Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2000/04/27

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Subject: Re: [Leica] BULBS!
From: John Collier <>
Date: Thu, 27 Apr 2000 12:35:49 -0600

Well it is only a fair idea as you have to have an earlier camera to make it
work. The bulbs need time to "warm up" and thus have to be triggered in
advance of the actual exposure. You can use them on late M4-P and M6 cameras
at 1/30 but this hardly helps the fill flash situation. All the earlier
cameras have an M sync terminal that fires off the flash before the first
curtain starts to expose the film and they can use the FP bulbs up to 1/500.
Leica made several flash guns that are well made and cheap. Finally do not
forget to bone up on the old flash guide number system to work out your

John Collier

> From: "M.E.Berube - GoodPhotos" <>
> I hadn't thought of bulbs for fill flash! This would be MUCH easier than
> waiting for Leica to change the shutter or invent a leaf lens! (and be far
> more likely to happen.) I once rigged an Army 4X5 SpeedGraphic for use with
> a Metz 45CT1 (just for fun, it was surplus that everyone had neglected for
> 30+ years...but still worked great!) I never thought of reversing the
> process for a modern camera with bulbs.
> Thank you for this idea John! know of places online (or
> elsewhere) that an interested party might find more information on how to
> achieve this in practice? I assume one would need a Blub holder. I think I
> actually have Kodak holder for a retina somewhere that I might rig with a
> new synch cord if it's that easy. Will bulbs work with the X synch or hot
> shoe or do I need to have the older M setting/synch port on the body? (ala
> M3) What Bulbs would be best and are they still available? Any info would
> be most gratefully accepted.
> Carpe Lumen,
> Michael E. Berube
> At 11:50 PM 4/26/00 -0600, John Collier illumined us with:
>> Any speeds higher than 1/50 require
>> the second curtain to be released before the first curtain is fully open and
>> thus not allowing the very brief duration of electronic flash to expose the
>> full width of the film. You could use flash bulbs of which certain types
>> allow a sync speed of up to 1/500 as their burn duration is quite long by
>> electronic standards. Another technique is to place the subject in a part of
>> image that will be exposed by the flash at higher speeds. Almost half of the
>> negative is uncovered at 1/125. Naturally this technique would only lend
>> itself to certain types of fill flash use.
>> John Collier