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20 mm lens experiment, P-G filmsite


Daniel Perez
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Just recently a group of us have returned from the P-G filmsite and instead of crunching numbers we were crunching lenses to see which is the best fit for the camera Roger Patterson used on the day in question, October 20, 1967. We juggled the 25mm; 20mm; 15mm on this go around with our test subject at 102 feet.  Test subject stood 6 feet tall in boots. We used 16mm film and my Kodak K-100 fixed lens camera, the same model that was used when Roger secured his epic movie. Rowdy Kelley, my colleague, had the film developed and from that film the preliminary finding is the 20 mm appears to be at this writing the best fit that would duplicate frame # "352," which is, as per Bill Munns verified frame count, frame # 354. The white arrows show lights we used on the background trees, edge of frame to edge of frame. The arrow in the center points to "smiley face" stump, where the subject was around frame  # 352." The white arrow to the extreme right shows the sprocket hole, essentially representative of the edge of frame on that side. It is not an exact fit but the 20mm was a far better fit than the 25mm and the 15mm lens in this late October 2021 experiment. As much as I tried to keep our work tight lipped, word did leak out (from our own camp!) and two journalists showed up at different times during experimentation.

 

Based on the data we obtained, the preliminary finding is the 20mm lens is the top candidate for the lens that Roger Patterson used. Image courtesy and copyright © Rowdy Kelley, 2021.

 

Daniel Perez

www.bigfoottimes.net

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4 hours ago, Daniel Perez said:

Based on the data we obtained,

 

What data? I assume that the over pixelated dark screen is due to a copyright issue or my computer is having problems.

 

54 years later and you were not standing in the same locations as Roger Patterson and Patty. Will there be follow up posts with more details?

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@Daniel PerezLooks like a photo of a video screen playback and fairly useless and indeterminate.  Do you have better sharpness in anything you can post up on that topic?  That is, that doesn't cost dollars or require payment?

Edited by bipedalist
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What film was used?

What brand lenses were used?

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No, this is all we have for the year. We see the same thing you are seeing, so it is back to the drawing board for next year. Earlier in the year, different 16 mm film. The 25 mm and the 15 mm were mine (Kodak) but the 20 mm was Rowdy Kelley's and I am not sure what brand it is. 

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The 25mm and the 15mm lens are Kodak Cine Ektar lenses, standard on a Kodak K-100 camera three lens turrit model. The 25mm is standard on the single lens version of the K-100.

 

The 20mm is a Kodak Anastigmat fixed focus lens standard on an older Kodak camera, the Model "E"  it has a "C" Mount, like the Ektar lenses, which is why it fits on the K-100. So it would be reasonable that Roger could have obtained such a lens and put it on his K-100 at Bluff Creek.

 

The K-100 camera is not "through the lens" viewing. it has a companion viewer lens of equal focal length as the actual camera lenses, for the 15mm and 25mm lens. But Kodak doesn't make a 20mm viewer lens. But viewing through the 25mm view lens, the ground glass image shows the actual frame area plus a larger surrounding area, so if a camera operator used the 20mm lens on camera and a 25mm viewer lens, the operator simply needs to assume all seen in the surrounding viewport area is also in frame.

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Please keep in mind this is the first go around with the 20mm lens on the P-G filmsite. Rowdy Kelley wants to get a better 16mm Kodak movie film with a faster ISO, so it is not that dark and the test subject can be seen. We plan on being up there next year but likely at the end of September or early October when there is a lot more sunlight on the filmsite. Also, the weather is better (warmer) and hopefully we don't get rained on like we did on this trip.  It is back to the drawing board. Although the photographic results aren't seen here with the experiments with the 25mm and the 15mm, Rowdy Kelley did send them over to me by text and one was too much and the other not enough. The best fit was the 20mm lens. René Dahinden did tell me circa 1991 that Roger Patterson's rental camera was equipped with a 25mm lens, but I never asked him how he knew that information. I just sort of took it at face value. I know he was in Yakima, Washington at the camera shop where Roger rented the camera, but I would rather rely on some sort of paper documentation rather than just his word. Where did Roger get a 20mm lens? Don't know, but presumably the same camera shop he rented the camera from. 

 

The back lighting we installed on edge-of-frame to edge-of-frame was Rowdy Kelley's doing. It was a brilliant idea to secure that portable light to the back trees to get the edge to edge (film frame) view as best we could. There is so much overgrowth on the P-G filmsite, you don't even see he "Big Tree" today. You have to walk north on the filmsite and finally you see it. In Roger Patterson's day (1967) you could easily see the "Big Tree" from the edge of Bluff Creek.

 

This is a work in progress and we plan on going back next year for more experiments. But hopefully someone in this group, using this sheet that I found on www.themunnsreport.com can tell us how tall the object is being filmed with a 20mm lens. In this case, our test subject was 6 feet tall in boots but hopefully, knowing that the 20mm lens is the likely correct answer, how tall is Patty know this information?

 

 

Daniel Perez

www.bigfoottimes.net

951 522-7334

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The back light approach is a novel idea.

I have many comments.

Do you have the K-100 operator manual?

For next years event, use Kodak Vision3 500T. It is the fastest film you will find and is readily available, with processing. It is a tungsten film, rated at a film speed of 500 with 3200 degree Kelvin lighting. Yes, a tungsten film because it has better detail in the highlights and shadows than daylight film. A correction filter for daylight has to be used. #85 filter drops the film speed to about 320 which is still faster than daylight film. For your lenses, the 15mm needs a series 6 #85 with a #28 screw-in adapter and the 25mm needs a series 5 #85 with a #22 screw in adapter to secure them to the lens. The 20mm looks like it needs a push-on type filter adapter ring. Don't mess with wratten gelatin filters, just buy the glass. Start now because the search and find process on ebay will be testy. The K-100 image shows what a #85 filter looks like on a 15mm lens.

 

Concerning your frame rate. Shooting at 24fps will consume 100 feet of film in 2 minutes and 46 seconds. I don't know your procedures but 'single frame' shooting may be helpful during measuring and you won't blow through a lot of film. With the K-100, for single frame shooting, one sets the frame rate to 16fps and pushes 'up' on the shutter release lever. Single frame shooting will have a shutter speed of 1/20 second. Adjust exposure with the aperture setting.

 

You have time.

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Edited by Catmandoo
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I couldn't resist. I have to do this for Norseman.  Quoting Norseman;

"I agree and would go further and say that video and photo evidence 50 YEARS ago did not move the chains one inch. And nothing has changed now. They need a chunk of the critter." 

'The chains have not moved'. That is funny to use 'football speak'.

 

Kodak designed and built the K-100 series to film football games. An interesting filming aid was available. The angle selector is placed 40 yards from the side line and shows the angle of view for the 15mm and 25mm lenses. Note that a display for a 20mm lens is not included.

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6 hours ago, Catmandoo said:

Note that a display for a 20mm lens is not included

 

why not?

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2 hours ago, gigantor said:

 

why not?

Catmandoo, perhaps you might be willing to go to the P-G filmsite with us next year and be our photographic consultant. The people there, including myself, are just amateurs when it comes to all of this. We are thinking late September early October, when it might be warmer and less or no rain. Bluff Creek, like San Francisco, seems to have its very own microclimate going on. Hope you might consider, especially if you have never been there before. I will definitely convey your ideas and questions to the group.

 

-All the things we did not know. I was not aware a correction filter could make things better in terms of lighting.

-We shot at only 16FPS for our experiments with 25mm, 20mm and 15mm.

-Yes, I agree, a body is needed to settle the matter. A piece of one, likely, will only arouse interest but not settle the question.

-Do not understand WHY the 20mm FILMING lens does NOT have a 20mm viewing lens. Kodaks deal, I suppose.

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Kodak never planned for a 20mm lens to be used on it's K-100 model. They selected lenses based on specific uses. The 25mm standard is good for general filing of human activity, and can do close ups of a person as needed.

 

The 15mm is the wide angle lens for panoramic scenery mostly. The 50mm and up are the telephoto lenses for sports (as noted above, for filming football games) and nature photography (filming animals from afar and bringing them up close on film).

 

So Kodak chose the specific lenses and made specific viewer companion lenses for only the lenses they expected the camera operator to need.

 

The 20mm lens was an archaic lens from a camera made 20 plus years earlier. It was intended for viewing human activity and scenic landscapes both, so it split the focal length between the 25mm and the 15mm. It's non-focusing, so it was never expected to shoot close ups of people or things. 

 

Now, why might Roger put a 20mm lens on his K-100 camera. The standard 25mm lens was a bit too narrow for what he expected to film, as he knew he'd be outdoors and filming the scenery as much as filming his and Bob's activity. So Roger might have thought he's like to go a bit wider than the 25mm lens allows, but not full wide as the 15mm produces. We can only speculate, of course, first that Roger was sufficiently knowledgeable in lenses to make that decision, and second, to know the 20mm was available, but evaluating his other documentary footage, he did use an Angineaux 12mm-120mm zoom lens, so he had the chance to see how various focal lengths work for various situations. So he may have shot with the zoom lens set at 20mm or so, and realized it was a useful focal length for his purposes. And it would have been a reasonable assumption for the same camera shop that rented him his K-100 may have stocked a Model E camera as well, and thus had a 20mm on hand to rent out.

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^^^ What Bill Munns said.

 

I am not a photographic consultant.  An adventure to Bluff Creek has not been on my bucket list.  Bluff Creek continues to draw a lot of enthusiasm and the arm-chair interests are global these days.

Please expand on the seasonal access to the site. Is there is some sort of a problem with a fungus that limits vehicle travel?

 

Kodak has an app that helps with film run time, depth of field, etc. etc. etc.

 

Is your 'group' followed by Ravens while at Bluff Creek?

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No Ravens following us to the P-G site. Just bear, dear and mountain lion noted in the area.

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^^^ Sorry to read that. Ravens are spies for Sasquatch. A spy known is better than a spy unknown. Maintain situational awareness, stay safe.

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