A partial study of the problems caused by Arctic temperatures on sixteen millimeter motion picture camera operation and film

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A partial study of the problems caused by Arctic temperatures on sixteen millimeter motion picture camera operation and film

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A Thesis Presented to the Faculty of the Department of Cinema The University of Southern California

In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts

by Herbert D. Harback June 1950

UMI Number: EP42687

All rights reserved INFORMATION TO ALL USERS The quality of this reproduction is dependent upon the quality of the copy submitted. In the unlikely event that the author did not send a complete manuscript and there are missing pages, these will be noted. Also, if material had to be removed, a note will indicate the deletion.

Dissertation Publishing

UMI EP42687 Published by ProQuest LLC (2014). Copyright in the Dissertation held by the Author. Microform Edition © ProQuest LLC. All rights reserved. This work is protected against unauthorized copying under Title 17, United States Code

uest ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway P.O. Box 1346 Ann Arbor, Ml 48106- 1346

T h is thesis, w ritte n by



u nder the guidance of hJLB... F a c u lt y C om m itte e , and a p p ro v e d by a l l its members, has been presented to and accepted by the C o u n c il on G ra d u a te S tu d y an d Research in p a r t i a l f u l f i l l ­ ment of the requirements f o r the degree of


Dean Date


Faculty Committee






The problem


1 1

Statement of the problem



Importance of the study








Limits of the study

Definitions of terms used

Arctic temperatures or conditions Classified Shooting

. .






Wind chill factor



A review of the literature and other sources of data


Organization of remainder of the thesis II. III.


6 7

CAMERA F A I L U R E S ...........................


Mechanical . i a m m i n g ....................


Moisture condensation



Storage battery power failure Operator’s clothing IV.














Static markings on film



Arctic temperature effects on sensi........




C o n c l u s i o n .............................






tometric properties of film VI.

Recommendations BIBLIOGRAPHY




Average January Temperature


Average Annual Minimum Temperature


Lowest Temperatures Ever Observed


Average Annual Number of Days with Snow Cover

. . . . ........






• • ............ • • • • • • • • • • •



Average Annual Snowfall


Climatic Data for Selected U. S. Cities


Typical Oil S p o t s ..........................



Oil Spotted Negative



Effect of Temperature on the Capacity of Negative Plates



. . •


. ........

. . . . . . . .



Effect of Temperature on the Capacity of Positive Plates


• • • • • • • • • • •

. . . . . .



Effect of Temperature on the Viscosity of Sulphuric Acid Solutions and the Limita­ tions Imposed by Freezing Points




Freezing Point of Storage Battery Solutions


Storage Battery Capacity at Low Temperatures



Sensitivity Photoelectric Cell and Human Eye



Typical Fold Endurance and Tear Resistance



Film Brittleness


. . . . . .






Typical Static Markings

« • • •



Loss of Film Speed at Low Temperature

• •

47 51

CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION The rapidly expanding demands for sixteen milli­ meter motion pictures by the fields of entertainment, industry, education, and military preparedness is taking the sixteen millimeter motion picture production from small controlled location problems to much larger ones which involve shooting any place at any time.

When such

shooting is called for under arctic temperature conditions, many problems present themselves which, until solved, either stop production or cause unsatisfactory results. THE PROBLEM Statement of the problem.

It is the purpose of this

study to review the problems of sixteen millimeter motion picture camera operation under arctic temperature condi­ tions and the effects of such temperatures on the physical as well as sensitometric properties of film.


of these problems will be based on the results of commer­ cial experimentation, advice from the experiences of recog­ nized experts in the field, and unclassified conclusions of the armed services relative to these problems.

Importance of the study*

In the past the easiest

and frequently the only answer to shooting scripts re­ quiring some presentation under arctic conditions was with­ in the studio with the genius of the art and special ef­ fects departments.

World War II proved the training and

tactical values of the motion picture as related to national defense and currently the problems of arctic shooting are of major importance therero.

However, this

does not preclude nor restrict the importance of this study for industry, entertainment, and education in their pro­ jected plans for the use of motion pictures.

These plans

have necessitated alert camera teams of production units to attempt to prepare themselves for requests that can well include location work under arctic temperature conditions. Sixteen millimeter motion pictures have been gen­ erally looked upon by Hollywood as a necessary evil of lit­ tle or no consequence.

However, a quick glance at some

sixteen millimeter factual information indicates a business about to feel its own strength. • • .* NAVED (National Association of Visual Educa­ tion Dealers) reported that prewar sound projectors totaled more than 40,000. Total 1947 production approj&mated 60,000 units with production figures for 1943 at 110,000 . . . . . . Indicative of continuous increase in produc­ tion is the fact that 16 mm releases in 1947 were up 40$ (total 1931) over 1946 when 990 were release . . .

. • • Sponsored film field is expanding rapidly, estimates circulating to the effect that approxi­ mately 5,000 firms are now using commercial film in some form, compared to five years ago, when only 600 odd were utilizing that medium*1 These quoted statements and the table

herewith cited

justify the sixteen millimeter motion picture as an impor­ tant and serious business.

To what extremes it will go

with the phenomenal growth of television remains to be seen. TABLE #3 — PHOTOGRAPHIC EQUIPMENT: QUANTITY AND VALUE OF PRODUCTS. TOTALS FOR THE UNITED STATES: 1947 and 1939: (Money figures in thousands of dollars} Product

Unit of Measure

Total shipments and Interplant Transfers. 1947 quantity value fob plant

Cameras 35 nun number 13,512 #2,6## 16 mm « 51,00# 5,556 # mm " 274,122 14,904 (n.a* - not available}

Total Production For Sale and Inter­ plant Transfer. 1939 quantity value fob plant


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32 For the layman, consideration of Figures 12 and 13 is sufficient to determine what can be expected from a storage battery for a given temperature and battery spe­ cific gravity conditions.

Since battery capacity is in­

creased by keeping it warm, many field expedients have been devised which will be discussed in the final chapter. OPERATOR1S CLOTHING There is one problem that all motion picture person­ nel agree exists with motion picture operations under arctic temperature conditions; that is the one arising from getting satisfactory clothing for operating personnel.

The following

excerpt is quoted as a common experience: . . . After my first hunting trek, specially designed gloves, tripod and camera covers were devised. The first time I put my movie camera to my face, I realized I had to have a covering. At such low temperatures, the metal parts become so cold that on contact with warm flesh the skin would ice burn. A seal skin covering made by the natives was the solution. It was designed so as not to hinder operations, to keep the sand-like 3now from sift­ ing into the mechanism, and to prevent my breath from con­ densing on glass parts. I also designed a pair of gloves made of unborn fawn skin with fur turned inward. My cot­ ton gloves proved useless. They afford me no warmth and were bulky. After my first dayfs outing, my hands were raw from ice burns and they froze so badly that the nails came off. These special gloves had only the thumb and forefingers with the rest of the hand enclosed in a mitten affair. They were warm, thin and not overly bulky. They provided insulation and allowed for easy maneuvering. I wore them under heavy reindeer-fur gaunlet mittens from

33 which I removed my hands for short intervals to adjust or handle the equipment . . .14 A conflict always arises between arctic motion pic­ ture operator’s clothing designed for maximum efficiency and that which is required for personal comfort and safety. Under extreme conditions of cold, the human factor is an important consideration.

Within military commands, a sol­

dier’s military efficiency, eaqpressed by rule of thumb, drops two per cent for each degree of temperature below zero.^ Also, military circles recognize that there is a kind of sliding scale relation between wind and cold.


many areas it is known as "wind-chill" and means the condi­ tion of increased personal discomfort and danger arising from low temperature accompanied by strong winds.

For ex­

ample, exposed flesh will freeze in one minute at minus sixty degrees F in a five mile per hour wind and will freeze just as fast at minus twenty-five degrees F in a twenty-five mile per hour wind.

This illustration represents one effect

of wind-chill.16

14 Kathlene Wolfe, ,fFilming Adventure in Northern Alaska," American Cinematographer» Vol. 27, No. 4, April 1946, p. 138* 15 "The Arctic and Our Security." Officers’ Call. Vol. 1, No. S, 1949, p. s. 16 Loc. cit., p. a.

CHAPTER IV LIMITATIONS OF EXPOSURE METERS The securing of correct exposure under arctic tem­ perature conditions is difficult because of the many variable factors influencing it.

Loss of film speed, slow

down of shutter speed and difficulty in estimating light­ ing conditions are ever present.

At the best, an exposure

meter can be but used as a guide under any circumstances. Manufacturers of exposure meters strive to have their re­ spective meters follow a light intensity response curve as shown in Figure 14# on the next page.

(Photoelectric ex­

posure meters can be designed on request so as to give a response curve as desired.)

However, the following state­

ment from a Consumer’s Research Bulletin can be considered a general statement from which reliance on the use of ex­ posure meters should start: An exposure meter of the photoelectric cell type is by no means a substitute for judgement and skill in determining exposure; in fact it is at the best of limited value, and helpful only to one who know its limitations and can therefore use it correctly. This is evident when it is known that readings of the best makes may vary over a range of 2 or 3 to 1, in some cases by as much as 10 to 1, and that many meters show an early loss of calibration. Even apart from this un­ reliability, the notorious inaccuracies of camera shut­ ter speeds and other factors making for variation in 1 Light Sensitive Cell Bulletin, GEA 2467D, General Electric Company, 40 Federal Street, West Lynn 3# Mass.

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36 the exposed negative make photoelectric exposure me­ ters of any sort less a precise and reliable device than most users assume.2 Manufacturer*s information, as well as cameramen*s experience, indicates that extreme cold has little effect on the photoelectric sensitivity of exposure meters.


general motion picture work any meter error of low reading due to increased mechanical friction or reduced cell re­ action as functions of cold temperatures is so small as to be covered by the latitude of the film used or compensated by some degree by other variables influenced by temperature changes.

This statement refers only to the generally ac­

cepted better exposure meters.

The Army Air Forces made a

cold weather test of exposure meters, using the General Electric meter as representative of the higher priced class and the DeJur meter as representative of the less expensive class.

An extract from this test is herewith cited:

. . . After cold soaking both makes of exposure me­ ters for periods of 24, 4# and 72 hours in temperatures ranging from plus 10 degrees F to minus 30 degrees F, the General Electric exposure meters, which had been exposed to these temperatures, neither gained nor lost sensitivity in comparison with one that had been kept indoors. Negatives made, using indicated readings of this meter were of excellent quality. The DeJur me­ ters, however, were so erractic in a period of one min­ ute in the same light conditions no two idential

2 Consumers Research Bulletin, Photoelectric Expo­ sure Meters, Vol. 22, December 194#, p* 33*

37 readings could be obtained. No negatives were ex­ posed with the aid of this meter . • .3 Perhaps the most overall limiting factor of any ex­ posure meter*s usefulness is its sensitivity to the shock of a jar of dropping.

Of a group of meters (Weston Master

II 735, Norwood Director B, General Electric PR-1, General Electric DW 5#, DeJur Dual Professional, and others) tested by the Consumers Union under controlled conditions of drop­ ping from varying heights of 4,

and 30 inches onto a

wooden floor, face down, only the DeJur Dual Professional was operative after six 30 inch falls.

All withstood 4 inch

drops and a few the 8 inch fall.^ The extent of the effect of actinic lighting conditions on exposure is a matter of different opinions. . . . Also, an actinic ray which exists in certain lati­ tudes affected my readings . . .5 . . . Authorative sources have indicated that persons inexperienced in using photographic equipment in Arctic regions tend to under expose by several stops. This may be due to the over compensation for the reputedly increased actinic quality of the light in the Arctic region . . .6

3 United States Army Air Forces, AAF Board Project No. J3§67C413*6, February 23, 1945, p. 4. 4 Consumers Union, "Exposure Meters." Consumer Report. Vol. 14, No, 3, 1949, pp. 1 0 9 - 1 1 0 . ----------- ---5 Wolfe, op. cit. . p. 142. 6 Dept, of Army Technical Bulletin, op. cit.. p. 19.

Judgement based on experience is perhaps the best answer to any given situation. When shooting under any circumstances, it is well to know the "acceptance angle” of the exposure meter and lens used.

For reflected readings, the cone of light which

the meter ”3663” should be the same as seen by the camera lens for best results.

While in incident readings the me­

ter should "see" all the light which illuminates the sub­ ject.

The American Standards Association has established

three classes for the reflected light type exposure meter: Class "A”, those with a samll acceptance angle; Class ”Brf, those with an intermediate acceptance angle; and Class "C", those with a wide acceptance angle.

The actual width of

acceptance is of less importance than is the awareness of the fact.

Based on this knowledge and that of a given lens

condition, necessary compensations can be made either in readings or in the mechanics of a meter with too broad an acceptance angle.

This knowledge is of particular impor­

tance if a "still” camera calibrated exposure meter is being used for the determination of the correct exposure for mo­ tion pictures as the angle of acceptance of such meters, as a general rule, is much greater than that of any standard sixteen millimeter motion picture camera lens.

Normally associated with arctic temperatures are high altitudes and/or snow.

Singly or in combination

they increase the problem of determining correct expo­ sure.

Both have their effects on light intensity and

color temperatures.

As an example of snow conditions, con­

sider a basin where there is 100 per cent snow with no rock or shadow, and the sun behind the photographer, a weston meter reading as high as 1600 may apply.

Such high readings

are notoriously misleading for correct exposure determina­ tions.

With 3ome shadow, the readings may be 600.

This is

the value for the most common of brightest subjects. part rock and shadow, the reading may be 400.


If there is

a lot of rock and snow, 200 may have to be used.

A meter

reading of an open scene may be quite misleading if detail is desired in dark objects, such as people, equipment, or 7 scenery.' In the final summation, the limitations of the use of photoelectric exposure meter can be minimized or circum­ vented by treating it as a precision instrument for care and for use following the suggestion of Carl W. Miller. It is probably best for each worker to treat his own photoelectric cell as his standard of light

7 Dr. W. Clark, tfCameras and Climate,11 Popular Photog raphy, Vol. 16, No. 6, June 1946, pp. 56-57«

40 intensity and his own shutter speed as the corre­ sponding standard of time# By frequent experiment and habits of careful observation, he can gradually develop a skill in handling these tools which con­ stitute such a large step toward the goal of photo­ graphic excellence.°

S Carl W. Miller, Principles of Photographic Re­ production (New York: The MacMi 11 anTompany, 1943 J» P* 111*

CHAPTER V ARCTIC TEMPERATURE EFFECTS ON PHYSICAL PROPERTIES OF FILM Certain problems relating to the physical proper­ ties of motion picture film are generally experienced either as a result of low relative humidity or extreme cold temperatures*

The more common problems are film

tearing and film breaking due to brittleness*

Both of

these are functions of humidity and temperature*


wise, the danger of static markings on film is increased by adverse atmospheric conditions as well as loss of mois­ ture content of the film*

Safety base, such as sixteen

millimeter films, is more susceptible to all of these po­ tential difficulties as compared to nitrate base thirtyfive millimeter film*^ The threading of sixteen millimeter film in a motion picture camera, under arctic temperature conditions, aside from the personal limitations of exposure and manipulation of mechanical parts, presents the ever present threat of the

1 J. M* Calhoun, f,The Physical Properties and Dimen­ sional Stability of Safety Aerographic Film." Photograrametric Engineering. Vol. 13, No. 2, June 1947, pp. 1 7 5 = 1 5 1 . ”

42 film breaking when being bent to the small radius of rollers or sprocket drives*

Even with successful thread­

ing, there remains the possibility of the film tearing under the initial acceleration of the camera starting.


During World War II, Eastman Kodak Company con­ ducted many tests relative to the physical properties and dimensional stabilities of films of all kinds.

Two of

these tests, measurement of folding endurance and tearing resistance, are here described.^

In a Schapper machine, a

piece of test film is bent sharply back and forth upon it­ self until it breaks.

The folding endurance is the number

of double folds experienced before rupture.

In the tear

test, a small cut is started, comparable to a broken sprocket hole, in a specimen held in the test instrument. A given weight is attached and the assembly revolved so as to ju3t continue the tear. force is calibrated.

From these data the tearing

Figure 15,^ on the following page,

is a graphic representation of a typical film's tear re­ sistance and fold endurance as a function of relative hu­ midity.

2 Shirley, op. cit., p. 7. 3 Calhoun, op. cit.. pp. 163-221. 4 Ibid., p. 173.

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44 The greater problem to the motion picture camera operator or magazine loader, under arctic conditions, is the danger of the film breaking due to its brittleness. An emulsion coated film is more brittle than the uncoated base.

The emulsion adhesion restricts the stretching of

the outer surface of the base under stress at the point of the bend.

Film bent emulsion out is more likely to

crack or break because of the nature of the emulsion* Film brittleness is a function of temperature and equilib­ rium moisture content of the film.

(The equilibrium mois­

ture content of the film is theoretically the point where the film neither gains nor loses moisture to the air at any given relative humidity.}

All films do not have the same

equilibrium moisture content at any given relative humidity due to their differences in chemical and physical con­ struction.

Measurement of film brittleness is done in a

special vise.

The standard specimen is placed, as a loop

emulsion side out, between the jaws of the vise which are then closed at a constant rate of speed.

At the instant of

fracture, the distance between the jaws of the vise is noted and indicates the "vise brittleness" of the film in 5 thousandth^ of an inch.

5 Ibid., pp. 17S-1S1.

45 Figure 16,


on the next page, shows the relation

of brittleness and temperatures for a typical film speci­ men*

Special note should be taken of the marked effect

of moisture content of the film or relative humidity on the brittleness of the specimen tested*

From the data

plotted, it can be seen that the brittle point of the film tested was the same at minus 25 degrees F with a 60 per cent relative humidity as at plus 70 degrees F with a 14 per cent relative humidity. STATIC MARKINGS ON FILM Static markings on film can vary from just visible to relative high density, depending on the severity of the spark discharge.

The pattern is made up of either dots or

irregular lines, singly or in combination. Typical mark7 ings are shown in Figure 17* page 47. Controlled manufac­ turing conditions makes it almost an impossibility for film to have latent static markings from any step in the manu­ facturing process*

Thus it is that such markings are gen­

erated in handling the film in storage, while running

6 Ibid., p. 160. 7 Eastman Kodak Company, Motion Picture Laboratory Practice (Rochester, New York: Eastman Kodak Company, 1936), p. 183.


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4* through the camera or during processing in the laboratory. This study concerns itself with static markings arising from the film movement in the camera.

Since friction gen­

erates the static charge which results in the discharge spark, it follows that the points of friction within the camera are the loci of most trouble.

These general points

are: 1.

The feed reel or spool where the film parts at a tangent


At the take-up spool


At the retort traps

At the film gate


In the region of the sprockets

Suggested preventative steps or practices will be discussed in the final chapter. ARCTIC TEMPERATURE EFFECTS ON SENSITOMETRIC PROPERTIES OF FILM As motion picture films are improved and put to new tests, it becomes imperative that greater coordination in investigation be achieved.

Photography concerns itself

with a quantitive as well as qualitative effect of light on a sensitized emulsion.

Exposure meters, film exposure

factors, photographic processing are all based on the

49 photographic reciprocity law, which stated basically, says that other conditions being controlled the ex­ posure i3 equal to the intensity of light source times the time of exposure.

For most practical purposes this

proves to be true or at least hold within the latitude of the film concerned.

However, as conditions approach

the extremes of either hot or cold, the law begins to fail radically.

Many people, V. Schuman, W. Alney, J. J.

Acworth, J. Dewar, Lumiere, H. S. King, R. J. Wallace, J. Plotnikov, 0. Masaki, and many others, conducted experi­ ments relative to photographic sensitivity as a function of temperature.

A review of their findings leads to no con­

clusions because of the apparent contradictions in the same sense of the phenomena.

Failure to keep full and competent

data of test conditions, such as ligth source used, wave­ length, intensity, exposure time, etc., explains most of these descrepancies. The Eastman Kodak Company experimented in 1935, under the direction of J. H. Webb, on the effect of temperature upon the photographic reciprocity law.

Their findings

showed a variation in emulsion sensitivity with temperature variation which was greatly influenced by the light

S Maurice Rolleau, f,Effect of Low Temperature Encoun­ tered on Aerial Photography on Sensitivity of Emulsion,” Laboratory of Optical Service of Aeronautical Research, Paris, France, pp. 23-24.

50 intensity at which measurements of sensitivity were made. Also, that at any level of intensity, a gain, a loss, or no change in sensitivity might result from a change in temperature depending on the range of the temperature cov­ ering the test.

Further, that variations in sensitivity

with temperature is not constant for all wavelengths of light nor types of emulsions.

Exposures made at very low

intensities, from the results of the tests, indicate some increase of emulsion sensitivity at the lower temperatures, while exposure made at intensities of the order used in ordinary photographic exposures showed a loss in emulsion speed at the lower temperatures.


The Armed Services, based on their own experiments and manufacturers* data, have concluded that for normal photography under arctic temperature conditions, there is a loss in film speed.

Their conclusions are best expressed in

their suggested exposure multiplier factors for the tem­ perature range of plus 60 degrees F to minus 60 degrees F as shown in the plot of Figure 16,^° page 51• Arctic temperatures have little effect on the latent

9 J. H. Webb, "The Effect of Temperature Upon Reciproc­ ity Law Failure in Photographic Emulsion," Journal of the Optical Society of America. Vol. 25, No. 1, 1935," p. k* 10 United States Army Air Force, "Cold Weather Photog­ raphy," AAF T. 0. No. 10-1-96, October 3, 1943.



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52 image of exposed black and white emulsions*

There is an

instance where film from the Andree polar expedition of 1397 was discovered in 1930 and when processed gave a usable image.

Likewise, some of the exposures taken at

the time of the San Francisco fire of 1903 were not de­ veloped for twenty-five years, but gave creditable negatives on being processed.


At the time of this thesis

no complete data are available relative to the loss of la­ tent image on exposed color film as a function of tem­ perature and time between exposure and development.


that can be said is that a problem exists.

11 Miller and Brummitt, This is Photography (Garden City Publishing Company, 1st edition, 3rd Printing, 1947), p. 56.

CHAPTER VI CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS CONCLUSION In final summation, it is apparent that little co­ ordinated work has been done in the field of this thesis* Numerous problems have been encountered and answered by experts in the field to the best of their ability.


ever, these experiences have lead to little modification of motion picture camera equipment and accessories so as to better equip the next cameraman to operate under arctic temperature conditions.

Each group exposed to similar

situations must accomplish tasks and tests that could well be eliminated by respective manufacturers. Much more research is needed in the field of human reaction and endurance under arctic conditions.


while it is recognized that there is a limited sales field, manufacturers need to investigate the requirements of arctic motion picture camera equipment and accessories, particularly from a point of view of weight reduction, ease of operation and freedom from malfunction.

The answers to

these need to be integrated with the human equation. Armed Services lead in this field of research and


54 development, but the results of their work are not avail­ able for public release, so the responsibility for the answers to the public requirements rest3 with interested commercial organizations. RECOMMENDATIONS In keeping with the findings of this study, sug­ gested preventative practices and recommended procedures are herewith cited to either avoid or minimize the prob­ lems that might slow down or halt motion picture oper­ ations under extreme cold weather or arctic conditions. The suggestions are based on manufacturersf recommendations, cameramen1s experiences and published Armed Services techniques. The chance of a motion picture camera having mechanical failure, loss of shutter speed and mechanical jamming is best minimized by selection of equipment that has had sufficient "run-in” time so as to have proved itself and allowed for self wear or adjustment of parts.

After this

selection, the camera must be disassembled and all traces of lubricant removed with a suitable solvent.

The equipment is

then lubricated with a lubricant test proved for the tem­ perature anticipated.

Wilkin1s oil is one commercial pro­

duct recommended, while cameramen of the National Film

Board of Canada suggest a mixture of kerosene and 10 per cent fuel oil.

Whatever is used, care must be ex­

ercised to avoid excessive lubrication lest some of this excess get transported to the film.

If this situ­

ation develops, the camera must be stripped down, cleaned and relubricated.

Frequent visual inspection for oil

creepage are in order and particularly at times of in­ creased temperature changes.

In addition to the change

of camera lubrication for arctic operations, it is pos­ sible that it might be necessary to increase the toler­ ances of moving parts.

Thi3 operation is a "tailor made"

job, each camera having its own requirements depending on the type of equipment, its condition and the expected operating conditions.

Recommendations would emphasize

the avoidance of making tolerance too great resulting in unsatisfactory equipment and that extreme care be exer­ cised in insuring microscopic cleanliness after this op­ eration. Without special equipment and tests, it is not possible to determine the shutter speeds of sixteen milli­ meter motion picture cameras.

Eastman Kodak Company

recommends a simple "rule-of-thumb"test which seems to be generally accepted.

This test consists of operating the

camera at the various shutter speeds and listening to the

speed of the movement; if the camera runs faster at thirty-two frames per second than at sixteen frames per second, it is safe to use at sixteen frames per second with the determined exposure; if the camera runs faster at sixty-four frames per second than at thirty-two frames per second, it is safe to use at speeds of thirty-two frames per second or less at the computed shutter speeds or exposure.'*' Moisture condensation within the equipment and the fogging or frosting of lens is primarily a result of failure to gradually cold-chill equipment, avoid sudden ambient temperature changes or exercise caution not to breathe on equipment during operation.

All cameramen and

equipment manufacturers agree that once equipment has been chilled, it should remain that way during the entire assign­ ment by storage in a cold shelter while not in use. Electric motor drives for motion picture cameras re­ quire the same winterizing attention as do the cameras in so far as lubrication and tolerance are concerned.

With bat­

tery operated motor drives, failure of the battery is the common source of trouble.

Since battery capacity at low

1 Eastman Kodak Company, Wintertime Picture Taking (Rochester, New York: Eastman Kodak Company, 1^49j, p. s.

57 temperatures is so dependent on the temperature, the problem resolves itself to keeping the battery warm dur­ ing storage as well as during its operation.

There are as

many techniques for this purpose as there are individuals presented with the problem.

The answer as recommended by

the United States Signal Corps is both simple and effec­ tive.

The battery is placed in an insulated box and within

this box is a small lamp or resistor drawing about 3/4 am­ pere of current from the battery.

This small load, if used

only when the battery is not being used or not in controlled storage, will not materially discharge the battery.

The heat

generated by electrolytic activity will be sufficient to greatly increase the battery capacity at low temperatures.2 As shown in Figures 11 and 12, pages 29 and 30, the danger of the battery freezing increases with discharge or low specific gravity.

This is true because of the acid content

of the electrolyte being lower at low charge.

Here, the

answer lies in keeping the battery at full charge.

One pre­

caution should be observed in servicing batteries under arctic conditions, water should never be added to the battery when it is cold.

Dilution has the same effect as a low

charge, and the battery is more susceptible to freezing.

2 Department of Army Technical Bulletin, 0£. cit.. p. 14*


There is no best solution for the problem of operators1 clothing.

Of necessity, it must be suffi­

ciently warm to safe guard against the effects of the human chill factor and yet allow for the freedom of move­ ment required of a cameraman.

Any clothing secured should

include some type of inside or insert mitt or glove to al­ low for changing lens, adjusting lens stop, magazine threading, etc.

Also, there should be included some type

of face mask to prevent the face from sticking to the camera* The problem of properly designed arctic clothing which will allow for the maximum motion picture camera op­ erating efficiency is recognized, and the answer lies within clothing designers and camera equipment manufacturers lis­ tening to those with personal arctic experiences and then arriving at a joint solution. Agreement as to the extent of the reliability of the use of an exposure meter under arctic conditions is non-existent.

Apparently, the success of its use is de­

termined by the userfs native or acquired abilities to in­ terpret his own meter with the given situation.

The most

foolproof technique is to use a recognized meter of merit $ treating it like any other precision instrument, and take its readings as a guide to be coupled with judgment and ex­ perience with final support of the conclusions with frequent

hand tests. All physical property problems of motion pic­ ture film under arctic temperature conditions have one common reference point, per cent moisture content as a variable of per cent relative humidity.

A photographic

film is very susceptible to moisture, and excessive mois­ ture makes it weak, easily stretched or distorted and tacky; while one too dry becomes brittle, easily cracked or torn and likely to have static markings.

The dif­

ference in moisture content of various films at any given relative humidity is due to manufacturing processes and the chemical as well as physical structure of the respec­ tive film.

It should be noted that the most important

single controlling factor in reaching a film moisture equilibrium is the relative humidity of the surrounding air.

Manufacturers of motion picture film have adopted

the system of packaging.

This means that a given length

of film, at its correct moisture content, is placed in an individual container and sealed so as to retain its moisture content.

This practice is generally acceptable

and with supervised or controlled storage can retain the effect indefinitely. If motion picture film is not removed from the sealed can until ready for immediate use, there is a

reasonably good chance that the film’s moisture content will be that recommended by the manufacturer. the recommended practice.

This is

Film which has lost too much

moisture can be rehumidified, but it is difficult to control and not recommended for field or location prac­ tice.

Even with caution not to give film an opportunity

to lose an undue amount of its moisture, arctic tempera­ ture conditions increases the susceptibility of film to break and tear.

From all reports, the only solution

seems to be the use of extreme care to avoid making a quick small radius bend in the threading of the film through the camera.

Standard practice is to use oversize

magazines and full rolls of film, thus cutting down the num­ ber of times a camera has to be threaded. As for static markings, there is little control to be had other than the elimination of points of friction be­ tween the film and camera parts.

J. I. Crabtree and C. E.

Ives in an investigation of static markings on motion picture film arrived at three conclusions for minimizing the possi­ bilities of static electricity being generated in a motion picture camera: 1.

Removing sources of friction: have film gate as smooth as possible or use a roller type gate, insuring that film loops are not so long as to cause the film to rub on its self or side of the camera.



Have all camera parts conductors of elec­ tricity and grounded.


Insuring the retention of the recommended moisture content of the film by proper stor­ age and rehumidification if necessary.3

The response of any photographic film to any light source is dependent on the quantitative and qualitative properties of the light as well as the spectral sensitiv­ ity of the film used.

Manufacturers of film furnish on re­

quest wedge spectograms showing the spectral sensitivity of their products for different light sources.

The charac­

ter of day light is not constant from hour to hour nor season to season for any given latitude. ditions greatly influence it.

Atmospheric con­

Normally, these variations

are carried within the latitude of the emulsions of the film used.

However, as one approaches extremes in the

northern or southern latitudes, adjustments must be made in order to get the results desired.

An approved color

temperature meter with compensating filters for the camera greatly aids in making these adjustments.

Even with this,

it is still recommended that the final decision be made with the help of hand tests. Motion picture shooting under arctic temperature

3 J. I. Crabtree and C. E Ives, "Static Markings on Motion Picture Films," TRA NS SMPE, Vol. 21, May 1925, p. 76.

62 conditions should consider the slow down of emulsion with lower temperatures and use as a guide to correct for thi3 an exposurer multiplier as determined from plotted data as in Figure 13, page, 51*

However, the number of

variables, all functions of temperature, makes it neces­ sary that all corrections be integrated with judgement, experience, and tests. If snow is in the scene and detail is desired, it is generally difficult to avoid overexposure.


National Film Board of Canada invites attention to the following factors which combine to produce over exposure: 1.

The slow down of film transport and shutter speed.


Inaccuracies of most lens stops at f/l3 and lower.


High ratio of high reflectance material in scene (sky and snow combine to produce 40 to 35% of the total scene).


High incident and reflected light level; this runs 1400 foot candles or better and is equiva­ lent to approximately 39,000 watts of illumi­ nation on a set 3x12 feet.^

Their recommendations, based on Canadian shooting experiences, consist of the use of coated lens, adequate lens hood, and filter mounts with proper selective or neutral density fil­ ters.

A general combination of a "F" and lf5N5tf filters re-

4 National Film Board of Canada, op. cit., p. 2

63 duced the light level without seriously distorting the color values.

Also, it is their recommendation that

a film with a slow speed or as little shoulder curve as possible is desirable. As final suggestions for location shooting under arctic temperature conditions, all leather straps should be replaced with webb belting or well treated with a proved cold temperature dressing.

If this is not done,

broken and cracked straps are likely to slow down the production.

Plastic and canvas bag coverings can always

be used for various jobs providing they are the slip-over or button type; rope, zippers, and leather thongs are next to useless in cold temperatures. snow creates many added problems.

As previously indicated, A very common one, in

deep snow, is that of the tripod slowly sinking in the snow, going off level or destroying the scene of position. A suggested preventative measure is to equip the tripod legs with ski pole guards to prevent their sinking.



Bond, Fred, Kodachrome and Ektachrome. Second edition; Rochester, Hew York: Eastman Kodak Company. 6d,141 pp. Eastman Kodak Company, Motion Picture Laboratory Practice and Characteristics of Eastman Films. Rochester. Wew York: Eastman KoHak Company, 1936. Pp. 170-1&5. , Kodak Reference Handbook. Rochester, New York: Eastman Kodak Company, 1945* Miller, Carl, W., Principles of Photographic Reproduction New York: The Macmillan Company, 1945• Pp. 110-115. Miller and Brummitt, This Is Photography. Garden City, New York: Garden City Publishing Company, 1947* Pp* 56, 105-119* Rose, Jackson, J., American Cinematographer Handbook and Reference Guide" Los Angeles, California: Southland Press Company, Sixth edition. Pp. 17$; 1&2-1&5; 220-225. Ver Halen, C. J., Film World. Hollywood, California: Ver Halen Publishing Company, 194&. Vinal, G. W., Storage Batteries. Third edition; New York J. Wiley and Sons, 1940. Wall, E. J., Photographic Facts and Formulae. American Photographic Publishing Company, 1946. PERIODICAL ARTICLES

Adams, A., "Mountain Photography," Complete Photographer, (Issue 41, 1942),7:2625-41. Clark, Walter, "Cameras and Climate," Popular Photography (#6, June 1946), Id: 56-57, 170, T T t t S G . ---Editorial Staff, "Exposure Meters," Consumers Research Bulletin, (December 194$), pp. 32-34*

65 Editorial Staff, "Photoelectric Exposure Meters," Con­ sumers Report. (March 1949), pp. 103-113* Hamm, D., "Cold Weather Movies,” U. S. Camera, (March 1947), pp. 71-72. ~ ” Van Sabo, Theodore, "Angle of Acceptance of Exposure Meters," Photo Technique, (Vol. 3> #5* May 1941), pp. 61-62. Washburn, B., "Arctic and High Mountain Photography," Complete Photography, (#5, 1941), pp. 274-2&0, 231Wolf e, Kathlene, "Filming Adventure in Northern Alaska.” American Cinematographer, (Vol. 27, #4, April 1946), pp. 113-119, 13#, 142, 143. PUBLICATIONS OF LEARNED ORGANIZATIONS Calhoun, J. M., "The Physical Properties and Dimensional Stabilities of Safety Aerographic Film," Photogrammetric Engineering, June 1947, pp. 163-221. Crabtree, J. I. and Ives, C. E., "Static Markings on Motion Picture Films," TRANS, Society Motion Picture Engineers, Vol. 2, 1925, pp. 67-34. Mathews, E. E. and J. I. Crabtree, "Oil Spots on Motion Picture Films,” TRANS, Society of Motion Picture Engi­ neers, Vol. 32, I 927, pp. ?£3“733. "Motion Picture Photography Under Arctic Conditions,” National Film Board of Canada, January 3, 1949. Roulleau, Maurice, "Effect of Low Temperature Encountered on Aerial Photography on Sensitivity of Emulsions," Laboratory of Optical Service of Aeronautical Re­ search, Paris. Webb, J. H., "The Effect of Temperature Upon Reciprocity Law Failure in Photographic Exposure,” Journal of the Optical Society of America. Vol. 25, 1935, pp. 4-23.


Air Technical Service Command, "Cold Weather Test or Color Film," TSESE 4-677-23-5, Wright Field, Dayton, Ohio, May 2, L945Department of the Army, Supt. of Documents, "Charting the Arctic," Army Information Digest, United States Govern­ ment Printing Office, Washington, D. C., Vol. 5, #4, April 1950, pp. 61-62. . "Cold Weather Photography." Technical Bulletin

W £ K r i 3 9 . April 29, 1






. "The Arctic and our Security," Officersy Call, United States Government Printing Office, Washington, D. C., Vol. 1, #3, 1949, pp. 2,S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Census, "Photographic Equipment, 1947,n Preliminary Report. United States Government Printing Office, Washington, D. C., April 14, 1949, Series MC 79L-1 . Inquiring Reference Service, "Motion Pictures," United States Government Printing Office, Washington,

D. C., July 1947. . Weather Bureau, "Climatic Data for Selected United States Cities," United States Government Printing Office, Washington, D. C., 1947. . "Climate of the States of Alaska," Agriculture Yearbook. Separate No. 1367, United States Government Printing Office, Washington, D. C., 1941* . "Climates of the United States," Climate and Man Agriculture Yearbook. (Reprints), Separate No. 1324, Department of the Air Force, Bureau of Aeronautics, "Cold Weather Photography," Technical Order No. 10-1-96, Washington, D. C., July 7, 1947. , "Cold Weather Test of Exposure Meters, Types

General Electric and DeJur," AAF Board Project No. J3367C413.6, February 23, 1945*


Department of the Navy, Bureau of Aeronautics, "Navy Photography in the Anarctic," as reported by Charles Curtis Shirley, Washington, D. C., 194$* Photographic Film Specifications, "Joint Army-Navy

Specifications Film, Photographic Motion Picture, United States Government Printing Office, Washington,

D. C., JAN F-23, Amendment #2, July 31, 1947* Squire Signal Laboratory, Fort Monmouth, N. J., Letter dated May 1949, Subject: Trip to Ft. Churchill, Manitoba, Canada, 25 February - 14 March 1949, Signed: David Sacher, Physicist, Motion Picture Section, Photographic Branch, SSL. Technical Library, United States Naval Photographic Center, "List of Information on Tropical and Cold Weather Pho­ tography, Naval Air Station, Anacostia, Florida. MANUFACTURERS* PUBLICATIONS

"Light Sensitive Cell Bulletin, GEA 2467D," Apparatus De­ partment, General Electric Company, 40 Federal Street, West Lynn 3, Mass. "Photography Under Arctic Conditions," C-9, February 1945, Sales and Service Division, Eastman Kodak Company, Rochester, New York. "Storage of Microfilm, Sheet Film and Prints," (Safety Film Base and Paper Materials Only) Sales and Service Division, Eastman Kodak Company, Rochester, New York. "The Handling, Repair and Storage of 16mm Films," Sales and Service Division, Eastman Kodak Company, Rochester, New York. "Wintertime Picture Taking,” Sales and Service Division, Eastman Kodak Company, Rochester, New York. CORRESPONDENCE Army Pictorial Service, Office of Chief Signal Officer, Pentagon Building, Washington, D. C.

63 Bell and Howell Company, 716 North LaBrea Avenue, Los Angeles, California. Chief Photographic Laboratory, Engineering Division, Hdq. Air Material Command, Wright Field, Dayton, Ohio. Commanding Officer, AF Froving Ground, Eglin Field, Orlando, Florida. General Electric Company, 40 Federal Street, West Lynn 3, Mass. Lars Moen, Coordinator Technical Information, 155$ North Vine Street, Hollywood 23, California. Mitchell Camera Company, 666 W. Harvard, Glendale, Cali­ fornia. National Geographic Society, 1146 16th Street, N. W. Washington, D. C. Norwood Exposure Meter, American Bolex Company, 521 5th Avenue, New York 17, N. Y. Sales and Service Division, Eastman Kodak Company, Roches­ ter, New York. Secretary, Royal Photographic Society, London, England.

#4 Princess


Secretary, Society of Motion Picture Engineers, 342 Madison Avenue, New York 17, N. Y. Technical Division, National Film Board of Canada, John ^and Syssex Streets, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. INTERVIEW Sixteen Millimeter Motion Picture Technical Staff, East­ man Kodak Company, 6706 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood, California. Borrdaile, 0. H., Cameraman, A3C, Antarctic Experience.

Norwood, J. E. Cameraman, Canadian Experience. Tuttwiler, T., Cameraman, ASC.

Arctic Experience.

Woolsey, R., Cameraman. United States Winter and High Altitude Experience.