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Thread: Historical Research: Film stocks used by Arthur Fellig AKA WEEGEE

  1. #1

    Historical Research: Film stocks used by Arthur Fellig AKA WEEGEE

    I am reading and writing about the infamous Weegee. Currently, I am trying to gather as much technical information as possible and although I have found sufficient documentation of his cameras, lenses, and strobes I haven't been so lucky to pin down what film stocks he would have been using. I am guessing that because of the time period we are speaking about Super-XX is probably what he would have used although there are some AGFA stocks that might have fit the bill.

    If anyone has a definitive answer please share and if possible let me know what source you got the information from.

  2. #2

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    Re: Historical Research: Film stocks used by Arthur Fellig AKA WEEGEE

    A search of proof sheets of Weegee's shots will turn up some notch codes and edge printing which is pretty definitive...

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    Re: Historical Research: Film stocks used by Arthur Fellig AKA WEEGEE

    Was Weegee's archive saved, and if so, where is it held? Whoever is taking care of his work might know, or would likely be open to your research.

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    Re: Historical Research: Film stocks used by Arthur Fellig AKA WEEGEE

    Kodak Super Panchro Press Type B is the most likely answer. Very fast stock for the time, intended for exactly the sort of stuff he was doing. There were a lot more stocks than Super-XX - there are Kodak dataguides from the right period on the internet archive that will give an insight into what was available at the time.

    Edit: Can confirm it was Super Panchro Press - see Popular Photography, December 1946, p.174. Exposure was 1/200, f16 via suitable flash bulb (article says 'midget' flash bulb). For the IR shots he apparently used 1/100 at f8 at 6ft, IR flashbulbs and processed in D-76 to control the contrast.

  5. #5

    Re: Historical Research: Film stocks used by Arthur Fellig AKA WEEGEE

    Quote Originally Posted by interneg View Post
    Kodak Super Panchro Press Type B is the most likely answer. Very fast stock for the time, intended for exactly the sort of stuff he was doing. There were a lot more stocks than Super-XX - there are Kodak dataguides from the right period on the internet archive that will give an insight into what was available at the time.

    Edit: Can confirm it was Super Panchro Press - see Popular Photography, December 1946, p.174. Exposure was 1/200, f16 via suitable flash bulb (article says 'midget' flash bulb). For the IR shots he apparently used 1/100 at f8 at 6ft, IR flashbulbs and processed in D-76 to control the contrast.
    Thank you! His flashbulbs had to have been massive in some of the more open photographs. It would be nice to have a modern flashgun able to produce the brilliance of a #50! I will try to order that issue from my library.

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    Re: Historical Research: Film stocks used by Arthur Fellig AKA WEEGEE

    Probably #5 IR flashbulbs. Called "midgets" but were very powerful.I once made a shot at a high school night football game with a #5 and you could easily read the faces on the opposite side of the field. I have forgotten how many lumens, but that info is available.

  7. #7

    Re: Historical Research: Film stocks used by Arthur Fellig AKA WEEGEE

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Noel View Post
    Probably #5 IR flashbulbs. Called "midgets" but were very powerful.I once made a shot at a high school night football game with a #5 and you could easily read the faces on the opposite side of the field. I have forgotten how many lumens, but that info is available.
    I have played with flashbulbs in the past. Here is a silver twinkie I shot using 2 bulbs, I forget their rating but they make a great crackle and put off a lovely smell. Sorry for the low res I don't have a better scan on this device.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  8. #8

    Re: Historical Research: Film stocks used by Arthur Fellig AKA WEEGEE

    I’d also guess Super Pancro Pess type B and DK-50 developer. This was a popular combination for press work. DK50 was really good for full film speed and tank / replenishment use. The combination produced full speed, good sharpness and beautiful luminous tones.
    I used a great deal of both in the 60’s along with #5 & 25 bulbs. When additional light was needed I used #3, 11 & 40 bulbs. It wasn’t uncommon to string multiple bulbs together or put several in the flash reflector and static fire them. One bulb igniting in contact with another would fire the second bulb without being connected to an electrical source.
    I’d doubt that Agfa film was used as Agfa wasn’t widely available. More likely it would have been Ansco or DuPont film and a developer similar to DK50. I’ll pull out my old Photo Lab index and see what I can find.
    My awareness of these products dates to 1964 when I got a new Pacemsker Crown Graphic 4x5. I used 4x5 and a Rollei through 1968 when I went to a Leica M2 and added a Nikon F soon after. Then in the mid 70’s I worked for the Department of Energy and had to shoot with a 4x5 Super Speed and flash bulbs once again. We were really ahead of our time ;~(

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    Re: Historical Research: Film stocks used by Arthur Fellig AKA WEEGEE

    Stuffing the reflector with parasitic bulbs

    I need to try that

    I have a Saltzman enlarger head with 25 Edison sockets and have considered finding a purpose

    A careful trial...
    sin eater

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