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  1. #1
    hoffy's Avatar
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    When were re-usable portable flashes introduced?

    Having another ‘bored’ moment at work today…..

    When were re-usable portable flashes introduced?

    Lets assume that it was before the mid 60’s. Lets also assume that it is indeed 1965. I have just purchased a brand new Koni-Omega Rapid and have decided that its finally time to ditch my bulbs. What flash would have I more then likely purchased with my Koni?

    Cheers

  2. #2

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    I guess it's a honeywell strobonar

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    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

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    When?

    See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stroboflash

    I can remember using a Stroboflash II in high school in 1956.


    My own flash at that time was a Heiland Strobonar Electronic Flash 62-A

  5. #5
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    Stroboflash existed in the 1950's. I shot with used one around 1965, that had been donated to our high school by a pro after he surplused it.


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    I was working with a photographer in the late 1970s who had an old (at that time) Metz 202 as well as a then current Metz 402.

    I would bet that the 202 would have been current in the 1960s.

    My original Vivitar 273? was purchased by me in or about 1974. It certainly wasn't the first common electronic flash.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  7. #7
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    I have Braun Hobby EF300 that looks well thought out. It dates to 1968 in its manufacturing marks inside the case.

    The coiled rubber cord fell to flakes when I tried to extend it after it was gifted to me, unused for about 25 years, after a few decades of being well used.

    It certainly does not look like a prototype or even a second generation unit. So I would easily put 'battery powered condensor based' units to the early 60's. Not that they were mass market. They had to put out a big whomp to be useful and supplant the light output of flashbulbs of the day. An M2 or M3 is a lot of light in a small package.

    The best resource to answer the question would likely be the adverts section in the front of the older BJP annuals.

    You certainly know you are using this thing after the pack hangs on your shoulder for a while. But you do get a guide number of 60 in metres, or 30 at half power, and an option for wide or narrow beam spread.

    My EF300 still works well after replacing the pack to head lead, and sourcing a replacement for the oem 2 of 4V each wet cell batteries. (I went with Hawker Cyclon 2V 5Ah AGM lead acid cells, and built a case under the original pack to house them).

    Yes, I carefully allowed the capacitor to reform on reduced voltage for quite awhile before trying to discharge it.

    I still use this pack for theatre show shots, during dress rehearsals with the head mounted on a light stand, as one of the usually 4 flashes I use to light the stage.
    I have fitted it with a newer battery bank - 2 6V 10AH and 2 2V 6 Ah. Heavy- but it keeps the stand stable when hung as a sandbag substitute.

    The thing fires over 160 shots in a night on full power, and still recycles in under 8 seconds by the end of the night. I fire it by a Wein strobe through. The other three run off Cactus radio strobes, but the EF300 has a synch voltage approaching 600V on full power.
    my real name, imagine that.

  8. #8
    DWThomas's Avatar
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    A high school classmate put one together from a purchased kit circa 1957 or so. It involved a shoulder bag like case and used batteries rather serious in both voltage and price as I remember it; a capacitor or two the size of beer cans (well maybe not quite!)

    I'm thinking I bought a little Honeywell unit around the mid-sixties. Having semiconductors that could handle enough juice to drive an inverter allowed getting away from the bazillion cell high voltage batteries.

  9. #9
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    Some good info there guys! I always thought that electronic flashes were sealed units. I never realised that the likes of the Stroboflash were open.

    I am thinking of trying to locate something that is period correct for my Koni-Omega (this is instead of trying to find and use a Crown/Speed Graphic kit, which will have to wait for another day). Full fowarding to today, what of these vintage flashes would be the easiest to use, mainly in relation to batteries and the like?

    Cheers

  10. #10

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    Prof_Pixel, thank you for that link for the flash, that is the exact outfit the guy who mentored me had when I started really taking pictures in High School for our year book. I got the same flash outfit attached to my Yashica 124G that the school had. I had to have never been used at all when I got it. Although it may have been a few years old, I think I was the first to use it. With ASA 400 film and that strobe, I recall coming up the usable B&W photos half the length of our football field. Wow the memories that is bringing back. Thank you so much!!!

    Bob E.
    Nikon F5, Nikon F4S, Nikon FA, Nikon FE, Nikon N90, Nikon N80, Nikon N75, Mamiya 645 Pro, Mamiya Press Super 23, Yashica Lynx 14e, Yashica Electro GSN, Yashica 124G, Yashica D

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