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11-18-2010, 09:34 AM   #1
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New member, old photog, now fixing Strobonars

Hello everyone. I realize I should have done this years ago when I literally had a ton of Pentax (both Honeywell and Asahi manufactured) equipment. With that said, allow me to introduce myself. I went professional, opening a studio in '69 (after 3 years of weddings), built up a nice size clientile servicing ad agencies, manufacturers, importers and architects. Had a variety of equipment, ranging from 8X10 views to my favorite, an all-black Spotmatic bought in 1969. This was the camera that handled all the photojournalistic assignments and the odd ball requests like photographing a large building (now the Newsday building in Melville, NY) with a fish-eye lens. I'm semi- retired, still have my Spotmatic ( they can bury that with me) and repair Honeywell Strobonars. I love these strobes, bought my first in '65, and still have quite a few in the 600 to 800 series. I buy old ones not working as well as repair, re-battery and sell them. If you own one and have any questions about its operation (or non-operation) feel free to email me and I'll see if I can help or offer some advice.
Have a great day,
Bill

11-18-2010, 04:41 PM   #2
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Welcome to PF Bill.
11-19-2010, 03:18 AM   #3
Ira
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Welcome, Bill! I loved those old potato mashers!

Former Canarsie boy here.Worked in the ad business for Jerry Della Femina when dinosaurs roamed the earth.
11-20-2010, 10:51 AM   #4
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Hello Mike,
I remember going to a seminar featuring Jerry when he was one of the partners at Della Femina Travisano & Partners. He was the first ad exec to utilize the concept of 'positioning' a product. I did work for J Walter Thompson, BBD&O, Doyle Dane and a couple of other botiques in the city as the were called back then. Had a small studio, got really busy and then thought I'd make a million by opening an ad agency. Ha, that was a bust. Should have stuck with what I knew. Remember, then, 95% of the work was done in B&W. Worked through the night in a darkroom so I could deliver the following morning. Loved it. What about you? Best, Bill

11-20-2010, 01:55 PM   #5
Ira
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QuoteOriginally posted by BillV63 Quote
Hello Mike,
I remember going to a seminar featuring Jerry when he was one of the partners at Della Femina Travisano & Partners. He was the first ad exec to utilize the concept of 'positioning' a product. I did work for J Walter Thompson, BBD&O, Doyle Dane and a couple of other botiques in the city as the were called back then. Had a small studio, got really busy and then thought I'd make a million by opening an ad agency. Ha, that was a bust. Should have stuck with what I knew. Remember, then, 95% of the work was done in B&W. Worked through the night in a darkroom so I could deliver the following morning. Loved it. What about you? Best, Bill
I think you meant to say, "Hello Ira."

And yes, they originally called them boutique agencies, but that only lasted until they landed a big account. The term "boutique" only related to billings, and had nothing to do with the quality of the agency.

Many boutique agencies didn't offer in-house research services, which most big agencies didn't really offer either. They had one or two research people on staff who worked with outside companies to conduct focus groups with and such.

The death of the smaller "boutique" agencies was only the result of the media/ad space/ad time discounts that the mega-agencies could offer, based on the sum of their buys. Work quality had nothing to do with it.

We had some very major accounts that we lost based ONLY only on the 1% media discount that Ogilvy & Mather could offer them.
11-21-2010, 11:57 AM   #6
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Ira, you bring back a lot of memories. Yes, if I remember correctly, the larger agencies acted as brokers for ad space, buying bulk at discounted rates. I bought local papers and trade journals, small stuff. Most fun was doing the photography myself (with the exception of catalogs). Worst, local newspapers where I'd photograph the mayor, fire chief and some other non-descripts holding a plaque. Put a lot of dings on my Spotmatic jumping over brick walls or chain link fences to get out of the way of crowds at a rally or protest meeting. Loved it though. Always wanted to work my way into Cosmo, the mag. They had a photog, Scavullo I think, did beautiful work with a 35mm.
11-21-2010, 04:53 PM   #7
Ira
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QuoteOriginally posted by BillV63 Quote
Ira, you bring back a lot of memories. Yes, if I remember correctly, the larger agencies acted as brokers for ad space, buying bulk at discounted rates. I bought local papers and trade journals, small stuff. Most fun was doing the photography myself (with the exception of catalogs). Worst, local newspapers where I'd photograph the mayor, fire chief and some other non-descripts holding a plaque. Put a lot of dings on my Spotmatic jumping over brick walls or chain link fences to get out of the way of crowds at a rally or protest meeting. Loved it though. Always wanted to work my way into Cosmo, the mag. They had a photog, Scavullo I think, did beautiful work with a 35mm.
I worked in the print production department back then for Della as a copy editor/proofreader--way before computers could do type galleys, let alone full layouts. All that stuff had to be done via paste-up on a board/mechanical.

For 4-color work, we used engravers who shot the 2 1/4, 35mm, or whatever transparency film and they created the CMYK separations on four pieces of film (all black when you viewed them). The mechanical had the camera-ready type (pasted from galleys), and stats/cheap copies of those separations pasted in FPO, for position only.

Later, the engraver would strip in/assemble the 4 CMYK pieces of film images with the black type, and you had an ad.

Sigh. So much more work, but so much more rewarding.
11-29-2010, 08:59 AM   #8
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Scavullo was an outstanding photographer, died in 2004
Huge influence on fashion photography (not my thing but i admire his work)

Scavullo.com - Biography

12-22-2010, 04:36 PM   #9
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I was friends with Lew Merrim, a NYC photog who asked me to work with him but it was medical work in an OR, not exactly fashion. Got a lot of advertising work on Long Island so happy days. Stil loved the fashion work when I could get it.
04-17-2011, 08:05 AM   #10
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Hi Bill,

Stumbled across your listing for Stobonars.. I too have about three (770) all non-working. I got my first with a camera and with a little attention it worked fine After sitting about a year I went to charge it and noticed it wasn't taking a charge. Then I noticed after a while a popping noise. It did this a few times actually and I assumed the batteries were just beyond charging. It would however work on an AC charger. I asked an electronics guy to look at it and he identified the DC circuit vs the AC circuit but without a schematic he wouldn't be able to properly trouble shoot it. HE also noted somebody had worked on it before too.
I tried to solder up some cells but I wasn't able to solder properly and the kind of heat I needed was "too dangerous" for exploding batteries etc! I then bought two 770s "as is" from the USA but they were the same ..ie no batteries worked on AC. I was fiddling with them one night and twice got so badly shocked that I packed all three away awaiting a later date that was some 5 years ago. Do you think if I could cobble the batteries together, the original one might work or was that popping sound a definite no-go? At the moment they are so buried in the cellar it will be a task to find them!!

Thanks
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