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Author Topic: EOS not good for NASA?  (Read 26295 times)

millan

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EOS not good for NASA?
« on: January 13, 2013, 02:18:52 PM »
It's not a secret that NASA uses Nikon cameras and lenses (http://www.nikon.com/news/2009/1221_NASA-D3S_01.htm) after using Hasselblad cameras during the Apollo mission.
Could we reveal the reason?

christianronnel

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Re: EOS not good for NASA?
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2013, 02:27:47 PM »
See Canon, Mr. Joe Adachi, Mr. Fujio Mitarai? Make the damn 14-24 already!!!
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Frage

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Re: EOS not good for NASA?
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2013, 02:29:07 PM »
It means nothing to me.

nightbreath

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Re: EOS not good for NASA?
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2013, 02:38:50 PM »
It means nothing. RED claim they have 21-stop DR sensor, so why not use a video camera instead? May be just personal taste, there is always someone who stands beyond decisions. The price may be the factor as well.

EDIT: I haven't seen exact number 21, but here's the topic with a screenshot: Enter the Dragon
« Last Edit: January 13, 2013, 03:17:34 PM by nightbreath »
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Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: EOS not good for NASA?
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2013, 03:29:29 PM »
It makes sense to pick one brand of Camera, after all, you want all your lenses to be interchangable.  That doesn't imply that Hasseblad, Canon, sony or any of the others are not good, just that Nikon was selected, and now that the space station is full of Nikon lenses, that will not change, no matter how good other brands might be.  The cost of a camera is nothing compared to the cost of sending all those lenses into space.
 

TexPhoto

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Re: EOS not good for NASA?
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2013, 04:35:20 PM »
I'd always heard that the Nikon thing was a deal, the equipment was provided for free, or something in exchange for the exposure.

East Wind Photography

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Re: EOS not good for NASA?
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2013, 04:37:14 PM »
Yes for those of us familiar with the govt procurement process it is difficult to sole source many items and say I want canon or Nikon or hassleblad.  You put your requirements out for bid and let the dealers and vendors respond with a product that meets those requirements.  Likely Nikon came in with a reasonable bid and won.  As mt Spokane Washington pointed out once you get a capital investment in lenses it's difficult to financially justify changing brands.

As an individual I chose canon because a friend who is involved with shooting cheer leading had a catastrophic Nikon failure involving three different Nikon bodies.  That sealed my decision to go with Canon.  That's my personal decision.  I know of many others who are happy with Nikon but I am happy with Canon across the board.

The govt makes choices for other reasons and sometimes you can't make that "because canon is better" requirement.

It makes sense to pick one brand of Camera, after all, you want all your lenses to be interchangable.  That doesn't imply that Hasseblad, Canon, sony or any of the others are not good, just that Nikon was selected, and now that the space station is full of Nikon lenses, that will not change, no matter how good other brands might be.  The cost of a camera is nothing compared to the cost of sending all those lenses into space.

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Re: EOS not good for NASA?
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2013, 04:38:53 PM »
I'm pretty sure NASA has used Canon, but perhaps only for video.  There is a glass case with cameras used in space at the National Air & Space Museum in Virginia.  I'm pretty sure there is a Canon in there too, along with Nikon, Hasselblad and Leica.

Edited:  here you go ... Canon camcorder used on the Space Shuttle in the background of this pic (behind the Hasselblad):
http://www.flickr.com/photos/cdevers/5777971567/#in/photostream/
« Last Edit: January 13, 2013, 04:46:15 PM by Zlatko »

mb66energy

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Re: EOS not good for NASA?
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2013, 05:28:48 PM »
It's not a secret that NASA uses Nikon cameras and lenses (http://www.nikon.com/news/2009/1221_NASA-D3S_01.htm) after using Hasselblad cameras during the Apollo mission.
Could we reveal the reason?

Perhaps they started with Kodak digital cameras (made in USA) with Nikon F bayonet. They had experience with Nikon lenses and perhaps some special mounts and switched later to Nikon bodies.

To bring 1 kg into space costs roughly 30 000 $ so it makes sense to keep a 5 kg 4.0 600mm lens in space and change just the body.

The ISS exists since ca. 1998 so it "survived" a vast development in (digital) photography ...
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gbchriste

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Re: EOS not good for NASA?
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2013, 05:32:32 PM »
Purchase of commercial-off-the-shelf items is rarely purchased through competitive bids.  Major vendors of computers, software, furniture, and I would expect cameras, lenses, etc, usually have a negotiated schedule of government-only pricing that any government agency can purchase from.  If the vendor doesn't have their own schedule/catalog, there is usually a 3rd party intermediate seller with a schedule.  These schedules are usually compiled and managed by the General Services Administration (thus the term "GSA Schedule"). Any government agency can purchase from these schedule items.  As long as the purchase is made from pre-approved GSA schedule vendor, there is no requirement to obtain competitive bids.  The rationale is that in assembling the schedule of vendors and prices, the GSA has already conducted a competitive selection process. Therefore the purchasing agency doesn't have to run a separate competition. 

For example, B&H Photo is a vendor on a GSA contract.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/find/federal-gsa-contracts-gov-corporate-edu-sales.jsp

To purchase from a GSA-approved schedule, all the agency has to do is get approval of the expenditure through their own internal purchasing office.  If the requestor's organization has money in the budget, and a local manager with purchasing authority agrees to sign off, the purchase is made. End of story.

I'm in IT and my agency makes purchases for hundreds of thousands of dollars in purchases for IT equipment and software every year without having to go through a competitive bid process because the GSA-approved vendors and pricing have already been compiled by the GSA.  We just look through the catalogs, find what we need, and make the buy.

When I was in contractor/industry side, I spent quite a number of months working on bidding on NASA business so I know NASA also has its own pre-negotiated Enterprise-wide equipment catalogs and schedules with industry vendors.

Most likely someone in NASA determined that, for whatever reason, Nikon more closely met the technical requirements for NASA's mission.  So it would just be matter of going to the catalog and making the buy.

zim

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Re: EOS not good for NASA?
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2013, 06:32:07 PM »
Guess there's just too much DR out there..........

........ ok look someone had to say it  ;D ;D ;D

brad-man

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Re: EOS not good for NASA?
« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2013, 06:37:41 PM »
Purchase of commercial-off-the-shelf items is rarely purchased through competitive bids.  Major vendors of computers, software, furniture, and I would expect cameras, lenses, etc, usually have a negotiated schedule of government-only pricing that any government agency can purchase from.  If the vendor doesn't have their own schedule/catalog, there is usually a 3rd party intermediate seller with a schedule.  These schedules are usually compiled and managed by the General Services Administration (thus the term "GSA Schedule"). Any government agency can purchase from these schedule items.  As long as the purchase is made from pre-approved GSA schedule vendor, there is no requirement to obtain competitive bids.  The rationale is that in assembling the schedule of vendors and prices, the GSA has already conducted a competitive selection process. Therefore the purchasing agency doesn't have to run a separate competition. 

For example, B&H Photo is a vendor on a GSA contract.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/find/federal-gsa-contracts-gov-corporate-edu-sales.jsp

To purchase from a GSA-approved schedule, all the agency has to do is get approval of the expenditure through their own internal purchasing office.  If the requestor's organization has money in the budget, and a local manager with purchasing authority agrees to sign off, the purchase is made. End of story.

I'm in IT and my agency makes purchases for hundreds of thousands of dollars in purchases for IT equipment and software every year without having to go through a competitive bid process because the GSA-approved vendors and pricing have already been compiled by the GSA.  We just look through the catalogs, find what we need, and make the buy.

When I was in contractor/industry side, I spent quite a number of months working on bidding on NASA business so I know NASA also has its own pre-negotiated Enterprise-wide equipment catalogs and schedules with industry vendors.

Most likely someone in NASA determined that, for whatever reason, Nikon more closely met the technical requirements for NASA's mission.  So it would just be matter of going to the catalog and making the buy.



That. Or maybe the Flight Director just needed a new UWA ;)

CharlieB

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Re: EOS not good for NASA?
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2013, 06:48:39 PM »
Considering the first cameras were extensive engineering reworks of existing models.... Hasselblad and Nikon stepped up to the task asked of them.  Canon was not the contender it is today.   

Now consider 50 years  of space flight - with 35mm tasks being done nicely by Nikon... they had no reason to change.  You had personnel and relationships between NASA and Nikon.  Training considerations... big factor - because crews cross train in case a back up person is needed.  Uniformity is needed. 

Nikon was just .. first... and has stuck it out with NASA all these years.  I think there were some F's, F2's etc used back when, in addition to Hasselblad EL data cameras and SWCs.

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: EOS not good for NASA?
« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2013, 08:06:27 PM »
Purchase of commercial-off-the-shelf items is rarely purchased through competitive bids. 
Most likely someone in NASA determined that, for whatever reason, Nikon more closely met the technical requirements for NASA's mission.  So it would just be matter of going to the catalog and making the buy.
If you have ever qualified items for use in space, as I have,  you will find that they must be tested thouroughly and then receive a formal approval.  They then receive a separate part number due to the fact that there will be something modified.  This takes them outside the realm of off the shelf items.  They have to withstand the vibration, shock, temperatures, and a host of other things.  The biggest issue is that equipment often gets worn out from the testing.
I would expect that a different lubricant will be used that can take the temperatures and vacuum without outgassing.  Silicones outgass, and the vapor then redeposites itself in some very nasty areas like on mirrors and the glass in lenses.
 
Here is a old article, but the idea hasen't changed.
http://www.popphoto.com/gear/2011/07/how-does-nasa-get-nikon-d2xs-ready-to-go-to-space

timmy_650

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Re: EOS not good for NASA?
« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2013, 08:30:53 PM »
This means nothing to me. If I was using thinks logic I though think a Toyota is the best way to pull a space shuttle.