Lens for 20x20 or 24x24

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by MCrooks, Aug 4, 2012.

  1. MCrooks

    MCrooks Member

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    I'm currently planning a build for a 20x20 or possibly a 20x24 wet plate camera. I would like to acquire a lens before I go to far forward with the planning/ building of the camera. I have an idea of the type/size (900+mm, 30-35") of lens I'm am looking for but ebay is worthless. Can anyone point me in the direction of a good source of vintage lens or used lens. Maybe have one collecting dust from a project that never got off the ground and want to unload. I am also open to specific recommendations on lenses, I've shot a lot on 4x5 so this is a leap into a whole new world.

    Thanks for helping out in advance.

    Best
    Matt
     
  2. cyberjunkie

    cyberjunkie Member

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    For any smaller format my advice would be: "build your camera first, and then look for the lens".
    In your case, you are after something that's VERY difficult to find, so patiently waiting for your chance is the only way to go.
    From the context (home built camera) i get that it's not exactly the case where money is no object :smile:
    I am afraid that any lens which meets your criteria is either expensive or VERY expensive.
    A decent narrow field copy lens in that focal would be expensive. A slightly shorter Dagor (but with far more coverage) would cost even more. Probably a 480mm Plasmat, like a Symmar, would be somewhat cheaper, and on top of that would come in a modern shutter!
    I am not positively sure about coverage, you should check Schneider literature. Ptobably the answer is yes, cause the various generations of Symmars cover between 70 and 74 degrees (a 300mm covers 10x12").
    Narrow field graphic art lenses have restricted coverage (most under 40 degrees), hence the need for much longer FLs.
    Wide field graphic lenses don't go past 355mm (like the G-Claron), and ultra wide angle graphic lenses are either bad for general use (G-Claron WA) or unavailable in longish focals (Apo-Graphigon).

    My suggestion is:
    check the max coverage of the G-Claron 355mm, and limit yourself to that format.
    If you want to save, buy a first generation one in barrel, and then look for a Xenar 210mm on Compound No.3.
    The shutter will be a perfect fit for the old G-Claron!

    The only other choice would be some oddball graphic lens, like a JML, Ednalite, or something like that, but i've never spotted one in very long focal. Even Copying Ektars, which are not exactly cheap, don't come in such long focals, for what i have seen.
    Anyway, the Bay of E is the only likely source.
    Trying your luck here, or on other forums, won't do anything bad, but the chances of success are slim.

    have fun

    CJ

    Sent from my Android tablet
     
  3. Marc B.

    Marc B. Member

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  4. cyberjunkie

    cyberjunkie Member

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    C'mon!
    4450 USD for a lens that should go to a home made camera, you must be kidding!
    I take the use of bold characters as a substitute for a smiley... other way there would be no need to evidence the price in bold.
    Better make it clear though.
    Usually the people with more money than common sense buy Canon lenses in white, and then spray and prey for a single decent digital pic :smile:
    I know that this forum belongs to a totally different church, but i am always afraid that certain infectious habits could spread so far.
    Collecting or being crazy about photographica stuff is one thing, paying silly prices without a rationale, a simple logic of cause and effect, where the solution is commisurated to the entity of the problem... well, that's a totally different thing.

    I have no interest (quite the opposite, in fact) in recommending some caution in the purchase of very expensive lenses.
    I would be perfectly fine if anybody interested would suddenly run to buy expensive lenses at the silly prices asked by some physical/online/Ebay shops.
    Though i feel i have to report a simple truth to those who can't dedicate to their hobby as much time as i do:
    good finds are there!
    Of course you have to be patient enough, and do your homework before shelling out some hard-earned money.
    Just one example, on topic:
    some months ago i placed my bid (and lost) on a like-new 480mm Apo Symmar, on Ebay Italy; it sold for less than 500 USD (< €400, IIRC).
    It is a truly outstanding lens, with plenty of coverage (at least 11x14" ).
    I had the money to fight the auction, but my largest camera is a 24x30cm, and i'm not really into recent super-sharp glasses. With some patience, a little luck, and little money more, i eventually found two nice soft focus lenses with 8x10" coverage :smile:
    Probably most LF amateurs would go the opposite route.
    I guess it's just a matter of priorities.


    A small advice for the OP:
    find a decommisioned reprocamera with good, large bellows, and build your camera around it.
    Not super-easy, but somewhat easier.

    have fun

    CJ


    Sent from my Android tablet
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 5, 2012
  5. Jesper

    Jesper Subscriber

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    Look for one of the longer Goerz Dagor, Red dot Artar. They are not common and usually come without a shutter (24" was the longest one to leave the factory with a shutter but some have had shutters added later) but they should cover your needs. Lenses that cover 20x24" are not cheap even though the Goerz lenses are not as expensive as the Fine Art XXL.
     
  6. johnielvis

    johnielvis Member

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    the 1100 xxl will work perfectly---that's what you want.

    if you want to go on the cheap, an older version--a 42" artar just went on ebay for like 1200 I think....check the completed listings--but that's the same thing pretty much, just older.

    for wetplate I don't think you'll find anything long and fast--if you do it'll be very rare and very old and VERY HEAVY--there's a huge fast long lens that's on ebay I've seen that takes an engine hoist to hold--that will work if your camera is a van or something fixed--like a real process camera where the back is in the darkroom--if you want something that you can move around outside of a van, then you need a more managable size lens--that means like f14 max--which is slow for wetplate unless you get a lot of light.

    too bad you missed that one--put up a WTB, I'm sure there's people that bought 42" lenses that have not used them because they have not yet built their cameras that they bought them for.

    I use the 1100xxl myself. if you got the money then that's the ticket--get it immeditaely. remember--go for the f14 barrel option and not the f22 shutter version.

    EDIT--I spoke too soon...apparently there's ANOTHER 42" artar on ebay right now bid only to 350 bucks.....

    ALSO--a HIGHLY DESIRABLE 32" f9 (FAST) apo ronar that's being auctioned right now---I should say nothing as this is highly desirable to me, but THAT's the one you should be trying for--if you want that lens ebay is the only way to do it. I hate ebay myself but....man....that's a nice lens that is....and exactly what you want and hard to find.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 5, 2012
  7. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    maybe you can ask reinhold ( here on apug ) to build you one of his wollaston lenses.
    it will be beautifully made, with waterhouse stops and render a sweet image.
    he doesn't usually make them that big, but he might be able to :wink:
    and meniscus designs cover huge negatives ...
     
  8. rrankin

    rrankin Member

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    For a cheaper option, you could get something like a Turner Reich convertible (I don't recall the focal lengths offhand but remember having one that was something like 28"-24"-14") and just use one lens at a time in the rear, with a yellow filter up front. These used to be pretty easy to find and not that expensive.

    Richard
     
  9. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    MCrooks, in the Apo-Nikkor line 900 mm won't cover 20x20. You need a 1210. In Apo-Ronars, a 1000 will just cover 20x20, a 1200 will just cover 20x24. Goerz claims a 42" Apo-Artar will just cover 20x24 at infinity. All info from the makers. AFIK no 900 mm process lens will do what you want. My 900/10 Apo-Saphir certainly won't, according to Boyer it covers 655 mm at infinity. johnielvis highly desired 32" Apo Ronar won't do for you either.

    None of these lenses is available off the shelf, the best source is eBay. You'll need a lot of patience and a lot of money and considerable luck.

    I'm with CJ. If you want to do it, go for it, but make sure you understand what you're in for. Don't use rule of thumb to determine focal length needed, check the makers' claims. The rule of thumb you used to decide that 900 mm is long enough took you over a cliff.

    Shuttering a huge lens shouldn't be a problem for you because wet plate emulsions are so slow. I hang a Compound #5 in front of my little 900, don't think that this solution (or an Ilex #5) will be good on a 1200/9. But it will work on a 1200/14. And Packard will make a huge shutter for you, to be hung at one end of the lens, that will be perfectly good for time exposures.
     
  10. MCrooks

    MCrooks Member

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    Wow thanks for all the great information so fast!

    @ Marc B. those sites look promising and if I had an extra 4500 I'm sure the wife wouldn't let me spend it on a lens.

    @ CJ thanks for the recommendations. Also I have to admit I do have one of those white canon lenses (70-200) but not a fan of the spray for a single good frame.

    I don't need the latest greatest most expensive piece of glass. I prefer the old stuff it may not be the sharpest but I love the charteter it imparts in the image. Also I just got a call from my brother who found a Agfa copy camera on the east coast at a swap meet for $60. All he could tell me about the lens was that it said Repromaster 1:9/150mm f9-f44 and made in W.Germany it also has a 210mm not on a board with no markings on it. The bellows looks "ok". Any thoughts on these lenses? I couldn't find much info on them. Now to get it all out to the Rockies.
     
  11. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    MCrooks, don't let found money corrupt you. Lenses that won't cover your intended format are at best a distraction.

    Sometime in the '60s Agfa bought Dr. Staeble Werk, a lens maker in Munich. Staeble, as part of the Agfa empire, made all of the lenses for Agfa repro cameras. They were sold to other makers of repro cameras, can be found badged Helioprint, Staeble, Repromaster, Eskofot. They are sort of known quantities but there's no strong consensus about how good they are. Some users say they're superb, one whom I respect (not me in disguise) said "nothing to write home about." The consensus, not 100%, is that they cover around 70 degrees. I once got a pair, 150 and 210, in case my 150 and 210 Konica Hexanon GR IIs weren't any good. The GR IIs were good enough and my Staeble lenses' diaphragms had very stiff click stops, end of that discussion.

    Under any of their names Staeble repro camera lenses are hard (= expensive) to put in shutters. About the only repro camera lenses one can be reasonably sure will go directly into a standard shutter without a visit to the machine shop are G-Clarons and most shorter Apo-Ronars. Some examples of some of the others, e.g., Apo-Artars, also go into standard shutters.

    Lenses whose cells won't go into a standard shutter are snares for the unwary. I discuss several ways to make them usable here: http://www.galerie-photo.com/telechargement/dan-fromm-6x9-lenses-v2-2011-03-29.pdf In general the economics are unfavorable.
     
  12. MCrooks

    MCrooks Member

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    Hey Dan, there is no found money here I'm working with little to no budget. I had my brother pick up the copy camera with two lenses for $60. He hasn't gotten my any precise detentions but he guessed the thing stands 4 foot tall 3 wide and 2 deep and weights in at close to 200lbs. All looking like a plus to me, except for the weight. I'll have to wait and see once I get it out here. As for adapting to a shutter I have a friend that works at a full service machine shop that is always willing to take craft beer in trade for machine time and a challenge.

    Also I skimmed the article you shared and it looks like a lot of great info. I'll read it in full tonight. Thanks for passing it on!
     
  13. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Nothing personal, but you've been corrupted. Those little lenses won't come close to covering the formats you want to shoot. That's why they're a distraction. I know, you can always change direction.

    The camera's bellows might be usable for your project.

    That you can get low cost machining is wonderful.

    Good luck, have fun, do your homework,

    Dan
     
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  15. MCrooks

    MCrooks Member

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    I see where your coming from now. Also I just got word that the bellows is 19.75 x 25.25 on the inside opening and has not light leaks! Plus fully functioning rail system, cog drive and ton of usable steel stock. So for sixty bucks I'll count it as a win.
     
  16. Øyvnd:D

    Øyvnd:D Member

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    A 32" is a lens with 1.25 diopter or two +0.625 for better quality. A 40" lens is +1 diopter, or two +0.5. The field curvature would be wonderful, sharpness so-so unless stopped down, but you would not know until you tried. The Leitz 560mm telyt is an achromat, that means sharpness in center is doable with the right lens. You could start with a Canon 500D.
     
  17. MCrooks

    MCrooks Member

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    Not sure how a 500D fits into build or lens discussion of a 20x20 wet plate camera, but I'll sleep on it.
     
  18. outwest

    outwest Subscriber

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    My 25 inch Protar V should do it. Zeiss said it had a 46 inch image circle at small stops. However, f/18 and wet plate don't sound like they go together.
     
  19. Øyvnd:D

    Øyvnd:D Member

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  20. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Reinhold's longest won't cover 20x20, let alone 20x24, but perhaps he can make one long enough to serve.
     
  21. johnielvis

    johnielvis Member

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    you know.....I got this huge contraption--like a giant peephole--anyways---I was experimenting with this thing and found that if I put it behind a big coverage lens, the focal length gets expanded and the coverage as well...I had it mounted behind a 250 fuji w and the image circle was gigantic--I ran out of movements with an 11x14 deardorff studio camera testing it....I didn't ever shoot anything with it like that...it was used as a projector 2x image expander--HUGE 6" piece of glass on one end --negative lens (the "teleconverter")....so if you can find one of them that can take your regular lenses that cover 8x10 and make them supersized to cover uuuuuuuulf. this thing I found would work with the 250 and a 190 wf ektar to expand coverage and focal lengh...but when I tried a 360 on it, it would not form an image--so there's a limit---I thinik with one of them you'd get your coverage without buying a super huge dedicated lens for uuuuulf...

    it's identified as:

    VIC
    2x Visual Image Compensator
    VICOM INC. ROCHESTER, N.Y.
    MADE IN U.S.A.

    there's a sticker on it that says

    "Show It"
    851 W. GRAND AVE.
    CHICAGO, ILLINOIS 60622
    PHONE: 733-5511

    I assure you that at the present day there is no "Show It" or anything even remotely related to this sort of object at grand and halsted....so don't bother calling that number
     
  22. MCrooks

    MCrooks Member

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    Hmmm this is a very interesting line of thought Øyvnd:D & John. I'll have to do some experimenting this weekend. I'm want to put together a basic cardboard mockup that will slide inside itself so I can test the copy lenses I already have.

    Dan - I talked with Reinhold and he is working on a 1000mm FL lens for another client so I'll be following that closely. I am curios about the overall sharpness. I like the soft focus look on some images but the projects I have in mind call for a sharper image.
     
  23. johnielvis

    johnielvis Member

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    yeah---something like this wide angle adapter would do the trick like the thing I have--when used as it's intended, you put it on the front of the lens and it reduces focal length and increases field of view---BUT if you screw this on the BACK of a lens, then it should increase the focal length and increase the coverage circle!!!! same thing just in reverse--I'm surprised the ulf guys and experimenters haven't figured this out yet..

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/731838-REG/16x9_Inc_169_HDWA6X_77_EX_II_0_6X_Wide.html
     
  24. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    hey matt

    reinhold makes and supplies waterhouse stops for his lenses
    check out what the wollaston lenses are pretty sharp stopped down .. :smile:
    maybe if/when you ask him to make the lens, you can have him make
    your own personal set of stops ... like f6.8 or wideopen for soft,
    and f11 or 128 or 32 for sharp :smile:
    maybe he already makes custom waterhouse stops for people ..

    have fun !
    john

    http://www.apug.org/forums/forum44/93999-photagraphys-first-lens-wollaston-meniscus.html
     
  25. craigt

    craigt Member

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    I just returned from a 4000km round trip using my van as a camera shooting 24"x32" tintypes. I was using an 890mm Apo Nikkor that has a huge image circle at portrait distances and still covers 20x24 at infinity. I paid $350 for the lens.

    You can see some of the plates on my blog if you're keen

    http://craigtuffin.tumblr.com/
     
  26. Bertil

    Bertil Subscriber

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    I have 3 APO-Nikkor (process) barrel lenses which, according to Nikon product information, have huge image circles (never been close to make use of it!);
    APO-Nikkor f:9/360 mm, IC = 600mm
    APO-Nikkor f:9/480 mm, IC = 800mm,
    APO-Nikkor f:11/760mm, IC = 1170 mm.
    I use them together with a Sinar (Copal) behind the lens shutter, for 4"x5" to 8"x10" film format.
    I didn't pay a fortune for these lenses some years ago on eBay.
    /Bertil