or 70mm for 16 x 20 inch or larger prints. There are
many experienced aerial photographers, and because of
varying experiences, they may have very different
opinions. Most favor a medium-format camera when
prints are required. Medium-format cameras are easy
to handle in confined spaces--the back seat of a jet
aircraft, for instance. They are relatively small and
convenient to use. With careful processing and
printing, almost any size of print can be made from the
negatives produced by a medium-format camera.
Excellent results may be obtained by using a 35mm
camera; assuming, of course, you handle the film
carefully during processing and printing. Because of
the variety of interchangeable lenses, small size, ease of
handling, and large number of exposures, the 35mm
camera is preferred by many Navy Photographer's
Aerial film is designed for high-altitude
photography and does not yield better results than
conventional films at low altitudes. Remember that
most hand-held aerial photography is performed at low
altitudes. There are several factors that you must
consider before selecting a particular type of film. The
first, of course, is the end use (purpose) of the pictures.
Do you need black and white or color; prints or slides?
Other important factors are as follows:
Weather and haze conditions
Lighting conditions
Special purpose film (color, camouflage
detection, and infrared (CDIR)
Special filtration
Processing requirements or capabilities
Black-and-White Panchromatic Film
For an aerial assignment requiring black-and-white
prints only, you should first consider a black-and-white
film, such as Kodak Technical Pan (Tech. Pan.). This
and other similar types of film are fast enough for most
aerial work when the weather is good and the subject is
well-lighted. The extended red sensitivity of Tech. Pan.
also helps to penetrate haze. This film is readily
available and convenient to process. Tech. Pan. has
excellent resolution and the extreme fine grain required
to make high-quality enlargements.
Special types of film designed for reconnaissance
are also available. These films are normally available
only in rolls, and they range from 70mm to 12 inches
wide. These films are characterized by their sensitivity,
base type and thickness, speed, resolution, and
granularity. These films also have an extended red
sensitivity to aid in greater haze penetration.
Although black-and-white prints can be made from
color negatives, it is better to use black-and-white film.
Black-and-white film is superior to color emulsions in
their ability to record image detail. Haze and contrast
control are easier to achieve with black-and-white film
than with color film (fig. 4-14).
Black-and-White Infrared (IR) Film
In aerial photography, black-and-white infrared
(IR) film offers several advantages over panchromatic
film. Primarily it provides higher contrast and the
unique ability to record detail through haze. Thus
black-and-white IR film should be considered when
aerial views must be taken under such conditions. This
type of film can record more detail through haze than
can be seen with the human eye. The sensitivity of IR
film extends to approximately 900nm with maximum
IR sensitivity from approximately 760nm to 880nm. It
is particularly useful when extreme distances must be
covered, such as high-altitude photography, or when a
high angle of view is required for high obliques. Before
selecting a black-and-white IR film, you should check
with the person for whom you are doing the work
Prints made from black-and-white IR negatives appear
quite contrasty because blue sky and water are
reproduced almost black (fig. 4-15). Growing crops
and deciduous trees appear white in photographs and
most evergreens record darker. If such prints meet the
requirements of the requester and IR film is the best
choice, by all means use it. However, keep in mind that
when black-and-white IR film is used, you must filter
out blue and ultraviolet radiation with a red filter, such
as a Kodak Wratten No. 25 or equivalent, for best
Color Negative Film
Color negative film, such as Kodak Vericolor III
Type S, may be used to provide color and
black-and-white prints. However, when available, film,
such as Kodak Vericolor HC, is a better choice. Kodak
Vericolor HC provides better results because of the

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