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Photographic and Imaging Instruments

One piece of TSCM instrumentation which is often overlooked is the humble 35mm camera. While the camera provides virtually no instrumentation value to the countermeasure team, it does provide a wealth of documentation and intelligence value.

A properly equipped 35mm camera system will allow the TSCM technician to review an area to be inspected in detail before the actual sweep. It is also invaluable when documenting security problems, anomalies, and recording artifacts. In the event that a surveillance device is actually found the first activity is to photograph the device, and collect appropriate documentation concerning the discovery.

Once the TSCM activity has been completed the photographs may be used to identify additions to an area prior to any future TSCM activity.

TSCM technicians generally prefer the 35mm Nikon SLR models, however; a few use the Canon SLR models instead. If space permits then a medium format camera is ideal such as the Mamiya RZ67.


The film will depend greatly on the final usage of the image. If the primary purpose is a presentation to executives, then slide film is appropriate. However, if the photographs will be included into a report then color print film works best. Black and white film is also appropriate for reports. Film speeds will vary with lighting conditions, but ASA 400 (Kodak Tri-X or T-Max) is a good all around film.

Films made by Kodak, Fuji, Polaroid, and Ilford all work well. The TSCM technician must be sufficiently skilled to developed his own film and make prints as required. Since black and white film is the easiest to develop in a hotel bathroom; Kodak Tri-X and Ilford 400 Delta tends to be very popular.

The Polaroid 35mm instant films are invaluable, an entire roll of film may be developed in 60 seconds. The photographs may be taken and then immediately developed prior to leaving the area (or involving others).

Instant film also allows the TSCM technician to quickly prepare a slide presentation in complete security. The slide may then be scanned into a computer for inclusion into hardcopy reports or presentations.

Film speeds will range from ASA 50 to ASA 3200, with the most common speeds of 100 and 400 being used. Print films will be more forgiving of poor exposure than slide films. Kodak Pro 100 and Pro 400 are both excellent color print films for TSCM photography.

X-Ray films are also often required during a TSCM inspection, but these will be discussed elsewhere.


A range of lenses will be needed with coverage from wide and to moderate telephoto, at least one of these lenses should be a macro lens (either a 60mm or 105mm) with a ring flash. All lenses should be auto focus, and should be as "fast" as possible.


Generally flash units should not be used, instead the photographs should be taken with available light when possible. However, poor lighting or lack of lighting may call for the use of a compact flash unit with a typical guide number of at least 100. The compact should of course be TTL, and should focus the beam of light to the focal length of the lense being used.


The following is a typical set of photographic equipment:


35mm Nikon Auto Focus SLR

20mmf/2.8 Ultra-Wide Angle
28mmf/1.4 Wide Angle
50mmf/1.4 Normal Lens
60mmf/1.4 Normal Macro Lens
85mmf/1.4 Short Telephoto
105mmf/4 Long Macro Lens
135mmf/2 Moderate Telephoto

35-70mmf/2.8 Short Zoom (Primary Lens)
80-200mmf/2.8 Long Zoom

TTL Compact Flash Unit (20mm-85mm)
TTL Ring Flash
Contrast Filters for Black and White
Exposure Meter

All of the above equipment may be easily carried
in either a briefcase, or a small camera bag.


A small video system should be used to supplement the still frame photographic system. This will be used to provide a quick inventory of artifacts. The Watec 902A camera attached to a digital video recorder works very well.

This system should include a series of hoods to allow the video camera to record images which appear in the screens of other instruments.

The video system may also be used to provide surveillance on a suspect device while the appropriate notifications are made.


| Spectrum Analyzers | Vector Signal Analysers | Demodulation | Time Domain Reflectometers |
| Antenna | Oscilloscopes | Multimeters | Craft Instruments | TSCM Specific Instruments |
| Non Linear Junction Detectors | Acoustic | Physical Search | Photographic and Imaging |
| Auxillary | Ancillary | Video | Vehicles |


Advanced TSCM Signals Detection and Analysis
TSCM - Sweeping the Spectrum for Eavesdropping Devices

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    To be contacted for a confidential consultation
    please E-mail: jmatk@tscm.com

    or send a letter via US Mail to:
    James M. Atkinson
    Granite Island Group
    127 Eastern Avenue #291
    Gloucester, MA 01931-8008

    or call:
    Telephone: (978) 546-3803 / Fax: (978) 546-9467

    URL: http://www.tscm.com/

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