Nikon’s Video Remote Control System from 1962

In 1962 Nikon produced the Video Remote Control System that could capture images on film and record video signal. This was a combination of a still and video camera into one (similar to the modern DSLRs today). The system even had an early type of ‘live view’ system with 800-line high-resolution 2:1 interlaced closed-circuit television system:

Nikon Video Remote Control System 2

“The Nikon Video Remote Control System, a tracking and surveillance 35mm pulse camera with television monitoring, has been announced by Ehrenreich Photo-Optical Industries of California, Inc., Military and Special Products Div., 701 Welch Rd., Suite 303, Palo Alto, Calif. Components of the system include the Nikon F single lens reflex camera, with the Nikkor automatic 8Smm to 250mm zoom lens, 250-exposure, pulse motor-driven film magazine, General Precision Laboratories’ 800-line high-resolution 2:1 interlaced closed-circuit television system and remote Globe servo d-c motor operation of zoom, focus, lens diaphragm and shutter speeds from time/bulb to 1 /l000sec. Both the film camera and the television camera incorporate automatic light exposure control. A two-power magnification for the centre of the monitor image to extend the viewing power to an equivalent 500mm lens is an integral part of the system. Weight of the entire system, including camera assembly, pan and tilt, and television, is less than 100 Ib.

Nikon Video Remote Control System press release

Source: the November 1963 Journal of the SMPTE (Society of Motion Picture & Television Engineers) Volume 72″

Nikon also makes a mention of the Video Remote Control System on their website:

“Afterwards in 1962, Nikon Video Remote Control (TV remote-controlled recording unit) was manufactured by combining the Nikon F, the 250-exposures motor drive, and Auto NIKKOR Telephoto-Zoom 8.5 – 25cm f/4 – 4.5 with the intent to simultaneously provide the supervisory and measurement by TV and the recording and photography by camera, which gave an impression of multifunction Nikon F system.”

Block diagram of the system’s layout:

Nikon Video Remote Control System block diagram
Thanks Ron Volmershausen!

Update: additional information can be found here.

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