Busch Bis-Telar Series II

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Whiteymorange, Nov 27, 2006.

  1. Whiteymorange

    Whiteymorange Member

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    I've spoken a lot about the wonderful equipment I have been given. Well, when people stopped giving me stuff I found I started to go out and buy it --GAS attack!

    This time it's a Busch Bis-Telar Series II F7 400mm lens. It has some issues but looks entirely serviceable. I searched both the Vade Mecum and the internet for info on this beast, but I've found only a little. The 400 is only mentioned in posts by one photographer, who has been sent an email. The Vade Mecum has a 340mm but that's the closest thing listed. The F stops actually start at 6 and proceed 12, 24, 48, 96, 192, 384. The seller also had an 11x14 Seneca that seems to have marks that may indicate this lens was mounted on it (unusually large flange adapter and 4 screw holes.) Is there a chance that this will cover 11x14?

    I know... the first logical response is "try it!" Unfortunately, I don't have an 11x14 camera (Down, you demons! No more gear!!!) Any other sage advice? Words of wisdom and experience?

    Thanks, as always, in advance.
     
  2. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    "Busch Bis-Telar, made in (Serie II, F:7-7.7) 200, 270, 340, 400 and 550mm, or (Serie III, F:9) 180, 240, 300 and 360mm. Has distinct cushion distortion, which however is not a problem in portrait and landscape photography. Not recommended for architecture. "

    That's about all that my book has to say about that specific lens, except that it cost 100 Mark in Germany in 1910.

    I would expect it to cover 5x7" with a little movements, but not more. Herr Schmidt recommends a film size such that the long side of the image is 1/3 to 1/5 of the focal length, so even 5x7" might be "pushing it" from this recommendation.
     
  3. Whiteymorange

    Whiteymorange Member

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    Thanks Ole. I'll try it on an 8x10 and measure the image circle but will most likely be using it on a 4x5 anyway. As always, your wealth of arcane information astounds and delights me. The Vade Mecum just doesn't cover everything. I guess I forgot the "telescopic" part of the description and was thinking of a regular 400 mm lens, which might well cover the larger format.

    One of the "issues" I spoke of is a set of bound up iris blades. They seem to be intact and even freed up for a bit this afternoon but are as tight as a _____ _____ now. (Fill in the blanks there from your imagination. No sense in being too graphic these days) I'm trying a bit of loving persuasion and a touch of graphite. I'll try to post what I get. The only post I saw that had reference to this lens was from Jan Brzeski on the Large Format Photography site, where he speaks of it having "personality." A plus for the stuff I do. We'll see.
     
  4. jacobus

    jacobus Member

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    Your lens should cover 13x18cm film size; the extension needed for infinity focusing is just 21cm. Source: Hans Schmidt "Das Fernobjektiv", 1925.
     
  5. Whiteymorange

    Whiteymorange Member

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    Thank you, Jacobus. I've developed two images taken with the lens so far, but in taking those shots I forgot the bellows compensation in timing the exposure. Thay were underexposed. I've now got some film exposed that will be better (I trust) and I'm eager to see how they look. darkroom time has been a a premium lately, though, so I'm even slower than usual at getting the images printed.

    EDIT: The image below (Dirty scan and all) was mistakenly posted as coming from his lens. It is actually taken with a Helimar 6.8 that I was testing at the same time. Sorry! I can't seem to figure our how to retract the attachment.
     

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    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 10, 2006
  6. Dave Fisher

    Dave Fisher Member

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    Modern Bis?

    I have what appears to be a bis-telar formula (four cemented elements in two groups), multi-coated Osaka (Yamazaki) 400mm/f8 telephoto. Maybe not the sharpest lens, but when stopped down it is certainly adequate for most things. It does not pincushion that I can detect, but it does begin to show corner fall-off below f22. Its image circle (200mm) and draw (236mm) are enough for the 4x5 field camera with full rear movements and very mild fronts. Weighs a pound, half that of a Schneider, making it a bit easier on the camera bed when racked-out. And a third the cost - the difference between having a 400 and just not.