Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Kodak's BIMAT System

Here's the best diagram I can find of Kodak's BIMAT P/N system used on early moon probes. The system used two lenses, a long focal length, and a wide angle (a Schneider Xenotar!) and two spools, one with film, the other with a "web". The web was damp with processing chemicals, and processed the film, which would also if desired produce a DTR positive onto the web.

The system shown in the diagram scanned just the negative with a flying spot scanner, a precursor to the drum scanner.  A flying spot scanner uses a CRT-like electron beam to illuminate a spot that moves in a predictable way, and the intensity of the transmitted light can then be recorded or transmitted to a distant location.

Check out this shot.

Here is a link to the website discussing it, and if you look around you can see striped pictures of the moon shot with this system, which might have used Pan-X. 

6 comments:

Mike said...

For something a little simpler and closer to home, PoroPak model 35. http://www.flickr.com/photos/memoirs-in-digital/4981946024/

Bob Crowley said...

Hi Mike

Good one!

Do you remember the Brooks Pixmat? That was a 35mm monobath system, and I used it several times with "OK" results. One of the problems with the Pixmat was the film sticking to itself.

Anonymous said...

That is the best moon photo.

jb said...

More on the bimat system
http://tinyurl.com/2552vff
link takes you to a google books result. had to use tinyurl due to length of url

Mike said...

Never used the Pixmat but have heard about it and similar methods. Some of the old ways of photography still surprise me.

Andrew D. Barron said...

Found your blog today looking into instant film backs and the Instax 210. I wrote a bit about that imaging system.
http://barronphotography.blogspot.com/2010/12/friday-experiments.html

Thanks for the blog.