I came across some old flashbulbs that were given to me and I had a couple of questions.
1. I know the clear bulbs are for B&W or color with a filter and the blue ones are for color film. However the majority of my bulbs seem to be of the amber variety. I'm guessing that they may be for tungsten film, am I right?
2. I have a box of tiny AG1 bulbs. What would those have been used in?
Thanks for any help. The flashbulbs predate me by a few years so I'm not familiar with them. However, the reaction is always good when people see me using them with my Graflex!
Amber coating on a flash bulb is a new one to me. They may have been once coated coat with clear plastic (to protect against a bursting glass envelope) and have yellowed with time to give you the current hue.
Don't disrespect the ag-1's. They pack as much light output as the M2's and M25's, just in a smaller package. They had multi-grip flash holders the could take M-25, m-2, m-3 as well as the little ag-1's. There were also ag-1 specific flash holders, that usually had a 2" reflector.
The AG-1s were used in Kodak point and shoot 127 format brownies from the mid 1960's.
I'm going to stick my neck out and try to remember from years ago. It seems to me that there were some odd-colored flashbulbs from time-to-time. I seem to remember red for use with IR film and, yes, I think it likely that orange is for use with one of the varieties of tungsten film (A or B). Maybe I should go and look in some of my old books?
Try this link: http://www.flashbulbs.com/bulb_price.htm I looked around on the web and these people list a 25R (red) like I remembered and there is a bulb listed for use with tungsten film, but it does not state the color of the bulb. I'm willing to think that it would be amber.
I have seen some of these amber colored bulbs. Any colored flashbulb can be used with black and white film. For color film applications, blue colored bulbs were designed to give a daylight balance, or you could use a clear bulb and a #80C filter over the lens.
Kodachrome type A was for use with Photofloods. There was a color conversion filter for using Type A Kodachrome in daylight and this filter was a pinkish amber color. I think that it is a good guess that these amber bulbs were probably for use with tungsten balanced color film.
I dug through them and found an old box and it is labeled type 25C. Which is "color balanced for indoor color film". I assume that means that using them for color film is out then.
I also noticed that I have some FP bulbs which I know are for the Graflex with a focal plane shutter. Can those be used with a regular shutter or am I better off trying to trade those for regular bulbs?
I am amazed at how much light they put off. I got a couple bigger ones and I'm afraid to even try those!
Thanks for all of the help!
>...Can those be used with a regular shutter or am I better off trying to trade those for regular bulbs?
Well, those are bulbs with a different timing for the peak light output than class M bulbs. At really slow shutter speeds, it might work. I have seen diagrams, as in the old Kodak manuals, that showed the overlap of types and shutter capabilities. FP, or Fast Peak, or Focal Plane, were designed to flash in a hurry while both shutter curtains were open. Class M had a modest delay to give the shutter time to open fully, during the peak of the output. Put another way, the bulb timing allowed for the ballistics of mechanical delays built into the BtL shutters.
It might work if you have an F sync on your BtL shutter, too. However, most of the time nowadays, an F is the setting on the lens that disables the built-in shutter and allows it to be used on an FP body. When I was a kid, I remember experimenting with the FP bulbs and the X sync on my camera. It worked, to a degree. Most of the time, one gets insufficient light because the timing is wrong.
Although I grew up with this stuff and had to learn it years ago, it is now (fortunately) a matter of historical interest.