Hell of a flash, Yunk Rhee hobby
I don't remember how to calculate exposure. There was a kind of
"guide number you used according to how much flash powder you used.
I used to have a little metal channel on a wooden handle with a
battery that would make a spark to set it off. Not really dangerous
if you hold it at arms length when you press the contact button, but
you wouldn't want to be looking at it at close range.
It made a hell of a flash, and plenty of smoke, so you had to wait for
that to clear before the next shot. Film was slow, so there was no
flash sync. I used it to make group shots with a Packard (brand)
shutter and rubber squeeze bulb. Tell everybody to hold still, say
"Spaghetti", open the shutter , press the button and "whoooosh!"
I remember reading an Oops story about a guy who wanted to make a
night time flash shot of Hollywood from the hills and built several
huge wooden flash backgrounds covered with crinkled metal foil for the
job. He set them all off at once, but forgot to take the lens cap off.
I did use it a few times, but I don't really have a bag of the stuff
in the attic. I was just kidding about that.
Great stuff. The Tessar was a wonderful portrait lens. Sharp yet with
a soft smoothness that made people look better.
Photographers have, since the inception of the profession, exerted a
force for historical change out of proportion to their numbers. Take,
for instance the Yung Rhee, son of Syngman Rhee, first President of
the Republic of South Korea. It isn't too well remembered that his
hobby was photography, his favorite camera a Zeiss Contax with a 50mm
f/2.8 Tessar lens, and that during the Korean War in the 50's,
probably as a publicity stunt, Life Magazine hired him as a
photojournalist and sent him off into the Korean hills along the Yalu
River to shoot picture stories of the fighting.
Somehow he got lost and President Rhee apparently thought it was a CIA
plot and complained so loudly that the CIA sent agents into the
mountains to find him. When one did, his first words were, "Ah, sweet
Mr. Rhee of Life, at last I've found you!"
Bet you didn't know that.