Re: Camera Shots
If you are running a NST powered coil:
Be sure to put the camera on a tripod. Get close 3-4 feet. Use open
shutter for 4-6 seconds with an ASA 400 film and set camera for f1.4 manual
on the f stop. Don't try to let the camera do it on auto exposure.
Be sure to cover up your primary sparkgap with a black cloth or something to
completely block its light output.
If you actually want to "see" the coil in the photo as well, then turn on a
small 25 watt lamp at a distance of 40 feet from the side of the coil. Go
to a music band supply store and pickup some violet or red crimson gel
filters and make a fixture to hold the bulb and tape the gel to the
fixture --- a sealed cardboard box works just fine with the gel taped over a
6 x 6 inch square hole in the front. Try an "on" time of approx 1 sec. --
just use a toggle lamp switch and throw it rapidly. This will provide a
brief shot of "colored fill" light to expose the coil assembly while the
shutter is open during the 4-6 second exposure. Be sure to keep the lamp
back at least 40 feet or you will overpower the spark part of the photo ---
remember your camera shutter is wide open at this time. You can also use a
small variac or solid state light controller to dim the 25 watt bulb even
more. Record various variac settings and log against your film shot counter
for later reference to see which light setting works best for your coil.
This should give you very good pictures of your sec. discharge.
My personal preference is Fuji Velvia color slide film (best purples &
blues) at ASA of 50. I set camera at ASA 40 and use 4-8 sec timed
From: Tesla List <tesla-at-pupman-dot-com>
To: tesla-at-pupman-dot-com <tesla-at-pupman-dot-com>
Date: Saturday, July 10, 1999 3:52 PM
Subject: Camera Shots
>Original Poster: "Andy Cleary" <gemware2-at-dreamscape-dot-com>
> I have been trying to take photos of my Tesla coil for some time now, but
>they never come out. I tried twice using a Polaroid in the dark. One
>picture came out totally black, and the one with a flash came out OK, but
>you can't see the discharges (my coil is weak). Recently I tried it with a
>nice new Ricoh camera, with shutter speed of 2 secs.. One picture came out
>completely grayish dark, and in the other you could see the spark gap
>illuminations but only about 1/2 inch of discharge. I am not sure why my
>pictures always fail. I have looked through previous posts, but they don't
>seem to help. Any suggestions as to light settings, film, speed, etc.?