The camera of the Vietnam war

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The camera of the Vietnam war

Postby Niner » Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:07 pm

American soldiers who had cameras in Vietnam... and most of them probably did... it's likely they had one like one I just got for $5. It's identical to one I had in Vietnam. Only , before I had enough sense to know what I'd later wish I had kept, I tossed it one day lost to memory. I posted this on a vintage camera page on facebook.

The camera of the American soldier in Vietnam had only one shutter speed and one aperture and you didn't set the film speed because it wasn't a factor that could be controlled. No need for a light meter. The film came in a pop in cartridge and the negatives were square. It was possible to add a flash bulb cube but nobody ever had any. Much real recorded history and most real combat photography of the Vietnam War was made with one like it. The original adventure camera for the later 20th Century. You could accidentally dunk it in a river and then dry it out and it would keep on working....just pop in a new film cartridge. Certainly rain and little mud didn't do anything to hurt it. And if you dropped it out of a Huey on an Eagle Flight you could replace it with a another camera just like it for less than $20. Most of the photos donated to the photo album at my site 6thofthe31st.com were taken by ordinary combat soldiers with a camera like this one. And most of the photos are now at the National Infantry Museum for posterity. How many professional war photographers have their images saved anywhere? Too bad they stopped making the film cartridges for these simple cameras lots of years ago.


The size was pretty right for a pocket camera too... or would have been if it wasn't so thick.
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Re: The camera of the Vietnam war

Postby Niner Delta » Fri Feb 16, 2018 11:24 pm

I didn't have one in Nam, but I did have one later. Most of my family photos were taken
with one of these in the '70s. Then I got real fancy and bought a basic 35mm camera, before
going digital.


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Re: The camera of the Vietnam war

Postby DuncaninFrance » Sat Feb 17, 2018 6:08 am

Never had one. I think at that time I was using a Russian 35mm in one of those smelly fake leather cases. This looks familier :shock:
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Re: The camera of the Vietnam war

Postby joseyclosey » Sat Feb 17, 2018 3:30 pm

Was that the 110 cassete Robert, or did that come later ?
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Re: The camera of the Vietnam war

Postby Niner » Sat Feb 17, 2018 4:25 pm

Joe, it used a drop in cartridge that contained film that produced square negatives that were 28x28 mm. Not the 110.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/126_film
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Re: The camera of the Vietnam war

Postby Niner Delta » Sat Feb 17, 2018 8:27 pm

Joe..... This is the smaller 110 film you mentioned.
"It was introduced by Kodak in 1972."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/110_film


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Re: The camera of the Vietnam war

Postby joseyclosey » Sun Feb 18, 2018 11:52 am

Thanks for clarifying Gents, I can't remember the camera I had but it did take the 110 cartridge. I must have bought it in 72 as I have pics taken then in Cyprus. Here's one of them.
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Re: The camera of the Vietnam war

Postby Niner » Sun Feb 18, 2018 1:45 pm

Joe, the 110 produced a small negative that was decidedly long one way and short the other. In your photo the camera was held long way up and down. Perhaps a scenic landscape would have inspired a long way left and right. The 126 Instamatic made square negatives so it didn't matter about the axis of the camera. And... the negatives were bigger... slightly smaller than a 35mm negative.

The 110 was probably inspired by the idea that you could stick one in a pocket without the thickness that was always there in the 126 because of the thickness of the plastic cartridge.

Here's an example I took a lifetime ago. It's of an ACV... air cushion vehicle... being used as a ferry.
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Re: The camera of the Vietnam war

Postby Niner Delta » Sun Feb 18, 2018 10:23 pm

By Oct 1970, I was a PFC...................................Proud Fucking Civilian.... :mrgreen:

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Re: The camera of the Vietnam war

Postby joseyclosey » Mon Feb 19, 2018 4:41 am

My mistake Robert, I just checked the original photos and I reckon I must have been using a 126 camera.
The old memory ain't what it used to be....
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Re: The camera of the Vietnam war

Postby DuncaninFrance » Mon Feb 19, 2018 5:29 am

joseyclosey wrote:Thanks for clarifying Gents, I can't remember the camera I had but it did take the 110 cartridge. I must have bought it in 72 as I have pics taken then in Cyprus. Here's one of them.


As 110 it may well have been a Minolta. Something like this?
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What contemptible scoundrel has stolen the cork to my lunch? -- W.C. Fields
"Many of those who enjoy freedom know little of its price."
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Re: The camera of the Vietnam war

Postby Niner » Mon Feb 19, 2018 11:34 am

Hey , Joe. I was wrong. I was jumping at conclusions based on the photo you showed first and remembering the long narrow case.

110 is a cartridge-based film format used in still photography. It was introduced by Kodak in 1972. 110 is essentially a miniaturised version of Kodak's earlier 126 film format. Each frame is 13 mm × 17 mm (0.51 in × 0.67 in), with one registration hole. There were 24 frames per cartridge that occasionally enabled the user to capture an extra image due to production variations.

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