November, 1944, The National Mall, Washington, D.C. – Guys are training with military cameras. What are the cameras?
Tentative identification is a large-format Graflex Speed camera, possibly a PH-47-E or PH-47-F. Please do not form the impression that I know anything about cameras; this ID is a result of clumsy stumbling through the results of a search made with the most generic of terms: “WWII US Army camera.” Since I am ignorant of the names of any of the parts, a more elegant search phrase is beyond me, while a page like this or a table such as in here just result in crossed eyes. Can any Ratburger camera geeks help me out?
The claim has been made that a Graflex C-3 was taken apart and the flash gun modified into Luke Skywalker’s first light-sabre. A person could spend all day deciding on the ethics of such a move; luckily there is too much else to do.
This is a complete mystery to me. Does the big rectangular viewfinder mean that it has to be a still camera? Or could it be a movie camera with the reels contained completely within the cubic-rectangular body? That might be advantageous for jumping.
We know he took some 16mm footage; we actually have some. But that might have been taken with this or with another camera.
Do all those lenses click around on a rotary base? (That would be striking, as Dad survived the war and became an optometrist, clicking trial lenses around a rotary base and asking Which is better, #1? or #2?)
I’d be grateful for suggestions as to search terms for this camera, as “WWII US Army movie camera” is evidently too general.
(Backstory to these photographs is available here, and here, plus here, and oh yes here, for anyone interested. I am going through all posts in my family history blog, reviewing and revising, preparatory to resuming the research-and-archive job.)