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  1. #1
    Michel Hardy-Vallée's Avatar
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    School Photographs

    In the thread about oversized proof sheets, someone pointed to a repeating easel, which allows one to print multiple images on the same sheet of paper.

    It suddenly brought back the memory of my own school photos, that I received as sheets containing multiple copies of various format. And it made me realize another thing: throughout all the years that I was in primary/secondary school (until 16 y/o), I never paid any attention to the kind of cameras school photographers were using.

    Funny, since now I spend so much energy and time on photography, and my dad has been a dedicated amateur for years as well.

    So what was used in the analog days to make portraits of us little critters? How did you deal with such a huge volume of negative? What films? Formats? Lighting sets? My own school years go from the mid 80s to the mid 90s, but I would be interested in other eras as well.
    Using film since before it was hip.


    "One of the most singular characters of the hyposulphites, is the property their solutions possess of dissolving muriate of silver and retaining it in considerable quantity in permanent solution" — Sir John Frederick William Herschel, "On the Hyposulphurous Acid and its Compounds." The Edinburgh Philosophical Journal, Vol. 1 (8 Jan. 1819): 8-29. p. 11

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  2. #2
    photoncatcher's Avatar
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    Well Mike, I spent 10 years processing, and printing those school portraits at a now defunct lab in Edison NJ. The camera most of our contract photographers used was the Camerz system. They came in two formats, 35 mm long roll (no sprocket holes), and 70 mm film. They were (and still are if you can find one) big heavy twin lens reflexes, which had a slot to insert a card that had the childs name, and what "package" of photos they had ordered. Now the printers at the lab were a whole different story. I worked on a "Hicks multi format" machine. Biggest piece of crap ever produced in the world of photo. Every now, and then one of these beastly cameras comes up on "the bay", but I can't imagine why any one would want one. Unless you have need of a boat anchor.

  3. #3
    photoncatcher's Avatar
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    http://photography.shop.ebay.com/?_f...erz&_sacat=625 Try this link to see some of them.

  4. #4
    Rick A's Avatar
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    I used to work for Olan Mills Inc., we used Photogenic 70mm roll film cameras. I dont remember ours being TLR's, but they were cumbersom brutes, and a bugger to load in a changing bag. The up-side of the experience was all the money I made working on the road for them.
    Rick A
    Argentum aevum
    BTW: the big kid in my avatar is my hero, my son, who proudly serves us in the Navy. "SALUTE"

  5. #5
    Michel Hardy-Vallée's Avatar
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    So how did the Camerz system work, it's just a big bulk roll that you load up, and imprint with the client's order?

    I still see 46mm (35mm unsprocketed film) available here and there over the internet, so I guess it's for these cameras?
    Using film since before it was hip.


    "One of the most singular characters of the hyposulphites, is the property their solutions possess of dissolving muriate of silver and retaining it in considerable quantity in permanent solution" — Sir John Frederick William Herschel, "On the Hyposulphurous Acid and its Compounds." The Edinburgh Philosophical Journal, Vol. 1 (8 Jan. 1819): 8-29. p. 11

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  6. #6
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    I knew someone whose parents were retouchers who did a lot of school photo work. They were in NJ, so it's possible that they were connected with that lab in Edison. The setup for this work was an Adams Retouching Machine with a long rollfilm holder, so the retoucher could spot out all the zits on the negative with brushes and dyes.

    Camerz is still around making other things--

    http://normanlights.com/camerz_video_viewer.asp
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  7. #7
    rthomas's Avatar
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    I worked as a color QC technician at Delmar Photography in Charlotte, NC back in the mid-90's. We processed and printed 35mm and 46mm long roll - the film was generally Kodak VPS, which is also what we used for our control negatives. I think the seniors dept used 70mm but I didn't work in that dept and it's been a while. The printing was done with custom-built package printers that had pneumatically-controlled lens boards for specific sets (4-up in a 5x7 space, or a 5x7 and then an "L" of wallet prints in an 8x10 space, for example), and (if I remember correctly), they got the package info for each frame from a computer network. Some of the printers used 10" roll paper and some used 4" or 5" - I can't remember which. With all 30 or so machines going, it could be quite loud in that room, as each machine pushed the various lens boards around and moved paper and film automatically. We also did titles (for example, for senior prom shoots) by hand, with clear material and adhesive lettering. Another area they worked in was composite photo printing with a variety of machines; one of these was a huge Omega F enlarger known as Godzilla.

  8. #8
    photoncatcher's Avatar
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    David, we didn't have any negative retouchers, but we had upwards of 3 people in our busy season, spotting prints. rthomas, our machine were air powered too, God they made a racket when they were running. The printing dept I worked in had 11 of the beasts, plus 2 of the old Kodak "S" printers for the group shots. All our package printers used 10 wide, by 500 ft. long paper. Around early August we would get at least 2 tractor trailers of paper, and chemistry from Kodak. I do not miss that job!

  9. #9

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    As of this year, I'm working with a school photographer who's still using the unperfed 35mm in the Camrez camera. Most unusual school rig I've seen was a guy shooting seniors for me who had an RB67 modified to take a 70mm long roll. That was at the very dawn of the D**** age and he had a video rig mounted with the RB so that he could show the clients real-time (video) proofs on a 36 inch monitor.

  10. #10

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    Good Afternoon,

    Back in the mid-1970's, when I was yearbook adviser at my high school, the local pro who did student portraits used a 5 x 7 view camera with a movable back which allowed (I'm guessing here) twelve exposures on a single sheet of film. I have no idea how he managed to concentrate adequately to avoid blanks and/or double exposures.

    Konical

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