camera-medium-format

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Untitled by Monica Forss

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I recently had the amazing opportunity to work with some very interesting historical media. A retired NASA engineer friend contacted me having found a box of photographic films in his desk drawer.  Turns out the box contained two partial rolls and several cut slides of 70mm film from the 1971 Apollo 15 mission!  What a find!

According to my engineer friend, these are not unpublished images. They are, however original films from the customized Hasselblad EDC (Electronic Data Cameras) medium format cameras used on the lunar surface, and include numerous images of the astronauts, the Lunar Module — the “Falcon” (LM-10), and Lunar Rover (LRV).  There are also multiple images from orbit featuring the Command Module – Endeavor (CM-112).  As a photographer, I found it interesting
that there is one image showing the camera mounted on a bracket on the chest of the astronaut’s space suit.  The cameras were essentially point and shoot – whichever direction the astronaut was pointed, it shot.

Apollo 15 Scans-JCHP-0006The actual composition of the film remains something of a mystery, but was reportedly a custom Ektachrome formulation that Kodak developed for the NASA missions.  The 70mm sprocketed film was thinner than typical film – allowing for more frames per roll. (Imagine trying to change film in a space suit).  The team took multiple cameras to the moon, but brought back only the expended film magazines.  The actual camera bodies were left behind to conserve weight on the return voyage.

There were a few challenges in photographing the film. The film was in pretty good shape for having been stored in a box in a desk drawer for 40+ years.  It has a heavy blue-ish color cast.  I’m not certain if that’s a function of age, or something unique to the particular film stock.  So it required some significant color correction in post.

Film Digitizing Setup-JCHP-6373I digitized the film with a Nikon D810 DSLR / 105 macro lens combo and an LED light panel.  I considered scanning, but the scanner’s 60mm medium format negative carrier would not accommodate the slightly wider 70mm film.  However, with a little trial and error, and the help of my son’s 3D printer, I was able to create a film holder to fit the NASA film that enabled me to capture the entire width / frame numbers, film stock info, etc. This worked great for most of the film, but was not usable with the cut frames since there was no glass to keep them flat.  For those remaining images, I purchased a piece of anti-newton glass, and was able to sandwich them between the glass and the LED panel.

How these treasures ended up in my friend’s desk drawer at NASA may never be determined.  But the fact that they’ve been to the moon and back makes this film just about the coolest thing I’ve ever had my hands on

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On A Journey by shuji hiramatsu

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Ramsey Island by Fabio Lugaro
Via Flickr:
Shot with Kershaw 630 folding camera and Kodak Ektar 100 120 film

loveandseeing  asked:

How do you create all this stuff, do you hack into old equipment, or literally just use old cameras?

Hi there! When creating new content,
I use a lot of different tools.
Let me go somewhat into detail here:

Today, my main cameras are a EOS 550D, my Phone, a CCD surveillance camera, and when I need high resolution or have to film footage from CRT monitors, a Black Magic 4k camera, I own together with a friend.

I also often use old pictures, I made since my early 20s, with all kinds of cameras (Polaroid, Kiev Medium Format Camera, 35mm, Super8, MiniDV, Hi8, Video8 etc.), - and on rare occasions, footage made by my parents / grandparents.

I do manipulate the images in many different ways, printing them in bad resolution, scanning them and use the scan as luminance layer, change the color data with software, convert them to film emulation color profiles, add grain, add dust, reduce sharpness, replace the sky with gradients etc. 

I work with analog / semi-analog, standard definition video gear very often. I also own different VHS machines for different applications. The ones with dirty video heads are the best for manipulating content, the clean ones are best for multiplying master tapes.

The following image shows the setup I used for the new series, that started yesterday and is now uploaded to the queue:

Computer Non-Linear editing software ▶ Canopus ADVC110 (Firewire D/A, A/D box) ▶ VHS in LP mode (LP, Long Play, will give you more VHS characteristics due to recording in lower quality). After I recorded all footage to tape in LP, I do playback it into a ▶ Modded / circuit bent video mixer, then into a ▶ glitchy old video mixer for color boost, then into a ▶ TBC (time base corrector), then into ▶ another VHS machine recording on LP. Then I rewire the setup to go back into the computer. From the second VCR into ▶ the TBC, from there into the ▶ Canopus ADVC110. After being digital again, I take 1 second blocks of the footage, export them as PNG sequences and create GIF loops from these.

When doing pixel drawings I mostly work with Grafx2. From time to time I also create 3D source images in Blender. I also did a video, using a vintage 3D software called Virtual Reality Studio / 3D Construction Kit.

In general for creating images or music for my personal projects, I try to collect / discover as much interesting old hardware / software as possible to use it in my work. Let me throw some more keywords:

Virtual Machines with DOS, Windows 3.1, DOSBox, old Sound Cards (OPL), Synthesizers, typewriters, CRT monitors, tape decks, composite video hardware of all kinds, old computers, CCD surveillance cameras, Beamers, diffusion lens filters etc.

I often visit thrift stores and flea markets, but a lot of this old hardware have become very rare around where I live. Sometimes you’re lucky, sometimes you have to resort to online auctions.

Old gear is really inviting to experiment / play around with, and just a lot of fun!

I hope you can get some useful information from my rambling!

Best Regards
Fornax Void

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Two photos from today(my dad on the left and some citrus fruit on the right). I have been dying to get a medium format camera recently but I can’t justify the expense so I decided to mess around with this 85mm prime lens just to toy around with something a little faster than the zooms I normally use. It’s not medium format but it’s pleasant.

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Rio by Barry
Via Flickr:
Mamiya RZ67, 110mm f/2.8 Kodak Portra 400