Do You Know Your Flash Connectors?

The following is an article that originally appeared in Modern Photography magazine, October 1955, pp 76-77 and p.120. It was written by John Wolbarst.

I love rooting through boxes of old camera accessories, so I've seen a bunch of these. I have cameras that take some of these connectors, so I thought this article deserved to be shared.

Do You Know Your Flash Connectors?

For the first time, a directory of the most useful flash cords and connectors, with the various combinations in which they are available, and names of manufacturers.

The mere fact that someone has to compile and publish a directory of flash connectors is an indication of the chaos existing in this particular facet of photography.

This is the most complete compilation which has ever been published [as of October 1955—James], but it still does not include every type of connector which it is possible to find. It does include virtually all the important, generally available connectors and combinations of connectors, together with a list of manufacturers who make the different kinds. Certain lines of cords have not been included, for various reasons. For example, if you have a Mendelsohn Speegun, only Mendelson cords will connect with it properly. There are also a few cords in the design stage of which samples could not be had at the same time the illustration was made. One, for instance, is a connector, Leitz M-3 to 26 or 29, made by Spiratone, a highly specialized cord which can be used only with that camera.

This is a simple chart to sue. note that each individual type of connector has a number assigned to it. Since a connecting cord usually has two ends, any cord can be identified by identifying the two ends. Thus a cord with a Heiland solenoid connection on one end and a house-hold plug on the other end would be a 12-26 (or a 26-12) cord. Just look down the list and you can find out if such a combination is available and who makes it. Armed with that kind of information you can go to your photo dealer and get the desired cord with the minimum difficulty.

Many of the cord combinations listed are available made up as coiled cords. Some combinations are available as both straight and coiled cords, and some only as straight ones.

plug connectors

The ASA bayonet, and ASA 2-post, are found almost exclusively on American-made cameras. The 2-post is primarily for press and studio camera shutters, and is sometimes called the Wollensak shutter connector. The small adapter cord connects the Polaroid Land camera's speed light outlet to a plug such as 5, 6, or 7, and would not be used with flashbulbs.

plug connectors

Many new cameras have flash contacts built into the accessory shoe clip; special guns msut be used on the camera. Nos. 15, 16 let you use a standard gun, off camera if desired. Bolsey and Argus guns plug right into camera. Nos. 19-22 have same function as 15, 16. Notice the wide variety in construction; pick the one that most suits your needs.

plug connectors

Internal diameter of the new european fitting is less than taht of old style; they are not interchangable. Straight fittings, such as 9, may project the connecting cord into the way of a viewfinder or rangefinder; right angle styles carry the wire down and out of the way. Nos. 12, 13, 14, fit solenoids used to supply external synchronization.

plug connectors

Block type plugs are rapidly replacing separate phone tip types like 21 and 23. Nos. 25-29 all connect to battery cases of various flashguns. Household plug and 2-pin types are most popular; both make secure contact. Right angle plugs make neater connections than straight ones, usually; most manufacturers are changing to that design or make both.

Type
Description
1-1Spiratone (#1 has thin shell to fit Kodak ASA bayonet, male #25)
1-25Kodak (#1 has thin shell)
1-26Spiratone
1-28,29Spiratone
2-7Jen
2-26C.O.C., Graflex, Heiland
2-27C.O.C., Kalart, Praco
2-28,29Kalart, C.O.C.
3-4Polaroid
4-7Jen (shape as #18)
5-5Spiratone (for old style Graflex guns)
5-25Kodak (#25 has special collar, will accept only thin shell, such as #1)
5-26Graflex, Heiland, Praco, Spiratone
5-28,29Spiratone
6-26C.O.C.
6-27C.O.C. Kalart
6-28,29C.O.C. Kalart
7-2Jen
7-4Jen (shape as #18)
7-7Jen
7-10,11Jen
7-24Jen
8-26Graflex
8-27Kalart
8-28Kalart
9-27C.O.C., Kalart
10-11-4Jen (shape as #18)
10-11-8Jen
10-11-26C.O.C., Graflex, Heiland, Praco, Spiratone

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