Pye Mark III television camera head

1948-1958 in United Kingdom
Pye Limited

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Pye Mk III Camera Chain Including Camera Head Pye Mk III Camera Chain. The camera features a turret of four lenses (not visible in this photograph)
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Pye Mark III television camera, about 1952 A Pye Mark III television camera from about 1952

Pye Mark III television camera head, c 1952. Image orthicon camera type 2028, used by Associated TeleVision (ATV). Moulded cream plastic letters 'ATV' attached to side of camera.

Mk III Camera Chain made by Pye in England, c. 1955. Image orthicon camera type 2028, used by Associated TeleVision (ATV). Moulded cream plastic letters 'ATV' attached to side of camera.

The Pye Mk III Camera was the first Pye camera to be designed to use the 3-inch Image Orthicon camera pickup tube. Designed in 1951, the first production models became available in 1952 and by the following year increasing numbers were being sold to broadcasters around the world. In the UK, the start of commercial television dramatically boosted sales of this popular camera. Unusually for this period the turret was motorised (with built-in logic to ensure that the turret always rotated in the direction required to give the shortest route to the next selected lens) allowing the lens change to be remotely controlled if desired. Focusing was electronic servo-controlled (again allowing remote control) the servo range being modified by resistor networks built into the lens base so that the range was suitable for the focal length of the lens in use. The focus control was duplicated on each side of the camera to facilitate operation by left-handed cameramen. Another innovative operational feature was the provision of cameraman control for lens iris (the fingernail-operated switches can be seen just above the focus control). Lens iris control is usually the domain of the vision engineer and as a result BBC-owned examples of this camera usually have these switches disabled.


Object Number:
electronic components, glass and metal (unknown)
camera head: 460 mm x 330 mm x 970 mm, 61kg
tripod: 61.5kg
television camera
  • tools and equipment
  • equipment by process
  • image making equipment
  • camera (function)
  • cine camera
Thames Television Collection

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