Lens Flare on Speed Graphic Ektar 127mm f/4.7

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by djkloss, May 28, 2006.

  1. djkloss

    djkloss Subscriber

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    My 4x5 is a Speed Graphic (it still works and the price was right). I got a ton of lens flare from the sun with my Ektar 127mm f/4.7 lens. Is this anything that can be solved with a hood (what/how big) or do I need a modern coated lens? Would a polarizer help? Is this the nature of the lens or do they all do that?

    Thanks!

    Dorothy
     
  2. David H. Bebbington

    David H. Bebbington Inactive

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    Do this happen mainly when you are shooting against the light, or all the time? Is the lens flare light patches or a general flare which lowers contrast?Does the lens look clean when you shine a torch through it? Are mold or scratches visible? Can you post an example of a pix with this flare? A 127 Ektar in good shape should not exhibit excessive flare, any more so than any other single-coated lens of the same age. Is your lens pre- or post-war? I do not have an Ektar to hand, I believe the post-war coated examples have a letter "L" on the mount ("Lumenized", Kodak-speak for single coated).

    Regards,

    David
     
  3. DBP

    DBP Member

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    I would double check the bellows for tiny pinholes first. My 1944 127mm Ektar has no flre to speak of, but the first few daylight shots looked like it, until I cheked the bellows.
     
  4. djkloss

    djkloss Subscriber

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    this is the first time I noticed it. I was shooting into the light in the woods around 5:00 pm. I was along side a creek and the sun was peering through the trees. The lens looks clean, except a small patch of mold - but only at f/4.7. I was at f/16. I tried holding the dark slide to keep the sun out of the lens, but it showed up as a shadow (out of focus slide) in the image. I rotated the camera on the tripod and could see the flare through the ground glass. So I tried holding my hand up over the lens. My arms aren't long enough to see through the camera at the same time :wink:
     
  5. User Removed

    User Removed Guest

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    There is your problem. Just dont let sunlight be hitting your lens dirrectly when shooting. Simple.

    :smile:
     
  6. djkloss

    djkloss Subscriber

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    I don't have an example with the flare, only the botched attempt at getting rid of it. The lens has an L with a circle around it. I guess that would be 'lumenized'? What is single coated? Is there a better coating?

    (Never mind the compostition/exposure/contrast...I think I can fix that. I'm very new at this. ) (trying not to be embarrassed showing my bad comps)

    -Dorothy
     

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  7. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Dorothy, the "circle L" means that the lens is Lumenized, i.e., hard coated. That's all the coating Kodak offered and its more than is needed on tessar type lenses like your Ektar.

    I didn't see flare in the sample you posted, I saw blown-out highlights and a very contrasty print. If flare had been a problem, you wouldn't have so much contrast.

    You should probably unscrew your lens' cells from the shutter and clean the accessible surfaces. Mold should not be left to grow.

    When you're done the rear cell, which contains a cemented doublet, should be crystal clear. If it isn't, time for a new lens. The front cell contains two singlets and basically can't be opened for cleaning the interior surfaces. If there's crude inside it, time for a new lens.

    I have two 101/4.5 Ektars, much the same lens as yours but shorter; one coated, the other not. The uncoated one shoots better and neither has flare problems. But, when I make the effort I can take shots like yours with the uncoated one. The difference between mine and yours is that I rarely underexpose the background so much. How did you meter that shot?
     
  8. djkloss

    djkloss Subscriber

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    That could also be a result of a flatbed scanner. The negative looks ok (I developed them this am).

    I used a spot meter and took a reading off the tree where I wanted detail (start w/Zone V), then used my Gossen to figure what Zone III would be for the tree and metered it that way. I think it was 1 sec @ f/16. Efke 100 shot at EI50. It was a very shaded area as it was already 5 in the afternoon. This was more of a practice run, so I wasn't expecting much. More to see how the film responded.

    I have another shot, I'll scan it and see the difference.
     
  9. djkloss

    djkloss Subscriber

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    This is more what I was seeing. Yuk! Is there a better hood? I was using a Tiffen Series #6 W.A. (wrong choice), but I also have another one that I didn't have with me at the time.

    I just measured the densities of the first image (with a very crude Kodak densitometer)...It measures .25 - 1.5 with fb-f @ .05

    Guess I'm not ready for the big leagues! :wink:
     

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  10. DBP

    DBP Member

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    Definitely check the interior of the lens. Could be there is some haze inside that the sun is catching. As for the lens hood, the one on mine doesn't have a name - I went down to the camera store and picked through their bin of old series hoods and filters until I found one that looked right. But there are lots of makeshift solutions possible, including making one from cardboard.

    Don't worry about the big leagues, the important part is to have fun.
     
  11. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    The best lens hood is square, and blocks almost all light outside of the picture area. The larger the hood, the better it can eliminate flare. I sometimes fabricate one from mat board that slips behind the shutter rather than attach to the front of the lens. It is long enough to almost cut into the field of view:
     

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  12. djkloss

    djkloss Subscriber

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    Thanks guys! I rigged up two hoods with rubber bands - kind a like o-rings to hold in place. The bigger one is from my 35mm camera.

    Love the artwork btw!

    Hope this works...

    Now go and enjoy the rest of the holiday.......I'm takin' the ol' camera on a hike! When I get back I'll try the square one.
     
  13. kswatapug

    kswatapug Member

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    Not too expensive is the Flare Buster (www.flarebuster.com) which runs $29.95 for just the bendable metal arm with binder clips on either end. You attach the arm to your camera and a card in the clip on the other end.

    Bend the arm into general position to shade the lens with the card, check through your ground glass to make sure it isn't getting in the way. If it is, move it out of the way while looking through the ground glass.

    Silly thing paid for itself very quickly with savings on film that wasn't spoiled by my efforts to hold the dark slide, or my hat, or my hand in the way.

    I purchased both the model with a hot shoe adaptor and the one with the binder clips. I broke the hot shoe version with a couple weeks (very weak connection between the hot shoe adaptor and bendable arm). Much better is the binder clip version. They sell that version with a bunch of accessories for $35.95. If you don't want the whole kit, I recommend just getting the FB-99XXL for $29.95.

    I find the binder clip version attaches nicely to my Lee filter holder, my front standard, or in a pinch, it also can be attached to the camera bed or quick release plate on my camera. Certainly not as inexpensive as a cardboard arrangement, but very easy to use.
     
  14. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Dorothy, thanks for posting that second image. My little Ektars don't do anything nearly that horrible when shooting against the light and neither has a lens hood. Dismantle your lens and clean it. If there's haze inside the front cell, its time for a new lens.
     
  15. Len Robertson

    Len Robertson Member

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    Dorothy - It makes my day to hear of someone shooting with a Graphic. At some point you will likely want to get an additional camera with more movements and extension, but don't sell the Graphic. There is a whole new interest in handheld 4X5 shooting on the various LF forums.

    It is too bad the flare or intruding darkslide ruined the shot. It very much looks like one worth reshooting when you get the flare under control. As others have said, look through the lens toward a bright light and you may find haze. It may be cleanable by unscrewing the front and rear lens cells.

    One limitation of the 127mm Ektar is the small image circle - there is almost no room for movements. I've used maximum front rise on an Anniversary Speed with a 127mm Ektar and the upper corners were black. This isn't to say the 127mm is a "bad" lens, just be aware of what it can and can't do. You are probably going to want to start shopping for an additional lens, but that will be another involved topic.