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Zapruder Camera ( help required )


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Zapruder's movie camera.

Bell & Howell Zoomatic Director Series

Camera Specifications

Camera Maker: Bell & Howell.

Model: 414PD Director Series

Film Type: Double 8mm - 25ft or 50ft film roll

Film Speeds: ASA 10 to ASA 40

Running Speed: Single frame, 16fps and 48fps (slow motion.)

Lens: Bell & Howell Varamat f1.8 / 9-27mm - Power Zoom

Mechanism: Spring Motor

Lightmeter: Built-in Dual Electric-Eye.

Non-reflex viewfinder (parallax corrected and coupled with zoom.)

Additional Parts: Removable Pistol Grip with built-in thumb trigger.

Zaprudercamera.jpg

From the camera manual provided on Marcel Dehaeseleer's website

http://www.copweb.be/Zapruder%20Camera.htm

It say's that the camera running speed was 16fps normal running speed.

and 48fps slow motion.

and that the film length came in 25ft or 50ft lengths.

As i understand it the Zapruder film strip was 25ft ?

A few questions from a camera Novice.

How did we end up with the Zapruder film being 18.3 fps ?

If the film format was a "two sided 16mm" which when split down the middle created two 25ft 8mm film strips

why was the Zapruder film 25ft long

Did he only expose 1-side of the film reel ?

How much of the 25ft Zapruder film contained exposed frames, and how much was unexposed. ?

Did Zapruder swap the film roll, as per the usual procedure when one side has been used, and then use the other side of the 16mm split film format, or is all his footage contained on ONLY one side.

Any help would be appreciated, as this doesn't make sense to me ?

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If you only expose one side of the film at 16fps

and used up the whole of one side of the double 8mm film, how many frames does that equate too

Note in the image below ( Using the second half of the film )

(2 x 25ft film strips) which when joined together create a 50ft home movie

b&h-12.jpg

b&h-03.jpg

b&h-07.jpg

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Information received from Chris.

Hi, Robin:

The roll of Kodakchrome II film Zapruder was using was sold as a 25 foot roll of Double-8 (16mm wide) film.

When fully wound, the camera ran for approximately 73 seconds, exposing about 15 feet of film. It was spool-loaded with double 8mm film (16mm film, with sprocket holes on both sides), with 25 feet of usable film on each side and approximately 4 feet of ‘leader’ at each end, making a total of 33 feet of film per side. When one side of the film was exposed, the user manually turned the roll of film in the camera, and then continued filming, thereby exposing the second half. Under normal conditions, when the film was developed it was slit down the middle, the two sides were spliced together, and the developed film was returned to the user as a single reel of 8mm film. Each frame was 0.192 x 0.144 inches in size, which gives a total of approximately 4166 frames on a 50-foot reel of film.

Side A of Zapruder's film consisted of approximately 1 minute and 25 seconds of Zapruder's grandsons in Zapruder's garden on some date prior to November 22, 1963, followed by about 45 seconds of his secretary / assistant Lillian Rogers , filmed in his office on the morning of the assassination. If you add these together, you get just over 2 minutes and 10 seconds of film, which at 18.3 frames per second (the average speed of the camera, as tested by the FBI in 1964) and a frame height of 0.144 inches, gives you a total of approx. 28 feet 6 inches. You will note that this is more than 25 feet of film, but Kodak film specialists I've consulted with have confirmed that it was possible to get this much actual film off a 25 foot roll.

Having used up Side A, Zapruder then turned the film over in his camera, and when down to the Plaza. There, he used up about 12 seconds of Side B of the film with the scene in the pergola which shows Marilyn Sitzman, along with Charles and Beatrice Hester. The remainder of Side B is made up of the motorcade footage, which amounts to 26-27 seconds in total. The remainder or Side B is blank.

When the film was developed at Kodak that afternoon, they didn't slit the original 16mm wide film. It was only slit to 8mm width later, and the original Side A footage has since disappeared, although copies still exist (I assume that it was just returned to the Zapruder family by Life, who would have had no commercial use for it).

Your other question about the camera speed relates to the fact that the user had to wind-up the camera before filming. Also, the actual camera Zapruder used was a "transition" model - there are not too many of them around, and as far as I remember, the 'transition' models had been recalibrated to run at 18 rather than 16 fps, since 18 fps was being introduced as the new 'standard' speed. Anyway, when the camera was fully wound, the mechanism then worked like a spring - the film was a little faster than 18 fps at the beginning, and slowed fractionally as it unwound itself. That was how the FBI got 18.3 fps as an average film speed.

Graphic provided by Gerda

8mmandsuper8anddoubleq77ob.png

Edited by Robin Unger
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There is quite solid evidence the film
was
slit
on the same day it was developed, but only
after
the unslit 16 mm double-8 film was taken to the Jamieson film lab so that three contact prints could be run off. After the three contact prints were developed back at the Kodak lab in Dallas early that evening, where they,
and the camera-original
, slit to the normal 8 mm width.
You have many people who testified to watching it
soon after it was slit
on an 8mm projector and even reporting they did so.

You have Mr. Zavada's interview with the Kodak employees who claimed it was slit. Obviously, Mr. Phil Chamberlain (the Production Supervisor of the Kodak Plant in Dallas) who Mr. Zavada interviewed, ought to be a witness one could take as the best proof available- yet Mr. Zavada has been forced to choose to believe these people who watched the film, and those who developed it, are are all
mistaken
in order to arrive at a "safe" and non-altered conclusion of the film's non-slitted status at this point.

Mr. Zavada has to be aware that
if
the film was slit
at the Kodak plant in Dallas-
(which was Mr. Zavada's initial conclusion until he discovered that
meant
hanky-panky elsewhere), there is really no other digestible alternative than film alteration after this event- which is why he chooses to ignore or make little of the strong evidence that it was slit, in my opinion.

On the physical film itself and it's length, after the assassination footage, the "blank" part of the film
is not
attached to the rest of the film- there is some 24 feet of black,
unexposed (D-max)
film actually
spliced onto
the existing footage, which means, there is no way whatsoever to determine if it belongs to the extant film, or was
obtained elsewhere
and added separately.

Doug Horne's superb recent paper on the subject is the state of the art, current status of where we are in learning about the nature of Mr. Zapruder's little movie. For everyone interested in the film, this is a must read.

It contains the absolutely stunning new revelation that Dino Brugioni, who was an actual expert intelligence
film image interpreter
and was involved in stuff like finding missiles on those Cuban U2 photos, having recently viewed the new, clear, digital images from the 3rd generation copy, has come to the realization that this is not the same content as he saw when he handled the film the day after the assassination.

He claims the film has been altered, from what he saw- that the original showed a much longer, gorier, "head explosion" among other very important differences.

Which is obviously, a huge find of great portent.

Do check it out!

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Was there one whole side of the Zapruder double 8mm film that was never used. ?

Posted by Anthony Marsh on Duncan's forum.

The cameras of that type are called DOUBLE 8 mm because there are two strips of film each 25 feet side by side. So the total length available when you load a cannister into the camera is 50 feet.

After it is developed like a 16 mm film they cut it down the middle and splice side one to side two.

The 1960-1963 manuals say that the camera runs at 16 frames per second. But at the time that Zapruder bought his brand new camera the whole industry was switching over to 18 frames per second and just by luck Zapruder

bought a camera that was already switched over to 18 frames per second. Neither :LIFE nor the CIA were sure if his particular camera was filming at 16 frames per second or 18 frames per second.

So the FBI tested it and found that the average speed was 18.3 frames per second. Kodak also tested it and confirmed the 18.3 frames per second.

When in doubt read the Zavada report:

First half:

-3 feet, 2 inches of white leader with blue letters "Processed by Kodak"

- a splice

- 3 feet of black film turning to clear

- a photographically printed splice (in the camera original film)

- 14 feet more of clear leader, with the number 0183 optically copied

- 32 feet, 7 inches of home movie footage (a woman in blue on the phone; Zapruder’s grandson standing behind a tree; a baby sitting on a green lawn; Zapruder’s grandson playing with a shovel.)

Second half:

- a green chair (60 frames)

- a splice

- 25 feet, 4 inches of black film (apparently a guide for quickly locating the assassination footage)

- a splice

- 10 feet, 27 inches (117 frames of test footage of the Hesters and Marilyn Sitzman

- motorcycle sequence

- assassination sequence

- blank film

- photographically printed splice

- 31 feet of tail with the red letters "Processed by Kodak."

Edited by Robin Unger
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12MB GIF ( Image of an assassination DVD )

Quote:

The cameras of that type are called DOUBLE 8 mm because there are two strips of film each 25 feet side by side. So the total length available when you load a cannister into the camera is 50 feet.

After it is developed like a 16 mm film they cut it down the middle and splice side one to side two.

film.gif

Edited by Robin Unger
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There is quite solid evidence the film
was
slit
on the same day it was developed, but only
after
the unslit 16 mm double-8 film was taken to the Jamieson film lab so that three contact prints could be run off. After the three contact prints were developed back at the Kodak lab in Dallas early that evening, where they,
and the camera-original
, slit to the normal 8 mm width.
You have many people who testified to watching it
soon after it was slit
on an 8mm projector and even reporting they did so.

You have Mr. Zavada's interview with the Kodak employees who claimed it was slit. Obviously, Mr. Phil Chamberlain (the Production Supervisor of the Kodak Plant in Dallas) who Mr. Zavada interviewed, ought to be a witness one could take as the best proof available- yet Mr. Zavada has been forced to choose to believe these people who watched the film, and those who developed it, are are all
mistaken
in order to arrive at a "safe" and non-altered conclusion of the film's non-slitted status at this point.

Mr. Zavada has to be aware that
if
the film was slit
at the Kodak plant in Dallas-
(which was Mr. Zavada's initial conclusion until he discovered that
meant
hanky-panky elsewhere), there is really no other digestible alternative than film alteration after this event- which is why he chooses to ignore or make little of the strong evidence that it was slit, in my opinion.

Actually if you read and digest Zavada's rebuttal to Horne, you will find he has very compelling evidence to suggest the original was NOT split in Dallas.

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I followed Mr. Horne's and Mr. Zavada's complete discussion as it was

published. I've read both sides of the entire debate perhaps 9 or 10 times

now, it's quite daunting in the details, even for someone familiar with

shooting and editing 8 and 16mm formats. I can assume you have Doug Horne's

books, Mr. Lamson? The discussion is quite detailed, but it seems to me that

in the end, it comes down to Mr. Zavada- someone who never handled or saw

the original material in 1963- stating that his guesses trump the experts

who actually handled the film, who are mightily qualified to make their

claims, and who have no bias either way as to whether the film was tinkered

with or not.

Those experts being Dino Brugioni (the NPIC's Chief of Information)

and Homer McMahon (the Head of NPIC's Color Lab),

Mr. Brugioni, since Mr. Horne's book has been published, has gotten to

carefully look at an excellent, 3rd generation copy of the film purchased

from the National Archives. He has stated rather boldly that there is

something amiss- that the film we take today as the forensic original has

different content at crucial points than the film he handled.

Which is fascinating when considered in light that more than a score of

unbiased film industry professionals believe there is obvious and rather

crude artwork added into the film.

Combine that with the completely false history we have been fed all these

years about the film's whereabouts. The chain of evidence completely

collapses. Suddenly, immediately after the assassination, we have two

carefully controlled visits of two different versions of the Zapruder film

to the NPIC. Entirely different people handled the events, and the control

of these events was such that neither party working under the same roof had

any idea the other visit had occurred until recent times, 40 odd years

later.

The simple matter of this veil of secrecy created between these NPIC experts

on the weekend of the assassination, is damning in itself, is it

not? Why the compartmentization on the creating of two sets of briefing

boards?

For Mr. Zavada to be correct, he asks us to believe that both of these film

experts- working in one of the top photographic and film companies in the

world, were so incompetant, that they couldn't recognize a first generation

film when they looked at it under magnification. Weren't you the one telling

me, some months back, how easy it is to see generational disintegration in

copies of small 8mm frames?

I think that portion of Mr. Zavada's proposal is a joke.

When you start taking into consideration other areas of fraud perpetrated

after the assassination with evidence- stuff like blatantly switching

around frames of the head shot as published by the Warren Commission in the

26 volumes- of newscasters seeing the Zapruder film, like Dan Rather, and

then actually daring to relate to America that the Zapruder film showed JFK

being knocked violently forward in his viewing of the film- combine that

with LIFE MAGAZINE spending what amounts to a huge fortune to acquire the

motion picture rights and then attempting to squirrel them away forever from

the American public-

-When you take all this into consideration, Mr. Lamson, doesn't even someone

as firmly entrenched in his trust of the American Government's complete

honesty start to have some doubts?

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-When you take all this into consideration, Mr. Lamson, doesn't even someone

as firmly entrenched in his trust of the American Government's complete

honesty start to have some doubts?

The only doubts I have is about those who think the z film is altered.

Others have looked at this so called "crude artwork" and have found it is completely consistent with other shadows in the Zapruder film that are NOT suspected of alteration.

Dino Brugioni was an expert at the interpretation of high altitude surveillance images, not 8 or 16 mm motion pictures, and while I believe he is sincere, his 50 year old recollections are just that, 50 year old recollections. And his new found noteriety from Sydney's upcoming TV special???

And Homer...oh my. That you head down this path is simply amazing.

And yes the details of Zavada's rebuttal are quite technical, and Horne's mostly hand waving. I'll take the technical evidence thank you. It has nothing to do with trust in in government. What a sorry strawman

That someone like you Patrick, with the worldview you have (and the expertise), who dismisses solid technical data in favor of 50 year old recollections and " I think I see this". well yes it does raise serious doubts.

Edited by Craig Lamson
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