1. Reminder: Please use our affiliate links for holiday shopping!

Is there a way to know what lenses were used on old photos?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by majordude, Jan 11, 2013.

  1. majordude

    majordude Mu-43 Regular

    108
    Dec 28, 2012
    Like this:

    [​IMG]

    Is this 35mm film? A medium format? 50mm lens? 75mm or 35mm lens?
     
  2. majordude

    majordude Mu-43 Regular

    108
    Dec 28, 2012
    The above is uncropped... this is the album cover:

    pink_floyd_animals_cover_battersea_power_plant_pig.
     
  3. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Not really. This is not your photo, right? Here's one roundabout thing that MAY help if you're lucky... You can try uploading the photo to TinEye Reverse Image Search and see if there are any other instances of the photo on the internet. If there are, one of the links may have further information about the shot, or maybe a contact for the photographer.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. 43hk

    43hk Mu-43 Veteran

    241
    Dec 26, 2010
    HK
    The cover artwork is by Hipgnosis. They were a loose collection of artists that did work for major bands in the 60's, 70's and 80's. It was started by Storm Thorgerson.

    You'd probably have to contact him directly to find out what gear was used.

    But most of the information you'll find on this photo-shoot relates to the flying pig and it's subsequent escape.
     
  5. majordude

    majordude Mu-43 Regular

    108
    Dec 28, 2012
    But by looking at it, do you think it was a wide, tele or "50mm"?
     
  6. amalric

    amalric  

    183
    Jul 24, 2012
    Rome. Italy
    I would say a 35mm eq or a 50 by the converging lines of perspective, if the picture is uncropped. Perhaps in Photoshop you could superpose two images shot with different focal lengths at the same distance and see what gives.

    Are there other images of the power plant shot from the same vantage point in Google images? Perhaps some have their Exif intact.

    EDIT: you can compare perspective distortion here, to get an idea:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perspective_distortion_(photography)
     
  7. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    Short of asking? No.
     
  8. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
  9. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    It looks like art to me! Photorealism, but art and not a photograph. It could be a photo that was gone over with airbrush and pen, however. But most likely art that was done by an artist who had a similar photo to work from{and maybe many photos}.

    If this was shot with a lens it was NOT a tele, too much DOF. It could have been a normal or wide. But as already stated the lines of perspective are all straight. This also lends more support that it is art and not a photo.

    Another thing that makes me think it is art is that the buildings in the foreground don't exist. They might have back then but they don't anymore. If you look at the Google map overhead satellite view you can clearly see that where those buildings would be is an open lot.

    https://maps.google.com/maps?q=51.4...n=0.004831,0.008851&z=14&iwloc=A&source=embed

    The green arrow is the power station.

    I just did a little research on Hipgnosis, the company that did the cover.
    So the picture would have been shot in medium format. Or several shots that were stitched together and then art rendered as the case seems to be.
     
  10. retnull

    retnull Mu-43 Regular

    68
    Feb 12, 2010
    I'd be very surprised if it was 35mm film -- more likely to be medium format, or possibly large format (4x5 or 8x10).

    I'm not old enough to know for sure, but it's my understanding that during this era, 35mm film was not used for professional work, except photojournalism.
     
  11. retnull

    retnull Mu-43 Regular

    68
    Feb 12, 2010
    For example, in the great film "Blow-up" (1967), the photographer uses 35mm when he's out shooting for fun, but when it's paid work, he uses a Hasselblad
     
  12. 43hk

    43hk Mu-43 Veteran

    241
    Dec 26, 2010
    HK
    Yeah, I'd kind of assumed that the OP knew this was a Pink Floyd album cover.
    From the little I know about the picture and Hipgnosis:-

    It was shot in 1976, when Battersea Power Station was still reasonably intact. In true Hipgnosis style, the pig is an inflatable rather than a montage of parts added later, they preferred to work that way. A quick look at the cover art for Wish You were Here will show that people were actually set on fire for the "handshake" shot in Hollywood.

    The Photo is taken from the Nine Elms side of the station AFAICT. I used to live in Chelsea and can vouch for the beautiful evening light that descends on London at certain times of the year.

    When the album was released there was some debate as to whether the cover was painted in a realistic style or if it was a photograph. The story about the inflatable pig slipping it's moorings and flying off to Kent are true and confirmed the cover was actually a photograph.

    Bought the Album as soon as it came out. Yes I'm ancient.:wink:
     
  13. iGonzoid

    iGonzoid Mu-43 Veteran

    247
    Feb 6, 2011
    Tasmania, Australia
    This — cover image from Pink Floyd's "Animals", of Battersea power station — and other Hipgnosis images feature in the book Walk Away Rene, and as I recall [can't find my copy right now] mostly they shot with 2&1/4", mostly Hasseblad.
     
  14. iGonzoid

    iGonzoid Mu-43 Veteran

    247
    Feb 6, 2011
    Tasmania, Australia
    Just found my copy of Walk Away Rene — The Work of Hipgnosis, [Paper Tiger 1978], and in the appendix with tech details of each cover, it says: From gatefold cover. Daylight. 5/4 Sinar. W/A lens. Ektachrome. Dye transfer strip-in. Photo H. Bartrop and Po. Design Hipgnosis from an idea by Roger Waters.