Page 1 of 1

BBC Scotland cameras (late 1970s)

Posted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 2:59 pm
by Colin Robertson
In this review of The Omega Factor, the writer Graham Nelson says that:
the Glasgow cameras produced video tape at a quality only just meeting 1979 broadcast standards
Can anyone elaborate on this? What cameras were BBC Scotland using in 1978/79? I'd expect it would be EMI 2001s or maybe Link 110s, but they were broadcast standard - unless he means they were old and showing their age. Alternatively he might be referring to the OB cameras, and if so I would like to know what those were. Unfortunately it doesn't seem to be possible to contact Mr Nelson and ask, but I am very intrigued to know what the situation was at BBC Scotland back then.

Re: BBC Scotland cameras (late 1970s)

Posted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 4:26 pm
by Bernie
The BBC was hardly going to make a series with rubbish cameras - though I always thought that 16mm film stock of that era was horrible stuff. Both stills look like they were recording from video cameras.

I don't know what Glasgow were using in 1979, but I could find out if no-one here knows definitively.

B

Re: BBC Scotland cameras (late 1970s)

Posted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 12:37 am
by Colin Robertson
It would be very good of you if you could find out, Bernie. I agree it is a strange claim that Nelson made.

Re: BBC Scotland cameras (late 1970s)

Posted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 7:17 am
by Bernie
The word has gone out to ex-BBC tech-ops people far and wide. We wait with baited breath - whatever that is.

B

Re: BBC Scotland cameras (late 1970s)

Posted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 5:40 pm
by 37357
I have managed to find a picture of the bbc radio Scotland orchestra in studio (I am assuming) it is the old bbc Scotland queen Margaret drive ok its 1980 but showing emi 2001s

Re: BBC Scotland cameras (late 1970s)

Posted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 6:27 pm
by Roll ACR
I quite suspect that said reviewer's words ought to be taken with a grain of salt.....

Re: BBC Scotland cameras (late 1970s)

Posted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 10:06 am
by Simon36
Bernie wrote: I always thought that 16mm film stock of that era was horrible stuff.

B
It's strange, if you look at something like Just a Boy's Game, it is absolutely beautifully shot and this was in 1979. One of Elmer Cossey's finest achievements. But around the same time there was indeed some horrid looking stuff, and it seemed to hit rock bottom in the early to mid 80s. Wonder if it was just simply down to the skill of the lighting cameraman or two different stocks being used...

Re: BBC Scotland cameras (late 1970s)

Posted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 12:39 pm
by Brian F
Simon36 wrote:
Bernie wrote: I always thought that 16mm film stock of that era was horrible stuff.

B
It's strange, if you look at something like Just a Boy's Game, it is absolutely beautifully shot and this was in 1979. One of Elmer Cossey's finest achievements. But around the same time there was indeed some horrid looking stuff, and it seemed to hit rock bottom in the early to mid 80s. Wonder if it was just simply down to the skill of the lighting cameraman or two different stocks being used...
I would expect that some new high speed stock was introduced around then and it showed up bad against lower speed ones. I think high speed stock rapidly improved when Kodak T-grain was released, I wish I could remember when.

Re: BBC Scotland cameras (late 1970s)

Posted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 2:53 pm
by Bernie
I never did get an answer on which electronic cameras they were using, though the likely answer would be EMI 2001s. I know nothing of film stocks, but in general I did hate muddy, gate-weavy, grainy 16mm, till there was super 16

B

Re: BBC Scotland cameras (late 1970s)

Posted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 6:15 am
by TonyCurrie
Colin Robertson wrote:In this review of The Omega Factor, the writer Graham Nelson says that:
the Glasgow cameras produced video tape at a quality only just meeting 1979 broadcast standards
.
I'd guess that the reviewer probably knew absolutely nothing about television technology (no, Graham, cameras don't produce video tape) and strongly suspect that it might have been the 16mm film inserts that incurred his disdain. Queen Margaret Drive had perfectly normal cameras and I never once nothiced anything unusual about programmes made there.

Beechgrove, however, was another story.................

;)

Re: BBC Scotland cameras (late 1970s)

Posted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 4:31 pm
by ray lomas
Looks like Bernie was right, judging by this picture.

Interesting to see on the 1980s page a Marconi MkIX as well.

Re: BBC Scotland cameras (late 1970s)

Posted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 9:15 pm
by Colin Robertson
TonyCurrie wrote:I'd guess that the reviewer probably knew absolutely nothing about television technology (no, Graham, cameras don't produce video tape) and strongly suspect that it might have been the 16mm film inserts that incurred his disdain.
The only thing is, The Omega Factor barely has any film inserts. The vast majority of the location filming was on video. This, I think, is what the reviewer might have been talking about: not BBC Scotland's studio cameras, but their OB cameras, which in 1978 would surely have been fairly new models. (Lots of people say that the location video on Survivors is bad quality.)
Queen Margaret Drive had perfectly normal cameras and I never once nothiced anything unusual about programmes made there.

Beechgrove, however, was another story.................
What cameras were they using at Queen Margaret Drive? And what can you tell us about Beechgrove? ;)

Re: BBC Scotland cameras (late 1970s)

Posted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 9:48 pm
by Cheeseford
Colin Robertson wrote:The only thing is, The Omega Factor barely has any film inserts. The vast majority of the location filming was on video. This, I think, is what the reviewer might have been talking about: not BBC Scotland's studio cameras, but their OB cameras, which in 1978 would surely have been fairly new models. (Lots of people say that the location video on Survivors is bad quality.)
I know that BBC Scotland had at least one scanner equipped with Link 110 cameras, but I'm not sure when it/they arrived, or what they had before.

EDIT: Just checked and it seems as though BBC Scotland had a Type 4 CMCR, which was Link 110-equipped, and that they dated from around 1976. Wales had at least one too, by the look of these pictures at VT Old Boys. http://www.vtoldboys.com/arc06.htm

Re: BBC Scotland cameras (late 1970s)

Posted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 11:03 pm
by Bernie
Link 110 pictures were fine, though the viewfinders were complete junk. On a TC6 drama I had to have a floor monitor next to the camera in one low-lit scene, so that I could see my output without noise and video hum bars.

B