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Bertha Support

 
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evegir



Joined: 13 Jun 2001
Posts: 12
Location: Pacific Northwest

PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 11:51 pm    Post subject: Bertha Support Reply with quote

I recently was lucky enough to land a very nice Big Bertha (based on the Home Portrait with the 1/1000 press shutter) - not a BIG Bertha, as it is a 50cm lens rather than the 40" so commonly seen. The whole unit weighs in at 32 pounds, bag mag and all. The question is - what did the old guys mount these things on? Pictures of the camera are out there, but I've only seen one image of a 40" in use. I'm imagining a head of some sort mounted directly to the grandstand, balcony or what-have-you rather than a tripod.
Can anyone shed any light on this for me?
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Woodyspeed



Joined: 10 Mar 2009
Posts: 8
Location: Washington

PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:49 am    Post subject: Big bertha Reply with quote

Kind of a long time coming for an answer, but we used the big berthas on heavy tripods, and when in the Navy, had two mounted on an aircraft gun turret.
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glennfromwy



Joined: 29 Nov 2001
Posts: 903
Location: S.W. Wyoming

PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2009 5:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pictures of press boxes at sporting events I've seen show them largely just balanced on the rail. I rather suspect those guys didn't do a lot of focusing during the action. They probably focused on the center of the field, stopped down and waited for something to happen. I can't imagine myself trying to shoot fast action with one of those bazookas.
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Glenn

"Wyoming - Where everybody is somebody else's weirdo"
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Les



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 2682
Location: Detroit, MI

PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2009 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

beer crates! one for the photog one for bertha



http://tinyurl.com/dd6akc
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"In order to invent, you need a good imagination and a lot of junk" Thomas Edison
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bruiser



Joined: 15 Oct 2006
Posts: 259
Location: Northern NSW Australia

PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 1:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Those photogs must have drunk a LOT of cases of beer to think they could shoot at night with that thing!!
Cheers,
Bruce
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pv17vv



Joined: 22 Dec 2001
Posts: 255
Location: The Ardennes, Belgium

PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2009 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, they shot !!!
Hats off...
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DHF845



Joined: 20 Jul 2008
Posts: 93
Location: Hudson Valley Area, Upstate NY

PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2009 10:10 pm    Post subject: Big Bethas Reply with quote

Look in 1st edition of Morgan and Lester's Graphic and Graflex Photography Jan. 1940. A chapter is devoted to special purpose cameras. There's also info & pictures of the ringside camera, predecessor to the 45 Combat graphic. Photos of a Bertha on tripod, others mounted on wood brace along bleacher railing. Focus was with pre-set shift lever: Preset for 3 or 4 focus points, shift from one to another to focus fast.
Chech out the press photogs using them. Apparently, it took a big man to handle a Big Bertha!
BTW, the "Big Bertha" name was applied to any big Graflex with a permanently mounted long lens-not just the 40 inch monsters on 5x7 Home Portraits.
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Got first Speed Graphic at 15 (1976).Other kids were using 35mm SLR's. I ran around with flashbulbs and sheet-film holders, I wanted to be Weegee (#2084).
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