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Thread: Okay aerial guru's: question about film size, focal length, and the jitters

  1. #31

    Re: Okay aerial guru's: question about film size, focal length, and the jitters

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Dudenbostel View Post
    I'm assuming these are similar to what you're going to shoot but in a rural area?

    I shot these in 1980 from an Instrom F-28 Helicopter with a 4x5 Pacemaker Crown Graphic and 135 Xenar. I used TX film packs because there's not much room for a bag of holders. It was a very hazy day with clouds in the sky.
    I did hand hold them. It's not that difficult in s helicopter as long as you keep the camera out of the rotor wash. It's been 38 years since I shot these. The were for planning purposes for the 1982 worlds fair. Just a guess I'd say I shot at 1/250 but I remember some overcast at times an haze and don't remember if I had a K2 filter on it or not. I might have because of the haze. The f stop, ???.

    If you're really serious about 4x5 I'd buy an old wooden body crown or speed graphic. A 127 Ektar would be good and I'd get some aluminum and build a cowling around the bellows and just past the front standard. I said wooden body because I'd secure the cowling on the camera with screws. Then I'd run the front standard out to exactly infinity, pot epoxy on the rails and then secure the rails at infinity focus wit a screw. It's just too easy for things to move up there. I'd then use the wire sports finder on the camera and figure out what the lens sees vs the view through the wire finder. Usually theses finders aren't very accurate so you might even need to fabricatecone.

    If you really want a fun adventure, find someone with a J3 Cub. The strut is farther forward than the 172 and you can fly with the door open. The J3 originally didn't have an electric start so you had to pull the prop by hand. Folks would get behind the prop, crack the throttle, prime the engine, switch on the magnetos then pull the prop and jump in because there was no way to engage the breaks. I flew a 7AC Aeronca Champ that I had to pull the wooden prop on to start it but the door was different and the strut too far back to do that. I had to have someone hold the breaks because I had to start it from in front of the prop. It's a little in needing the first time.

    J3 pilots are usd to flying from the back seat as that's where you have to fly from when there's only one person aboard. It's duecti center of gravity, CG. Fly solo from the front and you become a lawn dart.

    The J3 other than being really small is it's cheap cheap to fly and Slooooow. It's like the champ, I know from experience in cold dry weather it would fly at 25-30 mph. If you're a flying nut, these old vintage aircraft are a hoot to fly in. The Champ I flew was built in 1946, 2 years before me. Uncomfortable seats, pulling a wooden prop by hand to start it and flying with a stick. Everything's cool until you encounter a large hawk that wants to take you down.

    Maximize your fun. Get someone to fly you that's an instructor and use it as a flying lesson too. That's what I do when I use a helicopter. The flying service I use has two Schweitzer 300's and the pilot in an instructor. I've got enough hours in rotor now that I do all the flying frongvthecairport to the shoot site and back. It's on my clients dime too.

  2. #32

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    Re: Okay aerial guru's: question about film size, focal length, and the jitters

    Don, I’ve collected hours, too 300c’s and R-22’s mostly. Those darn hawks (and buzzards in Texas) always seem to dive when near don’t they? I like your idea of building a cowling and was brainstorming that today. J3 hand-start wow that’s old school! No mid-air restart option? Yikes! I’ve been in one Back to the cowling I might even use black foam core —then I saw this - see below. Looks WW1 era. Fits my bailing twine and duct tape aesthetic
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Dallas Texas HABS / HAER / HALS Photography
    Photographer/Author Marfa Flights: Aerial Views of Big Bend Country (Texas A&M University Press)
    Represented by Michael Duty Fine Art

  3. #33

    Re: Okay aerial guru's: question about film size, focal length, and the jitters

    Foamcore won't stand up to the wind. Build a mockup and have someone take you out to a deserted road in their car and get you up to 100 mph and then stick it out the window. If it'll hold up then it'll be ok in the air. But I would bet money a foamcore and gaffer tape cowling won't stay together. I'd use a pretty rigid aluminum popriveted together then screwed securely into the body of the camera.

    I'm a big nut about sAfety. Remember anything that fall to earth is a potential reason for a lawsuit. Any property damage or injury is serious. All someone needs to do is get your N number or track you through ATC.

  4. #34
    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Re: Okay aerial guru's: question about film size, focal length, and the jitters

    In my modest opinion the only acceptable aerial camera is one with no bellows and minimal body.
    .

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