Flashbulbs and Flashgun Styles

10/31/2011 0 Comments A+ a-

In between the old-fashioned flash powder and the electronic flashes we use today, flashbulbs were what was used in photography to produce artificial light. These bulbs were used between the 1930's and 1960's. From the 60's-70's, the flash bulbs evolved into Flashcubes, Magicubes, and Flash Bars. The bulbs came in different sizes, and were available in either clear or blue shades. The clear bulbs were primarily used for black and white photography, and the blue was used for color daylight balanced film.

a bulb burning (towards the end of flash)

The bulbs produce light from a small explosion within it when the shutter is pressed. Bulbs tend to burn longer, brighter, and hotter than today's flashes. Because of their high light output, flashbulbs are still coveted by cave photographers today. Because of the heat generated from the bulb, they will most likely be hot to the touch after use, and will sometimes start to melt. Other things to keep in mind when shooting with flashbulbs is that you can only use them once, and you may need to use slower shutter speeds to ensure synchronization since the bulbs take longer to reach their full brightness.

used flashbulbs

In order to use a flashbulb, it must be fitted into a flashgun which is attached to the camera. Many different styles of flashguns were produced, all with some kind of camera synch, and a circular reflector behind the socket area. Below are a few of these styles... 

Nikon Rangefinder S2, w/ 50 F1.4 lens, bulb flash (flash attached by hot shoe)

Zeiss Contina IIA, w/ 45 F2.8 lens, Ikoblitz 0 flash
(flash attached via sync cord and mounted by shoe)

Beacon Two-Twenty Five (flash attached on top)

Canon Rangefinder VT De Luxe, w/ 50 F1.2 lens, flash Model V
(flash attached on side by screw lock)

Argus C3 (flash attached on side by "pins")

Leica S Selsy VIII Flash (attached by camera baseplate).

For more information on flashbulbs, check out these links:
* Camerapedia- Flashbulbs
* Flash Photography: An "Explosion" Of Light (info. from a U.S. Navy training manual)
* History of Flash and Ilford Flashguns
* Flashbulbs and Caving
* Digital Photography with Flashbulbs
* Flashbulbs Flickr Group
* Flashbulbs Repurposed for Wintery Decor

Sell Your Gear

10/28/2011 0 Comments A+ a-

KEH Camera wants to be your #1 source when it comes to selling your equipment. Now is a great time to start thinking about the upcoming holidays. Do you need to add something to your own camera bag, buy gifts for others, or maybe just unload a few items? We will buy your clean, used photographic equipment from you, or you can trade it in for other gear!

Most Wanted Items
Listed below are only a fraction of the "hot" items that we're paying TOP market prices for.

Canon D-SLRs: 1D Mark IV, 1DS Mark III, 5D Mark II, 50D, 60D, 7D, and Rebel T1i, T2i and T3i
Canon Point & Shoots: G11 and G12
Canon Flashes: 580 EX and 580 EX II
Canon Lenses: All L Series lenses

Nikon D-SLRs: D3X, D3S, D3000, D300S, D5100, D700 and D7000
Nikon Point & Shoots: P5100 and P6000
Nikon Flashes: SB 700, SB800, and SB900
Nikon Lenses: 10-24 G DX, 55-300 G VR DX, 16-35 F4 G VR, and 70-200 f2.8 VR II

Leica D-SLRs: M8.2, M9, and S2 kit complete with 70mm f2.5 lens
Leica Point & Shoots: X1, V-Lux 30, and V-Lux 2
Leica Lenses: All M series lenses

Also buying: Pentax, Olympus, Sony, and Panasonic digital systems. Don't forget to ask us about that film gear you have laying around also! We are still actively buying thousands of film-related items. Contact us to find out more information and get a free quote.  

There's three easy ways to sell-
Talk to a buyer over the phone: 770-333-4220 or 1-800-342-5534
Get a quote online: www.keh.com
Email us at: purchasing@keh.com

Oh, and look here, a printable coupon....

The New Nikon 1: V1 and J1

10/27/2011 1 Comments A+ a-

Nikon recently released their new line (Nikon 1) of mirrorless digital cameras. The two models currently available are the V1 and J1 (KEH received both of these this week!). Here's a little more about them...



* For more information on the new Nikon 1 line, click here.
+ V1 Tech Specs and J1 Tech Specs

* KEH now has both of these cameras NEW in-stock- 
V1 10.1 m/p, black, with 10-30 F3.5-5.6 VR lens
V1 10.1 m/p, black, with 10-30 F3.5-5.6 VR and 30-110 F3.8-5.6 VR lenses
J1 10.1 m/p, white, with 10-30 F3.5-5.6 VR lens
J1 10.1 m/p, white, with 10-30 F3.5-5.6 VR and 30-110 F3.8-5.6 VR lenses


Turn a Pumpkin Into a Photo or Video Projector

10/25/2011 2 Comments A+ a-

Neat DIY project alert...

The Pumpkin Drive-In below was created by CFC Media Lab. The team assembled the piece as part of a Halloween pumpkin carving competition at the MaRS Discovery District in Toronto, Ontario. 

They won the competition, and the director of the CFC Media Lab, Ana Serrano, decided she had to display the Pumpkin Drive-In again, this time in front of her house on the evening of Halloween. It was an absolute hit, all the kids in the neighborhood were instantly drawn to it!
The Pumpkin Drive-In is comprised of several parts: the pumpkin theatre screen, the concession pumpkin, the ticket distribution pumpkin, and the toy cars and scenery. Each of the pumpkins are simple enough to carve out and place the appropriate props within or around it as shown. 

The pumpkin theatre is simply a pumpkin with the insides scooped out, and a large window cut out of the front and the back of the pumpkin. The screen is made of wax paper which lines the inside of the front window. A mini projector sits behind the rear of the pumpkin and projects an image (or film) onto the wax paper. 
the screen
Being that the F in CFC is film, we thought it appropriate to project an iconic Halloween film. You can however, choose to project your own film, photo slideshow, or still image instead. This is a great idea to project some fun ghoulish photography during a party or event (like even an exhibition maybe?).
the concession pumpkin
pumpkin showing the mini projector behind it
a shot from the back

About CFC Media Lab: Created in 1997, CFC Media Lab provides a unique training, research and production think-tank environment for emerging new media content developers, practitioners and companies. An internationally acclaimed and award-winning facility, graduates of CFC Media Lab emerge as leaders in the world of interactive media, produce innovative projects and start up 21st Century companies. 

CFC Media Lab has graduated more than 200 professionals through its various programs and services including TELUS Interactive Art & Entertainment Program (IAEP), Interactive Project Lab (IPL), Interactive Narrative Feature Program (INFP), and NBC Universal Multiplatform Matchmaking Program (MMP). Over 100 interactive new media content products have been developed and delivered in a variety of platforms.

Media Lab productions include the ground-breaking interactive film, Late Fragment, and the dynamic mobile visualization project of WHAT’S YOUR ESSENTIAL CINEMA? co-produced by CFC Media Lab and TIFF. CFC Media Lab is a leader in building collaborative environments that sustain creative transformation. 

Find CFC Media Lab at: http://cfcmedialab.com
And The Canadian Film Centre (CFC) at: http://cfccreates.com

Minimize The Fluff and Show Up As Yourself

10/24/2011 1 Comments A+ a-

When my clients ask me what they should wear for a shoot, I tell them to just “show up as yourself* and let the kids dress themselves". The days of families wearing all white shirts paired with jeans smiling nicely for the camera are over... or at least they should be. 

Times have changed and many people want to be seen for themselves and leave the extra fluff out of their family pictures. They are less concerned about staged studio shots, and more interested in having their personalities shine through. The T.V. show Modern Family aired an episode last year where Claire (the Mom) hired a professional photographer for an extended family portrait. She dressed everyone in white shirts (of course), but the “family picture” that Claire eventually chose was one where the kids were fighting, people were laughing, and life was documented much as it is lived. That is the family portrait that I love to shoot, and that my clients love to get.

photo by: Wendy Laurel

I believe that letting the kids dress themselves is the surest way to getting a fantastic children’s portrait. That obsession with the Superman shirt will be gone before the parents know it. And who says that stripes and polka dots don’t go together? It is the essence of their personalities that are important. Not their hair perfectly combed and dressed up looking like a child out of a catalog - a child the parents don’t recognize. When it is all said and done, it's important to provide photographs of children and families that bring them right back to that time.

Similarly, the focus should be on the people. People are the best detail in any shoot. The focus on details and props in portrait photography has spun out of control. Baby photography blogs are showcasing the best baby rooms and the cutest first birthday party decorations instead of the baby, and wedding blogs are just as guilty. I recently saw a wedding shoot where the photographer and the couple managed to work in almost every cliche prop there can be: balloons, scrabble board, chalk board, antique cameras, vintage soda bottles, analog records and a record player, just to name a few. The couple and photographer were so busy finding the hottest and newest props that their focus shifted away from the couple themselves. Who are they? Those details and the images told nothing about the couple, except that maybe they read wedding blogs. And it is a shame. The love, the connection, the relationships, and the moments- those are the things that are important and what will be really valued when they look back. I mean, when is the last time you saw a photograph of table decorations up on the wall? 

photo by: Wendy Laurel

I love details as much as the next photographer, and it's always fun to shoot people in cute clothes and with colorful props. but I just love the people more. If you're going to use props, then they should be relevant and add to, or help tell the subjects story. If the girl loves her tutu and always wants to wear it? Well, that’s a relevant detail. If the couple plays Twister all the time together, then yes, it's a relevant detail. The question is, does the detail have emotional meaning for the client? Is it something that will trigger memories for them down the road? If yes, then it can be an important element to shoot.

When my mom was first diagnosed with cancer, I hired a family photographer to come take photographs of her, her home, and my family. There were a ton of detail shots - shots of her straw beach bag hanging on the doorknob, shots of her holding some of her own pastel oil paintings, shots of her collection of miniature tea cups. But they were important details. Details that meant the world to her and tell her story. Details which combined with the wonderful family shots of us together gave us a full story. Details which showed my Mom and who she was. Those are the details that matter. Not details for the sake of details.

photo by: Tory O'Leary

Showing up as yourself just means being YOU. If the family you are shooting doesn’t walk around town in matching white shirts with collars, then don’t suggest to them to show up at your photography session in that type of clothing. When documenting a person or a time, there's no need to get caught up in trends and unnecessary fluff.

photo by: Wendy Laurel

(* The saying 'show up as yourself' was assumed from photographer Jonathan Canlas.)


Contributor Bio: Wendy Laurel is a wedding and family photographer in Maui. She runs the photography website Let the Kids along with Tory O’Leary, a newborn and family photographer in Southern California. 

Letthekids.com is a blog that features people photography of all kinds (family, kids, couples, even weddings and fashion), and is always looking for creative and unique images where the photographer’s voice can be heard and the subject’s personalities shine. Babble.com recently said in talking about the top twenty baby photography blogs, “The emphasis on the people, unburdened by details or props, gives [Let the Kids] a touch of humanity that is infectious.” 

Photo Lampshades

10/21/2011 4 Comments A+ a-

I'm sure by this point you have seen lampshades made from slides (if not, there's one below), but we have gathered up some other neat ideas for making some DIY photography related lampshades (+ links to the tutorials)...

Photograph shades-

Shade by Marie Darby, Hodgepodge Crafter. Tutorial on how to make these here.
Shade by Marie Darby, Hodgepodge Crafter. Tutorial on how to make these here.
Hotel Lamp
photo by: Dionna Raedeke
Shades by Maya, on Someday Crafts. Tutorial here.

Another photo shade-
* Panorama Lampshade (with tutorial)

Film and slide shades-

Shade by: Christina Daniel/ modernday.misanthrope

Slide lamp- green leaves
Shade by: Philippe Vidalenc, photo by: Dionna Raedeke
LED Slide lamp
Another variation of a slide lamp. Photo by: Travis Vance. 
(Travis talks about how he created an improved light for the lamp here.)

 Other film lamps/links- 
* Turn Photo Negatives Into Artsy, Personalized Lamps (with tutorial)
* Slide Shade Tutorial
* Cinema Lamp

Other purposes-

Turn a lampshade into a DIY softbox...
DIY Lampshade Softbox angle
Project by: Nathan Luoto. Find his process here.
Back of the DIY Lampshade softbox
Project by: Nathan Luoto. Find his process here.

* Use a lampshade in a memoboard fashion for photographs 
* And need a lamp base to put one of these shades on? Why not make a tripod lamp. Find the tutorial and information to make one of these yourself here

All photos used with permission

Photos of the Month

10/20/2011 2 Comments A+ a-

Branches, by: Herb G.
Morning, by: Jordan Parks
Paradisus, by: Eduardo Romero
an adventure to remember
An adventure to remember, by: Little Pink Weeble
Pool, by: abe.o
Burned out forest near Highway 120
Burned out forest near Highway 120, by: Nora Vrublevska
Toiyabe Crest Adventure-2-10.jpg
Toiyabe Crest Adventure, by: MT Blackwell
Untitled, by: M D'Avignon
Rabo de peixe - brilhante
Rabo de peixe- brilhante, by: domyzio
Washington Monument rappelers
Washington Monument rappelers, by: Lori C.
DSC02586 copy
Untitled, by: Will Harris

* All photos were submitted to the KEH Camera Flickr group. Submit your photos here.

Nikon Lenses: Non-AI, AI, AI-S, and AI'd

10/18/2011 4 Comments A+ a-

In Nikon F-mount manual-focus lenses, there are four main designations for lenses that refer to their meter coupling abilities. They are: Non-AI, AI, AI-S, and AI'd. The differences can be noticed by visually inspecting the area on the back of the lens around the lens mount, as well as around the aperture ring. Below, we will be explaining the differences in these lenses and how to tell them apart by looking at them.

Non-AI lens. Notice there are no recessed areas on this lens like on the others below, or any holes in the metering prongs.

In 1959 Nikon began making lenses that at the time were called “Nikon F lenses”. It was not until 1977 when Nikon came out with AI lenses that the earlier models were called “Non-AI”. Non-AI Nikon lenses have a very basic bayonet mount. The most distinctive characteristics of the Non-AI lenses are the metering prong without “nostrils” (2 smaller holes on either side of the opening) and the plain stainless steel base with 5 mounting screws. These lenses also show only one row of aperture numbers rather that having a larger set and smaller set next to each other. Non-AI lenses fit on the Nikon F Photomic FTN, early F2, Nikkormat FT, FTN, FT2, EL and ELW. They can be used without meter coupling on the earliest AI camera bodies such as the FM and FE, but they should not be mounted on later ones such as the FM2, as it is possible to damage the camera body.

AI lens. The red on the right shows the areas that are recessed on the edge of the aperture ring around the mount. Also notice the holes in the metering prongs.

In 1977 Nikon introduced the AI lens which was short for Automatic Maximum Aperture Indexing. This was a new system for coupling the lens to the camera's exposure system. These lenses were much faster and easier to mount and release because the “AI ridge” automatically meter-couples when the lens is mounted. AI lenses can be recognized by the double row of large and small aperture numbers engraved on the aperture ring. The smaller set of aperture numbers were designated for the Aperture Direct Readout (ADR) located on the body or prism to show you which aperture you were using through the viewfinder. The E series AI lenses (for Nikon EM) were the first auto lenses to remove the meter coupling prong from its design. AI lenses work on manual focus bodies produced after 1977, as well as all but the low end auto-focus digital SLR's (although they won't auto-focus on an AF body since they are still manual lenses).

AI'd lens. The red shows the area that has been modified and is recessed on the aperture ring.

Some lenses are known as “AI'd”. These were Non-AI lenses that were converted to AI by exchanging the aperture ring at the rear of the lens. This modification was either done from a Nikon kit that was available, a repair shop, or some people chose the make the modification themselves by Dremeling out a space around the mount/aperture ring. This modification allowed the old lenses to be used on the new cameras at the time. A good way to tell the difference is to see if the glass is multi-coated. If not, then you most likely have an AI'd lens.

AI'd lens. Often a sticker will be added so that the lens will have the second row of aperture numbers.

In 1981, Nikon Introduced the AI-S (Automatic Aperture Indexing Shutter) lens. A quick way to tell if a lens is AI-S is by the (Lens Type Signal) notch carved out of the metal bayonet ring. The AI-S lenses had standardized aperture control and a Focal Length Indexing Ridge. Because of these two features, these lenses were best suited for use on cameras with shutter priority and other auto-aperture exposure modes, such as the FG, FA, N2000,  N2020, N8008, and the F4. Later cameras did not require these two features and worked with both AI and AI-S lenses.

AI-S lens. The red shows the areas that are recessed on the aperture ring and the notch in the mount.

Comparing the aperture rings of an AI or AI-S lens (left) with one of a Non-AI lens (right). Non-AI lenses have one aperture scale, while the AI and AI-S lenses have a double scale. 

 - Mollie Clark