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He had to have used a huge telephoto lens in those Unisphere shots where the Empire State Building / Midtown Manhattan look like they are just a few hundred yards away from the fairgrounds. I'd say at least in the 500-800mm range.

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Not only did he have a wide range of lenses, some of the shots look like he must have had access to a cherry-picker. How else could he get up to flag level on the avenue of flags? And the lighting in the Ford dinosaurs shot looks too good for its view of both the visitors and the diorama, so I suspect special lighting for the shot.

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Of course you know this would be a challenge for "the old geometer."

The distance from the ESB to the Unisphere is approx. 38960 feet as measured on Google Earth.

The diameter of the Unisphere is 120 feet.

The ESB is 1250 feet tall to the top of the 103rd floor (not including the antenna spire.) The bottom of the ESB cannot be seen, so in order to measure its size in the image, I overlaid a scale image of the complete ESB.

Using the ratios of the image heights to the actual heights, I calculated that the camera was 2018 feet farther from the ESB than the Unisphere is. This places the camera position approximately at the Better Living Center, which appears to be a reasonable location for the lineup of pavilions shown.

Assuming that the shot is a complete 35 mm frame (36mm tall due to the vertical format), the lens was approximately 236 mm focal length, not as extreme as you might guess, but not something many amateurs might have taken to the fair.

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post-419-0-72082500-1382841596_thumb.jpg

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That one picture looks like the magazine cover of Look, I think it was. I think this guy was a pro with professional equipment.

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My memory is better with pictures than names. It was the Saturday Evening Post, and it's a match to the first picture in the album.

$T2eC16R,!y4FI,uuFPHQBSbEQ2yJhg~~60_12.J

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a bit more research -

Neither Nikon nor Canon appear to have made a 240 mm lens.

Furthermore, the image is not 35 mm aspect ratio - it should be 1.5 times as tall as it is wide. So, assuming it was a 35mm original and was cropped vertically, it is 24mm wide. This then computes to a 208 mm lens, close enough to the 200 mm focal length lenses that both Nikon and Canon sold.

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And the lighting in the Ford dinosaurs shot looks too good for its view of both the visitors and the diorama, so I suspect special lighting for the shot.

In that photo, it looks like one Magic Skyway convertible has rear-ended another one.

I'll bet he asked them to pull one up close behind the other one and leave them very still there so he could capture the scene without any movement.

In daily use the cars were never that close to each other (save for an ocassional accident that we've heard about).

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Thanks for those computations waynebretl. I'm surprised it was only a 200mm lens considering the compression of objects in the photo. It does mention in the Zimmerman archive that the two photos were taken from the Better Living Center so your estimation was spot-on.

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