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Railfan Technology > And you thought YOUR old camera was clunky?

Date: 09/07/18 10:03
And you thought YOUR old camera was clunky?
Author: march_hare

It never ceases to amaze me how much more capable my DSLR is than its old film-based counterpart, while at the same time being both smaller and lighter.

Go back in time, though, and railfanning cameras were really, really slow and clunky.

For an example, check out this one:  https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/worlds-biggest-camera?utm_source=Atlas+Obscura+Daily+Newsletter&utm_campaign=f0dee252ac-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_09_07&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_f36db9c480-f0dee252ac-64447793&ct=t(EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_9_7_2018)&mc_cid=f0dee252ac&mc_eid=d02819c825


Date: 09/07/18 12:14
Re: And you thought YOUR old camera was clunky?
Author: wa4umr

And I thought my 4x5 was big.  Oh, I know they make them bigger.  About 50 years ago I picked it up for about $10.  It's rather badly beaten up but there are no holes in the bellows and the shutter works.  Just for fun, I took a few pictures with it.  I had access to 4x5 enlargers while in the army but when I came home, all could do was to make some contact prints.  Who would have thought 50 years ago, or 118 years ago that just about everyone would be walking around with a phone in their pocket and that you can get decent pictures with that phone?


Date: 09/21/18 20:23
Re: And you thought YOUR old camera was clunky?
Author: MojaveBill

Been there, done that! I do still like my Nikon for shooting spaceships and weird airplanes here in Mojave...

Bill Deaver
Mojave, CA

Date: 10/23/18 06:07
Re: And you thought YOUR old camera was clunky?
Author: navarch2

I once watched a fellow taking long shots up in Marias Pass, with a telephoto lens that was so long, it had a tripod holding up the lens end as well as one under the camera body...The lens looked to be a couple of feet long.....he was trying to get a long valley into his picture (not any trains)..


Date: 10/23/18 20:14
Re: And you thought YOUR old camera was clunky?
Author: BRAtkinson

I got a crazy film friend that he and I went out to take some nighttime winter shots of downtown Springfield MA from across the river...at zero degrees that night.  He, with his trusty 8x10 film camera (giant 'cartridges' and all!) was shooting ASA 20 B&W film he had cut that day and me with my first digital, a Canon G-3 compact camera.  Of course, according to his meter readings (and verified by the results), he was doing 30 MINUTE exposures at f32 or some ridiculously small aperture while I was shooting 30 SECOND exposures about wide open and ISO 1600, give or take.  

He loved working in the darkroom he built about 2000, he ultimately took it apart about 2012 or so when he switched to digital.  The results that night were incredibly impressive.  I was perfectly happy with my color digital shots and with the long exposures, there was a good amount of detail visible in the images.  His 8x12 shots were beyond sharp and clear...and the detail beyond comprehension.  Who'd have thought a 70 year old camera (maybe older) that he bought used for a song could give such impressive results?  As I recall, he gave the camera to an up and coming 'photography museum' in downtown Springfield about 7-8 years ago.

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