Wallace Hanson’s information in Photo Beat (February) that the designation of "ASA" for film speed is superseded by the designation "USA" is unfortunately in error. According to the USA Standards Institute. their Photographic Standards Board has decided to retain the designation "ASA," despite the fact that the quantity to which it refers is now called the "USA Standard Speed" rather than the former "American Standard Speed."
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—Polaroid Land camera makes bigger black-and-white pictures uses pack film: Bigger, but lighter by four oz. than its 2½-year-old predecessor Swinger, new Big Swinger makes eight 3¼x4¼ pictures on Polaroid Type 107 pack film.
One advantage that studio photographers have over the amateur is that they are occasionally visited by a "technical rep." Kodak, GAF, and DuPont have all sent their technical reps to my studio, bearing news of useful products, ready to answer questions and complaints, and to tackle unusual technical photographic problems.
Almost every time I go into my local neighborhood camera shop, there’s a clerk busily trying to find out why the flash doesn’t go off on some customer’s camera. When I first became interested in photography nearly 40 years ago, there were no flashbulbs, and if you used powder, it was because you had to.
Last month I stressed the need for an SLR to take a variety of lenses. But there are other things an experimenter like me needs in the way of camera performance to go way-out. One of these is the ability to make multiple exposures easily. With most SLR’s, this is done by first making one exposure, turning the rewind lever to take the slack out of the film, pressing in the rewind button, and then operating the film transport lever.
NIZO S 80 super 8 makes exposures from 1 frame per minute to 18, 24. and 54 fps. It also features: automatic timer with range from two fps to one per minute, variable shutter, electric remote control, electric film drive powered by six penlight cells, battery tester, 10➛80-mm Schneider Variogon f/2.5 zoom lens, automatic exposure control with ASA film speeds 25 to 400, manual exposure override, and twospeed pushbutton power zoom. Price, with rubber lens hood, cable release, CdS battery, $499.50. Distributor, Nizo International Corp., One Park Ave., New York, N.Y. 10016.
Nizo International Corp.
SPIRATONE DUPLISCOPE copies slides, makes negatives from positives, and positives from negatives. Unit fits SLR cameras, and holds duplicating copy flat and parallel to film plane in a springloaded channel. Standard 2x2 or Series 7 filters for correction and conversion purposes can be added. Price, $24.95. Distributor is Spiratone, Inc., 135-06 Northern Blvd., Flushing, N.Y. 11354.
Nizo International Corp.
250-mm FOLLO-FOCUS f/4.5 focuses from 10 ft to infinity, stops down to f/22, and has a preset diaphragm. Used on SLR’s with lens interchangeability, lens is stated to be critically corrected for spherical and chromatic aberration, coma, distortion, and astigmatism. Price, $58.95, fob N.Y. Distributor is Sterling-Howard Corp., 236 South Sta., Yonkers, N.Y. 10705.
Nizo International Corp.
D-28 MARK IV
D-28 MARK IV, a Star-D tripod, has a 3-in.-sq. camera platform, unipod head to form monopod by removing a leg, three-axis pan/tilt head, positive action synchro-lock, weighs 5 lb, and extends to 76 in., retracts to 30 in. Manufacturer is Davidson Optronics, Inc., 2223 Ramona Blvd., West Covina, Calif.
Nizo International Corp.
REDI-TILT tripod’s center post slides up or down on a Teflon surface. Pan head tilts 90 degrees, pans 360 degrees, and is detachable. Construction is of heavy-gauge tubular aluminum. Weight. 4½ lb; open height, 67 in.; closed height, 27 in. Price, under $50. More details from Davis & Sanford, 24 Pleasant St., New Rochelle, N.Y. 10802.
Back in the early 1800’s, the federal government decided to shift the Seminole Indians from Florida and Georgia to Oklahoma. Most of them accepted relocation, but a few hundred refused. To avoid being seized and shipped west, they slipped off into the Everglades, where they lived off the swamp and worked at evading the soldiers who'd been sent down to round them up and send them packing.
A good share of the problems that can cause equipment failure do not occur abruptly; they sort of creep up on you until they become so pronounced that your pictures show signs of obvious trouble, or the equipment stops working altogether.
The frog, bug, flower, or swamp-creature photographer who hates to submerge the legs of an expensive tripod in water can easily make a couple of useful and pennypinching substitutes with a minimum of tools and skill. The tripod shown was made from a small piece of ¾-inch plywood, three brass binges, and a few feet of 1½ x ¾-inch spruce.
THE WORLD IN YOUR MAILBOX. Soon after I bought my first wire recorder in 1945, I began to record folk music off the radio and from people I met in the course of daily life. The Irish handyman of the apartment house in which I lived sang more than 20 songs for me.
Can a 4-track stereo cassette be played on a monotype cassette recorder? Yes. The cassette system provides automatic mixing of the stereo tracks for mono reproduction. Incidentally, you can play mono cassettes on a stereo unit. My battery-powered tape recorder uses six batteries for a total of 9 volts. Could I power the recorder from a car's cigar lighter? Perhaps with a special voltage-dropping cable, which is not generally available for your machine. A direct connection isn't recommended, since the car's "battery voltage" rises to more than 14 volts when the engine is running.
ELIMINATING HUM. An otherwise hum-free tape recorder and hi-fi installation may develop hum when the two are connected. If the amplifier or tuner has a ground screw (arrow), use a short length of wire to connect it to an electrical ground such as the AC convenience outlet plate.
I don’t know why I waited so long to try polarized light sources for copying and some other tricky jobs. But now that I’ve given them a real workout, they are an important part of my everyday equipment. These are the special lighting tools (used with a polarizer over the camera lens) that make it easy to subdue or eliminate many reflections in color or black-and-white photography.
While MTF has made great contributions to evaluating finished lenses, some optical scientists complain that it offers very few clues on what to do to improve them. Like the imperious parent, MTF says, "Don’t worry, just try hard and I’ll tell you when you are good."
What is the 'magic difference' that makes a photograph worth $5000?
The director of the Famous photographers School offers some encouraging advice to amateur photographers who dream of making good with their cameras.
The noted photographer Philippe Halsman was once assigned by Life to take pictures of Winston Churchill at his home. "Churchill played a kind of cat-and-mouse game with me," Halsman says. "Whenever he saw me trying to shoot him from the front, he would playfully turn away."
Black-and-white photofinishing in the United States is in a sad state of affairs. Example: a photofinisher has declared that his company could not produce as good a print in black-and-white as in color. Example: an officer of one of the most respected camera companies in the United States rationalized the fact that a new automatic camera could only be set for a top film speed of 200, when 400and 500-speed films are readily available for the camera.
A Philadelphia TV film crew asked a group of children in grade school, "What is a camera?" Some of the kids stumbled through a definition, others were surprisingly articulate, but one little girl said shyly, "A camera is something you talk through."
Most people like to take pictures in art museums. They strive valiantly to take great pictures of this or that work of art. After that, they go to the museum curio shop to look at postcards. To their chagrin, they discover that the museum staff photographer has done a much better job than they, because he had portable lights and could arrange the art however he wanted to.
As I hurried through Penn Station, a Life cover caught my eye. The portrait of a young Marine—eyes wide beneath steel helmet, hands clenched in supplication— stopped me in mid-stride. The image seemed original yet familiar; the work of a stylist.
Dennis Brokaw began using Polaroid Land Type 52 film in the special back on his Calumet view camera only for checking flash setups in his photographic work. A few exposures, he says, soon convinced him that the material was “well worth using for itself.” He found that the results were “astonishing: crisp, high definition and subtle beauty.” He went on to explore the film’s possibilities in the nature world of his West Coast habitat. Some of the results of his explorations are shown here. Brokaw uses Ansel Adams' zone system of exposure, which calls for exposing for the darkest values and developing for the brightest values, so that both can be easily printed. There are limits, of course, in developing Polaroid material, but Brokaw has produced remarkably sharp results with excellent tonal range and big-camera quality. The film speed of Type 52 is equivalent to ASA 400. Of the results obtained with his “test material,” he says, “They do show how one photographer gets along with the ‘limitations’ or characteristics, if you prefer, of this medium. I would like to see more photographers using Polaroid films for the esthetic qualities inherent in them, rather than treatingthem as ‘test films’ or 10-second gimmicks. With an unlimited variety of subject matter and imagination, I am sure that very, very fine work will be done on Polaroid Type 52 film.” Some already has, by Dennis Brokaw.—Carol Carlisle
Close-ups made with instamatic cameras? As you can see from the first three pictures at the bottom of these pages, it's now possible through two kits that offer quick, uncomplicated, ultra-close-up shooting. First of these is the Kodak Instatech Close-up Camera outfit available only from Lester A. Dine, Inc., 2080 Jericho,Turnpike, New Hyde Park, N.Y. 11041, its distributor.
I have used many underwater housings, but never one as inexpensive, as easy to load, or as easily used with flash as the Instacase. (It's made by Oceanic Equipment Corp., 2223 N.W. 14th St.. Miami Beach, Fla. 33125, and costs $19.95.) It's the only housing I've used that didn’t require getting out of the pool to reload.
Now you can shoot available-light pictures with 126-size cameras—as we did with the Instamatic 104, least expensive model in Kodak’s instant-loading line. What makes this possible, of course, is fast film—in this case Tri-X Pan SO-130, ASA 400, 12-exposures in the drop-in Kodapak cartridge.
THE EXAKTA 500 is just a handful of camera: 415/16-in. long, 3¾-in. high, and 3¾-in. deep to the tip of the 50-mm Tessar f/72.8 lens, adding up to a mere 1¾ lbs. It also costs a mere handful: with the automatic Tessar, $79.50, including case. Yet it can tackle almost as much as its big brothers, the Exaktas 1000, 11A, IIB, etc.
Outstanding pictures always seem to have an extra dimension, a quality that really sets them apart from the ordinary and makes you take a second look. Photographers who make (note: it’s make, not take) such pictures do so because they can bring to a commonplace situation something besides their cameras and equipment.
A photographer’s guide to understanding a force named Lubalin
One day last winter, Herb Lubalin took over the Brodovitch class in photography. What should have been an illuminating evening turned into a donnybrook of confused semantics and a misinterpretation of the art director’s role in photography.
A century-old technique still makes fascinating pictures. Here’s how you can let it work for you.
RICHARD D. ZAKIA
The time was about 1850. The man was Armand Sabattier. a French doctor, scientist, and amateur photographer. While developing some film (wet collodion plates at that time), it was accidentally re-exposed to daylight. Instead of tossing the film out.
HemisFair’68 is the first world’s fair ever held in the American Southwest. It has an official “theme” (the confluence of the civilizations of the old world and the new in the Americas), a landmark (a 622-foot tower with a restaurant and observation tower at the top), and a remarkably convenient location (only three blocks walk from The Alamo, in the heart of downtown San Antonio).
POPULAR PHOTOGRAPHY’S program of equipment testing is solidly based on its laboratory—the most up-to-the-minute installation of its kind. Our test instruments were chosen, installed, and, in many cases, custom-designed and built by Technical Consultant Norman Goldberg, head of the well-known professional camera and instrument repair service, Camcraft, Inc., of Madison, Wis.
The production crew became frogmen and even the actors donned underwater breathing gear in Daring Game —for most of the action takes place in the ocean’s depths. Shot in the transparent waters of the Bahamas, the Ivan Tors film, released by Paramount, creates underwater realism that would have been impossible in a studio tank.
Where and how to make the best pictures at HemisFair’68
From a photographer's viewpoint, HemisFair’68 has a lot going for it. First is the location in the city uniquely distinguished by the San Antonio River that meanders between tree-shaded banks through the downtown area. The Paseo del Rio, or river walk, is lighted at night by gas lamps.
What do you need for your darkroom or studio? An enlarger stand? Light box? Copying or shooting table? Dolly? Just step to your nearest hardware store or building supply firm and ask for Dexion 125. This is a kit containing enough angle iron—six pieces 6 feet, 6 inches long; 12 corner plates; and 50 special locking nuts and bolts—to construct both an enlarger stand and a shooting table that doubles as a copying stand or light box.
THE BAUER C2B is optically one of the more impressive super 8 cameras, in our opinion. It has a 7➛56-mm f/1.8 Schneider Variogon power-zoom lens, and behind it, perhaps even more significantly, the largest-image reflex finder we have ever seen.
I have heard that semi-transparent tanks with spigots are available for storing photo chemicals, Where can I purchase these?—Lester James, Salt Lake City, Utah The RDA Corp., 422 S. Oliver, Wichita, Kans., manufactures Vue-Thru chemical storage tanks (shown) of translucent polyethylene.