advise on lens

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by Runz, Oct 31, 2008.

  1. Runz

    Runz Member

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    Hi,
    I'm looking forward to constructing a homemade 4X5 view camera and would like to seek some advices regarding lens.

    I have never tried a LF before so I'm not sure what the different focal length lens would do.
    My particular concern is that if I construct the LF to tilt and shift do I need lens with wider coverage than just 4X5. What would be enough for general use?

    In addition, I realized that my budget (approx 50) is way too small to get any of the LF lens commonly found on e*ay.
    Is there any cheap lens that I can look out for?

    I have seen kodak ektar going cheap but I found that its a press lens that can 'cover 4X5 with little movement.
    Can I use this lens on a bellow of a 4X5?

    Lastly, if all fails can I use an enlarger lens instead? I have one 80mm componon lying around. I believe I would have to downsize the 4X5 ambition to 120 instead.

    Thanks for patiently reading through my post. I know I lack loads of knowledge in this area but I hope to explore through this construction plans.

    All suggestions and additional advises are deeply appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Whiteymorange

    Whiteymorange Member

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    The lens described as being able to cover 4X5 with little movement is probably something like the 127 Ektar. A nice little lens with a good pedigree, but you will want something with more coverage if you're going to go through all the bother of constructing a camera with movements. A lens designed for 5x7, such as the 203mm Ektar will give you all the movement you need and then some. Most people consider something in the 135-160 range a "normal" lens on 4x5. Try this link for information on the various old lenses you find available on the auction site and at photo shows. There are lots of other tables of lens coverage, such as those available on the web here and here.

    I'd start with a lens in a shutter myself and not go directly to an enlarger lens, though I personally shoot with all sorts of weird glass at this point. Having a simple shutter/lens combo and not having to fiddle with ways of controlling the light makes the task of understanding what you're doing in LF a bit easier. A 135 Tessar of just about any make and model should be pretty cheap, especially if you can find one off an old Kodak 3A folder that still has a working shutter. The size of the negative on those was large enough to make the lenses useful on a 4x5 and they go for almost nothing.

    Good luck on the project. Remember, glass can and will come into your hands later as well as now. The camera you build should have easily changed and simply designed lens boards. That way you can have an excuse to buy lots of lenses over time!
     
  3. freygr

    freygr Member

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    I have seen 135mm and other lenses go for under $50.00 with working shutters. You can use other lenses, as I got free a triplet (case broken and unusable for the overhead projector) and its a 14 inch lens about f5 and it covers my 11 by 14 piece of ground glass. Unluckily the lens shapes and spaces are such there is no space inside off the lens to install an iris.
     
  4. Runz

    Runz Member

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    Thanks for great summary whiteymorange, the link offers some really extensive list of lens. I hope I will get some real good glasses soon such as those seen by fregr.:smile:
     
  5. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    If your money that short , prefer pinhole anamorphic camera.
    www.f295.com forum is a good address. They are very good hearthed people and welcomes every beginner.
    If you want to experiment with tilt and shift and if you havent a thousand , prefer it.
    it is lightweight , you dont worry about its health , hey like a tamaguchi.
    Film is cheap , widely available hasselblad film.
    Lenox laser sells pinholes and if you want a 6 x 17 cms exposed film , you need # 250 pinhole.
    Its focal lenght is 6 cms.
    If you are not happy with your scanned films , prefer free HDR softwares
     
  6. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    look for image galleries of anamorphic pinhole camera. Construction time 2 hours.You can create your pinholes with pin the aluminium folio.
    There are camera making pages describes these technologies with examples at f295.
    First try this , if you are not happy , you switch to glass.
    Ektar is an excellent overall lens. If you want little bit more vivid images , prefer tessar.
    Try to buy from zeiss and kodak. Prefer originals. You will not be dissapointed.
     
  7. Runz

    Runz Member

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    hi Mustafa,
    A pinhole anamorphic camera isnt what I'm looking forward currently but thanks for introducing f295.org it has some really interesting topics.