Nasa's Nikon?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by pstake, Mar 5, 2013.

  1. pstake

    pstake Member

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  2. elekm

    elekm Member

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    Not sure I'd pay $10,000 for a NASA camera, although it's interesting to see that NASA paid $20,000 for it originally. I wonder how Nikon customized it.
     
  3. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Probably bogus. These cameras were made to order by the camera dept. at NASA. They were ultra light weight and had some extra features. I have seen and handled some and saw what was done to modify them.

    PE
     
  4. OzJohn

    OzJohn Member

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    If this sort of stuff rings your bell, I think you'd want to know a bit more about its provenance before parting with 10K - on Ebay of all places. OzJohn
     
  5. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    Two or three years ago there was a Nasa F4 with stickers and documentation on the bay that had a weird ending time, and wasnt labeled as a Nasa camera in title, so unless you clicked on the additional pictures to view the back of the camera or read the detailed description you wouldnt have know. How much did it go for? Somewhere around $240 bucks, I was going to bid in the last minute, and my flaky internet connection crashed...
     
  6. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Thinking about this, I realize that I know the head of the camera dept. at NASA, and can put you in touch with him. If you wish details (as far as I can go), contact me. This guy is over 80 now and has retired, but if you MUST do this, contact me.

    PE
     
  7. henry finley

    henry finley Member

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    Bogus. Ebay is constantly listed with Apollo Hasselblads. PT Barnum's Law.
     
  8. Slixtiesix

    Slixtiesix Subscriber

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    Some time ago I´ve seen a supposed NASA Hasselblad EL/M on Ebay. It looked like a normal EL/M except that the word "NASA" had been scratched onto it in very crude letters. I found that quite hilarious.
     
  9. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    From what I've read online, many of the nikons didn't need heavy modifications, some had the type of lubrication and grease changed, as well as the glues on the coverings. The rest was attaching motordrives and making the camera easier to aim and shoot with their gear on. The vast majority of nasa cameras never left the earth, and were probably used for documentation on the ground though and wouldn't have needed these mods.

    I remember seeing a documentary with old footage of a few of the moon landing astronauts learning to use their modified blads in the dessert practicing with focusing etc. that was pretty cool. Too bad there isn't a book on camera gear that was used specifically for space or near space, I would love to have something like that. I would also be curious to how they tested and evaluated cameras and how the bidding process went with each company, and why they ultimately chose what they did.
     
  10. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    More gear fetishism, the camera as a religious relic :pouty:
     
  11. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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  12. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    There is a term used in the antique business provenance. Fom the French provenir, "to come from", ahd refers to the chronology of the ownership, custody or location of a historical object. It is very important and seriously effects the value of an item. If the seller cannot provide you with this documented information then do not buy
     
  13. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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  14. Photo Engineer

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    This is a picture of me holding the camera used by John Glenn in his first flight. I am standing next to the camera engineer who designed and made the modifications.

    I can say that these were not trivial as noted in the Photo Net listing. These were made by hand back in those days.

    In the background are 2 capsules for the next launches. The one in the foreground is Liberty Bell 7. I later went into the clean room and got to inspect the capsule.

    The camera engineer is still with us today and is living in central FL. The camera is "supposed" to be in the Smithsonian.

    The names of all of the workers are engraved on the inside of the camera that is there.

    PE
     

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  15. falotico

    falotico Subscriber

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    Great photo! The more I think of those guys climbing into those aluminum cans set atop thousands of pounds of liquid hydrogen and LOX, the more I am impressed by their bravery. Each one was a Lindbergh.
     
  16. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    I just re read The Right Stuff by Thom Wolf, and apparently the first NASA astronauts (most of whom were still air force or navy serving officers and only getting the service pay for their rank, nothing extre for being astronauts) were subjected to much derision by their friends who were also military pilots, because they told them "it couldn't be too difficult going into space, monkeys did it first. :D
     
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  17. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    I wonder if these cameras would work any better than the regular version or they may be worse. Definitely, no better than a regular camera of same model if we use them on earth.
     
  18. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    The capsules were honeycomb Titanium with thin sheets of Titanium welded to each side of the honeycomb. The walls were about 2 cm thick and when you rapped on it, it was as solid as rock. No ring, no metal sound, no hollow sound. The sound was like knocking on a rock!

    The inside was a control panel (mostly indicator lights) and a seat. You just went for a ride.

    I have some souvenirs of the launch, and AFAIK, my name was the last to sign out before the launch and the first to sign in. The pad was still steaming.

    PE
     
  19. henry finley

    henry finley Member

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    I wonder how many EL's are laying around on the moon up there. To my understanding, they abandoned them and jut took the backs (I could be wrong). Let's see, there was Apollo 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17. That makes 6. So there should be 12 gorgeous Hasselblad EL's, probably in beautiful condition, just laying around up there. Now wouldn't you like to have Haise or Lovells' EL's? They had to bring theirs back
     
  20. henry finley

    henry finley Member

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    A hand of applause to ANYBODY connected to the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, or Skylab programs.Those were the days. Not a single detail was left unaddressed. Here's a photo I've had for years. Never to be forgotten. 8345965mwClxPvaQE_ph.jpg
     
  21. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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  22. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    That is a really cool photo PE! This is why apug is awesome there is just so much info to share! Its funny now how NASA has been using its mars rover camera now for self shots which are then stitched to remove the camera arm. It seemed we have moved so fast and far from the few short years of the discovery of powered flight to landing on the moon, that it makes our current pace seem a snail like.
     
  23. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Yes, isn't it amazing how far things have gone. Russia and China are the only two countries launching men into space, and the Cape is just about deserted.

    We used to have several launches each day. Now, the pads are rusting and unused. Even tourists are saddened by their condition.

    PE
     
  24. henry finley

    henry finley Member

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    And with that, I'll do everybody a favor and keep my conservative commentary to myself. And just shake my head and roll my eyes knowingly. A shame and a disgrace.
     
  25. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    Olympus also had a few cameras up there, and I had mixed them up with the Nikon cameras. The Olympus models were the ones that did not need modifications besides the removal of their synthetic rubber coverings and replacing them with metal (aluminum?) tape. But I guess they weren't favored over the nikons in the end.