Olympus cameras and NASA

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by BetterSense, May 18, 2009.

  1. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    I was at John's website and I came across this page:

    http://www.zuiko.com/index_042.htm

    Does anyone know the details of NASA's involvement with the Olympus cameras? Did they adopt the cameras in any way? What kind of lens is in the picture?

    I know that the Hasselblad cameras went into space. Anyone know anything about the Olympus or other cameras?
     
  2. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Concerning manned spaceflight and still photography up to about 1980:

    -) `Mercury´: Ansco 35mm, Hasselblad, Maurer (60mm static/instrument), Robot

    -) `Gemini´: Contarex, Hasselblad, Maurer (60mm handheld)

    -) `Apollo´: Eastman (stereo, lunar surface), Hasselblad, ITEK 5" (static, panoramic/swing-prism), ITEK 5" (static), Nikon, Unknown (35mm static)

    -) `Skylab´: Hasselblad, Nikon, ITEK sixfold 70mm set (static), Actron 5" (static)

    -) `Spaceshuttle´: ITEK 10" (static), Nikon

    -) `Spacelab´: Robot, Zeiss 10" (static)


    I don't have any information on Olympus cameras being used, but maybe they were used past 1980 or so..

    EDIT: Being released in 1984 it is not surprising that the OM-4 in question does not show up in this list.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 18, 2009
  3. John Hermanson

    John Hermanson Member

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    I don't know which flight, but (IIRC) an OM-4 (permanently set to "auto") went up with 250 exposure back, motor drive with a 50mm lens (with fixed 5.6 diaphragm plate). John, www.zuiko.com
     
  4. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Member

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    The Space Shuttles between 1999 and at least 2005, used the Kodak DCS-760 DSLRs (based upon the Nikon F5). Frankly, this is the perfect application for this camera, because I would daresay that the only thing holding it back from still being a near state of the art camera even today, is the fact that as long as there is actual gravity, the camera body alone weighs close to 5 pounds. But in zero gravity, it would be sensational.
     
  5. Ken22485

    Ken22485 Member

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    The Ansco Anscoset II (a rebadged Minolta Uniomat) and a Leica were the first 35mm cameras in space.

    Apparently, the Leica was used to take standard B&W photos, while the Ansco was used with ultraviolet film for pictures of the stars in Orion.
     
  6. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    Well my question is how NASA "removed the reflex mirror" from a Ig. The Smithsonian should be a little more accurate. What they did was buy a stock camera without a built in viewfinder/rangefinder.

    Lee
     
  7. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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  8. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Look at the wear of both cameras. See the rubbing on the front glass the of the viewfinder for the Leica.
    What is the purpose of the switch at that finder? Does it have electrically illuminated framelines? Is that a custom finder?
     
  9. Ken N

    Ken N Member

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    Olympus cameras were equipped on STS-51-L. This flight, unfortunately is also known as the Challenger Disaster. The only modification required to the OM system was the replacement of the leatherette with a foil material due to out-gassing of the leatherette.

    Currently, an E-3 system is in use on the ISS by Koichi Wakata who is part of JAXA. Rumor has it that no modifications were required.
     
  10. Anon Ymous

    Anon Ymous Member

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    And I assume that any camera wouldn't need any modifications if it won't be used outside the station (space walk). Am I right?
     
  11. Ken N

    Ken N Member

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    As I understand it, most cameras and lenses undergo extensive modification and testing for at least the following items:

    1. Electromagnetic interference
    2. RF Interference
    3. Outgassing
    4. Screws that can loosen
    5. Lubricant migration and atomization
    6. Passage of all "clean room" requirements
    7. Vibration and shock resiliancy
     
  12. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    Fire is also a very big concern. (Think Apollo 1.)
     
  13. Anon Ymous

    Anon Ymous Member

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    IIRC, Apollo 1 had pure oxygen atmosphere, so the spark from a short circuit became a fierce fire. After that incident, they started using nitrogen too.
     
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  15. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    They spend billions of dollars keeping these things flying.
    So you bet your last dime that they don't want to run a chance that anything they take up goes wrong (not that a lot does not indeed go wrong in flight).
    So there is a thick book with requirements for even the silliest, tiniest thing that will fly.
     
  16. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    The Apollo 1 fire did indeed occur under a pure-oxygen test condition. NASA made a lot of changes to address the fire conditions, though. One of those was minimizing the amount of flammable material in the cabin. I seem to recall seeing a documentary in which they revealed that NASA put limits on the amount of Velcro that could be in the cabin, since Velcro is flammable.
     
  17. Ken N

    Ken N Member

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    Nearly the entire interior of that capsule was encased in Velcro. Not only was it a pure-oxygen test, but it was pressurized too. Unfortunately, it seems to always take a tragedy for us to understand and correct the errors of our ways.
     
  18. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Such a `tapestry´ does not make sense.
    The issue with the accident was, that one realized that nylon webbings/nettings could lead(!) in those circumstances fire rather than form a hazard in itself.
     
  19. AgX

    AgX Member

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    addendum cameras:

    -) Space Shuttle: Linhof 5" (Aero Technika 45)
     
  20. Rob Skeoch

    Rob Skeoch Advertiser Advertiser

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    I was shooting a ball game once for MLB and a shuttle astronaut was throwing out the first pitch. We chatted for a while to kill time before the game started and he mentioned that they flew the Nikon 400 F2.8 on the shuttle. He said it didn't seem to have any modifications from the one I was using.
    -Rob
     
  21. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    Could be invisible ones, like a change of lubricants.
     
  22. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Member

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    Probably a bit easier to hand-hold without any of that pesky gravity.
     
  23. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    heck yeah, just set the self timer, and let go at the moment of exposure. Hehe.
     
  24. AgX

    AgX Member

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  25. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    You mean the NASA Hasselblad?

    As a class III camera ("not for flight"), it's rather expensive.
    Still nice to have.
     
  26. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Class III...? And what about the other classes? I've got no idea.

    I'm really missing Photo Engineer here on this thread with his experience as assistent director at Cape Canaveral.