Magazine article American Cinematographer

Universal Converter Electronic Calculator-Model 51-R

Magazine article American Cinematographer

Universal Converter Electronic Calculator-Model 51-R

Article excerpt

A super-sophisticated hand instrument that instantly performs all of the mathematical functions necessary to the cinematographer in his work

For almost as long as film has been running through cameras, cinematographers have been faced with the necessity of learning to deal with mathematical functions. It seems as though every time we turn around there are a few more numbers to face - footage, focal length, camera speed timing, exposure compensation, optical formulae, squeeze ratios, projection ratios and so on, ad infinitum.

Of course, we have had a great deal of help from such things as tables and charts, but generally this relationship with higher math has been less than comfortable or, at least, capable of consuming valuable time that could have been spent dealing with what was in front of the camera and how it looked through the viewfinder. And, now we are faced with the great changeover to the metric system. Many people are getting a bit worried about that. After all, it is going to mean that someone will have to spend even more valuable time converting all those wonderful charts and tables into millimeters, centimeters and meters. Can you imagine the time that will consume?

In answer to this (and a few other) problems, Rockwell International is offering what they call the Universal Converter Electronic Calculator, Model 51R. This gem makes all those complicated conversions as simple as pushing a few buttons. It will perform 224 fixed conversions, including our biggest concern: inches, feet, yards and miles into their metric equivalents. Also included in the conversion capabilities are U.S. to metric equivalents for liquid measure, weight and temperature.

The temperature conversions should be of special interest to motion-picture people who find themselves abroad and have difficulty with Centigrade degrees in relation to how a camera will perform in low temperatures, or how long it might be safe to store raw stock and exposed footage in high temperature conditions. With this calculator simply enter the temperature in Centigrade degrees, push a couple of buttons and you have the temperature on the more familiar Fahrenheit scale.

The Universal calculator also does the usual math calculations of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division and has a choice of fixed two-place decimal or floating decimal, automatic constants, fraction calculation, TWO fully addressable memories (useful for holding the results of one or two sets of calculations while you work on a second or third set of numbers). …

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