Tuesday, July 12, 2016

British Photographic Reconnaissance Cameras in WW1 - Part 5

TYPE P1, 18, and F1

The Type P1 designed during the war as a replacement for the A Type specifically for oblique photography used 5 x 4 inch plates in a Machenzie-Wishart holder. The shutter was a hand wound focal plane type, the lens mounted in a fixed cone. Two hand grips were fitted, together with a tube and cross wire view finder which was below the body to enable the operator to stay low in the cockpit whilst using. A special sling was sometimes used in conjunction with the gun scarfe ring in open cockpit aircraft. Two cameras could be slung side by side in this mount to obtain stereo photographs.

Type P1 Camera – Replacement for A Type specifically for oblique photography – stereo mount shown. © IWM (Q 12287)

The Type 18 was also used primarily for oblique work, designed and built by the Houghton-Butcher Company. Using single, double sided plate holders the camera took 5 x 4 inch glass plates. It had viewfinders on top and the bottom of a rigid camera body. Slit width and shutter tension were adjustable together with lens diaphragm for exposure control

Camera Type 18 
Camera Type 18 © IWM (PHO 23)

The Aero Camera or F Type was the first and only official film camera used from the air in the war, and appeared in 1916. It was rejected in France but was used extensively in the Middle East, where large tracts of country were mapped by means of this camera. The F Type camera was designed to take a continuous series of pictures on a roll of film 5 inches wide and either 25 of 50 feet in length, a 50 feet roll giving a series of 120 exposures. The camera with an 8 inch lens was usually fitted on a bomb rack on the underside of the aircraft. Air movement through the camera’s small propeller provided the power necessary to operate the camera which was controlled remotely by the pilot.

Type F1 Film Camera. © IWM (HU 86135)

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