Agfa motion picture topics (Apr 1937-June 1940)

Record Details:

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is not possible to tell with absolute certainty which is ahead; and at some tracks where auxiliary lighting equip- ment is not provided, the lighting conditions late in the afternoon may cast long shadows from behind the horses, making it difficult to identify which horse's nose is ahead in any kind of a picture. In such circum- stances most conservative judges will prefer to take the safe course of call- ing it a dead heat. “But speaking broadly, I am proud to say that the record of the tracks where the Photo-Chart has been used shows this camera has reduced the frequency of dead heats by over seventy-five per cent. I believe the average of dead heats, summed up from the records of all the nation’s tracks, whether or not they used any type of photo-finish equipment, is slightly over two per cent. In the many races that have been timed by the Photo-Chart, the average of dead heats is less than one-half of one per cent. In the current season at Hollywood Park, out of 288 races photo-charted to date, there have been hut two dead heats! “From the purely photographic viewpoint, the Photo-Chart system has definite advantages. For instance, even with today’s fast films like Agfa Ultra Speed Pan. exposure in conventional cameras is a problem. Since 35mm. motion picture film is the most prac- tical sensitive medium to use, we must consider the question of grain in the fast-developed negative: any excess of grain could throw off the accuracy of the enlarged print, to say nothing of making the print difficult for non- photographic judges to interpret. “The exposure given by the Photo- Chart camera is on the average about 1/35 second. This gives us a chance to utilize the finest-grained film ob- tainable. After exhaustive tests, we decided that Agfa Finopan was that film. Its Weston daylight speed-rating Weston 16—is ample for our pur- pose, even on cloudy days or late in the afternoon: its exceptionally fine grain-structure makes it superior to anything else for our use. “At that, we can never be classified as one of Agfa's best customers, for, even in races where the ‘also-rans’ straggle along far behind the leaders, we rarely use more than eighteen inches or two feet of film to record the finish of a race. Actually we can photograph a whole day’s finishes on less film than even a normal-speed cine-camera would use to film the finish of a single race! “This makes it possible to give very careful attention to the camera and developing equipment between races. As each race finishes, a trimming knife cuts the film between the camera and the developing machine, so that only the film actually exposed is developed. After the prints are made, the developing section is un-threaded. i l, J ■ 20