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 Post subject: Vintage BW studio cameras
PostPosted: Feb Mon 24, 2020 3:41 pm 
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Well, these didn't exactly fit in your pocket, especially the sports camera. The last is Nixon and Kennedy debate of Sept 1960. (The actual debate can be seen by searching for Nixon Kennedy Debate)
The forth one down took a camera man, a driver, and a director to operate.


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VintageTV_Camera03.png
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VintageTV_Camera05.jpg
VintageTV_Camera05.jpg [ 167.67 KiB | Viewed 1951 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: Vintage BW studio cameras
PostPosted: Feb Mon 24, 2020 11:56 pm 
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That first picture is of a "Fernsehkanonen" (television canon), one of three used to televise the 1936 Berlin Olympic games. Either an Image Dissector or an Iconoscope pickup tube. 180 line scan.

The two middle pictures are of Image Orthicon cameras: the DuMont one is probably early 1950s; the Kennedy-Nixon debate cameras look like RCA TK-11A types.

The bulky GE camera in the bottom pic is an Iconoscope type, made in the early '40s through the early '50s.

Great fun to see all these old cameras.

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 Post subject: Re: Vintage BW studio cameras
PostPosted: Feb Tue 25, 2020 3:02 am 
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I salvaged this from the dumpster a few years ago: parts from a General Electric Image Orthicon type b/w camera chain consisting of a model 5098A Image Orthicon Pickup Head, 5099A Electronic Viewfinder and 5028B Image Orthicon Control and Monitor. Supposedly manufactured by DUMONT for G.E (There is a small barely visible "DuMont 850" engraved in the camera head metal frame) ? It looks somewhat similar to the DuMont camera posted above (picture #2, first post). Lots of tubes Inside including the Image Orthicon pickup tube which is still there. Not much can be found on this old broadcast Equipment on the web so I would appreciate any infos regarding this camera (dating, history, documents...). Thanks to anyone who could help.


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GECAM.09.jpg
GECAM.09.jpg [ 158.32 KiB | Viewed 1882 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Vintage BW studio cameras
PostPosted: Feb Tue 25, 2020 5:12 am 
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Tubologic, are you familiar with the Early Television Foundation Museum? They have a collection and restore pieces. Someone there may have more info.
https://www.earlytelevision.org/postwar ... _eqpt.html

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 Post subject: Re: Vintage BW studio cameras
PostPosted: Feb Wed 26, 2020 2:59 am 
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It's nice to see that WDTV camera; that was Pittsburgh's first television station, which signed on in early 1949. The station was bought by Westinghouse, became KDKA-TV, and moved to channel 2.
.

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 Post subject: Re: Vintage BW studio cameras
PostPosted: Feb Wed 26, 2020 3:59 am 
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There are some photos of DuMont and GE cameras like that at Bobby Ellerbee's "Eyes of a Generation" TV website https://eyesofageneration.com/cameras-page, and he identifies the DuMont version as a 124B, which came out in late 1947 or early '48. However, about 2/3 of the way down the DuMont camera page, just below a photo of Bishop Fulton Sheen (early TV star!), is a photo identified as a DuMont 5098C, which closely matches the GE number on your unit.
Finding info on GE cameras is hard, as several folks have said.

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 Post subject: Re: Vintage BW studio cameras
PostPosted: Feb Thu 27, 2020 3:20 am 
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Yes, I already went to this website but didn't checked all the DuMont pages. Now It appears that my G.E camera is obviously a rebranded DuMont. Unfortunately DuMont TV broadcast Equipment is not better documented and nothing more can be found on the web. I would (guess)timate it was produced around 1946-49 which is consistent with the official starting of TV broadcasting in Belgium (1953, preceded by a two-year "experimental" phase). Must be one of the 1st cameras they used... a piece of history.


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 Post subject: Re: Vintage BW studio cameras
PostPosted: Mar Mon 16, 2020 7:15 pm 
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aj2x wrote:
That first picture is of a "Fernsehkanonen" (television canon), one of three used to televise the 1936 Berlin Olympic games. Either an Image Dissector or an Iconoscope pickup tube. 180 line scan.


The Fernsehkanonen manufacturer Telefunken had purchased a licence from RCA to manufacture an iconoscope tube and that was used with 180 line 25 Hz non-interlaced. The image dissector type camera used at the 1936 Olympics was very much smaller and more portable and was manufactured by Fernseh AG.

See: http://www.nostalgiatech.co.uk/Berlin%20Olympics.htm

Peter

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 Post subject: Re: Vintage BW studio cameras
PostPosted: Mar Wed 18, 2020 3:18 pm 
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I started my career working in Television in 1961 following working in radio before. I graduated high school in 1961.

The station I worked for and later became Chief Engineer of used both Dumont and RCA Image Orthicon cameras.

We had relegated our Iconoscope cameras to the dead storage attic in favor of Vidicon cameras for the Film Chains.

The word Chain was used as there were several paces which started with the camera head, the camera control unit, power supplies, and sync and pulse distribution. All this before you got to the video switcher.

The Iconoscope camera head was on a roller track so it could be moved to the appropriate film or slide projector.

One of my jobs was projectionist and I could load a 16 mm film on a projector and have it on the air in four seconds flat.

We also had early Ampex 2 inch Quadraplex Video Tape machines called VR1000. Three racks of tube as well as the console.

The studio cameras RCA TK-30 were turned on when the studio equipment was first turned on in the morning, and remained operational all day until Signoff.

Our master control room used RCA TM-5 monitors as part of the camera chains. Often times when the equipment was first turned on in the morning the sync generator would not come up resulting in no horizontal drive to the TM-5 monitor whereupon the flyback transformer would catch fire with flames coming out of the top of the monitor.

Now in our Master Control room we have a wall of 65 inch flat screen TV's fed by a multi-viewer.

Jim


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 Post subject: Re: Vintage BW studio cameras
PostPosted: Mar Wed 18, 2020 5:35 pm 
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I notice that when rebroadcasting very old shows it looks to me like the gray scale is not linear. Could one of you say something about the characteristics of the various types of cameras and the types of tubes used. And perhaps how film interacted with this.

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 Post subject: Re: Vintage BW studio cameras
PostPosted: Mar Thu 19, 2020 5:22 am 
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Yes, from the earliest days of electronic television in the 1930s and as defined by AD Blumlien, the non-linearity of the display CRT was compensated for in the camera. So now, all TV displays must emulate the "gamma" of the CRT.

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 Post subject: Re: Vintage BW studio cameras
PostPosted: Mar Thu 19, 2020 2:06 pm 
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The apparent gray scale anomalies of early cameras weren't just linearity. For example the earliest Emitron cameras were far from panchromatic and the high green sensitivity made leafy trees look rather unreal.

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 Post subject: Re: Vintage BW studio cameras
PostPosted: Mar Thu 19, 2020 6:39 pm 
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I think there is a "Gamma" control in modern broadcast video processing equipment.
I first came across the term in regard to computer displays. Apple computers had their displays (CRT)
set up with a different gamma than IBM (PC) displays. I don't know if that is true today with LCD displays.

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 Post subject: Re: Vintage BW studio cameras
PostPosted: Mar Fri 20, 2020 2:48 am 
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There has been a Gamma control in broadcast TV cameras at least since the days of Plumbicon tubes (late 1960s). Plumbicons (and semiconductor imagers) have a linear response to light (current out is proportional to light on the target, or Gamma = 1.0), but CRTs have a Gamma of 2.2 (approx.). In order to match the response of the CRTs, the video gain of a camera is non-linearly modified to provide the inverse amount of Gamma (0.45).

Though they were before my time designing cameras, Image Orthicons (Gamma=2.2), Iconoscopes (Gamma=0.5), and vidicons (average Gamma=0.65) all would've needed some form of Gamma correction, though Vidicons were usually considered "close enough" without it. Additionally, all the nonlinear pickup devices have somewhat "lumpy" response to light depending on individual tube characteristics and bias conditions.

Other characteristics of the various types of imagers would also give them individual "personalities," in terms of noise, spurious signal effects, and the like. Iconoscopes had considerable problems with randomly changing signal shading. Image Orthicons produced black "halos" around bright objects. Vidicons tended to retain stationary images for long periods of time (called "lag" for times <1 second, and "burn" for times >1 minute, approx.). Plumbicons produced "comet tails" from small bright moving objects. Lots of engineering time was spent mitigating these effects, not always successfully.

An experienced old timer could probably identify the pickup device used by watching a monitor, and maybe even the make or model of camera.

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 Post subject: Re: Vintage BW studio cameras
PostPosted: Mar Fri 20, 2020 5:09 am 
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Quote:
An experienced old timer could probably identify the pickup device used by watching a monitor, and maybe even the make or model of camera.


Yes Mark this is true. When watching historical vision I enjoy trying to date it from the camera artifacts.

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 Post subject: Re: Vintage BW studio cameras
PostPosted: Mar Fri 20, 2020 10:33 pm 
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I wonder if the gamma was not well set up in cameras in the early 1950s. I recently saw a show featuring Nat King Cole. His color varied drastically from cut to cut.

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 Post subject: Re: Vintage BW studio cameras
PostPosted: Mar Fri 20, 2020 11:55 pm 
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Early cameras required a lot of "loving care" (frequent alignment) to stay in spec. Production pressures didn't always permit this.

In Australia, for a TV station to keep its licence, they used to have to employ an engineer who held a TVOCP - TV Operator's Certificate. On this guy's shoulders fell the responsibility for the technical quality of the station's output. Probably still the same.

Some networks took great pride in their technical quality, others, (ABC?) not so much.

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 Post subject: Re: Vintage BW studio cameras
PostPosted: Mar Sat 21, 2020 3:00 am 
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Years ago, I bought an old CCTV camera at a hamfest. After getting it to work, I found that adjusting the beam and target controls just right would bring out the image of a hotel lobby, which was burned into the vidicon.

I still remember seeing the "black halo" back in the early-mid 1960s, even on network television.

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 Post subject: Re: Vintage BW studio cameras
PostPosted: Mar Sun 22, 2020 12:59 am 
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Vidicons are great little devices - fairly cheap to make, reasonably (and adjustably) sensitive, not needing a gamma correction circuit (if operated within specific range of light level and target bias). Depending on the phototarget material, it can have light sensitivity in the UV, visible or IR ranges. In CCTV service (zillions of cheap security cameras), use of either a photocell-controlled target bias voltage, or just with a very large bias resistor, so that the light level itself would adjust the bias, high enough sensitivity range was achieved so that no iris was required in the lens. Such a camera left pointing at door in a dim area (underground parking garage, etc) would render the scene "acceptably" but after days or weeks, people or objects moving through would appear ghostly or transparent as the unchanging part of the image burned itself into the target. TV stations that used a vidicon camera to point at a station ID slide or or test pattern sometimes eventually found that they could remove the slide or cap the lens and still have the image present.

The black halo effect in Image Orthicons was an inherent problem in its design, never completely solved to my knowledge. The RCA TK-40 and '41 color cameras (three IOs) could create color halos if its three tubes weren't set up to match. Other manufacturers' IO cameras had the same challenges.

US networks tended to be pretty careful matching their cameras (of whatever vintage or type) for network-produced shows, but local stations' productions could be less precise. Small TV stations could have limited technical resources. I remember when I worked for RCA in the late '70s, the technical help engineer told me about a call he'd just had from a station: the only test equipment the caller had was a VTVM!

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 Post subject: Re: Vintage BW studio cameras
PostPosted: Mar Sun 22, 2020 6:39 am 
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I also have watched with interest the characteristics of vintage videos that are included as clips in modern historic programs ... yes, the black halo surrounding bright point light sources is very characteristic of image orthicons, and trails with vidicons. I still have an old vidicon camera I bought from Denson Electronics back in the late 1960s; I last used it around 1980, and I should get it out of storage and bring it back to life. Doubtless many of the capacitors in it have gone south. Amongst the camera tubes I've collected over many years, I have an ITT F4052 image dissector ... as I recall, the photocathode in it is type S20. Being a non-integrating device, I would imagine there is zero 'lag', but I wonder what the video from a dissector actually looks like. Does anyone have experience with and/or memories of using them?
R/ John


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