulbs I would consider them, but piles of bulbs and waste it's too much to juggle without making it not as fun... Lol.

    Still I have a bunch of them, but no flash unit device to fire them...
    Juggle, indeed... ejecting a hot flashbulb into your hand so you can quickly load the next will teach you something about juggling...
    Sticking it in a pants pocket usually isn't the greatest idea, BTW...


    I'm sure somebody will buy the ones you have if you want to get rid of them. And for a "reusable", you might really like the Sunpak 120J. They give a nice result from what I've seen. I don't use flash much or I'd get one. You can even get replacement flash tubes from B+H for about $25, in case you break one or manage to wear it out. Or there's the Quantum Qflash- still made, I believe, unlike the Sunpak- both are priced pretty reasonably used.
    I do use a digital device in my photographic pursuits when necessary.
    When someone rags on me for using film, I use a middle digit, upraised.

  7. #17
    StoneNYC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lxdude View Post
    Juggle, indeed... ejecting a hot flashbulb into your hand so you can quickly load the next will teach you something about juggling...
    Sticking it in a pants pocket usually isn't the greatest idea, BTW...


    I'm sure somebody will buy the ones you have if you want to get rid of them. And for a "reusable", you might really like the Sunpak 120J. They give a nice result from what I've seen. I don't use flash much or I'd get one. You can even get replacement flash tubes from B+H for about $25, in case you break one or manage to wear it out. Or there's the Quantum Qflash- still made, I believe, unlike the Sunpak- both are priced pretty reasonably used.
    Thanks,

    I generally use studio strobes and I'm very happy with them.

    Thanks though. I'll play with them someday...
    ~Stone | "...of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong." ~Dennis Miller

  8. #18
    Whiteymorange's Avatar
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    We just unpacked a large supply of old bulbs from a donor. Some are pretty big
    Click image for larger version. 

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  9. #19
    StoneNYC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whiteymorange View Post
    We just unpacked a large supply of old bulbs from a donor. Some are pretty big
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Whitey is that you??? Where's your beard??

    And OMG that's huge! That would be great for wet plate action photography! Haha
    ~Stone | "...of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong." ~Dennis Miller

  10. #20
    Whiteymorange's Avatar
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    Nope. Not me. Another gear-head working at the warehouse. One of the other guys made this display of the variety shown in flashbulbs we found in that one box.
    Click image for larger version. 

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