RAF WW2 Camera Systems
Examples of Photographic Reconnaissance
Camera Installations

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Spitfire Camera installations
 

Provision was made in the various variants of reconnaissance Spitfires to fit various types of cameras, these cameras were arranged in different combinations to make up the following installations:


Early Spitfire camera installations

click images for enlargement


Early Spitfire camera installation Early Spitfire camera installation

This was the first installation of cameras into a Reconnaissance Spitfire Type 1A.
The F.24 was fitted with a 5" lens. Flying at 33,000ft the imagery taken had an approx scale of 1:79,200 making detail too small for interpretation.
Later, the 5" lenses were replaced with a 8" lenses and these cameras were fitted in the Spitfire Type 1B

Early Spitfire camera installation Early Spitfire camera installation The Spitfire Type 1C was fitted with both F.24 8" cameras within a blister under the starboard wing.
 
 

Later Spitfire camera installations (PR IV to PR XIX)


"G" Type installation

Type G camera installation in PR 1G (PR VII) Type G camera installation in PR 1G (PR VII)

Fitted with two vertical F.24 cameras, the front camera with either a 5" or 8" lens. The rear camera having a 8" or 14" lens fitted. The oblique camera, also an F.24, could be fitted with either a 8" or 14" lens.
This type of installation, which was fitted in the PR 1G and the PR XIII ensured imagery could be taken anywhere between 500 and 10,000 feet.

"W" Type installation

Type W camera Type W camera

The two F.8 20" cameras were set as a fan, set at an inclined of 10° to the vertical and 20° to each other.

"X" Type installation

Type X camera installation Type X camera installation

This installation consists of two fanned F.24 14" vertical cameras and one F.24 8" oblique camera
The vertical cameras were set at an inclined of 8½° to the vertical and 17° to each other.

"Y" Type installation
Type Y camera installation Type Y camera installation

Only one camera fitted in this installation, an F.52 36" camera. It was used for bomb damage assessment.

"U" Type installation
Type U camera installation Type U camera installation

Known as the universal installation, either of the following combinations could be fitted:

(a) Two fanned F.52 36"  cameras
(b) Two fanned F.8 20"  or F.52 20" camera
(c) Two fanned F.24 14" or  8" cameras and a F.24 14" oblique camera



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Mosquito Camera Installations
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This diagram shows the camera
ports of the Mosquito PR 34
Camera ports of a typical Mosquito
layout for low level photography.


F52 camera F52 and F24 cameras
The two images above show the installation layout as shown in the above right diagram.
In the left image is displayed a F.52 36" local length camera, the right image shows another F.52 36" camera with a
F.24 14" port facing oblique camera.

Mosquito nose camera
F.24 camera mounted in the nose of a Mosquito

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