Using a PC flash with a Kodak Signet 50

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Cholentpot, Jun 11, 2017.

  1. Cholentpot

    Cholentpot Member

    Messages:
    1,478
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2015
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Is there a way to use a PC sync cable flash with a Kodak Signet 50? I'd like to get some indoor shots at night with the old girl but I can't make heads or tails how to connect a semi-modern flash to the machine.
     
  2. shutterfinger

    shutterfinger Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,335
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2013
    Location:
    San Francisco Peninsul
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
  3. OP
    OP
    Cholentpot

    Cholentpot Member

    Messages:
    1,478
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2015
    Shooter:
    35mm
  4. shutterfinger

    shutterfinger Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,335
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2013
    Location:
    San Francisco Peninsul
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    It appears to me that the easiest is to buy one of the Kodalite flash off ebay http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_fro...0.A0.H0.Xkodalite.TRS0&_nkw=kodalite&_sacat=0
    EDIT connect to the wires coming from the camera socket, you need to know how to do electronics soldering. Opening one of these flash will show the wiring to the contacts/ mounts on the camera. One contact will be to the center contact of the flash bulb socket and the other to the outer base of the bulb which may or may not be connected to the camera frame/shutter case. If the shutter has a slow enough speed you might be able to find which contacts on the camera fire the flash with an ohm meter. B & T work best for this as the contact is so quick at 1/10 second and faster the meter will not have time to respond.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2017
  5. OP
    OP
    Cholentpot

    Cholentpot Member

    Messages:
    1,478
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2015
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Thanks! I'll keep an eye out for one of those. I may have one squirreled away.
     
  6. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

    Messages:
    7,644
    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Is there a switch to change from M to X?
     
  7. OP
    OP
    Cholentpot

    Cholentpot Member

    Messages:
    1,478
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2015
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Nope.
     
  8. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

    Messages:
    7,644
    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Well then... you may find yourself in a situation where you can "McGuyver" the wiring but can't get the proper synch for a electronic strobe. Suggest you make sure your shutter supports X before you invest too much more time in this.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    Cholentpot

    Cholentpot Member

    Messages:
    1,478
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2015
    Shooter:
    35mm
    This means flash will be too early or late? I have a bag full of bulbs and flash units with PC cables. Bulbs are coming back in didn't you know?
     
  10. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

    Messages:
    7,644
    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Too early. But whether too early or too late it really doesn't matter much. The strobe will ignite and extinguish at the wrong time relative to the shutter.

    For me it's not a matter of flash bulbs coming back into favor... I never stopped using them with older cameras. My first thought when I saw your post was, "Bulbs are coming back in didn't you know?" :smile:
     
  11. AgX

    AgX Member

    Messages:
    15,680
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2007
    Location:
    Germany
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The manual clearly states that the shutter is fit to be used with an electronic flash. (It thus works with a bulb flash too, but with reduced effectivity cared for in the aperture settings given in bulbs manuals.)
     
  12. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

    Messages:
    7,644
    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Interesting. I did not see that in the manual, but I just skimmed it. (I was reading on my phone so it was very tiny.) I saw the discussion of M synch and bulbs. I'd sure like to know how that works. That makes perfect sense to me. But using electronic flash/strobe with M synch does not. X and M are (about) 20 milliseconds apart. Do you have any insights?
     
  13. OP
    OP
    Cholentpot

    Cholentpot Member

    Messages:
    1,478
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2015
    Shooter:
    35mm
    'cept the bulb batteries cost in around $25 these days...unless you know where to find them cheaper eh?
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

    Messages:
    7,644
    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    So you are correct (as expected)

    That manual would imply that there is a X-M switch. Some of the other Kodak Synchro shutters had that crazy Kodak bayonet fitting but this shutter does not appear to have one. So I have no idea what the story is... either there is some sort of "Kodak magic" going on where it doesn't matter whether the synch is X or M or there is some sort of optional auxiliary attachment to allow connecting to a strobe or there is a typo in the manual. Very confusing to me...
     
  16. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

    Messages:
    7,644
    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    That is, indeed, a problem. I retired my SuperGraphic for the same reason. I've never found a less expensive price and found that just because some places list them on their catalogue does not mean that they really have them for sale.
     
  17. AgX

    AgX Member

    Messages:
    15,680
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2007
    Location:
    Germany
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    No. Many cameras only have X-synchronisation but nevertheless the camera manual advises also the use of bulbs. In that case the bulb manual has to be considered for the appropriate aperture and shutter speed to be used.

    The great majority of my cameras works this way.
     
  18. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

    Messages:
    7,644
    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Interesting. In the 1950s I suppose it would be fairly commonplace to discuss bulbs in detail and only have a minor mention of electronic strobe. Now that you mention it I have seen that. But also have seen a clear method to select X versus M synch.

    I guess where its not making sense to me is how, from an engineering perspective, a shutter can synch both X and M through the same port without a switch... or two ports. Or, how they can synch a flash bulb using X. Is that what is being stated (or implied) about this shutter/camera? None of my cameras can do that.
     
  19. 1L6E6VHF

    1L6E6VHF Member

    Messages:
    142
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2014
    Location:
    Monroe, MI
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Looking at the table in the instruction book, it uses X synchronization at all speeds.

    This was something of a handicap in its day, as the overwhelming majority of people using a Signet 50 would be using bulb flash. With bulb flash, one would be limited to the 1/30 s speed (at faster speeds, the flashbulb would provide good luminosity only after the shutter closed).

    Some other cameras (I think my Argus A-four is one, though I'm not sure) had a better system (for that day) - It had M sync for 1/200, 1/100 and 1/50, but X synchronization at 1/25. X at 1/25 both allowed electronic flash and getting all of the light from the flashbulb, whilst the M sync at higher speeds allowed bulb flash of action scenes with some control of motion blur (one could use Tri-X at 1/200 and a #25 to get a sharp picture at a basketball game).

    Am I the only one who thinks it is odd that they mention that the Signet 50 syncs electronic flash at all speeds, while making no mention how to attach an electronic flash to the camera?
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2017
  20. AgX

    AgX Member

    Messages:
    15,680
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2007
    Location:
    Germany
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    All X-contact cameras can do this. In this case one needs long enough exposure times to get most of the radiation still on ther film.
    With AGB bulbs for instance the highest guide number typically stated on the box is just for that X-synchronisation (and 1/30sec).

    Some compact cameras automatically set their leaf shutter at 1/30 once any flash is inserted into the hot-shoe, to enable using bulb flashes too.
     
  21. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

    Messages:
    7,644
    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    This makes complete sense. That would account for the diff between o millisecond and 20 millisecond delay. That occurred to me but seemed too draconian a solution/limitation for even the 1950's.

    ... and, yes, I found it completely odd (but maybe it is appropriate for the era and the class of camera).
     
  22. OP
    OP
    Cholentpot

    Cholentpot Member

    Messages:
    1,478
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2015
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Any clue how many bulbs those rectangle batteries are good for?
     
  23. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

    Messages:
    7,644
    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Nope. But I suspect lots and lots.
     
  24. Prof_Pixel

    Prof_Pixel Member

    Messages:
    1,831
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2012
    Location:
    Penfield, NY
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Yup.

    The manual says on the back page: "FLASH - Built-in synchronization, use No. 5 or 25, and M-2 Lamps at 1/30 second. Electronic flash (X-synchronized) at all shutter speeds.”
     
  25. shutterfinger

    shutterfinger Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,335
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2013
    Location:
    San Francisco Peninsul
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Being the Kodalite flash uses batteries I would disassemble it and connect the PC cord to the wires coming from the camera socket for electronic flash. Battery power for a flash bulb would likely damage an electronic flash which only needs a set of contacts connected to fire.
    Post 4 edited to reflect this also.
     
  26. OP
    OP
    Cholentpot

    Cholentpot Member

    Messages:
    1,478
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2015
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I know how to solder, I think all the lead may have fried some cells. This sounds a little easier. Just find the leads inside the flash before they go to the battery and capacitor and solder the sacrificed PC cable to those leads. I'd tape 'em in place first I guess, there's a 50/50 chance I'd get it on the first shot.