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A Digital Speed Graphic?

 
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halwilson



Joined: 11 Mar 2013
Posts: 3
Location: California

PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 5:57 pm    Post subject: A Digital Speed Graphic? Reply with quote

The question itself will be sacrilege to some, but there is a good reason. So hold your fire!
Here is the background:
I recently signed on at Hearst Castle in California as a Volunteer Living History Docent. We dress up in 1930s suits and wander around the estate pretending to be guests of William Randolph Hearst while tour groups are led by the guides. I would like to take on a role as "Staff Photographer" for the Hearst Newspapers. We have some old cameras as props, but I would like to be able to take real digital photos in this guise and post them online at the end of my shift. Then both guests and the gussied up docents could download any of the photographs they like (for free). To do so I need a camera that looks the part - but takes digital pictures.

I understand it is theoretically possible to mount a digital camera inside the body of a vintage Speed Graphic. Is there anyone out there who feels they could undertake the challenge. My budget is limited to a few hundred dollars.
halwilson@kcbx.net
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1banjo



Joined: 16 Nov 2008
Posts: 478
Location: kansas

PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hey
google LEAF MFDB's Digital back for 4x5
there are some others BUT they are all very high pricest
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3207
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 7:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
We have some old cameras as props

Can you give us a make and model of what you have or plan/would like to use?
1930's era - (Top handle) Speed graphic with 4x4 lens board; Pre Anniversary Speed Graphic; several Graflex SLR; Burke & James; Bush Pressman; and a few other makes were "Press" cameras of the era with the first two the most common.
http://graflex.org/graflex-products-list.html
http://graflex.org/speed-graphic/graphic-models.html

What electronic sensor recording medium camera to fit inside or what pixel count if you do not have a digital in mind?

Fudgie film instant film and holder can provide an instant print that can be scanned on a good flatbed, resized, and web posted without toooo much work.
http://www.fujifilmusa.com/products/professional_photography/film/fujifilm_instant_films/index.html
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The best camera ever made is the one that YOU enjoy using and produces the image quality that satifies YOU.
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halwilson



Joined: 11 Mar 2013
Posts: 3
Location: California

PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 12:08 am    Post subject: A Digital Speed Graphic? Reply with quote

I have no preference as to a specific model of Press Camera, as long as it is something that would have been used by one of those cigar chewing news photographers you see in the 1930s movies (we use fake cigars at Hearst Castle). A Pre Anniversary Speed Graphic sounds about right, since later models would not be appropriate. I'm looking around for something that doesn't currently work and can be picked up cheaply. The vintage camera will only be there for show and will act to disguise the digital camera inside.

As for the quality of the digital camera: Mediocre is fine. Something cheap would be great! It will have to be small enough to fit inside the body of the Press Camera. Then there is the challenge of operating it as if I was using the Press Camera. The pictures are not intended to be used *******, or posters, or anything requiring real quality. I am just wanting something that will take pictures for people to view for the fun of it. My volunteer duties last about 4 hours per shift. I am guessing there may be between 30-50 images taken each night, so I don't want to scan anything when I get home ... just upload and get 'em posted.

By the way, I am not capable with any job requiring tiny screws, so I will have to hire the job out. Is this a stupid idea?
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Anthony



Joined: 07 Aug 2013
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 11:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As a former park naturalist and interpreter, I think this is a great idea. Did you get it made? One idea is to simply take a photo of the glass viewing screen with a digital camera - that would look funky and aged, and would definitely become a big hit up there... here are some examples from Flickr of what this could look like, I think your visitors would love it and they could even use their own cameras to do it. Also put a can on the tripod leg with a note suggesting a $1 donation to the interpretive funds per shot for doing this, you guys could probably use it!:

http://tinyurl.com/k64qcr9

http://tinyurl.com/jw44nbb

I like this one too that shows the back of the camera, and would probably be more like the type you would get using a point-and-shoot digital camera:

http://tinyurl.com/m7tjyh9
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halwilson



Joined: 11 Mar 2013
Posts: 3
Location: California

PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 11:37 pm    Post subject: digital speed graphic Reply with quote

Well, it's coming along... slowly. Lots of little snags but it'll be done in another couple of weeks. Just in time to try it out on the Hearst Castle Evening Tour visitors this Fall
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Anthony



Joined: 07 Aug 2013
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 11:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hal - give me a call (left a msg with my contact info at the interpretive programs office) or email, I'd like to chat with you about this project. Thanks!
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viridari



Joined: 19 Aug 2009
Posts: 4
Location: Raleigh

PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 2:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was just at the North Carolina Museum of History today and they had something like this inside of a fixed display. It was an 8x10 camera aiming at a place where a visitor could stick their head inside of an otherwise complete 3D sculpture of a WW1 soldier (helmet and all) and push a button behind a display to take their photo through the vintage camera. The image would then be displayed on screens adjacent to the exhibit. It's pretty cool, and could probably be replicated inside of a Graflex.
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