Editor’s note: The following comments were taken from letters written in response to Jacob Deschin's column in the January issue, headlined “What's Wrong With the PSA?" They represent a few of the thousands words of written to us by readers, the most response we have had from any single article in more than a year.
A few weeks ago, a friend called and asked me about a camera he wanted to buy. I gave him my stock answer: "If it makes pictures, it’s a good camera.” I pointed out, however, that what he probably wanted to know was how it compared with other cameras in the same price range and of the same general type, and suggested that he see if he found it comfortable to hold and work with (features that I find most important in choosing between several good-quality cameras).
Photographers make a fetish of sharpness, as well they should. The idea of sharpness is constantly discussed wherever photographers gather. The relative performance of lenses is hotly debated, and film developers are sought that produce maximum acutance and detail.
A department devoted to tape recording, hi-fi, sound-on-film, music, narration and special effects
TO DUB OR NOT TO DUB
If you record on-the-spot
Synch must synch
Pick a mike to suit the job
GEORGE W. CUSHMAN
Is it better to record sound while shooting the picture, or to record it afterwards? Strangely enough, most amateurs prefer to shoot their scenes first, and then, after the film has been processed and edited, add the sound. They feel this is the easiest way.
Understanding the elements of composition is as important in glamor photography as selecting a beautiful model to work with. There are basic precepts that make a picture pleasing to the eye and although these rules can be successfully broken, the most successful photographers are those who first understand what rules they're breaking.
When is a mistake a creatively inspired technique for which the photographer may take full credit, and when is it just a mistake albeit with a happy result? According to one of our leading photographers, “When make a mistake I may make my greatest picture.”
Exactly two years ago I wrote something about the way Polaroid Land materials could be used to check on color exposure. It was based on Philippe Halsman's practice of using the 200-speed 4x5 film (60second processing, at that time) with a 10X neutral density filter to get correct exposures for the old E-l Ektachrome with a speed of 12.
Strictly speaking, a portrait is a “pictorial representation of a person.” Can it be more? Should it be more? Can we treat a human subject—especially a face—as we would an inanimate subject? Is it possible to photograph a face so that the picture contains more than a mere literal reproduction of its particular arrangement of features?
If you’ve been watching the progress of photo-resistor meters, take a look at the new Honeywell Pentax Clip-On unit that couples to the shutter-speed wheel of H-l and H-3 Pentax cameras. No matter how you consider it, this is a neat and unusual little job.
CHICAGO—The 1962 convention of the Master Photo Dealers and Finishers Association, which opens here a few days after this magazine hits the newsstands, will see new products introduced by major manufacturers and distributors at the trade show.
The Fujicarex will mark the entrance of Fujica into the SLR field. The fully automatic camera will have a 50-mm f/1.9 lens and a between-the-lens shutter ranging from 1 to 1/500 second. The front lens element is interchangeable and all controls are under the thumb at the back of the camera; it also has a matching-needle electric eye meter system and a depth-of-field preview button.
When Minor White read my Photography: A Definition in the 1962 PHOTOGRAPHY ANNUAL, he wrote me to say that because of it he was ashamed to be associated with photography, a rather startling reaction to what I had fell was a serious and constructive piece of writing.
Here’s how six long lenses zeroed in on a busy traffic policeman
H. M. KINZER
In an age when distances are figured in light-years—or at least in millions of miles—a few hundred feet don't sound like much. But photographers are still fascinated with the tools that enable them to reach out to such modest lengths. Everybody with an interchangeable-lens camera has tried—or hopes to try —one of those foot-long optical wonders that pulls mile-away scenery to within grasping distance.
New filament designs, new gases, new temperature—these lamp features 'packaging’, new constancy of color promise more quality with less effort
Here are some units embodying new features to help you get better, brighter pictures
Recent innovations in the field of lighting now give the photographer new tools and leave him almost no excuse for poorly lighted pictures. Improved light bulbs and their accessory equipment including battery-powered portable lighting units, inspired by the needs of the movie-maker, also have wide-range application for still photography.
Exclusive photo-info roundup—first of a new series
Commercial and custom processing
When it comes to pictures
French photo words
Getting there and getting around
Restrictions on photography
And of special interest
For most Americans contemplating a trip to Europe, France represents the gateway of the continent—entrance, exit, or both. And it’s a country of such great physical diversity that the traveler with a camera finds himself constantly inspired to take pictures.
It’s time for night color photography to try for the “decisive moment.” Night pictures can be “moments.” too. We have the film and the cameras to do it, so why do we hamper ourselves with rules that are now out of date? The long exposure is passé.
A versatile Swiss photographer tells the story behind his bold, unusual color approach
The color in my work is not accidental. To be good, color must be controlled. This control must produce a picture in which the color contributes both in terms of interest and of reinforcing the mood of the subject matter. It must never be relinquished from the time you conceive of the picture until the time you make the final print.
An old graphic-art technique makes some arresting images
You can rework your favorite pictures to give them woodcut or charcoal-drawing effects with the use of a commercial film which might be new to many photographers: Kodalith Ortho. (If your dealer doesn’t stock it, he can order it for you.) According to the instructions, it’s “an extremely high-contrast film for photo-mechanical reproductions."
How did Erich Locker get these amazing shots? Turn page for the answers
The city of New York may not know it, or show it, but it’s been the antagonist in a five-year battle with a young photographer who is determined that no photographic problems created by the incongruous architecture that makes up the famous skyline shall go unsolved.
You get the feeling from almost the moment you enter downtown Boston that you're in a city in which American history was made. You see buildings that resemble illustrations from the history books of your school days, and even though they could be considered out of place in their modern surroundings, for some reason they aren't.
In spite of the above, a few professional photographers and some newspaper and magazine photo laboratories have been processing High Speed Ektachrome transparency film in the C22 Kodacolor kit in order to obtain color negatives. (Although dependability requires that each new emulsion be tested for this use, to date every emulsion I have used has proved satisfactory.)
The Museum of Modern Art in New York has announced the resignation of Edward Steichen after 15 years service as Director of Photography. The 82-year-old “dean” of American photographers will be replaced July 1 by John Szarkowski, 36, a former photography instructor at the University of Minnesota and the Albright Art School of the University of Buffalo.
This year U.S. Camera has undergone a metamorphosis. It is reproduced in good-quality offset on heavy stock, a big improvement over the familiar mediocre letterpress of previous issues, and it has abandoned the advertising. The increase in quality is offset by a sharp decrease in quantity.
Save fingers by punching starting hole in film end
A standard coiled coffee heater available for less than a dollar can be adapted easily to warm print developer. The coil is removed from the handle, then straightened carefully, avoiding kinks as it is rebent. Then it is re-inserted into handle.
EXA II has been added to the line of Exa single-lens reflex cameras and is interchangeable with all Exa and Exakta lenses and accessories, except viewfinders. It has a 50-mm Meyer Domiplan f/2.8 lens in an automatic diaphragm. Among other features are a focal-plane shutter with nine speeds to 1/250 sec, electronic and conventional flash synchronization, single-stroke lever wind, and focusing to 18 inches. Price is $109.50; case, $9.95. Brochure available from Exakta Camera Co., 705 Bronx River Rd., Bronx-ville 8, N. Y.
Exakta Camera Co.
ALPA 6C single-lens reflex camera is now available with a combination of satin black finish and dark green covering. Price is $479, with a 50-mm Macro-Switar f/1.8 lens focusing to 7 inches. Distributor is Karl Heitz, Inc., 480 Lexington Ave., New York 17.
Exakta Camera Co.
AUTO-NIKKOR ZOOM LENS
AUTO-NIKKOR ZOOM LENS covers focal lengths from 200to 600-mm and features a fully automatic diaphragm. Designed for use with the Nikon F automatic single-lens reflex camera, it uses one control for focusing and zooming. A back and forth movement zooms the lens and a rotating movement brings it into focus. Focusing is from 13 ft to inf.; with a close-up lens you can focus from 7 ft. It’s 19 in. long, weighs 4½ lb, and accepts Series IX filters. Price, $499.50. Distributor is Nikon Inc., 111 Fifth Ave., New York 3.
Exakta Camera Co.
ASTRONAR ZOOM is a seven-element coated lens with a variable focal length from 95to 205-mm. Currently, the lens is made to fit the Honeywell Pentax, Praktica, and similar cameras. Interchangeable adapters will be offered in the near future to permit use with other single-lens reflex cameras, those with Exakta-type mounts. Weight is 21 oz. Focusing is down to six ft; click-stop openings range from f/6.3 to f/22. Focal length in use can be seen on the barrel. Price, including soft leather carrying case, $174.95. For more information, write Encino Engineering, Box 251, Encino, Calif.
Exakta Camera Co.
ULTRABLITZ METEOR SP
ULTRABLITZ METEOR SP is claimed to be the first one-piece electronic flash for professional use. It weighs 34 oz and is an 80-watt-second unit. Rechargeable nickel-cadmium battery is claimed to give 140 flashes before recharging or substituted with an interchangeable n-c battery. Unit can be operated (and batteries recharged) on 110 to 220 volts a.c., which makes it practical for the foreign-bound photographer. Two-way switch permits choosing full power (1/1,000 sec) for large area coverage, or half-power (1/1,400 sec) for close-ups. Recycling time can be as low as 5 sec on half-power, 12 sec on full. Angle of coverage is 60 degrees, and guide number for Kodachrome II is 65-70. Monitor circuit cuts out power after full charge is reached to conserve battery life. Lastly, color temperature is 5600 K. Price, $109.50 with charger, a.c. cord, and snap hook; accessories for conversion to slave unit are available. Distributor is Interstate Photo Supply Corp., 300 Park Ave. S., New York 10.
Exakta Camera Co.
DUO-LUX DUETTE is a combination flashgun and flashlight, powered by a nickel-cadmium cell which may be recharged in any 110-volt outlet. Its 5-inch folding reflector has two adjustments for light concentration. M-2 or M-5 flashbulbs may be used, and the unit is equipped with a bulb ejector, test light, and synchroswitch connector. Folded, it measures 3x5x1¾ inches and is used as a flashlight in this position. Price is $11.75; imported by Bayou Trade Enterprises, 4417 Ashland Ave., Lake Charles 1, La.
Exakta Camera Co.
KODAK COLOR FILMS (E-77)
KODAK COLOR FILMS (E-77) is the fourth edition of this Kodak publication on still color photography. Important handling aspects are discussed in 48 pages of text, while exposure and filter recommendations are given in a 28-page data sheet section. Contents include information on types of color films, filters, processing, storage and care, critical use, viewing transparencies, and prints and duplicates. Price is $1 at Kodak dealers.
Exakta Camera Co.
PROJECTOR OPTICS KIT
PROJECTOR OPTICS KIT contains all the optical components, heat-absorbing glass, and instructions to build a plywood and light-sheet-metal projector for 2¼x2¼ transparencies. Price is $9.35, from Edmund Scientific Co., Barrington 16, N.J.
Exakta Camera Co.
PISTOL GRIPS for steadying all still and movie cameras are announced by Flex Electric Products, Inc., 39-08 24th St., Long Island City 1, N.Y. Designed to fit the hand, they affix to any camera with a standard tripod socket. Construction is of molded metal with a baked-on finish. Standard model is $2.95; with wrist strap, $3.95; with wrist strap and cable release, $4.95.
Exakta Camera Co.
LOWEL-LIGHT UNI-6 is a complete incandescent lighting kit designed to handle most location situations. Kit contains six Lowel-Light tape-up, clampon lighting fixtures and barndoors; two nine-ft stands with five lock-in sections; three 25-ft insulated extension cords with three-way outlets; Gaffer-Tape for mounting lights to walls or windows; and two 25-amp fuses for emergencies. These are all contained in a steel-reinforced, vulcanized fiber case, 14½x22½x6½-inches, with compartments and foam padding for bulbs. Price, $124.50; case only, $27.50; from Lowel-Light Photo Engineering, 429 W. 54th St., New York 19.
Exakta Camera Co.
PHOTO-MONOCULARS with front focusing mounts and standard filter-holder fittings are available from Spiratone, Inc., 135-06 Northern Blvd., Flushing 54, N. Y. Designed especially for camera use, the monoculars range in power from 6 to 8X and are priced from $16.75 to $25.75. They accept standard series lens shades, filters, and close-up lenses.
Exakta Camera Co.
MEDICAL PHOTOGRAPHY with single-lens reflex Hasseiblad cameras is described in a booklet available without charge from Paillard Inc., 100 Ave. of the Americas, New York 13. Included are charts of areas covered by lenses of several focal lengths at various distances from the subject, as well as full-color clinical photographs.
Exakta Camera Co.
SINAR VIEWCAMERA CASE
SINAR VIEWCAMERA CASE for either the 4x5, 5x7, or 8x10 model of Sinar cameras with lenses, film holders, and accessories can be adapted for convenient carrying over long distances with the addition of padded shoulder straps. Price of the case is $15.95. Distributor is Karl Heitz, Inc., 480 Lexington Ave., New York 17.
The motion picture camera, to most movie-makers, is an instrument of direct statement. It is used to tell the audience, in explicit visual terms, about a particular thing. It has, however, another less fundamental use which has occasionally yielded fascinating results.
Last month we explored some of the movie subjects to be found right around our home town. We would now like to develop this approach a little more fully. The strongest possible inducement to start filming is the knowledge that there is an honestly eager audience awaiting one's efforts—and not just a few intimate friends who will bear with us.
What is the “right” music—for a scene, a sequence, or an entire film ? Taste and experience are the ultimate guides—yet the film-maker seeks some rules that he can follow. Frequently, however, such rules turn out to be preconceptions which may mislead rather than help him.
One of the most fascinating things about motion pictures is that no single rule holds up under all situations. For example, through hard experience and harder sessions of viewing amateur travelogs, I have learned that a pan is one camera movement that should be avoided.
Here’s an 8-mm camera that plays an unusual duet: It is loaded with features that will appeal to the advanced amateur, but combines them with all the automation to put the beginner at ease. To wit: The 8-Z offers reflex viewing and focusing through its 10to 30-mm f/1.8 zoom lens.
This miniature tape recorder may well be of interest to the movie-maker out on location. It permits him to capture the actual sound of the scene he is filming. Battery operated and self-contained, compact (7¾ inches long, 4¼ inches wide, 1⅞ inches thick) and light (about 3 lb), it can be conveniently carried in its optional holster case.
In appearance Kodak’s latest 8-mm projector strongly resembles its long line of Showtime models, and, indeed, mechanically it is closely related. Optically, however, the Hi-Mat takes a big step. It is the brightest 8-mm projector with tungsten-light source we have ever seen.
Seattle World’s Fair film takes public way out in space
Shades of Jules Verne! Five-million persons are expected to have traveled a billion light years through outer space by the time the Seattle World’s Fair closes October 12. Spacearium (POPULAR PHOTOGRAPHY Newsfront, February 1962) shoots 700 viewers at a time onto an intergalactic (beyond our Milky Way) trip into space in 12 minutes.
Lining up title letters is a simple matter if you use a combination square. It not only assures straight horizontal lines, but the graduations on the blade help you to space letters properly. Combination squares come in various sizes and are sold in hardware stores.
A lightweight, easily portable reflector made from silver or white illustration board can improve the quality of your bounce-speedlight or flash pictures. Make the reflector from two sheets of 30x40-inch board which can he purchased in art supply stores for less than $1 each.
What in the blankety-blank am I trying to do? How many times in the course of making a picture do you pause in confusion and ask that question? Personally, I spend more time wrestling with the answer than I do making pictures—or doing anything else, for that matter.
What screen viewing distance gives the best perspective?
Can I shoot reverse action movies on 16-mm sound film?
Would step-down rings make smaller lens filters usable?
Can a photographer prohibit buyers from copying prints?
How can I make a plastic film developing reel easy to load?
Where do I start measuring lens-to-subject distance?
Are 3-D movies projected from a single length of film?
At our camera club there, has been a lot of discussion about perspective. Some say the perspective of a picture will be improved if you view the projection screen from the right distance. What is the best viewing distance?—Joseph Alford, New York, N.Y.