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Apollo 16 Photographic Equipment

A number of cameras of various types were carried on each Apollo mission, to allow the crew to make scientific observations, and to record the mission for posterity.  Still and motion pictures were made of most space craft maneuvers and crew lunar surface activities.  During lunar surface operations, the emphasis was on documenting the placement of lunar surface experiments, documenting lunar samples, and on recording in their natural state the lunar surface features.
Command module lunar orbit photographic tasks and experiments included high-resolution photography to support future landing missions, photography of surface features of special scientific interest and astronomical phenomena

The camera equipment stowed in the Apollo 16 Command Module comprised one 70 Hasselblad electric camera, a 16mm Maurer motion picture camera, and a 35mm Nikon F single-lens reflex camera.  The Command Module Hasselblad electric camera was normally fitted with an 80mm f/2.8 Zeiss Planar lens, but a bayonet-mount 250mm lens could be fitted for long-distance Earth/Moon photos. A 105mm f/4.3 Zeiss UV Sonnar was provided for an ultraviolet photography experiment.  More details of the Hasselblad cameras are given in Apollo 11 Hasselblad Cameras by Phill Parker

The 35mm Nikon F was fitted with a 55mm f/l.2 lens for astronomical and dim-light photographic experiments.

The Maurer 16mm motion picture camera in the Command Module had lenses of 10, 18 and 75mm focal length available. Accessories included a right-angle mirror, a power cable and a sextant adapter which allowed the camera to film through the navigation sextant optical system.

The cameras stowed in the Lunar Module were two 70mm Hasselblad data cameras fitted with 60mm Zeiss Metric lenses, an electric Hasselblad with a 500mm lens and two 16mm Maurer motion picture cameras with 10mm lenses. One of the Hasselblads and one of the motion picture cameras were stowed in the modular equipment stowage assembly (MESA) in the LM descent stage.

The LM Hasselblads had crew chest mounts that fit dovetail brackets on the crewman’s remote control unit, thereby leaving both hands free. One of the LM motion picture cameras was mounted in the right-hand window to record descent, landing, ascent and rendezvous. The 16mm camera stowed in the MESA was also carried aboard the lunar roving vehicle to record portions of the three EVAs.

Other cameras were fitted in the CM Scietific Instrumentation Module Bay, and with the lunar surface experiments.  These are described separately.

Description
CSM at Launch
LM at Launch
Transfer from
CM to LM
Transfer from
LM to CM
In CM at
Re-entry
Colour TV with Zoom Lens
1
1


1
16 mm Data Acquisition Camera (movie)
10mm Lens
18 mm Lens
75 mm Lens
Film Magazines
1
1
1
1
13
1
1


1
1
1
1
13
35 mm Nikon Camera (still)
55 mm Lens
35 mm Film Cassettes
1
1
9




1
1
9
16mm Battery Operated Camera (movie)
10mm Lens
Film Magazines


8
1
1


8


8


8
70mm Hasselblad Camera (still)
80mm Lens
250 mm Lens
105 mm UV Lens
70mm Film Magazines
70 mm UV Film Magazines
1
1
1
1
7
1



1
1
1
1
7
1
70mm Lunar Surface Hasselblad Data Camera (still)
60mm Lens
Polarising Filter
70mm Film Magazines



11
2
2
1



11



11



11
70mm Lunar Surface Hasselblad Camera (still)
500mm Lens
70mm Film Magazines


2
1
1


2


2


2
(From Apollo 16 Press Kit)

The detailed description of the Cameras and their accessories is taken from the Apollo Operations Handbook Section 2.12.5.3.

Two basic types of operational cameras and associated accessories are furnished to facilitate general purpose in-flight photography: a 16mm cine/pulse camera and a 70mm still camera.  In addition, photography of the moon is accomplished with the lunar topographical camera (LTC).  Photography assignments vary from mission to mission and hardware requirements vary accordingly. Spacecraft crew equipment stowage lists reflect camera equipment configuration. Typical mission photography task assignments include the following: synoptic terrain and weather studies, LM docking, crew operations, crew EVA, and targets of opportunity. Later manned flights will provide for specific scientific experiments and will require specialized equipment which is described in section 2.11. A brief description of the two basic operational cameras, the LTC, and their accessories follows.

16 mm Data Acquisition Camera

The Data Acquisition Camera is a modified movie camera and is an improved version of the earlier Gemini-type 16mm sequence camera equipped with new-type external film magazines which greatly enhance the photographic capabilities.  Primary use of the camera is to obtain sequential photographic data during manned flights.  It is used for documentary photography of crew activity within the CM and for recording scenes exterior to the spacecraft.  Bracketry installations at each rendezvous window facilitate use of the camera for CSM-LM docking photography to recording engineering data.  Camera modes of operation (frame rates) are variable as follows: time, 1 frame per second (fps), 6 fps, 12 fps, and 24 fps.  Shutter speeds are independent of frame rate and include 1/60 second, 1/125 second, 1/250 second, 1/500 second and 1/1000 second.  Camera power is obtained from the spacecraft electrical system via panel-mounted 28-vdc utility receptacles.  Camera operation is manually controlled by an 0n-Off switch located on the front of the camera. Camera weight, less film magazine, is 1.8 pounds (0.8 kg).  When mounted at either spacecraft rendezvous window, the camera line of sight is parallel (+2 degrees) to the CM  X-axis.  Camera accessories include a power cable, film magazines, lenses, right angle mirror, and a ring sight, which are described in the following paragraphs. The remote control cable, described with the 70 mm electric Hasselblad camera accessories, can also be used with the 16mm Data Acquisition Camera.

16mm Camera and Accessories
Power Cable.  The power cable provides the necessary connection between the spacecraft electrical power system and the 16 mm camera.  The cable is approximately 108 inches (2.74m) long and weighs approximately 0.23 pound (0.4kg). 28 volt dc utility receptacles are located on spacecraft panels 15, 16, and 100.

16 mm Film Magazine.  Film for each mission is supplied in preloaded film magazines that may be easily installed and/or removed from the camera by a gloved crew member. Film capacity is 130 feet ( 40m) of thin base film. Total weight of magazine with film is approximately one pound (0.4kg). Magazine run time versus frame rate is from 87 minutes at one fps to 3.6 minutes at 24 fps. Each magazine has a ‘film remaining indicator plus an end of film red indicator light. Future plans include film magazines of 400-foot capacity. Quantity and type of film supplied is determined by mission requirements.

Lenses.  Three lenses of different focal length are provided for use on the 16 mm camera.

10 mm.  A medium wide-angle lens, the field of view being 41.1 degrees x 54.9 degrees. It is used for internal crew activities and equipment when details are required. Focus is from 6 inches to infinity with aperture openings from f 1.8 to 22. It has two spike-like handles for setting f-stop and distance with the gloved hands.

18 mm Kern.  A lens of slightly wide-angle design and high optical quality.  Primary use is for vehicle-to-vehicle photography while bracket-mounted at left or right rendezvous window. It is also the widest angle lens that may be used with the right-angle mirror. This lens is usually stowed on the camera. Viewing angle of 24 x 32 degrees and weight is approximately 0.80 pound and has two spike-like handles for setting the f-stop and distance with the gloved hand. This improved lens has larger numbers for reading while in the EV spacesuit.

75mm Kern. A medium telephoto lens design with excellent optical properties. Primary use is for photography of distant objects and ground terrain. Usually used on the window-mounted camera. Viewing angle of 6 x 8 degrees, weight is approximately 0.80 pound. This lens is similar in appearance to the new 18 mm lens and has two handles for f-stop and distance, gloved hand settings, and larger printed numbers. It also has a sun shade.

Right Angle Mirror.  This accessory, when attached to the bracket- mounted 16 mm camera and lens, facilitates photography through the spacecraft rendezvous windows along a line of sight parallel to the CM X-axis with a minimum of interference to the crewmen. It adapts to the 18 m and 75 mm lenses by means of bayonet fittings.

Ring Sight. An accessory used on the 16 mm camera as an aiming aid when the camera is hand-held. The concentric light and dark circular rings, as seen superimposed on the view, aid the user in determining the angular field of view of the sight. It is attached to the camera by its shoe sliding into a C rail. It is also used on the 70 mm camera.

Data Acquisition Camera Mount. This device facilitates in-flight mounting of the 16mm camera at the spacecraft’s left or right rendezvous windows during zero g. The mount is a quick-disconnect hand-grip that may be attached to a dovetail adapter at either rendezvous window.  The camera attaches to the mount by means of a sliding rail and a friction lock screwed against the camera by a knob.  Two marked locating stops are provided for correct positioning of the camera at a window, one for the 18 mm lens and one for the 75 mm lens. Mount alignment is such that installed camera/lens line of sight is parallel to the CM X-axis, +1 degree.

16mm Camera Sextant Adapter.  The 16mm camera can be used to take photographs of the moon through the CM sextant during lunar orbit, useing camera sextant adapter. The adapter is an optical unit about 8 inches long that mounts directly on the Guidance and Nav Panel 122 SXT socket. The camera attaches to the adapter by means of a bayonet fitting.

DAC Timing Cable.   The DAC timing cable function is to supply 28 vdc to the 16 mm DAC and route the shutter closure signal to the RHEB panel 227 and the PCM junction box.  The DAC timing cable is 32 inches long with a connector at each end. The DAC connector has an orange index mark and is labeled P1 - DAC PWR. The connector for panel 227 is a large 90 elbow, has a blue grey index mark, and is labeled P2 - PNL 227. At launch, the cable is coiled, secured with a utility strap, and stowed in L2. After mounting the DAC in the right rendezvous window, the DAC timing cable is unstowed and the connector (P1 - DAC PWR) is mated to the camera. The SC1 INST PWR switch on panel 227 is verified in the OFF position, the cable connector (P2) is connected to the panel receptacle, and the panel switch is placed to the PWR position. The shutter closure signal is sent to the PCM junction box when the camera is operating.

16mm Camera Operation.  The camera mount (grip) is removed from stowage and attached to the dovetail at the appropriate rendezvous window. The 16mm camera and accessories are unstowed as required.  The selected lens is attached.  An optional right-angle mirror may be installed on the lens.  A ring sight may also be installed on the camera for hand-held use.  A film magazine is installed on camera.  The correct exposure is determined.  The lens aperture and focus are set.  The camera mode (frame rate) and shutter speed are set.  The power cable is installed on camera. If required, the camera is installed in the mount at the window.  The Utility Power  receptacle switch is set to Off, the camera power cable is connected to the appropriate receptacle and the Utility Switch is placed to the Power position.  Filming operation can be started by pressing the Operate button (switch) on the front of the camera. To stop the camera, the Operate button is pressed again. .

70mm Hasselblad Electric Camera (HEC)

The 70mm camera is primarily used for high resolution still photography and is hand-held or bracket mounted. Camera features include inter changeable lenses and film magazines. The standard lens is an 80 m f/2.8, and 250 mm f/4 and 500 mm f/8 telephoto lenses are provided for photography of distant objects. Two types of 70mm film magazines are provided, one for standard-base films, the other for thin-base films.  Camera accessories include filters and a ring sight.

Some specific uses of the camera are as follows:

• Verify landmark tracking
• Lunar landmark and mapping
• Record Saturn IVB separation
• Photograph disturbed weather regions (hurricanes, typhoons, etc.), debris collection on the spacecraft windows, SLA separation, LM during rendezvous and docking, terrain of geological and oceanographic interests, and other space equipment in orbit
• Act as a backup to the 16 mm sequence camera
• Record in-cockpit operation, e.g., normal positions of suited crewmen.

A built-in 6.25-vdc battery-powered, electric-motor-driven mechanism advances the film and cocks the shutter whenever the actuation button is pressed. An accessory connector permits remote camera operation and shutter operation indication for time correlation. The weight of the camera, with 80 mm lens and 2 batteries, without film magazine, is 4.04 pounds.

70mm Hasselblad and accessories
The camera accessories are:

80 mm f/2.8 Lens.  Standard or normal lens for the 70 mm camera with 2-1/4 x 2-1/4-inch film format.  Used for general still photography when a wide angle or telephoto view is not required.  Focuses from 3 feet to infinity.  Has built-in shutter with speeds from 1 second to 1/500 second. Field of view, each side, is approximately 38 x 38 degrees.

250 mm f/5.6 Lens. A telephoto lens that is primarily used for photography of terrain and distant objects.  It produces a 3X magnification over the standard 80 mm lens. The relatively narrow view of this lens necessitates careful aiming of the camera to ensure that the desired scene is photographed.  A mount is available for mounting the camera and lens at the right rendezvous window to view parallel to vehicle X-axis. The lens focuses from 8.5 feet to infinity, and has built-in shutter with speeds from 1 second to 1/500 second.  The field of view is approximately 13 x 13 degrees. The weight of the lens is 2.06 pounds.

Remote Control Cable.  The function of the remote control cable is to actuate the shutter from the left couch while sighting targets through the COAS in the left rendezvous window.  The cable is 48 inches long with a handle, button, and control knob at one end and a connector at the other. The control knob has settings of TE (time exposure), 1, 6, 12, and 24 fps.

70 mm Film Magazines.  Two types of film magazines are used, one for standard-base film, the other for thin-base film. Either film magazine attaches to rear of camera and is locked in place by a lever-actuated clamp. The type 100 film magazine is for standard-base film and its capacity is 100 2-1/4 x 2-1/4 inch frames. The type 200 film magazine is for thin-base film and its capacity is 200 2-1/4 x 2-1/4 inch frames. Each film magazine contains gross-film indicators for frame count.

Lunar Surface 70 mm Film Magazine.  The lunar surface 70mm film magazines are standard 70 mm magazines that have a thermal protective coating. They are stowed in the 70mm magazine LM transfer bag.

70 mm Magazine LM Transfer Bag.  The 70 mm magazine UI transfer bag is made from Beta cloth, has a capacity of three magazines, has and a flap cover to restrain them. The magazine bag with exposed 70 mm magazines is transferred from the LM to the CM for return to Earth.

70mm Camera Mount for 80 and 250 mm Lens.  For the purpose of photographing parallel to the CM X-axis, the camera mount is used.  It is T-shaped, the stem being 7 inches long and the bar 6 inches. The stem inserts into a socket mount along the right or left side of the hatch frame, marked EHC MOUNT ATTACH (80 MM/250 MM LENS, approximately 7 inches from the TV socket mount. The T-bar portion has two quick couplings (lower and upper) that attach to the camera. The lower quick coupling is for use of the camera with the 250 mm lens and will align the camera parallel with the X-axis. The upper quick coupling is for use of the camera with the 80 mm lens and is pitched upward 12±2° from the CM X-axis during pre-launch alignment to give the camera an unobstructed view. The couplings are labelled on the back of the mount.

To use the mount, the 70mm camera is assembled, adjusted and set. The camera can be attached to the appropriate mount quick coupling by sliding it to the stop and locking by rotating the (flag) lever 90 degrees. Failure to position the camera all the way to the stop before locking may result in the window aperture obstructing the camera view. The stem is inserted into the socket mount near the hatch frame until the latches snap in.  The intervalometer cable is then attached. The camera is sighted by using the COAS and orienting the CM X-axis toward the target. To use the 80 mm lens, the COAS elevation scale is set to +12 degrees. The camera can be momentarily displaced (swung out of the way) by pressing the latch levers and rotating until the latches reseat.

Intervalometer.  The intervalometer is a remote control device for taking sequential pictures. It is extremely useful for making a strip map (vertical stereo strip from rendezvous window, oblique stereo strip from side windows, etc.). Its control box is 2.5 x 2.5 x 1 inches and has an ON/OFF switch. A 120-inch cable connects it to the camera accessory connector. The intervalometer is preset at 20-second intervals and is powered from the Hasselblad electric camera battery pack.

HEC Timing Cable.  The function of the HEC timing cable is to route the HEC shutter activation signal , generated by the intervalometer, to the RHEB panel 227 which is then routed to the PCM junction box. The HEC timing cable is 41 inches long with a 3-inch tee in the center. A large connector on one end is labeled P1 and connects to RHEB panel 227. The tee connector is labeled J1 and connects to the intervalorneter cable. The HEC connector is labeled P2. When not in use, the cable is coiled, secured with a utility strap, and stowed.

HEC Operation.  During preparation for lunar orbital photography the HEC, cable, and mount are unstowed. SC1 INST PWR switch on panel 227 is verified OFF and HEC cable (P1 connector) is connected. The HEC and the intervalometer are mounted. The HEC cable (Ji) is connected to the intervalometer and the P2 connector to the NEC battery pack. It is not necessary to turn the panel 227 switch on. The intervalometer switch is placed to ON to begin photography. When photography is completed, the intervalorneter switch is turned to OFF, HEC timing cable is disassembled in reverse order, and stowed.

Automatic Spotmeter

The spotmeter is a light meter that provides accurate exposure information with a minimum of expended time and effort. The unit is a completely automatic CdS reflectance light meter with a very narrow angle of acceptance (one degree). The meter scales are automatically rotated to indicate the correct camera shutter speed/lens aperture values for the selected photographic subject. Brightness range is from 0.32 to 5000 foot-lamberts, with an extended range to 20,000 foot-lamberts by use of accessory neutral density filter. ASA range is from 3 to 25,000 and the weight of meter is 1.9 pounds.

Spotmeter
 

Last updated: 2017-02-17



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