Lenses from Polaroid Copy Cameras - MP-4 & MP-3

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by holmburgers, Dec 7, 2010.

  1. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    So on my local craigslist there is an Polaroid MP-3 copy camera up for sale. It comes with some lenses that I'm curious about.

    A 105mm f/4.5 lens in a Copal and a 127mm f/4.5 lens, also in a Copal shutter.

    Both shutters only have B & 1/125th, which would be interesting. But I'm wondering what anyone knows about these lenses. I asked for the brand, hopefully they will get back to me soon. I did a bit of searching and many appear to be Taminon (IIRC) and some people on flickr are using them on 8x10".

    So my question is, would they be good on 4x5"? What's their story basically, are they flat field copy lenses, or macro or what? Worth anything? Could they be put in a more useful shutter?

    Thanks!
     
  2. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    I have a 127mm Tominon from an MP3. I got it for free. It has all speeds up to 125 and bulb, and it's one of those self-cocking shutters. My gripes with it are that the aperture is pentagonal, making for ugly blur, so I either use it wide open so the aperture is round, or use it stopped well down so there's no pentagonal highlights in the blur. It barely covers 4x5. I think it's a Tessar design. It seems to be a fine performer and I've done some closeups with it that are very impressive. I'm not sure if it's because it was designed to shoot close up or what.
     
  3. willrea

    willrea Member

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    I have a 105mm that I have used wide open with movements and it has covered 4x5 fine.
     
  4. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Ahh, so it has all speeds from B to 125th? That's good. Thanks guys, keep the comments coming if you've got them!
     
  5. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Um, holmburgers, curb your enthusiasm.

    If you're referring to this http://kansascity.craigslist.org/pho/2097851094.html listing, I'm not sure you want to go near it.

    Questions: is the 105 in or in front of the shutter? MP-3 lenses are generally in shutter (the shutter has a diaphragm, one cell is on each side of it). Most MP-3 lenses were made by Rodenstock and are in or on Prontor Press shutters; the longer ones (> 35 mm) are in shutter. If so, cable release only and another cable release is needed to open the shutter for focusing. MP-4 lenses all mount in front of the shutter and all were made by Tomioka. The MP-4 shutter is always a diaphragmless Copal #1 Press, will be marked MP-4 on the front, and will have an open shutter lever and a shutter release lever. Cable release socket too.

    There is no MP-3 or -4 127/4.5 lens. 127/4.7 in Copal #1 Press for Polaroid Gelcams (CU-5, DS-34, and a few others), yes. This is a very good lens at all distances.

    105 and 127 Tominons for Polaroid cameras are Tessars. The Gelcam 127 shoots very well on 2x3 at all distances (I have one, use it). 105s were offered in shutter (Gelcams) and for front-mounting (MP-4). I've never tried the 105, but since it is a Tessar it won't cover 4x5. Illuminate 4x5, maybe. Put good image in the corners, no way.

    I've had all of the MP-4 Tominons but the 105. OK in their intended use, i.e., at magnifications >= 1:1, except the 135 which is poor. Lousy, as in I tried 'em, wouldn't use 'em, at distance.

    Re brand, MP-3 lenses are usually Rodenstock Ysarons. Also tessar types and I've never tried any of them. Have tried the 35/4 Eurygon, sold it as quickly as I could.

    Re "flat field copy lenses," nearly all lenses are designed to have minimal image curvature. Given the variable and often irregular curvature of the subjects we often shoot, only a real idiot would try to design and make a lens with anything but good flatness of field. Anything else would be useless most of the time.

    With the exception of the 127/4.7 Gelcam lens, there are much better lenses at all of the focal lengths Polaroid offered. As I said, the shorter MP-4 Tominons I tried (17, 35, 50, 75) are all adequate macro lenses.
     
  6. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Hey, good call on the craigslist. That's the one.

    I know the lenses aren't worth the $150... I thought maybe the stand, the accessories and the vacuum pump could add up to something "flippable" and I'd keep the lenses.

    That grain focuser looks to be one of the good kind... can't recall the name. How about those backs, are any of them worthwhile or are they all the 504's or whatever?

    Hopefully they'll come back with more info on the lenses and I can check with your thorough post. Thanks!
     
  7. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    Chris ,

    I advise you to hunt for Polaroid with Rodentock lenses and convert it to film.
    It is the best lens I have ever seen in my life , really , that excellent.
    Its like Ektar but better. I am talking about the photographs not technical side.
    When there was PN 55 , there was its users at polaroid gallery and someone had been taken African peoples portraits. It was excellent. Deepest blacks and most correct portraits and photographs I have ever seen. I will try to find him and give you a link. Your jaw will drop.
    Polaroid 110a , I think this was his camera.

    Umut
     
  8. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    A familiar mistake. I've made it too many times.
     
  9. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Thanks Umut, I'd like to see that stuff, it sounds great.

    And Dan, I have had luck in the past doing flipping, but more often than not you're right, the effort is not worth the $ you make. But, if you can get something you want for free, than that's good. That's how I got a Pentax V Spotmeter!
     
  10. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    They are Tominon lenses... so 4x5" no go?