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  #1  
Old 09-14-2011, 01:59 PM
JEAN-P. AUGER JEAN-P. AUGER is offline
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Which Camera model/company you like the most (1950 to 1970) and why...

I would like to know which camera system of the 1950-1970 you like the most and why ? Is it a camera from RCA, Marconi, Philips-Norelco, GE, EMI, Bosch, or other ?

For my part I like very much the RCA TK-11 and the Marconi MK11. I like the fact that the orthicon tube was in the middle of the camera and all electronics were around. Also we have a set of prime lenses made by Kodak Rochester: a wide angle 50mm, a normal lens 90mm, a small tele lens of 135mm plus another place for the small Zoomar . For the colour system, the RCA TK-41 was my favorite and I had the opportunity to see a real one at the RCA pavillon in 1964 at the New-York World's Fair. All comments are welcome...
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Old 09-14-2011, 07:07 PM
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Dave A Dave A is offline
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Jean-P,

I am fascinated by others outside the states being interested in cameras. Collectors in Europe and Aus are at the front. In the states, we are all looking at sets but I think that is because we have so many to choose from. Cameras are a minority in the field of collecting here. Good for all of you to keep us interested in the other end of the CRT.

I was lucky enough to come along in broadcasting when the RCA TK-60 was still around and it is my choice as I got to run one when I started. The idea that this design was still around in the late 60's after thirty years of broadcasting is a monument to the lack of anything beyond tubes at the time (save for a few transistors) or any thought as to how to build a better camera. They just gave the pig a new dress. And a bad blue paint job.

Conceptually, nothing changed in 30 years. You moved the tube on a sled to focus. It shared a HV supply with the orthicon so if you adjusted the viewfinder brightness, you would change the tube HV. You threw not quite as much light at the scene since the 50's and the orthicon introduction. It was the super-hetrodyne version of a camera. That was good for 40 years or so in radio. It ran and color was expensive for stations.

I wish I could have run a TK-40. What a monster that was but seeing one at the ETF and playing with it...and not running...but not in a real studio was fun. It is a special beast that needed careful balancing on it's head to be smooth. And it can be if you took the time like all cameras.

I had a TK-42 to run but the picture was awful and so was the camera for an operator so I do not vote for it. My color camera vote will have to wait.

I remember seeing the first Plumbicon Thomson's on CBS here in the states on their football broadcasts in the mid-70's and seeing the true colors of uniforms. Night and day away from what we had. Philips and RCA caught up quickly.

Let's hear from the other pioneers of bad television.
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Old 09-14-2011, 09:15 PM
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NewVista NewVista is offline
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Best B&W (Vac. Tube) : Marconi Mk IV ; Runner-up RCA TK-60

Best Color (Vac. Tube) : RCA TK-41
Best Color (Transistor) : Fernseh KCU-40 ; Runner-up Marconi Mk VIII

Last edited by NewVista; 09-14-2011 at 09:23 PM.
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Old 09-14-2011, 10:16 PM
austvarchive austvarchive is offline
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Well, for me i am too young to ever have been in the tv studios when anything but 3ccd cameras were in use..


But the camera i hold close to my heart is the TK-45's - which were used at a regional television station here in australia which i grew up watching.

The cameras had the stations logo on the side, and sort of became the unofficial symbol of the station and era, they were always having them in shot and i must have been about 8 when i decided i wanted to get to that station when i grew up and all i wanted to be was a cameraman operating those. I drew heaps of drawings of what i thought the studios looked like with the sets and cameras etc and used to send them in to tv programs all over the country asking them "is this how the studio layout looks in real life"? - even though i only guessed, most of the time the response was that i was very accurate indeed.

By the time i got to the studios in the mid 90's, like all regionals it had just become a relay station by then, with very little production. The TK45's had long gone, and replaced with BVP-370's 3ccd cameras..which werent quite the same and seemed like a poorer baby camera on budget vintent peds to me.

I spent years trying to find one of the TK45 cameras, but everywhere had disposed of them long ago and my heart ached at the storys of them being put into the dumpster on retirement day, in one instance...many stacked upon each other...line sardines in a can.

I now have two in the collection which like all the cameras i own, I treasure greatly - they all have their own history and story to tell.

The Tk45's i have should be working but i havent a manual for set up, and i beleieve there is a set procedure to follow or you wont get very good results. Some years ago, i powered up one..which worked but i couldnt seem to derive an actual image from (just blank noisy screen).

Which cameras are better than others, i dont know since i have never had the chance to fiddle with them while operating. But from looking at a lot of archival material from master sources i have a fair idea of the results they could produce, and have come to the conclusion that generally it came down to the time and skill of the maintenance/engineering people, lightning etc

I have seen some woeful pictures out of all models of cameras, yet some of the best pictures from a same model at a different station.

the marconi MK8's on some programs looked wonderful, yet on other programs "sons and daughters", etc, they lagged a lot, looked noisy, over the top pink comet tails etc...

at some regionals the tk45's looked horrendous, washed out, color fringing, poor registration, color casts etc....yet at others...particularly ATV10 in melbourne, the images were pin sharp, vivid and wonderful. They were used there up until around 1995 !

I'd so much love to see an orthicon camera working and learn its strengths and weakness's and alike, but its so hard to find technical people with the knowledge of how to repair, troubleshoot these things...for me i have very basic skills so am unable to fix or work out what the problems are. I am praying a technician somewhere will turn up one day whom shares the interest in the older gear, and will enjoy learning about it and passing on their knowledge as much as i would too.
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Old 09-15-2011, 08:55 AM
Woodronics Woodronics is offline
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Hard to go past the Fernseh KCU-40B - three tube Plumbicon. However I am biased ;-)

A KCU is the first camera I operated live-to-air. Way back I volunteered for a shift on a local telethon type show. As a technician I'd done camera control for three KCUs on many an occasion but this was the first time the producer would let me loose on the camera itself. Quite a buzz when the little red light in the viewfinder first came on

Later on I bought three KCU chains ex another station here in Perth. I keep one in operating order, the others as spares :-)

Second vote goes to the Marconi Mk VII. 120 Kg [just camera head and lens] must have made for beautiful moving shots? Interesting FOUR tube system, with an optical 'switch' to direct all the incoming light to just the Y tube for extra sensitivity in fading light. I'm told it was common for English soccer matches to go live to air in colour for the first half, then switch to mono for the later-afternoon half!
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Old 09-16-2011, 01:40 AM
W.B. W.B. is offline
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Among General Electric's Plumbicon color cameras (four tubes all), it seemed the PE-350 and PE-400 elicited better pictures than the PE-250. Many have noted about the varied picture quality of PE-250's, especially at ABC's Vine Street studios in Hollywood in the late 1960's (the ill-fated Joey Bishop Show, for example); but also in use at local stations like New York's WPIX - but another New York station that had PE-250's, WOR-TV, seemed to make out better, having seen vintage late-1960's episodes of William F. Buckley, Jr.'s Firing Line online. (Unless those cameras had gotten converted to PE-350 standard performance, as many PE-250's had been, from my understanding.) This seems to go along with 'austvarchive's' point about seeing "some woeful pictures out of all models of cameras, yet some of the best pictures from a same model at a different station."

Or sometimes you could get both good and bad at the same station. I saw wildly varying picture quality - some good, some not-so-good - among Norelco PC-70's within the same show on a few 1970's editions of WABC-TV's Eyewitness News. This was also true in the early 1970's on some shows taped at certain NBC studio stages at Rockefeller Center - on one RCA TK-44A, the blacks would be quite purple/reddish, while the others in that studio would be black as black could be.
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Old 09-16-2011, 03:39 PM
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BrianSummers BrianSummers is offline
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What an interesting thread!

It's hard to say which in my favourite camera, I think I would have to go for the Marconi MkVIII. It's a nice camera to work on and the build quality is very high and the auto line-up is quite impressive. As has been said the pictures can be a bit variable. A lot depends on the quality of the Plumbicons and the skill of the set up, Yes you had to set it up before the auto line up could do it's job. After 40 years it is still a reliable camera. Must turn it on again and blow the dust off.

Next favourite would be the EMI 203 IO camera from the early 1960s. This was the second IO camera that I got working, a nice slim camera and easy to repair. Transformers reliable, capacitors a bit dodgy after half a century. almost entirely valve construction. I have a full set of accessories for this camera. http://www.tvcameramuseum.org/emi/203/203large1.htm show the camera with 4 lenses and a diascope in the 5th position. I also have the original valve SPG for it to operate on 405/525/625 lines.

It's getting harder now, I suppose the next in line is the Pye Mk7 IO camera. this is a late model (1966) solid state camera IO camera with a purpose designed zoom lens. The camera is in "as new" condition and the CCU is small and light (relatively). Here's a picture of the camera http://www.tvcameramuseum.org/pye/mk7/pyemk7inf1.htm

On the subject of picture quality a lot depends on the tube, as well as the camera line up, amount of available light. it is important to compare like with like. the three cameras I have chosen span just a Decade (1960-1970) and in that time cameras went from valve IO (the EMI203) through solid state IO (the Pye Mk7) to the Marconi MkVIII (colour with auto line-up and integrated circuits). A real decade of progress. All three cameras are in the collection and are in working order.

regards

Brian www.tvcameramuseum.org
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Old 09-16-2011, 04:56 PM
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NewVista NewVista is offline
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To be fair, I would have to have seen more of TK-60 (with Nuvistor pre-amp) claims a stunning 700 lines with noise performance matching EMI & Marconi
http://www.tvcameramuseum.org/rca/tk...-12datasht.pdf
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Old 09-17-2011, 02:47 AM
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XDCAM XDCAM is offline
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I think the Marconi MkVIII is my favourite Multi Core Cable Camera .Followed by the Philips LDK 5 triax .The Marconi MkVIII Cameras power supply are a work of Art .
Colour
1=Marconi MkVIII
2=Philips LDK 5
B/W
Marconi Mrk 4 Valve
EMI 206 Transistor
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  #10  
Old 10-02-2011, 04:57 PM
aerials aerials is offline
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Question Cant decide but two cameras are my favorites

One is the EMI 2001c i may have seen them at WBBM and Wfld in Chicago. And the other is the GE pe 350. I saw these in action at the Dick cavett show in New York city in 1970. Regis philben was co host. Wttw or Wls tv may have used them as well. Please post if anyone knows Chicago color broadcast cameras. Also what is that remote color camera on the WMAQ early remote scene with Jorie Luloff? I found the model of that RCA camera. It was the tk-630. I have never seen one in live operation.

Last edited by aerials; 01-08-2012 at 04:07 PM. Reason: new information
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  #11  
Old 10-03-2011, 10:25 AM
W.B. W.B. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aerials View Post
One is the EMI 2001c i may have seen them at WBBM and Wfld in Chicago. And the other is the GE pe 350. I saw these in action at the Dick cavett show in New York city in 1970. Regis philben was co host. Wttw or Wls tv may have used them as well. Please post if anyone knows Chicago color broadcast cameras. Also what is that remote color camera on the WMAQ early remote scene with Jorie Luloff?
WBBM and WFLD actually used Marconi Mark VII's (all of three EMI 2001's were ever sold in the U.S. - can't say which station took 'em). WMAQ, pre-1969 or '70, used RCA TK-41's, then afterwards they acquired the newer TK-44A's. If WLS used GE PE-350's, it wouldn't be a surprise (ditto for WTTW). WGN by the early 1970's went with RCA TK-44A's, later in the decade they got RCA TK-45A's. When WCIU went color, one of the cameras they had in the studio was an IVC 501. By the late 1970's, WBBM had replaced their Marconis with the Thomson TTV-1518 (which was also in use, from what I could tell, at some of the other CBS O&O's such as KNXT [now KCBS-TV] in Los Angeles and WCAU in Philadelphia).

As to film and slide cameras: To a station, virtually all of them had RCA TK-27 chains. (Anyone know if any Chicago TV stations had General Electric color chains?)

Meanwhile, the PE-350 was also in use in the West 55th Street and 9th Avenue studios of New York's WNET Channel 13 in the early 1970's, dating back to c.1968 when it was WNDT.
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Old 10-03-2011, 05:00 PM
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KentTeffeteller KentTeffeteller is offline
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The RCA TK-41 is still a favorite camera. I like the old GE/Harris cameras and the old Norelco PC series.
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  #13  
Old 10-03-2011, 11:15 PM
alespn alespn is offline
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EMI 2001 cameras were in use in the early days of WSNS, Channel 44 in chicago.
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Old 10-04-2011, 04:16 PM
W.B. W.B. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alespn View Post
EMI 2001 cameras were in use in the early days of WSNS, Channel 44 in chicago.
Was that the station that got the three IVC/EMI 2001 cameras (don't know whether it was 4-tube "B" or 3-tube "C") that were the only ones of that particular type sold anywhere in the U.S., as per a segment on Bobby Ellerbee's excellent "Eyes of a Generation" site:
http://www.eyesofageneration.com/Arc...bee_Camera.php

Or, to quote the line:

Quote:
1970 - EMI 2001 / (total/yr.) 3 / (avg. price $K) $48.0 / (annual sales $K) $144.0
And WSNS first took to the air in 1970 . . .
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Old 10-05-2011, 11:17 AM
iainjw iainjw is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alespn View Post
EMI 2001 cameras were in use in the early days of WSNS, Channel 44 in chicago.
Delurking for a moment, not US but if you follow the link below and scroll down you can see a 2001 in use at CTV in Canada.

These cameras were in use all over the UK but it would be interesting to know what the sales were around the rest of the world as EMI also had an agreement with Thomson to market the cameras.

Iain

http://m.ctv.ca/gallery/images/CTV-T...n-and-Now.html

Last edited by iainjw; 10-05-2011 at 11:18 AM. Reason: Spelling
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