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X synch in Kodak Tourist II?

David Beal - Richmond Hts. OH , Sep 24, 2005; 01:02 p.m.

I've come into possession of a Kodak Tourist II which produces 6x9 negatives on 620 film. Although is has only a triplet lens, it produces sharp exposures (on 120 which I've re-spooled) in bright sun when stopped down (the shutter can go down to f32).

There is an ASA post on the shutter, and I have seen flashbulb units which were made for this camera. Does anyone know whether -- given that the Tourist IIs were made in the mid 1950s -- they were X synched at lower speeds? I haven't found any literature on this point.

If need be, I have the plans to build a synch delay unit; but I'd like to save the aggravation.

And yes, I know I could simply blow through a roll of film with a flash connected, and see what I get; but I'm one of the world's cheapest human beings.

Your comments are appreciated.

/s/ David Beal ** Memories Preserved Photography, LLC

Responses

J.Ed Baker , Sep 24, 2005; 01:38 p.m.

I don't believe these will X-sync. See the attached pages from the manual.


Attachment: TouristII22-23.jpg

W J Gibson , Sep 24, 2005; 02:31 p.m.

The only bit of information I can offer is that one key difference between flash bulb synchronization (M) and electronic flash synchronization (X) is that there is a slight delay with M, simply because the bulb takes a moment to heat up and explode. Electronic flash is essentially something like 1/2000th of a second.

I have several cameras that have both M and X synchronization, a Yashica D TLR is one example.

With leaf shutter cameras, you can synch at just about any shutter speed. With SLRs like say a Nikon FM it would be 1/125th or slower. Which of course opens the huge how to figure out flash exposure can-of-worms, at which I will mercifully fall silent and wish you good luck.

I hope that this is of some small help.

Charles Stobbs , Sep 24, 2005; 03:51 p.m.

I have a Retina S1, made in the same era and the manual implies that flash cubes, flash bulbs, and electronic flash fired via the hot shoe may be used at any speed while other bulbs should not be used with shutter speeds over 1/25 sec. I take this to mean that bulbs like the SM and SF are essentially zero delay like electronic flash and all may be used interchangeably. I have never tried any flash with the Retina so I have no practical experience. Its manual is available for download from the classic camera repair forum website so you might read it to see if you draw the same conclusion. Good luck

Dan Fromm , Sep 24, 2005; 05:54 p.m.

You have the answer in your hands. Ask the camera and the flash of your choice.

To do this, hook 'em up and set the flash, pointing at a wall, on a convenient support. Open the back of the camera, open the aperture wide, pick a shutter speed. Point the camera at the wall. Fire the shutter. If you see the wall through the lens, you have X sync. If you see the back of the shutter, you don't. Try the exercise with all of the shutter's speeds. And then you'll know.

Walter Degroot , Sep 24, 2005; 09:11 p.m.

especially try " synch" with 1/30 or 1/25th and see if the flash is visible. while looking thru the lens from the rear.

since bulbs are rare you might consider having the shutter reset to x synch.

Donald Qualls , Sep 25, 2005; 06:15 p.m.

Most likely that Tourist II is M only. I have a similar vintage Reflex II that has X with a settable M delay, but the default for leaf shutters before 1960 was M (and a lot of them still had M even after 1960). If you don't see any place to change it (or a delay, which will look and act like a slightly broken self-timer), it's M.

Unless, of course, some previous owner has had it modified (or done it himself) to X synch by bending the contact(s).

Best to test, as suggested above, to see if your strobe is visible in the lens. Open the aperture to maximum, set to the highest shutter speed, hook up the flash (through a suitable adapter -- there's a seller on eBay who seems to have a bunch of them for $20 each), and see if the flash is visible through the lens, and if so, if you see the full aperture or a smaller opening.

BTW, it works the other way than X synch at lower speeds -- the reason leaf shutters changed to X around 1960 was because you could still use the smaller M2, M3 and AG-1 bulbs with X synch at slow shutter speeds, because at (say) 1/15, the shutter would remain open long enough after firing the flash at the first moment of full opening, to catch the useful part of the bulb's light curve, and the shortness of the bulb's burn time (typically about 1/40) would still prevent most motion blur (though it was a common problem to see movement in background lights even though the main subject was sharp).

ty mckenzie , Sep 25, 2005; 06:19 p.m.

i have this camera, but they were combined with different shutters in there years of production.. i've have a 800 supermatic shutter which x syncs at all speeds. it needed some work because it wouldn't work with modern flashes. but with a little fine tuning it works like a charm.

Terence Spross , Oct 03, 2005; 11:24 p.m.

wj gibson: With leaf shutter cameras, you can synch at just about any shutter speed. With SLRs like say a Nikon FM it would be 1/125th or slower. Dan Fromm: You have the answer in your hands. Ask the camera and the flash of your choice. To do this, hook 'em up and set the flash, pointing at a wall, on a convenient support. Open the back of the camera, open the aperture wide, pick a shutter speed. Point the camera at the wall. Fire the shutter. If you see the wall through the lens, you have X sync. If you see the back of the shutter, you don't. ------ I think I'd better elaborate with these answers: The old bulb sync would close the contacts before the leaf shutter is all the way open. So looking at a wall thru the camera with the aperature wide open, you would see the shutter blades partway open when the elctronic flash went off. Using the camera this way with an electronic flash means that the lens is stopped down by the shutter effectively assuming the aperture is wide open and less than expected light will reach the film i.e. underexposure. However, if the aperature is closed down the shuttter blades may be open somewhat more than the aperature and won't make any difference when the flash reaches full brightness.i.e. normal exposure So the results you get depend on how close you are to the subject as that results in a particular f-stop setting. With focal plane shutters (such as Nikon )the effect is completly different: Some older SLRs have connectors for both (or a switch for both) flashbulbs and X-sync. Using the FB sync with electronic flash results in the contact closing before the first curtain traverses and opens all the way resulting in proper exposure for only part of the frame. The rest of the frame doens't see the flash and will be exposed only by ambient light. (You can tell right away when looking at the print weather the shutter is vertical or horizontal traveling!) ------- Some years ago I saw a gadget that could be inseted between any shutter synced for bulb and an electronic flash. The gadget provided about a 1/40 second delay before the contacts for the flash closed resulting in proper sync. Does anybody know where to get a delay unit now? or a brand-name?

dan Mar , Oct 25, 2008; 05:56 a.m.

i am actually considering building one , i am an engineering student and think something could be built... unless i can find the thing your talking about..lol.. im surprised that the first electronic flashes did not come with some sort of setting fo they could compensate for something like this , so they can be used on most of the cameras of the time

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