Focusing the Mitchell (the most published feature in Ads)

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mitchellbnc
Posts: 57
Joined: Wed May 15, 2013 10:03 am

Focusing the Mitchell (the most published feature in Ads)

Postby mitchellbnc » Wed Jul 16, 2014 3:20 pm

One of the most unique features of the early Mitchell cameras was the was the rack over "focusing telescope" device. It seems odd today as most of us have grown up with reflex viewing as a fact of normal life, having never known any other way. But back in the day, you had to move the camera over to align the telescope (as it was referred to) and move it behind the taking lens. Now you could see through the lens.

If that wasn't enough of a miracle, Mitchell engineers had even more tricks up their sleeves. They were so concerned with critical focus that they provided two filters to engage, one for color emulsions and one for the standard of the day, black and white. A push of a plunger button would engage either filter and allow more critical focusing judgments to be made.

However, the most important feature of the telescope was its ability to magnify the image five times its normal size and if needed, the operator could choose a ten time magnification to make the most minute focusing adjustments. No big deal you say? Well in 1930s, it was.

My favorite Mitchell graphic in their product brochures is the one below where they proudly proclaim the focusing telescope's features. They made sure it appeared on almost every publication and was often inserted into single page ads as well. Here we see an example of the magnification feature.

Theodore Wilhelm
Attachments
image-magnified.jpg
Focusing the Mitchell - Magnification Ad

mrcinephd

Re: Focusing the Mitchell (the most published feature in Ads

Postby mrcinephd » Sat Aug 02, 2014 4:12 pm

Thanks Theodore. I see that feature in every single Mitchell product publication as well. But have you every seen this rare shot where they show the "Usable field" as a dotted circle? I'm referring to the 3 photo (the one that is magnified 10 times.) I thought it was interesting that they just skipped over the part that the actual view was limited in all their other product literature. But great promotion anyways.

Keep on Filmin'
Attachments
usable-view.jpg

35mmKing

Re: Focusing the Mitchell (the most published feature in Ads

Postby 35mmKing » Sat Aug 02, 2014 6:55 pm

Hello mr. cinephd ... all the product descriptions regarding the focusing tube had a circular dotted line to define the "usage files" but they were in black. So you can't see them as well so check again cause they are there! I like your photo anyway, thanks for sharing it.

mrcinephd

Re: Focusing the Mitchell (the most published feature in Ads

Postby mrcinephd » Wed Sep 10, 2014 1:01 pm

Hello all. This little topic has come full circle as one of our members (cineman3905) emailed me an ad from 1923 which feature a very, very early Focusing Telescope. Even back then they were using the dotted circle for the "useable field" so it must be the case of when you have a good advertising scheme, why change it?

Keep on Filmin'
Attachments
1923_focusing_tube.jpg


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