RAF WW2 Camera Systems
Post WW2 Photographic
Reconnaissance Cameras
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Royal Air Force

F49 Camera F49 Camera

Used for daytime survey and reconnaissance, this camera was used in conjunction with other cameras. The Mk2 version was fitted with a 6 inch lenses.

Camera Details:
9 inch x 9 inch image format.
Four-blade sector type.
Magazine Size:
Two magazine sizes could be fitted, 165ft giving approximately 200 exposures or the 250ft magazine that would give approximately 300 exposures.

Of special note is that the camera could be fitted with two types of register glass.
In one type the glass was marked with fiducial cross-lines which divide the glass into 1 cm squares.
The crosses became superimposed onto the imagery and provide an increased accuracy for scaling distances. The other type was pain glass.

Fitted in the Canberra PR7 & PR9, the Argosy and Royal Navy Wasp helicopters.

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F95 Camera

Within this range of cameras, there are various Mk's, they were designed for high-speed, low-altitude, oblique reconnaissance photography. In order to overcome image movement under these conditions, high shutter speeds combined with a rapid rate of shutter firing and film transport were embodied in the camera systems.

The Mk.1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 could be fitted with either a 4 inch or a 12 inch lenses
Mk.7 could be fitted with 3 inch or 6 inch lens
Mk.10 fitted with either a 1.5 inch or 3 inch lens. Also this Mk had IMC (Image Movement Compensation) system fitted.

The Mk.1 was fitted with a magazine that would give 475 exposures, the Mk7 could have either a magazine that gave either 500 or 1000 exposures and the Mk.10's magazine could give a total of 1200 exposures.
F95 Mk2 camera

For all the Mk's the format of the film was 70mm wide, perforated along each edge and with a 2.25 inch square image area.

Fitted in:
Canberra PR.3
Mk.7 - Phantom Recce Pod, Jaguar Recce Pod & Harrier PFO & Recce pod.
Mk.10 - Jaguar Recce pod and Vulcan.


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F96 Camera F96 Camera

Designed for medium to high level daylight reconnaissance.

Could be fitted with 6, 12 or 48 inch lenses.
Could be fitted with 12, 24 or 48 inch lenses.
Both Mk's could be fitted with 250 or 500 feet magazines, giving 215 or 430 exposures
Film format was 9 inch x 9 inch.
Camera weight was approximately 61kg
The camera was used in Canberra PR9 and a PR3 fitted for trials at aircraft testing centre at Boscombe Down, also the Percival Pembroke, Puma and Wessex helicopters. There were reports of one being fitted in the oblique mode in a Handley Page Hastings.

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F97 Camera

This camera was designed for night photography at altitudes between 400 and 2,000 feet.
The camera is virtually two cameras in one. Illumination for the exposures was provided by 1.5 or 1.75 inch photoflash cartridges, which were ejected automatically from a discharger at regular intervals, giving an effective exposure time of 1/50 second.

To understand the principle of this camera, imagine two night cameras arranged in an aircraft to photography the same strip of ground.
If the shutters are operated alternately at regular intervals, the flashes can be arranged to explode at regular intervals so that the first exposure of one camera overlaps the first exposure of the other camera by 50% and so on throughout the whole photographic run.

Fitted with a 5 inch lens, image format was 5 inch x 4.5 inch and the camera was fitted with a magazine which could hold 100 feet of film, giving 480 exposures.

Use by the both the Canberra PR7 and the PR9 and also fitted to the
Avro Shackleton.

Click here for an Operating Diagram of the F97
F97 camera set up

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F126 camera F126 Camera

Designed for medium to high level daylight reconnaissance and survey work.

Can be fitted with either a 6 inch or 12 inch lens.
The magazine is fitted as part of the camera body and as such could hold a maximum film length of 80 meters, giving 300 exposures.
The exposed image format was 9 inch x 9 inch.

Fitted in the Nimrod and the Jaguar Recce pod.

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F135 Camera

A twin lens camera designed for low-level daylight photo reconnaissance.

Lenses are integral matched pair with a focal length of 38mm.

The magazine can hold a maximum length of 30 meters of film, giving 1,000 exposures with images with a format of 2.25 inch x 2.25 inch (x2)

The cameras combined weight is 12.3Kg.

Fitted in the Nimrod as a day or night camera, in conjunction with the electronic flash unit.
Also fitted in both the Harrier and the Phantom reconnaissance pod.
F135 camera

More information to be added

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