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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2007 > May > May 16

Re: Just A Few Roswell Questions - Shell

From: Bob Shell <bob.nul>
Date: Wed, 16 May 2007 16:13:39 -0400
Fwd Date: Wed, 16 May 2007 16:30:15 -0400
Subject: Re: Just A Few Roswell Questions - Shell

>From: Neil Morris <neil.nul>
>To: ufoupdates.nul
>Date: Wed, 16 May 2007 10:58:41 +0100
>Subject: Re: Just A Few Roswell Questions

>There are other factors too: 5x4 format flat sheet film had and
>still has, a reference notch to locate the film sheet correctly
>into the film holders. From this we can deduce which way the
>camera taking the photograph was held _if_ it were a
>SpeedGraphic. The Ramey, Ramey/DuBose and Marcel Right images
>all follow a pattern and indicate the camera was rotated 90
>degree counter clockwise, yet the Marcel Left would have had to
>have been taken with the camera rotated 90 degrees in the
>opposite direction had it been a SpeedGraphic. Photographers
>even amatuer ones like myself are creatures of habit, it would
>also be _very_ tricky to operate a SpeedGraphic in that odd
>position with a handheld flash which is what Bond used.

Neil, this is not true at all.

I'm probably one of the few, and maybe the only, person on this
list who has actually shot a lot of photos with a Speed Graphic
(two words, not one). I've also worked extensively with a number
of other 4 X 5 cameras, and spent my share of time in the
darkroom loading sheet film holders (sometimes called dark
slides by British photographers).

The notch has nothing to do with orienting the film in the
holder. The notches are a way to identify which kind of film you
have in your hands in the dark, a sort of Braille code if you
will. No two film brands/types have the same notch code. You can
"read" the notches by running your fingers over them in the

They also let you know which side is the emulsion side. If you
hold a sheet of film with the long side vertical and the notches
are closest to the upper right or lower left corner, then the
emulsion is facing you. If the notches are in the upper left or
lower right corner, then the emulsion is facing away from you.
But you only need do this check with the first sheet in a new
box, since all sheets are packaged facing the same way.

Once I had determined which way the emulsion faced, I would put
the film back in its box with the emulsion facing up and never
feel a notch on film from that box again. I'd imagine that most
other sheet film users would do the same, since I learned how to
do it from a real old-timer who would have been a contemporary
of Bond's.

When I loaded my film holders I never paid attention to which
way the notches ended up, because it does not matter at all.

Also, I should point out that the Speed Graphic flash had a
solenoid trigger on it. A solenoid was mounted on the lensboard,
and you could fire the camera by pressing the button on the
flash. Nice system. When used in this way, the Speed Graphic was
normally rotated 90 degrees counter-clockwise, putting the flash
on top for more natural shadows, the flash also serving as a
handle. Rotating it the other way put the flash down below at an
unnatural angle and gave people "vampire eyes". You should be
able to tell where the flash was by looking at the shadows in
the photos.

There is a vast amount of information about Speed Graphic and
other Graphic cameras here:


I've seen nothing that convinces me that all of those photos
didn't come from the same camera.


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