A doubt WWII aerial recon cameras

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Jenisch, Aug 2, 2013.

  1. Jenisch

    Jenisch Active Member

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    During the Cold War, the recon planes could take very detailed pictures, I think of perhaps even the license plates of vehicles. I'm wondering how they were during WWII. For instance, the cameras in those days had any zoom at all?
     
  2. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    Cameras were VERY good in WWII. I don't know if you have ever seen stereo picture setup (maybe called a 3D pic setup), but it depends on separation. If you KNOW the speed of the plane, you can get a 3D image with two lenses, I have one. On the other hand, if you don't know the speed, you start with the lenses far apart and slowly move them inward until you see 3D. Really quite simple. Focus is easy but slow.

    The V-2 sites were first seen with flat photos made at a known speed from British photo planes and vewed through a stereo photo viewer.

    The detail was quite remarkable, and can be seen today if you can get the pics.
     
  3. pattle

    pattle Member

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    I remember reading that the RAF continued using upgraded World War Two vintage cameras well into the jet age. Unfortunately I can't remember what aircraft they were used in or when they were replaced, it just stuck in my mind because I was surprised the RAF were putting such old cameras in such modern planes when other countries such as the USA were by this time using much more modern cameras. I think these old cameras may also have been better in certain ways than the more modern ones that replaced them, but again I can't remember the details.
     
  4. Tante Ju

    Tante Ju Banned

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    Zoom? You mean variable magnification? I doubt that, as fixed focal lenght lenses ALWAYS beat "zoom" lenses for quality. Always. That doesnt mean there is no zoom, its just fixed at say 4x, 8x etc.

    The cameras were pretty good, even the size of the objective will give you some hint. Optics industry was very advanced by ww2, IIRC they could read out id numbers of the seaplanes on Bismarck when PR Spitfires photographed them from very high altitude. Films, especially large format films still beat digital images to this day I believe for resolution.
     
  5. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    Canberra PR3s, certainly in the mid 1950s.

    Cheers
    Steve
     
  6. Jenisch

    Jenisch Active Member

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    Yes.

    Well, thanks guys, very interestin informations!
     
  7. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    "...Films, especially large format films still beat digital images to this day I believe for resolution."

    Agreed - silver molecules are smaller than pixels ... :)

    MM
     
  8. Jenisch

    Jenisch Active Member

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    usa-in-colour-1940s-high-quality17_0.jpg

    Indeed Michael. Some people don't belive that pictures such as this one are from WWII.
     
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