The photo shows some parts of the photo equipment we use. It is the Minolta MD-system. On the upper left
the Minolta XD-7 equipped with a winder and an 2,8 28mm lens, in the upper middle the X-700 body equipped
with motor drive. The lenses shown are from the left to the right: 1,7/50mm, 2,8/28mm, 3,5/35-70mm, 2,8/135mm,
2,8/85mm, and 8,0/500mm. On the upper right you see the Minolta Auto Bellows III.
As already mentioned, we would not select the Minolta system again, because they do not maintain their old bajonets (MC/MD) for their
new products. Nevertheless they made at the time we made up our mind, products of a very good quality. Problems arise from the
nowadays available zoom lenses for the MD bajonet. The 35 to 70 mm zoom is of lowest mechanical and optical quality.
When looking for used equipment I look for minolta and not for MINOLTA, because as long as they used the lower case logo,
they produced excellent quality, this changed as they changed their logo to upper case letters.(around the late seventies or early eighties.)
What kind of film you are going to use, depends on your personal preferences, may be also on the prescriptions set by your jurisdiction.
As in Germany all kinds of films will be accepted by the courts, we have the free choice. So I prefer color, as it is much better than
b&w in detail recognition, though there are other opinions. Further I prefer diapositives, because I do not have to make prints or scans
of all images to judge their quality. This makes the reproduction of images slightly more difficult, as diapositives have a much higher contrast
range as negatives. So it is necessary with diapositives to take the pictures alredy in a lower contrast range.
When you made up your choice what kind of film you are going to use, select the manufacturer by making photos with film of different
makes and senitivities. Make up your choice depending on the results you get and which of them you prefer. Certain colour tendencies
of the optics you use may be compensated by selecting the correct film. Once you found the film that matches your needs, you should stay
with this make and type of film. Only that way you will learn to recognize difficult situations and how to compensate them.
This is practically impossible if you constantly use different films.
For general purpose tasks we use, from the beginning on, Kodak Ektachrome HC 100. This film seems for me to be the best compromize between resolution,
sensitivity and price. This film has slight difficulties in the green to dark green range, but the rest is acceptable. Kodak produces this film now for
over two decades without change and in a constant good quality at a reasonable price. This film is only available in Germany. For extremely
critical tasks we use Kodak Ektachrome Professional Film. Nothing to add.
Ingenieurbüro Frank Markmann
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Fire Investigation in Germany /
/ revised 10.06.2002