Again with the project lenses...

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Stephanie Brim, Nov 23, 2012.

  1. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

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    So I have no idea what this lens actually is. THIS is the condition, though, which makes me pause as to how to best clean it:

    sonofa.jpg

    It doens't appear to be fungus, and it only appears to be on the glass on the outside, not the inside, of the groups. This: good. But...

    How the hell do I clean it up? Cotton swab, soft towel, and vinegar just in case? Shutter is nice and aperture runs NICE and smooth, so now all I have to do is worry about the glass...and also what the hell it is. Seller thought Wollensak and, since the shutter is obviously from a Seneca, it'd be likely. It's a triple convertible that will cover 5x7 and it's TINY. That's about all I know. I don't have focal lengths or anything.

    Time to do some research.

    ETA: Actually, found some more.

    8"/14"/18". Cool.

    Picture, crappy though it may be:

    tripleconvertible.jpg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2012
  2. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    I worked on some of my lenses.

    I typically start with a moist lens cloth. (not the paper kind but a real cloth - the type used for poly carbonate eye glasses) I use pure water first. Then go to a lens cleaning solution - very gentle type. I keep the pressure light and in circular motion. I have to fight the urge to apply pressure or use finger nails.... I repeat these process a few times.

    After this, I use Q-tips and do the same.

    If no joy at this point, it's either 1) forget it 2) risk damage or 3) send it to a pro.

    It's so hard to fight the urge to apply pressure trying to clean the crud off.
     
  3. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

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    I don't think I'll even need pressure.

    Note: a pro will, eventually, be working on it. Have to figure out who I want to send it to first, but if she'll do it I'll likely send it to Carol Flutot's, if just to get timings for the shutter so that I can expose accordingly.
     
  4. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    I forgot a very important step. Blow off the lose dust with pressurized air as a very first thing.

    Good luck Stephanie....
     
  5. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

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    There indeed does not seem to be a fungus among us. WOOHOO. Not crystal clear as there are some fine scratches, but...seriously. I paid $30. I'm not going to complain about something so trivial as a few cleaning marks. I'll use a bloody hood even if I have to make it myself. This lens makes my 5x7 into a one lens kit.

    Now all I have to do is figure out the U.S. aperture scale. I have an 8" f/8, a 14" f/16 and an 18" f/22. If I've done the conversion right, anyway.

    Now, I'm going to go put some film in some film holders and take some rather crappy shots of something or other to test out the 8" length. :D
     
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  6. pgomena

    pgomena Member

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    I had a very similar lens on a 5x7 Seneca I recently sold. The lens had no manufacturer's name on it, but it was in a similar Wollensak shutter. It is a convertible rapid rectilinear. Mine was capable of making very good images. The corners were a little soft at wider apertures, but at f/16 or smaller, it was very sharp.

    American scale: 4=modern 8, 8=modern 11, 16=modern 16, 32=modern 22, 64=modern 32, 128 = modern 45, etc.

    Peter Gomena
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 24, 2012
  7. BMbikerider

    BMbikerider Member

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    It does look like abrasion, not a removable smudge. If it is you should be able to get it re-polished but at what expence. If it is a coated lens this will remove the coating which will have to be re-applied incurring more cost.
     
  8. snederhiser

    snederhiser Member

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    Hello MS Brim;
    Your lens is not coated and would remove the elements to clean. I use microfiber cleaning cloths and a good glass cleaner. Blow the crud off first and flood the element with cleaner to float any abrasive off the glass. Use your fingernail with cloth to get into tight corners and scrape off spots. A push on filter holder with an old skylight or light yellow filter might make a great addition, Steven.
     
  9. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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  10. Mark Crabtree

    Mark Crabtree Member

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    It shouldn't be hard to clean if you can get into the lens elements, but it might be worth just shooting some pictures to try it out first. At one time Sally Mann was seeking out lenses with all kind of issues for their interesting qualities.
     
  11. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

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    It came fairly clean with just distilled water and a soft cloth, so I'm leaving it alone for now. It was NOT an abrasion. There do seem to be slight imperfections in the lens, but I don't know if they're bubbles or what.

    When my husband wakes up from his turkey-induced coma and I have completed the rolls and the green bean casserole for our get together tomorrow, I'll throw him in front of my wall and shoot him with it. I may not get it developed until tomorrow night, though.

    I wanted to roll the dice one more time before I stopped doing that in favor of a modern lens. I kind of love this one, though, and I haven't even shot with it yet. It's so TINY.
     
  12. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

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    Okay, so...yay for image!

    needtodothisagain2.jpg

    8", 1 second, f/8 (wide open). Shadow weirdness at right is where I tripped the shutter with my finger due to not having an actual air bulb.

    So. Happy. I can't wait to use it more.

    There *is* some weirdness inside the elements, but I'm probably going to send it out rather than attempt to open it up and do it myself. I'm not really in a huge hurry, though, as it doesn't seem to detract from image quality at all. Who actually cleans up and recements lenses like this?
     
  13. pgomena

    pgomena Member

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    Stephanie -
    Did you unscrew the lens groups from the shutter to clean the inner surfaces? If not, don't be afraid to try it. Just grab the metal housings and unscrew them from the shutter. Then you can clean the inner surfaces.

    I don't think there is anyone out there recementing lenses these days. It would cost you much more than you paid for the lens to have it done.

    Peter Gomena
     
  14. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

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    That I've done. I'm not completely opposed to doing the cleaning/recementing myself, but...I've never done it before. I guess doing it with a 30 dollar lens would be the best way to learn, but I actually *like* this lens. :tongue:

    I'm going to leave it alone for now, anyway, and just take lots of pictures with it. It's not bad.
     
  15. mhcfires

    mhcfires Subscriber

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    Pretty cool results for a thirty dollar lens. The lens on my "5x7" kodak 2D (which turned out to be an 8x10 with a reducing back) had been dropped at one time. When I opened up the lens I noticed a big chip on one of the elements, but it still works well and I don't have the money to replace it.
     
  16. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Michael, what does the price at which a used piece of equipment have to do with anything? Many of us -- look for threads here and elsewhere on "your best snag ever" -- have bought used gear at prices far below current (or even contemporary with the purchase) market price. Every once in a while there's a pricing anomaly ...

    I don't think that the OP's lens was seen as a piece of cheap trash when new. Convertible lenses were serious ...

    Did I ever tell you about the time I bought ten (10) 38/4.5 Biogons for $580 delivered?

    Oh, and by the way, I salute the OP, who hasn't always had two dimes to rub together, for hazarding $30 on a possibly crappy unknown old lens that cleaned up nicely and turned out to be very much to her liking. Been there, done that, am probably the better for it.