Um, er, ah, yes there were very large format aerial cameras that shot 9" film and some of them used very long lenses.
Originally Posted by Photo Engineer
But there were also aerial cameras that shot 5" roll film and used lenses as short as 38 mm. And there were aerial cameras that shot 70 mm film and, again, used lenses as short as 38 mm. All military, although some were also used for mapping.
Perhaps you were thinking of the cameras that flew on SR-71s and A-11s.
I now make the connection between AF and Air Force.
Why are there no speaker jacks on a stereo camera?
Originally Posted by Dan Fromm
All manner of cameras were used for aerial photography and for space photography as well. The 9" cameras were used as early as the 40s and into the present. It depends on how much space is available in the plane. Newer, sharper, fine grained films make it possible to use smaller formats.
They even used the Hulcher camera with 70mm film and other similar cameras for hand held photography.
Vibration was never a serious problem in my experience, as long as the shutter speed was sufficiently high.
Again, see the 4x5 B&W photos taken with a Speed Graphic in my gallery.
I second Photo Engineers suggestions. I shot 4x5 with a Speed Graphic and made mural prints for a government agency for several years in the 60's. With today's films and a Speed Graphic I see no need for anything larger. I have also shot 70mm for smaller aerial applications. So depending on the needs, 70mm-4x5 should fit your requirements
Originally Posted by Photo Engineer
PE, PH, both of you would probably enjoy reading Roy Conyers Nesbit's book Eyes of the RAF.
The world's Air Forces and map makers do and did very little aerial photography with hand-held cameras. Some, yes, as with the ex-USCG Agiflites that keep popping up. But not a lot, and certainly not for mapping. And these days Air Forces in the first world have sold off their film-based equipment and have gone digital. Its good enough and delivers the results faster. AFAIK, mappers are still film-based, but they're not in the hurry that photoreconnaissance types are.
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I agree having done and used both types of cameras for aerial and ground based pictures. However, since the OP did not specify what the job was, I tried to cover both areas. If you are doing straight aerial photography, you can shoot it with a Speed Graphic or even a Mamiya or the like. If you are mapping or doing serious air to ground work you want precision equipment, probably with as large a format as practical.
To print it, you want to have a rectifying printer to make individual frames match and you have to have overlapping frames and passes with precise navigation to make this work. BTDT too. Each frame should be marked with roll, pitch and yaw information to input into the rectifying printer.
It depends on what the job is.
Richard Boutwell, however, makes only contact prints. He does this for aesthetic reasons. I think his best bet would be to have 4x5s drum scanned and then have hiqh quality digitally enlarged negatives made. It certainly seems easier to me than trying to cobble together some cumbersome kind of 8x10 arrangement, and I'll bet that if the right person does it (Salto?) you won't be able to tell the difference.
Originally Posted by PhotoHistorian
John Kasaian uses an 8x10" Gowland Aerial and other LF aerial cameras. I've seen him lately on APUG, but he posts more often on the LF forum.
I will agree with Jim. I would rather shoot a 4X5 in this situation for a lot of reasons...but most importantly you could make a killer 11X14 digital negative that would be virtually indistinguishable in terms of quality from a 8X10 print contact printed from a film negative while at the same time having a print almost twice the size. The additional benefit is that you could tailor both the characteristic curve and the density range of the negative in ways that are simply not possible with a film negative.
Originally Posted by c6h6o3
If 8X10 was your desired print size, I would sincerely think that one could enlarge a 6X7.5 or 6X9 film negative digitally and duplicate what an 8X10 contact print would show both in terms of resolution and tonal distribution.
Last edited by Donald Miller; 08-19-2007 at 03:21 PM. Click to view previous post history.
I have a Gowland Aerial as David mentioned. It would be easy to make a handheld 8x0 but it would be easier to have Peter Gowland make one for you!
The lens and shutter combo is critical. A copal 1 will give you max (optimistic)shutter speed of 400 but with a 300 Nikkor M or 305 G-Claron wide open (f/9) and a yellow filter up front my exposures are more in the 125 range on TMY at 400 asa and even then the negatives come out thin. Sure you can get longer lenses and faster lenses, but you'll have to find a shutter to accomodate them which is why the old Fairchilds and Graflex cameras used focal plane shutters.
The Gowland really shines in helicopters with color film--ie, golf courses, which is what Peter designed the camera for.
There are plenty of surplus military roll film cameras around. I'll gladly part with my 9"x9" K-17 and Houston Fearless processor if you're in the market. After the hernia oeration the doc said I shouldn't mess with it again, so you'll have to pick it up (I live in Fresno, Ca btw) It will push the wieght and balance performance envelope on a single engine cessna less than a 180/182 however.
The K-24 is a nice camera if you don't mind the dinky 5x5" negative. Mine is currently jammed and the only tech shop I know of that will work on it is in Denver. I don't have the money to fix it anyway(do you have any idea what it costs to rent a plane these days?)
My current love/hate relationship is with a 1930's Keystone F-8 with a 15" Wolly tele up front--a nice size and wieght camera with good handles for gripping onto. Bradford Washburn started out with one----if you're at all interested in aerial photography do take a look at his work. There was a great article in View Camera awhile back and he has a few books out (I have "On High."). The problem with the F-8 is that it takes 7" wide roll film or a bag mag for 5x7. Cutting and re-spooling 9-1/2" wide x 150' long aerial film to 7" is very labor intensive and takes a dark room larger than what I have available (my 9 year old daughter's "Barbie" themed bathroom) One of my many ongoing projects is to get my bag mag supple and light-tght enough to use with it.
One more thought--if you do shoot 8x10 sheet film use plastic film holders with lots of pattern moulded into the "face" of the holder---it keeps the spring back from acting like a one way pressure valve when climbing to altitude by 'leaking' air into the body of the camera unlike the slick flat wood hiolders (I busted a few finger nails trying to reload over Mt Shasta on account of that lesson!)
If you want any aerial junk for parts or to experiment with I've got bunch of it. My bride would be grateful if you made me an offer!
Cheers and I hope every flight is CAVU!