Talk:Camera lucida

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date problem[edit]

Image Image:Cameralucida01.jpg is not from 1807 -- the woman's clothes are from the 1830's (or possibly the end of the 1820's); see the pink outfit in Image:1833 fashion plate.jpg... Churchh 07:59+8:32, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

Olmec mirrors[edit]

This should talk about Olmec mirrors (worn as necklaces) of polished magnetite and ilmenite, which were possibly used to start fires and perhaps as camera lucidas. --unsigned by 68.184.35.125 and User:Aaport, 20 February 2007

Suitable Illustration?[edit]

Is this image a camera lucida? A suitable illustration?--Wetman (talk) 22:53, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

Well, the woman in that image is wearing a classic early 1790's "pouter-pigeon" outfit, while the article says that the camera lucide was repopularized in 1806, so there seems to be a chronological difficulty... Churchh (talk) 22:28, 24 March 2008 (UTC)
I'm lost: the logic of that thought seems an impenetrable circularity to me. The question was simply whether the object depicted is a camera lucida. --Wetman (talk) 07:45, 28 May 2008 (UTC)
I'm not sure what the problem is; during the late 18th century through the 19th-century it is often possible to date women's clothing styles rather accurately to within about 5-10 years (in fact, an image which was very obviously miscaptioned based on the women's clothes depicted in it is how I originally came across this article, see above). Churchh (talk) 15:41, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
The problem is that Wetman doesn't care about the clothes . . . he asked if the picture was a camera obscura. Is it? 207.58.230.152 (talk) 16:02, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
My expertise here is in roughly dating images (or detecting discrepancies in a claimed dating) based on depictions of contemporary clothing styles, not early optical technologies. Churchh (talk) 14:57, 28 February 2009 (UTC)
Interesting. I would be careful to call this it a camera lucida, I think that term might be reserved for the small portable prism kind of optical apparatus, but it seems to be a contraption that might be used to a similar purpose.
Although without anyone in the image doing some actual drawing, and without knowing what the boy can see through the lens, it also might just be a reading aid for people with bad eyesight.
--BjKa (talk) 19:28, 20 November 2017 (UTC)

Camera Obscura Outtake[edit]

I removed the following paragraph from the section "Description":

The camera lucida that commercial comprehensive ("comp") layout artists used from the early 1950s to late 1980s, commonly known as a "Lucigraph", used lenses positioned over a platform where the original reference material (like a photo) was placed. A bellows arrangement and two cranks allowed the artist to expand or reduce the size of the image. The artist could step up and place his or her head under a shade canopy to see the image. The image was projected upward onto a sheet of glass parallel to the floor, where the artist could place a translucent sheet of white layout paper on which to draw the image or comp. The term "comp" is also used interchangeably as a short for "composition" or "composite layout". This machine provided the artist a means of quickly and accurately illustrating by employing the variable sizing abilities of the device, and for montaging sketches of photos and various visual elements into the composition. Most current computer photo editing software programs provide the same functionality as the physical "camera lucida" device, rendering it obsolete in all but individual usages.

The layout described is obviously a camera obscura and not a camera lucida. The "bellows" and the "sheet of glass" give it away beyond any doubt. It is a nice description though, and should well be included in the camera obscura article, if something similar is not already there.
--BjKa (talk) 19:28, 20 November 2017 (UTC)

I have used one in a University cartography department in 1970 - it was called a 'Grant Enlarger'. They used it for changing the scale of maps. They are not really camera obscuras either, there is no darkened room - they are really just zoomable cameras with a ground glass sheet in the focal plane on which one placed tracing paper, like an early plate camera. 86.187.164.26 (talk) 20:38, 24 January 2018 (UTC)

Ease of Use[edit]

I have just used an antique Woolaston type camera lucida for the first time, and found it extremely difficult to use. The article does point out that you can't see through the prism, and that you have to look at the edge, but the reality is that this is very awkward. The zone where you can see the far image overlaid on the paper (being in essence the extremely out-of-focus edge of the prism) is a narrow horizontal band, you don't see the whole image. To cover any appreciable area it is necessary to scan the image by moving your head forwards or backwards as you draw to keep the pencil point in view. This is tedious. I don't think I have ever seen this clarified in any description.86.187.164.26 (talk) 20:38, 24 January 2018 (UTC)