35mm Lens for LF

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by EKDobbs, Dec 21, 2012.

  1. EKDobbs

    EKDobbs Member

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    I recently disassembled a Kodak Signet 35, and I'm too lazy to figure out how the lens goes back on. So I was thinking, why not just slap it into a light proof box and make some paper negs!

    So I was just curious, would such a thing even work? It's a 44mm f/3.5 lens, with about 10mm of focus movement. I'm looking to do 8x10s, but I'd be happy with 5x7.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Won't work. The Signet's lens has to cover 24 x 36 mm, i.e., a 43 mm circle. It probably just covers that. Lenses for 5x7 have to cover 210 mm, for 8x10 have to cover 300 mm.

    There's a reason why LF shooters don't use lenses for small formats, and it isn't love of spending more than necessary.
     
  3. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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  4. swchris

    swchris Subscriber

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    If you'd make a very close close-up picture it might work.
     
  5. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    My favorite LF macro lens is from an RB67. It easily covers 4x5 at most 'indoor' ranges, covers with movements at macro ranges, and stops down farther than most LF lenses.

    A lens for 35mm is probably pushing it, though.
     
  6. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    Not even close. That lens has a sharp image circle of about 45mm, you will need a 160~mm IC for 4x5.
     
  7. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    Yes, if you reverse the lens and work at 5 or 6 times lifesize.
     
  8. Oren Grad

    Oren Grad Subscriber

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    I have an extra Kodak Signet 35 lens+shutter assembly (along with two complete cameras). I've long had this idea that I would mount it on a board for my bag-bellows baby Gowland and try using it to make circular pictures on 120 roll film. One of a grillion projects that haven't advanced beyond concept, alas. So many ideas, so little time...
     
  9. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    Don't need to reverse it if you can move it far enough away from the film.


    Steve.
     
  10. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    You do need to reverse it if you want a reasonably flat field.
     
  11. Kevin Kehler

    Kevin Kehler Member

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    How did you go about mounting that? I am assuming that you are not firing the leaf shutter but rather doing a "hat over the lens" type of exposure control. I have a couple of RB/RZ lens and would like to do more macro with my 5x7.
     
  12. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Correct rule of thumb, incorrect reason. The right reason is that lenses designed for general use are optimized for a large subject in front of the lens and a small image behind it. These lenses should be reversed when used at magnifications greater than 1:1 (small subject in front, large image behind) to preserve their optimizations.
     
  13. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Kevin, PMFJI.

    A while ago I got a lens made for a Koni-Omega to use on a 2x3 Graphic. Same problem as you asked about, the shutter is made to be cocked and fired by the camera body. I unscrewed my lens' cells and put them in the right size Copal shutter. #0, as it happens, and I had its aperture scaled for the lens. The 140 RB macro lens is, I think, in a #1.

    You should be able to do the same with an RB lens. Coverage on 5x7 (210 mm circle) will be a little iffy below a little over 1:1.

    I understand your desire to use what you have, but you might be better off with, e.g., a 150 Apo-Ronar (in #0 or front-mounted on an ex-Polaroid MP-4 #1 Press) or G-Claron (cells are direct fit in a #0), both for cost and for usable range of magnifications.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Dan
     
  14. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    And my understanding is with asymmetrical lenses those optimisations include field flatness/spherical aberration. Is this incorrect?
     
  15. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    This true for most of the lenses we use but incomplete. There are other aberrations.
     
  16. EKDobbs

    EKDobbs Member

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    Thanks for the responses. I knew it wouldn't be optimal, I was just curious if you could stop it down to f/22 (which slightly increases image circle IIRC) and move it away from the film plane to maybe cover a 5x7.

    I understand now that it's probably very unlikely. Still, I could make tiny little 2x2 inch paper negs.
     
  17. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    If you move the lens far enough from the film plane, it will cover any format you might want to use. But you will then be working very close up. You do understand how focusing works, don't you?
     
  18. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    Exactly. The lens-to-film distance of most 35mm lenses is like 25mm or something. So if your subject is 25mm away, just flip the lens over, and I see no reason why a 35mm lens wouldn't cover 4x5. Usually you want more than 25mm from your subject, though, for lighting reasons.
     
  19. EKDobbs

    EKDobbs Member

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    Yes I do, thanks. I just like to hear from people who may have actually tried it in person, because sometimes there are problems that the simple rules don't predict. Or maybe someone has a solution for me that I didn't think of. Either way, I'm well aware of how a camera focusses, but I appreciate your concern.
     
  20. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Look up 35 mm SLRs' flange-to-film distances, also called registers. When using a lens made for a 35 mm SLR reversed as a macro lens, the minimum "back of lens" to subject distance is the register. The OP has a 44/3.5 lens extracted from a Kodak Signet. It isn't for an SLR and the Signet's register isn't published, but since it is a tessar type its minimum back of lens to subject distance will be around 40 mm.

    I've known the joy of trying things out, also the joy of finding good uses for what appears, at first glance, to be scrap so I don't want to discourage the OP from trying to find a use for his ex-Signet 44/3.5. That said, all the lens is good for on 4x5 or 5x7 is relatively high magnification macro work.

    If I were in the OP's situation and wanted to shoot macro on 4x5 or 5x7 I wouldn't start with a 44 mm lens or, for that matter, any of the 35 mm SLR more-or-less normal lenses I have. This because a lens that short will cover the formats only at relatively high magnification. Shooting LF at relatively high magnification is possible, has been done, is very difficult. Shooting at magnifications from 1:8 to 2:1 is hard too, but much easier than shooting above 2:1 or so.

    If I wanted to do that, I'd look for a decent process lens, focal length around 210 mm, for shooting up to perhaps 1:2 on 5x7 and for a decent process lens, focal length around 150 mm, for shooting above 1:2 on 5x7 and from 1:8 up on 4x5. First choice for a 150 would be a 150/9 G-Claron even though the one 150/9 G-Claron I've had was noticeably worse than the 150/9 Apo Ronars I still have.

    An alternative would be a decent enlarging lens whose cells fit a standard shutter. I'm a little partial to 105/4.5 and 150/5.6 Comparons as low-budget macro lenses because they fit #0 shutters so are easily reversed.