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Thread: Can someone help me identify this process camera?

  1. #1

    Can someone help me identify this process camera?

    I recently acquired an Acti process camera. From reading some of the posts I'm now able to use the word "bed" to describe the 12' "arm" as I use to refer to it. It's dismantled and wrapped on three separate pallets. Like I mentioned the bed is 12' long. I'm trying to find out more about the unit, model, use, etc.. but information seems to be limited on Acti's website. I have no knowledge of this type of equipment. It seems to be in very good shape and I can't tell if it was used and dismantled onto pallets or if it was never assembled and sat in a warehouse. Any help or interest would be great. I have pictures.

    Wes:






  2. #2

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Melbourne Australia
    Posts
    347

    Re: Can someone help me identify this process camera?

    I would suggest it is a well used Reprographic Gallery Camera. The film end picture shows white paint, presumably this white paint has rubbed off from the wall which would have been built around the film end, which is where you load graphic film onto the film holder or maybe even vacuum back.

    It doesn't look particularly big, possibly a maximum film size of 20x24". Generally these cameras were designed to accomodate the maximum page size of the local newspapers, years ago most were broadsheets, but in the last 30 years most are now tabloid sized.

    The newspaper I subscribe to (the Melbourne Age) is a broadsheet, it measures 56cm deep by 90 ems wide on image, most of our repro cameras could do a s/s neg of that. We had two very large cameras which were able to do a s/s neg of double the width, plus gutter bleed which was 56cm deep by 101 ems wide, which equates to a double page spread through the gutter.

    Ems is a printing specific width measurement for type faces, an En is 1/2 an Em

    You will most likely require a fair amount of shimming to get the bed running at exactly 90 degrees to the camera, plus it will have to be perfectly flat in relation to the film plane.

    Could be an interesting bit of camera to fiddle with.

    Just another point of interest, do you have the copy board lights? These usually require a bit of power, we standardised at 8,000 Watts per camera because of parts. That is, we had four 2,000 Watt fan cooled lamps on each copy board, everything was interchangeable.

    Mick.

  3. #3
    Pieter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
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    625

    Re: Can someone help me identify this process camera?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mick Fagan View Post
    Ems is a printing specific width measurement for type faces, an En is 1/2 an Em
    FWIW, an Em is not a fixed dimension, originally it was the width of the capital letter "M" of a particular typeface, then became the total line height from ascender to descender (the point size). So it will vary depending on the size and font.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Melbourne Australia
    Posts
    347

    Re: Can someone help me identify this process camera?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pieter View Post
    FWIW, an Em is not a fixed dimension, originally it was the width of the capital letter "M" of a particular typeface, then became the total line height from ascender to descender (the point size). So it will vary depending on the size and font.
    Hmmm, yes, my memory is going. Back in the hot metal printing days, we had rulers which showed points and picas in a pole arrangement, whereby one could hold the block to the top of the rule and read off the measurement.

    With newspapers, at least in this country, we had em and en rules on one side which were used for column width and millimetres on the other side to get the column depth. As the point size of their fonts was a set standard, Times Roman, column width was known and required for display ads. I have looked around but cannot readily find my various typographical rules that were heavily used in another life 40 years ago. If I find them I'll include a picture of them, museum pieces these days.

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