Cheap & cheerful barrel lens for Speed Graphic?

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Cybertrash, Mar 26, 2013.

  1. Cybertrash

    Cybertrash Member

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    One of the reason I got my Speed Graphic was (as many others) to be able to use barrel lenses. As I understand you can find a lot of quirky barrel lenses to experiment with that weren't designed with photography primarily in mind (such as projection lenses and so on), and I was wondering if you had some recommendations of such lenses. I'm mostly looking to do either portraiture, stilleben or landscapes/nature and I'm looking for something that's relatively cheap and fun to experiment with, technical performance isn't that much of an issue (allthough I'd still prefer something a step above a meniscus lens), any suggestions on what I should look for and where I might find it?
     
  2. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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  3. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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  4. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    folding cameras ( from the junque store )
    remove the lens and presto !
     
  5. jp498

    jp498 Member

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  6. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Old Tessars are cheap, fun, and extremely capable stopped down. You should see what Ken Lee does with his over on the LFPF

    Ian
     
  7. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    I couldn't agree more, but I also wouldn't consider them "quirky". For me and many others they are still viable tools for serious photography. :smile:
     
  8. EASmithV

    EASmithV Member

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    get a petzval or a rapid rectilinear
     
  9. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    I'd agree, and have both.


    Yes far from quirky, my 1913 165mm f6.3 Tessar (in a Compur) is just as useable as the late production Xenar made (or rather assembled) about 11 or 12 years ago :D

    Ian
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 26, 2013
  10. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    Get a Dagor.
     
  11. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    Figured you'd say something like that. :laugh:
     
  12. Whiteymorange

    Whiteymorange Member

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    Find an old pair of binoculars and take the large end off. There is usually a narrow throat that serves as an aperture engineered into the case and the whole thing screws off together. They make great portrait lenses and you get two for the price of one! The attached shot of our own bill h was shot with a Speed and the objective lens from an old set of 7x35 Crown Optics binoculars.
     

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  13. Cybertrash

    Cybertrash Member

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    Thanks for all the answers everyone. I found an old 9x12 folder camera (that I guess technically was my first "LF" camera) and took the lens from it, it's even got a shutter. The original lens was a 135mm, but after unscrewing the rear element it seemed to become something significantly longer (probably around the 200m) mark. I haven't been able to test it properly since I lack a lens board of the correct size, but I was able to sort of keep it in place on a larger lens board and observe the image on the ground glass.
     
  14. Whiteymorange

    Whiteymorange Member

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    You don't say which Speed you have but if it's an Anniversary or earlier, lens boards are easy to make up from any number of materials. My favorite is masonite, but foam-core board in black has served me well on a number of occasions. Just cut them 4x4 and chamfer the bottom edge on the back so as to fit into the slot more easily. Draw lines from corner to corner to mark the center and cut out the hole to size. Usually talkes me about 15 minutes to make a "Q&D" board (quick and dirty construction).
     
  15. Fixcinater

    Fixcinater Subscriber

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    I've used the foam-core board for lensboards as well, worked just fine for a couple of different lenses and is very lightweight to boot.
     
  16. Cybertrash

    Cybertrash Member

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    Unfortunately it's a Pacemaker, which I understand are a bit more difficult to make a board for.
     
  17. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    i use pieces of mat board or foam core to make boards for my pacemaker ...
    the trick is not to give a crap if others tell you you did something wrong,
    then things are that much easier :wink:

    good luck !
    john
     
  18. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    New Pacemaker boards are very cheap new from Heavystar in Ebay, it's worth buying three.

    Ian
     
  19. shutterfinger

    shutterfinger Member

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    A piece of 1/4 inch black acrylic cut to the OD of a pacemaker board opening, corners rounded to fit into the opening, back sides routed down so that the center portion just fits into the bellows throat and the front edge just under the board locks ( approximately 1/16 inch thick lip ), back side sanded so that it has a flat finish, and center drilled to the shutter mount makes a very nice lens board that is very rigid. It is a little more work than foam core and the center portion going into the bellows opening eliminates the need for the outer lip light trap.
    http://www.graflex.org/helpboard/viewtopic.php?t=6333&highlight=lens+board
     
  20. Cybertrash

    Cybertrash Member

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    Thanks for the recommendation, these are about half the price (including shipping) than the ones I found from searching eBay UK.
     
  21. Whiteymorange

    Whiteymorange Member

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    I just cut flat boards smaller, to fit inside the opening, and then back them with felt. Seem to work fine.
     
  22. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    Aber naturlich.
     
  23. Joe VanCleave

    Joe VanCleave Member

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    Fuji 240mm f/5.6 Xerox lens on Anniversary Speed Graphic using custom-built wooden lens holder.

    ~Joe

    [​IMG]
     
  24. leighmarrin

    leighmarrin Member

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    Modified petzval-formula cine projection lenses of the mid 20th century are a lot of fun and often cheap. They can have wild swirl and good center sharpness. In the US the B&L "Cinephor" is probably the most common, but they are really heavy. I've used a couple of lighter-weight Kollmorgen "Snaplite" series on 4x5 with interesting results. Look for lengths in the 5 to 7 inch range.

    I've got several examples posted on my Flicrk page: http://www.flickr.com/photos/49057438@N08/