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  1. #1
    Truzi's Avatar
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    Old cubes and bulbs

    My maternal grandmother died a few years ago, and the family is still cleaning out the house (don't ask). Although I thought I had all the photographic equipment in the house, I recently found more that has sat for several decades. My grandfather was the family photographer, and he'd not used any of this since he purchased his (now my) Sears KS-2 in the early 1980s.

    I found the body cap for the KS-2, the box for a flash he had in the camera bag, and what I think is a box of projector lamps. Most of what I found are flash cubes. There is a full display box of GE Magic Cubes my aunt had purchased from the company store (she'd worked for GE) and a lot of loose magic cubes. I have used flash cubes and bars when I was a kid. These will be nice for the Instamatics I'm trying to resurrect (though I bought an electronic flash for those).

    The interesting thing I found was a Canon J-3 Flash Unit. It takes both AG and PH bulbs; cold shoe with PC cord. Again, it's not that I need this (I've an electronic flash with PC sync), but I just have to try it out sometime - probably on my Ikon Contessa and Voigtlander Vitessa.

    These are before my time, though when I was very young I remember a few family members using old cameras with bulbs. If I know that side of the family, there are some bulbs stashed away somewhere.
    Is there a preference between AG and PH bulbs? Any general advice?
    Truzi

  2. #2

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    I'm not entirely sure of your final question. You seem to be asking the deal between AG-1 or 1B (blue) bulbs and the number 6. Obviously, size and power. As I recall the 6 and 26 were focal plane shutter bulbs, and the AG-1 typically was used in the small cameras and the Polaroid Swinger, as an ordinary M sync setup. There's little other I can think to say about the 2 without expounding just to sound off with my brilliance and vast photographic knowledge. (where on here is a smiley symbol of a smiley choking?)

  3. #3
    Truzi's Avatar
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    I'm not sure if this link will help:
    Canon J-3

    It's a curiosity to me, not essential, but I will use it with 35mm cameras. Since I've never used actual flash bulbs, I'm just looking for a little advice.
    Truzi

  4. #4

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    Flashbulbs do BEAUTIFUL work. The pictures have a depth and brilliance, (and color, if a B bulb). The difference between them and electronic flash is as profound difference between a Technicolor movie, and a videotape. There's guide numbers and equations that can be easily found to arrive at proper camera settings, that takes the trial-and-error out it from your first try. Use them frugally, as you can't just walk into the drugstore and pick up a dozen like you used to. I used to buy them with my grocery store bagboy money back in the early 70's. Didn't get my first electronic flash till Dec 72. I thought it made color flat in comparison. (it actually does). And I'll contend to this day that electronic flash is the cause of more reciprocity problems than most people never consider. It's a flat look. I never liked it.

  5. #5
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    Truzi,

    Since you have so many, you have got to try this little prank.

    Crack one of the Magicubes open, gently pry the little bulbs out, and toss them up in the air one by one.

    "Some" will flash on impact.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Burk View Post
    Truzi,

    Since you have so many, you have got to try this little prank.

    Crack one of the Magicubes open, gently pry the little bulbs out, and toss them up in the air one by one.

    "Some" will flash on impact.
    Heresy. Each one should be treasured and used to its full potential. Go to the Family Dollar and buy some snap caps or even butane lighters and throw them down if you want a thrill. Not flashbulbs.

  7. #7
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    For anyone else, true, but for Truzi, who has a full case plus some loose ones... It can't hurt to have a little fun.

    I actually used to carry a few of these backpacking, with the idea that the individual bulb could be fired off if I wanted to get a flash picture, and I wouldn't have to carry the weight of a flashgun or batteries for it.

    I later adapted a flashlight to fire AG-1B bulbs. Which I used to take pictures of bears trying to get our food in Kings Canyon. Too bad I didn't have film in the camera.

    That night was a lot of fun, and it's all just memories now with no proof. Except those bears' childrens' childrens' children have probably heard the story a thousand times.

  8. #8

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    OK. the situation is settled. Truzi is to send the box to me and I'll see to its proper utilization. I'll gladly return them if desired in a slightly used condition, with great appreciation and regard.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Truzi View Post
    My maternal grandmother died a few years ago, and the family is still cleaning out the house (don't ask).
    Take the negatives if they are any!

    Bulbs: I used it with Polaroid and some other old cameras, they are beautiful and strong. Much stronger than small build in flashes that i used, so people were surprised and complained that I will blind them

  10. #10

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    You could probably use either bulb, depending on what you find. The PH bulb probably has a little more light output than the AG.
    Bulbs with "B" in their name have a blue coloring for use with daylight balanced color film.
    I've never heard of AG bulbs, only AG1's but based on your link and the picture of the top of the flash, an AG1 should work.

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