Re: Tesla Coil Photography
Fuji Velvia color slide film, ASA 50, complete darkness, open shutter for 4
seconds, on tripod, shutter f1.4 or wide open, then flash with a splash of
color light thru a gel filter for 1/2 sec with a 50 watt bulb (in a simple
cardboad box) approx 15 feet away (do this while shutter is open to
From: Tesla List <tesla-at-pupman-dot-com>
To: tesla-at-pupman-dot-com <tesla-at-pupman-dot-com>
Date: Thursday, July 29, 1999 5:18 AM
Subject: Tesla Coil Photography
>Original Poster: Terry Fritz <twftesla-at-uswest-dot-net>
>My pictures of streamers did not turn out well and I could use a little
>I posted my "best" picture ( the one the shop bothered to print) at:
>This was hand held, florescent lights without the florescent filter, ASA
>100 film, 3.5 aperture, the camera was controlling the exposure (thank
>goodness, or it may have turned out bad :-))....
>First let me tell you what I have...
>Minolta X-700 manual camera that seems to like working around TCs.
>Has auto exposure and aperture priority which is probably not of any use
>for TC work...
>Minolta 35-70 Macro lens with speeds of 3.5-22.
>Minolta 1:1.4 lens with speeds from 1.4 to 16.
>Kodak Royal Gold 400 and 1000 speed film.
>Tripods, popular filteres, and flex shutter cable.
>So.... I should be set, but... I am NOT the worlds greatest photo guy. I
>have read the books and even take "Popular Photography" but I am just not a
>"natural" at such things... I get all the technical stuff and I have a
>good understanding of what all the setting do but the "skill and
>experience" factor is a definite problem...
>For the last set of attempted pictures, I used 100 speed film with the 3.5
>aperture. The exposure was about 5 seconds using the "one Mississippi, two
>Mississippi" timing method with the camera hand held and working the variac
>with the other hand... I will use the tripod and flex shutter cable next
>time... One problem was that the film and lens speed (100, 3.5) were not
>great enough for an arc to burn an image on the film with the available RMS
>light from the arc. Thus, I figure, faster film and perhaps the 1.4 lens
>are needed (I have been reading the archives on this). If there is enough
>ambient light for the camera electronics to do the exposure, it does a good
>job light wise but the streamers seems dim (with 100 speed film) thus I
>guess the 400 speed would be much better (I have 1000 too).
>Sooo... I have the "stuff" and know "some" things but I was just wondering
>if anyone had any suggestion as to the film, aperture, time... (especially
>the time!!) settings to get me into the ballpark for a sort of dark room.
>I realize that there are variables and I'll have to try things, but I seem
>pretty darn far away at the moment... The room is usually pretty dark but
>I can make out the coil and other objects ok so it is not pitch black...
>Any advice is welcome. I hate to go through a bunch of sessions and film
>just to START getting reasonable pictures...