World's Biggest Camera???

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Equipment' started by gnashings, Sep 5, 2005.

  1. gnashings

    gnashings Inactive

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    I was just sitting here, scanning the forums, watching a bit of TV when this cought my eye on the Discovery Channel.

    The title of the segment was "World;s Biggest Camera?" so I watched. Apparently, a photography student bought a delivery van from eBay, blacked out the cargo area completely, and made it into a giant box camera!

    On the left side of the cargo area is a hole - in it, a lens taken from, of all things (!) a submarine periscope. The shutter is a little slider.

    On the opposite wall, the operator (name is Scott I believe - didnt catch the last name) tapes up a huge sheet of photo paper after sticking up a bunch of 8x10 sheets he uses as test strips! Once he has the exposure time, he opens the "shutter" and exposes directly onto the paper! This is the only instance I can think of where the photographer is actually inside the camera!!! While the photo is being taken!!!

    He then uses the floor of the van to layout th eprint, and sponges developer and fixer onto the paper from buckets!!! The resulting print is then washed... using a garden hose!

    Apparently, the resulting image ( a negative, of course ) is used to print a positive image by contact printing. Supposedly given enough light and time, the paper is translucent enough to act as a negative.

    I thought it was pretty neat, so I decided to share.
    Cheers!

    Peter.
     
  2. Michel Hardy-Vallée

    Michel Hardy-Vallée Membership Council Council

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    That's clever and quite a nice feat! You can actually duplicate pictures by using the paper-to-paper contact method, which is explained in the Ilford MG papers guide. Starting from a normal photo which you print darker and less contrasty than usual, you do a emulsion-to-emulsion contact with another paper, expose to light under a glass plate like a contact, and do it again to make your final print. They recommend that method when you want to do some retouching without manipulating the film. Of course, in the present case, there's only one contact involved.

    BTW, the original neg-to-positive process, calotype--patented by Fox Talbot in the 1840s, IIRC--worked that way, starting from a paper negative.
     
  3. glennfromwy

    glennfromwy Member

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    Biggest camera I know of was made many decades ago. !5 foot bellows draw, the front standard ran on rails on mini train wheels. Took a crew of more than a dozen to operate. Used 8X10 foot glass plates which were contact printed (of course). The lenses were the largest ever ground at the time.
     
  4. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    I believe it was Mercedes-Benz that had a photographer make one of their utility vans into a pinhole camera. The pinhole was in the rear and film/paper attached to a panel behind the front seats. Photos were made with very long exposures and the van in motion. There was a book published of the resulting photos.

    I've seen the train car camera photos online. I believe someone posted to APUG not too long ago. IIRC it was purpose built to photograph a new train at a station in Chicago. (?)

    Lee
     
  5. livemoa

    livemoa Member

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    back in the '80's (I think it was the '80's) there was a French photographer who used a 40ft shipping container as a pinhole camera. Used Colour paper which he developed in the container. Believe the process was not good for his health....
     
  6. gnashings

    gnashings Inactive

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    Darn - I thought I was onto something more original here :smile:
    Fascintating info though!
    I thought the usage of a persicope lens was pretty unusual!
     
  7. Bill Hahn

    Bill Hahn Member

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  8. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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  9. gnashings

    gnashings Inactive

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    This is some cool fascinating stuff! I'm eating it up - thanks guys!