Lens for 20x30": could I make one?

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by Alex Bishop-Thorpe, Nov 9, 2010.

  1. Alex Bishop-Thorpe

    Alex Bishop-Thorpe Member

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    I have an automatic roll paper easil for 20x30", and frankly I'll never use it as an easel. It was a $1 pickup only eBay auction, and works a treat, but I figure if you whack a lens on there you've got one giant camera for paper negs.

    So I'm looking for a lens that would cover 20x30", preferably at infinity but 1:1 would be alright too. I've done a bit of research into ULF lenses and most of them seem to be rare or expensive, but most of them are both. I'd prefer to keep this an affordable project, at least while I figure out if it'll even work. What are my options for making/finding a lens to cover this format? I dont mind single element, and the aperture doesnt matter too much to me as it would all be under artificial light. If al else fails I'll just go with a pinhole, but a lens would be preferable.

    So, tinkers, chime in. Are there some books I should look into? What is the main factor that determines the image circle of a lens? Would it be out of the question to have something like this fabricated?
     
  2. sandholm

    sandholm Subscriber

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    Hmm... not sure.. but for 20x24 you for example have
    19" Dagor
    30" Artar
    30" dagor
    35" Artar
    42" Artar
    550
    750 Apo-Germinar
    1100 Schneider XXL

    but i have no clue if any of them will cover 20x30, also you might want to look into the Ilford positive paper, http://www.ilfordphoto.com/products/producttype.asp?n=5&t=Photographic+Papers

    Does anyone know a source/homepage that list lenses and what they cover?

    cool project, keep us posted
     
  3. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    How about a simple meniscus lens on a nested box arrangement ala Joe VanCleave.
     
  4. sandholm

    sandholm Subscriber

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    I also forgot...

    pinhole :wink:
     
  5. Alex Bishop-Thorpe

    Alex Bishop-Thorpe Member

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    I had been reading up on Meniscus lenses as a nice affordable option, but I had no clue what size to look for in order to get the coverage I'm after. In the mean time, I'm cannibalising an old overhead projector for bits to play with.

    sandholm, thank you for the list, I've also found that a few of the longer Rodenstock Apo-Ronars (600mm+) could suit my needs too. They're actually not as espensive as I expected either.
     
  6. richard ide

    richard ide Subscriber

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    At infinity, you would need around 36" focal length. At 1:1 a 24" focal length would cover. I would suggest process lenses like Apo Nikkors, Artars or Apo Germinars. These sometimes go for very low cost on auction sites. Image quality is superb. I am afraid you would have to provide more details for a tripod recommendation. ;<)
     
  7. sandholm

    sandholm Subscriber

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    no problem, the good thing with these lenses are that they are coming down in price. Personal I have used Schneider 550/11 XXL Fine Art and a 1100 XXL on a 8x20 camera which i then contact printed using the platinum process and the result from thous lenses are stunning. Still, i do believe they are around $5000 new.... so not exactly free...
     
  8. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser

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    For paper negatives almost anything - including a pinhole will work.

    A No. 1 close up lens has a focal length of 1 meter and will cover (I think -- you need an image circle of 900mm). Place the stop in front of the lens, with the concave side of the lens facing the subject. For extra resolution you can go the achromat route with either a 2-element close-up lens or something from Anchor optics.

    You can combine a lens with a pinhole - the combination sharpens the image considerably but keeps the pinhole's 'infinite' depth of field.

    If you want a process lens there is no reason getting anything fancy. A Brown or Ilex will provide more performance than you will need. However, process lenses are made for ~1:1 work and their coverage angle is small so you are going to need a really long one. And it is going to be huge and heavy. I have a 24" Dagor and it weighs about 10 lbs., making the lens support a major bit of work. Conversely, a close-up lens weighs an ounce at most.
     
  9. Allen Friday

    Allen Friday Member

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    Surplus Shed is your friend. Check out the educational lenses as well as their fine lenses.
     
  10. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

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    If you can find an ancient overhead projector the lens in that may work. The ones I remember from grade school were monstrous, and the image field was monstrous, too.

    (Not that I understood image field in grade school. But in my memory it was pretty big.)
     
  11. Alex Bishop-Thorpe

    Alex Bishop-Thorpe Member

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    I have a set of 58mm close up lenses that I got for christmas back in 2006. I knew there was a reason I never gave them up, even if I only used them twice...I just checked, and it looks like the no. 1 would easily cover. That's amazing. I never would have thought of that.

    I never looked at the education lenses section of Surplus Shed, but they have a hell of a range. And that's a hell of a lot of possibilities.
    (Oh great, now I'm gonna spend the whole evening browsing their catalogue again)
    Can anyone reccomend a basic introduction to the topic that would help me understand what combining this element with that element might result in?
    I'm generally from the "well let's just see what that does when I do this" school of science...

    I've got an old overhead projector from a friend that I'm currently taking to pieces - it looks promising too, it seems to be a nice 255mm f/3 lens. That wont cover my format, but it will be good to play with.

    Is focal length the main variable determining the image circle?

    Again, thank you everybody for all of the information.
     
  12. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

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    If you want to aactually make one, che ckout dbOptic software for free design.



    On a lathe you could cut a wooden 2D curve template and apply a cheap diamond tip glass cutter to cut the curve from the template, and fire polish the glass surface on the lathe too.
     
  13. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

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    Focal length alone has very little to do with image circle. For example a 250mm M42 mount lens will likely only cover the 35mm negative area. But a 250mm LF lens will cover much more.



    There\'s far more about lens design that I don\'t understand to explain this. Maybe someone has a good reference work that can help.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 10, 2010
  14. Andrew K

    Andrew K Subscriber

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    Can I make a suggestion? Look for an old bromide/repro camera.

    They are often given away/sold off really cheap. I picked up 3 lenses when the one we had at my old work was thrown out - all Rodenstock lenses that could cover just about 20 X 30.

    I also have a Nikon 560mm APO Repro lens (and a Rodenstock APO Repro lens) at home as well - many of the repro lenses are a wide field lens that will cover far more than you could expect..send me a PM if you have any questions
     
  15. Alex Bishop-Thorpe

    Alex Bishop-Thorpe Member

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    A friend of mine got his Ultraviolet exposure unit (with vaccuum back) through a local graphic arts supplier, one of their clients was getting rid of it and he picked it up for $150. I imagine old copy cameras could be found via similar avenues...surely there's some out there...
    I'll start my experiments with this No.1 closeup lens and work forward from there, a real lens would certainly be nice.
     
  16. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

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    Many tele lenses do cover a lot more than 35mm in a lot of case.


    And strangely... the Canon 17mm TS-E will cover the 645 format (and more) with a lot of movements.
     
  17. David Grenet

    David Grenet Member

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    35mm lenses are generally designed to cover a 35mm frame, and that's about it. In fact if they did cover more it would potentially make them more vulnerable to flare. The TS lens needs to cover more to allow movements, although it sounds like it covers even more than it has to.

    Now, for view camera lenses, a given lens design will have a consistent angle of coverage. As a longer focal length lens needs to be further from the film plane to focus it will cover more area of film.

    This is all a bit off topic really though as I can't really help with which lenses will cover 20x30" sorry!
     
  18. ReallyBigCameras

    ReallyBigCameras Advertiser

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    Many lenses will cover at 1:1, few will cover at infinity.

    APO Artars, APO Ronars, APO Germinars and APO Nikkors 24" (610mm) or longer will cover at 1:1, as will 305mm and 355mm G Clarons and the 360mm WA APO Nikkor. f9 Computars in the 240mm, 270mm and 305m focal lengths will cover at 1:1, as will a 14" Goerz Blue Dot Trigor. Basically, any lens that has an image circle approaching 500mm, or more, at infinity, will cover 20x30" at 1:1. Process lenses that are optimized for 1:1 reproduction work will probably perform better than general purpose, or wide angle designs, but since you likel won't be enlaring (or will you?), that shouldn't matter much.

    At infinity, you're much more limited. A 42" Red Dot Artar, or 1070 APO Ronar will probably cover, as will a 19" or 24" Dagor. A 1000mm APO Germinar should also cover 20x30" at infinity when stopped down.

    I'm sure there are others I've missed, especially at 1:1, but that will give you a few ideas on what to look for.

    Kerry