Re: TC Pics - How To?

Tesla List wrote:

> Original Poster: Dsurfr-at-aol-dot-com
> I'm looking for some advice on taking pictures of my coil while its arcing.
> >From all the great photos I've seen on the Ring most of you must know what
> you're doing & I've already wasted 2 rolls of film with meager (at best)
> results. I have an old Nikon - great camera w/ no electronics & good lenses.
> Any help on Fstop, exposure time, film speed etc. would be greatly
> appreciated. Thanks,  Jim


Having be an active, photographer for over 45 years and an active Tesla coiler
for about 13years.  With about 2000 photos on hand of my Tesla coils, sparks,
etc.  I have some experience.

You must never use the shutter unless trying to capture some sleeting effect.
Never ever use auto settings unless you want some silly electronic circuit
to take your pix for you.

 The best method is to alwasy use "bulb"  "B" on most cameras.  You will
need a
locking cable release.  Always use a 100 to 200 ASA film.  Plus X is very good
or one of the Tmax kodak B&W are superb.  These are B&W films.  You should be
processing your own film.  If you shoot color, you are at the mercy of some
idiot, $5.00/hr,  9 to 5'er in a photo lab and his mood when he gets to your
photos, or worst still, some mindless processor machine set on auto.  Color
is a
waste as there is not much color in a Tesla system in a darkened room.  Always
lock the f stop to f 4 or 5.6.  Always use a tripod or wall mount bracket.
Pre-focus the image in full room light on a card placed 1/2 foot in front
of the
nearest edge of the toroid.  Shoot a range of exposures with 2 seconds being a
minimum and 20 seconds to produce tons of sparks.

Avoid using a modern electronic "auto" camera!!!  The best cameras are old
non-lightmetered SLRs.  Among the best are , Nikon Photomic F,  Minolta SRT
series,  Canon FT QL and Pelix cameras, etc.  Many of these older cameras are
still in use because they haven't had the electronic guts die on them, as
is none in them.  More modern cameras are being disgarded because  the cost of
repair of dead electronics exceeds replacement cost.  Nemesis blew up two
of the
National Geographic photographers finest modern Nikons when he was here!!!!  I
warned him, too!  The blow up was so bad and Nikon had so entrusted the
mechanism to the electronics that even manual mode was an electronically
switched.  Thus, the guy couldn't even use the camera in manual mode!!!  The
shutter was dead!  Give me a spring fired, pawl tripped shutter anyday.  He
ultimately used my one of my old Nikon photomics to finish the shoot.

My photos are striking only because I massage them throughout the process,

Richard Hull, TCBOR