just got a 5x7...some questions

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by kaiyen, Jul 9, 2005.

  1. kaiyen

    kaiyen Member

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    Hi all,
    So I scored a Seneca Improved View 5x7 today at a photo fair. I have tried looking up information on it but still have some questions. Can I use regular/current 5x7 holders on it? Also, since it came with a lens board - how would I know if it's a particular "type" of lensboard? Do LF lenses come in different thread sizes?

    I'm in the hunt for a lens now. Hopefully I can find one, and some holders, for not too much.

    thanks,
    allan
     
  2. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

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    Congrats on getting into a fantastic format. Yes modern holders will work fine in the Seneca. There have been about a zillion different lens possibilities over the years. What size is the hole in your lens board. Generally with simple wooden boards we make new boards up to match the lenses we buy. A common f5.6 210mm is a great place to start with a 5X7. If you'd like a wider view this little lens is still available and is about the correct age for the camera.
     
  3. kaiyen

    kaiyen Member

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    Thanks for replying, Jim.

    cool. Now I gotta just figure out how to insert them...I will figure that out after I get a couple. Am very excited.

    I assume you want it in mm...it's just about 50mm. I see some lenses going for sale on ebay with boards. Should I at least be prepared to make a new board, though? The one I have looks like it's in good shape.

    Yes, I saw that one in the classifieds. I am not going for a lens that is the same age, so I'll probably keep looking. thank you, though.

    allan
     
  4. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

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    Allan, your 50mm hole would be perfect for an Acme Sychro #3 shutter. There were tons of lenses that used this shutter from expensive Dagor's (I have a 180mm I'd sell) to relatively inexpensive Ilex and Wollensak products. One that never seems to get much respect in the bidding wars is Ilex 190mm f4.5 in Acme Synchro 3 shutter. You could likely score one of those for $90 and you'll be on your way. BTW, they're a fine sharp lens. Jim
     
  5. kaiyen

    kaiyen Member

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    Ah. So the lens board hole size affects the type of shutter that can be used. Got it. I'll go look for those lenses you mentioned, with that shutter. Thanks!

    allan

    PS - thanks for offering the 180 Dagor, but I don't think I could afford that :smile:
     
  6. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    If it's just a wooden board you could make a new one pretty easily. Then you could drill it to fit any lens you might want.
     
  7. kaiyen

    kaiyen Member

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    Is there a listing of what size holes are needed for which shutters? Is this just something you look at in the specs on the lens/shutter combo? Also, the lens board I have has threads already in it - would I need to somehow insert threads into a board if I made my own?

    I'll keep an eye out for one that will fit my existing board. Otherwise I'll look into making my own.

    thanks,
    allan
     
  8. Mateo

    Mateo Subscriber

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    Hey Allan,

    you may be looking at it all the wrong way. Your best bet would probably be to look for the lens you want and make a lensboard to fit. If making a lensboard seems like too much work, I can help you out with that no problem. But when you do find a lens, make sure it comes with a flange or ring; finding one of those to match your lens can sometimes be a real struggle especially with older lenses.
     
  9. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    Does it have a flange installed?

    http://www.skgrimes.com/products/index.htm

    Click around that website. IIRC the info is also on the largeformat website.
     
  10. MenacingTourist

    MenacingTourist Member

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    That makes two Alan's buying 5x7's in two weeks. This may be the start of a trend...How many Alans or Allens around here have 5x7's?

    I ended up with a Century No. 2 and the challenge of making the back rail thing. Actually, I don't think it will be that much of a challange and I have some cherry that will work nicely. Polishing the brass will likely take much longer.
     
  11. Paul Sorensen

    Paul Sorensen Subscriber

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    Most lenses you see for sale (especially modern ones) will have a jam nut or flange. This seems to be much more of an issue with older lenses, especially since replacement can be a challenge. I think that copal 0 and compur 0 are about 35mm, copal and compur 1s are about 42mm and a copal 3 is about 62mm. A modern 210mm is most likely to be in a copal 1, possibly a compur of the same size.

    I do suspect that if you want to get a modern Japanese or German lens, you will want to make a new board for it, but it should be an extremely easy process.

    Have fun!

    Paul.
     
  12. MichaelBriggs

    MichaelBriggs Member

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    The interface between LF camera and lens is the lensboard. To adapt the lenboard to a particular lens, you need the correct diameter hole. Lensboards are almost never threaded. The threads are almost always on flanges or retaining rings that come with the lens. Since you see threads on your lensboard, it probably means that someone left a flange attached.

    S K Grimes has a webpage that explains the difference between mounting flanges and retainging rings: http://www.skgrimes.com/adapter/index.htm. A mounting flange has screw holes for screws to attach it to a thick lens board. These were popular with older cameras and thick wooden lensboards. Probably this is what is on the lensboard that came with your camera. If you could figure out which thread that you have, you could buy a shutter to fit. But I wouldn't bother, because it would restrict your choices.

    Modern shutters use retaining rings. These are basicially nuts. You insert insert the shutter from the front of the lens board (typically after unscrewing the rear lens cell) and thread on the retaining ring to clamp the shutter to the lensboard. S. K. Grimes and Schneider have tables giving the hole diameters for modern shutters, e.g., http://www.schneideroptics.com/photography/accessories/shutters/. The hole diameters do not have to be nearly as accurage as suggested by Schneider's figures. A catch is that the board can't be too thick because the threads on the modern shutters aren't that long. On many thick wooden lensboards it is necessary to machine a rebate around the hole so that the retaining ring can get sufficient thread engagement.

    I hope this doesn't sound complicated. Basically is a simple system that allows using lenses of manufacturer X on camera of manufacter Y. It's easiest if you buy the flange or retaining ring with the shutter, then make the hole in the lensboard to match.
     
  13. kaiyen

    kaiyen Member

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    Thanks for all the information. I will look for a lens first, then make a lensboard to fit it. That's better, anyway, since I can bargain hunt more with a wider selection.

    One other question - I see many lenses are listed as having enough coverage for 4x5. Few list 5x7. I assume that I cannot just use any 4x5 lens of the correct FL on a 5x7. Other than comparing the image circle with a 5x7 film size, is there any rule of thumb about whether lens A or B will be sufficient? On ebay in particular, few lenses list all those specs, and that's a lot of info hunting...

    allan
     
  14. Paul Sorensen

    Paul Sorensen Subscriber

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    Here is a list from largeformatphotography.info of lenses from the four main manufacturers that cover 5x7. Since you are not looking at new lenses, the fact that it has not been updated in three years will be of no consequence. (There may have been no lenses introduced in the last three years anyway!) You will see that most of the 210mm lenses have just over 300mm of image circle which should give you fine coverage for most situations. 210mm is a "normal" range lens for 5x7. If you want a longer lens, coverage will tend to be larger, for shorter lenses you need to be more careful.

    I am not familiar with all of these lenses, but just any 4x5 lens will not necessarily cover. Some will barely cover and some will show fall off in the corners.

    One thing to consider is the amount of movements that your camera has, if you can't take advantage of many movements than one of the smaller image circle lenses will probably suffice from the list above. If your camera has lots of movements and you intend to use them, make sure that you are getting a lens with a large image circle so you don't run out too quickly.

    Paul.