With an appropriate lens, focusing arrangement, film and processing, motor driven 35mm cameras will attain resolutions of hundreds of line pairs per millimeter. The combination of a narrow depth of focus, unusually thin films, a relatively large film gate and rapidly advancing films can produce imagery with less than optimum resolution across or within individual frames. A vacuum platen and an additional styrene pressure plate were fitted to a motorized 35mm camera in an effort to insure the film lies flat. Continuous vacuum pulling mechanisms, suction and induction, were evaluated. Each system's simplicity, portability and statistically analyzed imagery were assessed. Test imagery indicated a ten percent increase of in focus image area for the vacuum platen and a fifty-five percent increase for the styrene pressure plate. Several suitable vacuum pulling mechanisms were found. Overall, the inexpensive, simply constructed and easily installed styrene pressure plate is recommended for any high resolution, small format camera system.
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Department, Program, or Center
School of Photographic Arts and Sciences (CIAS)
Ruffing, James A., "Increased image resolution and film efficiency via vacuum platens and other mechanical devices" (1980). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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