I have recently discovered on YouTube a Japanese mini documentary video on building a solid state Iconoscope TV camera and felt it was well worth making a page for it on my site because this is TOTALLY AMAZING!!!!! Japanese technician/craftsman Yoshio Ozaki has built from scratch a perfectly working solid state Iconoscope tube B&W camera using an original 1846 type Iconoscope camera tube (typically used in WW2 bomber cameras) made sometime between 1941 and say 1945 and designed the modern solid state circuitry to drive the tube and output an optimum picture. Yoshio is a PURE GENIUS, he designed the camera from the enclosure to the mechanical parts to the electronics and he machined and made the parts and enclosure and the deflection yoke for the camera tube and built the circuitry, and after putting it together he did all the alignment work to get the tube to produce an optimum superb quality picture!!! :D
Looking at this video the direct video output from this vintage early 1940s Iconoscope tube is just simply AMAZING, I never thought that the first commercially used TV cameras made images of such superb quality that is even better than image orthicon tubes and comparable to modern CCD images in terms of clarity but this solid state Iconoscope camera proves that the world's first TV cameras were capable of making awesome quality modernistic pictures!!! :D It is expected back in the 30s/40s the primitive valve circuitry driving those iconoscope tubes made the pictures a bit inferior to that of modern solid state electronics driving the same tube as there would of been some noise and some artifacts. I have however seen plenty of early TV screen shots from the 1939-1946 period and a few kinescoped bomber cam films which show how the pictures looked back then and from what I seen the pictures didn't really look too inferior to that of the modern solid state Iconoscope camera, so I guess when the cameras back then had good functioning circuitry and were well adjusted so the pictures looked very good.
Anyways here below is the YouTube video of Yoshio at work building his technological masterpiece from the ground up and going through two tubes before getting a hold of a good tube, this camera still works well today!!!! Enjoy!!!! :D
I decided to do a tube comparison between the Iconoscope, the 3 inch Image Orthicon and the 2/3 inch Vidicon so I took some stills from the iconoscope video, a video recording from 1958 made from image orthicon cameras and a video I made from my 1974 Sony AVC-3250CE vidicon camera and put them together for comparison and here they are below! Judging by the three tube types, looks like the iconoscope wins hands down!