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My Old Braun Hobby flashes

Discussion in 'Classic Models & Marques' started by PeteE, Mar 7, 2014.

  1. PeteE

    PeteE Well-Known Member

    Thought I would show you my 'Braun Hobby' unit from the late 1950's-'60's that I use to take many of my 'Indoor Photos' . They came out in the 1950's and were used by all the newspaper photographers -- when you see the Beatles coming down the steps of the Aircraft in USA there are all the news snappers with their ROLLEIS and the black Braun Hobby units with the strap over their shoulders ! My FIRST Braun was bought in the Canadian Maple Leaf Store in Iserlohn, Germany in 1957 when I was there in the British Military Hospital as a Path Lab Technician-- it cost £ 14-00 when in England with all the taxes it cost £ 39-00 ! It had 'lead-acid ' wet-cell accumulators and could also be run off the mains .. I wore out the cells then they were all discontinued BUT I could still run it off the mains indoors. Then many years later I got a second flash head , then I was GIVEN some more Braun units and saved some from being DUMPED by a Photographer I was visiting. There are differences in all the power packs I have when they are opened up -- small improvements by the Germans. The flash duration is 1/1000th second and when more than one head is plugged in of course the power is shared.
    Braun-Unit http://www.flickr.com/photos/25850987@N03/12987930664/ by pentaxpete http://www.flickr.com/people/25850987@N03/, on Flickr
  2. AlexMonro

    AlexMonro Old Grand Part Deux

    I have a copy of the AP Flash and Lighting Guide supplement to AP 16th Oct 1957, which lists two versions of the Braun Hobby:

    Braun Hobby Automatic. 105 joules; accumulator or mains, all AC voltages (a long time before National Standard mains voltage, I think some places still used DC). Re-charge time 8 to 11 sec; reversible reflector for wide or narrow beam. Flash duration 1/1000 sec; tube life 50,000 flashes; shaped case of unbreakable plastic; spring coiled lead from lamp extends from 1 to 5 ft; camera bracket; weight 5 1/2 lb. £37 16s 8d complete.

    Braun Hobby Standard. 60 joules; accumulator or AC mains; plastic case; re-charge 8 to 11 sec; reversible reflector for 50 degree or 70 degree beam; flash duration 1/1000 sec; tube life 50,000 flashes; weight 4 1/2 lb. With camera bracket £20 17s; accumulator £2 10s; charger 16s 8d.

    It looks as though yours is the "Automatic" model, which seems to have been one of the more upmarket models of the time.

    Anyone remember when electronic flash gun ratings changed from Joules to guide numbers?
  3. PeteE

    PeteE Well-Known Member

    Yes-- I used to use 'Guide Numbers' -- when I first bought the early model in Iserlohn Germany I read the book and it said the Guide Numbers varied according to film types, whether B&w or Colour - I still HAVE the 1957 book -- it had different development times for B&W films to Colour of the SAME ASA speed ( probably allowing for 'Reciprocity Failure' as the flash was fast .) The wiring is quite delicate -- I have had to re-solder the plugs where they go into the power pack and the white cable shown is a re-wiring due to the insulation breaking down with age. I have opened up all my 6 units and carefully looked at the wiring inside to check the German soldering.
  4. gray1720

    gray1720 Well-Known Member

    You're a braver man than me, Pete - I have a nasty feeling the capacitor(s) in one of those could leave you having half a day with the undertaker!


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