Scott's Antarctic Expedition

Scott's Antarctic Expedition

Herbert Ponting was the expedition's photographer. A man much older than my father, he was willing to help in the design of the 14 cameras which Noel took to Everest, and introduced my father to the designers at Newman Sinclair. It was agreed that the basic model used by Ponting was the right one for the cinematography, with a few modifications to suit the different climatic conditions to be found on Everest; namely, requiring no oil, which would freeze in the extremely low temperatures - Ponting's tongue had at times frozen to the camera. To avoid this, it was constructed of duralumin, for lightness, had special bearings, and a rubber cover, so Noel could press against it to steady it in high winds without fear that his cheek would stick to it!

Noel carried his cameras to an altitude of 23,000 ft, from where he had a view of the summit at a range of 2 miles, with the aid of a powerful Cooke telephoto lens. Unfortunately, on the day Mallory and Irving made their attempt on the summit, it was obliterated by cloud, and no sight of them was possible from his vantage point.

This 35mm Newman Sinclair cine camera is housed in the Collections and Research Centre at the National Media Museum in Bradford.

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