Looking for a LF Lens/Shutter

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Ash (uk), Jul 6, 2006.

  1. Ash (uk)

    Ash (uk) Member

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    Hey everyone,

    I was directed here by a member on RangeFinderForum, and I need a little help.


    My parents' old large format field camera (huge fold-out wooden box / leather bellows) is missing its lens and shutter. I'm looking to use this camera, not have it stuck in the wardrobe or on display.

    Since the camera is about 100 years old (my mother bought it maybe 20 years ago or so... it's changed many hands) I'm not after a very expensive lens, and by the responses on RFF, it doesnt matter too much about the lens, more about the shutter mech!


    Has anyone got any idea where I can get a lens/shutter mechanism from? Or does anyone have one for sale (preferably UK). I'm not looking to spend too much at all, and I've been through the usual suspects like eBay and MrCad/beginlaunch.



    Any help is much appreciated. I'll check this thread in a few hours.


    Thanks in advance


    Ash
     
  2. r-brian

    r-brian Member

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    Ash

    Before anyone can begin to help you and give you suggestions, they are going to need to know what size camera this is, 4x5. 8x10, or what. Measure the glass on the back and post the size, then people will give you options.

    Brian
     
  3. Lachlan Young

    Lachlan Young Member

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    Can you post a picture of it?

    Also, do you have any idea what format the camera is ?

    Thanks,

    Lachlan
     
  4. Ash (uk)

    Ash (uk) Member

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    Hi, pretty sure it's 10x8. I'll post a photo and exact measurements as soon as I can.
     
  5. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    Don't run the camera down. Assuming the bellows are solid and the back takes normal film holders it'll take fine pictures. The limit won't be the camera but the lens you put on it.

    You say it's 100 years old. Does it have any film holders with it?

    What kind of lens do you want? Normal?Long or wide? How long will the bellows go? How short will they compress? How big is the lensboard? Odds are the lensboard is more then big enough for any modern lens but best to ask.
     
  6. Ash (uk)

    Ash (uk) Member

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    here we go:

    http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y43/second-belated/DSC00897a.jpg
    front

    http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y43/second-belated/DSC00896a.jpg
    side

    http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y43/second-belated/DSC00895a.jpg
    other side

    http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y43/second-belated/DSC00894a.jpg
    company label

    Full length of bellows as shown in photo's is just over 1', the glass screen on the back measures 10x8. Front lens screw mount is 2 1/2 inch, or 64mm I think

    I'm looking for any lens to begin with, as I really just want to get this thing being used.
     
  7. Ash (uk)

    Ash (uk) Member

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  8. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    Okay you need to get a better measure of how short the bellows go. From the sound of it you might be able to handle something like a 360mm [14"] lens but not anything shorter.

    I don't know the camera but I'd want to be sure:

    1) It uses modern film holders

    2) That lensboard comes off.
     
  9. Ash (uk)

    Ash (uk) Member

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    the bellows compact all the way into the body, so with the focusing screen up, measuring from the back of the lens mount to the framing up to 4 or 5 inches I think. Sorry I've never used LF before so this is all new to me.

    The front lensboard CAN come off, but I don't think it was designed to.

    http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y43/second-belated/DSC00903a.jpg not exactly modern film holders. Two of these, two shots her holder
     
  10. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Well well well - a "Perken Son Rayment"!

    Nice camera, and way too nice to live in a cupboard.

    You could either: A: Try to find a lens which fits in the flange that's mounted on the lensboard, or B: Try to find another lens with flange, where the flange is the same size or a little larger (then mount the new flange on the old lensboard), or C: get a good lens for 8x10" and get a new lensboard made if necessary.

    A, fitting new lens to old flange, sounds tempting but is very unlikely to work. Except for standard shutter sizes, I have exactly TWO lenses with identical threads (two out of - out of - out of - out of about 50).

    B is far easier if you know what you're looking for. You could even get a good one in shutter for less than it costs bouying 50 old lenses to try in the old flange.

    C works, but costs more. At least £50 for a decent one, £150 for a fine one, £200 for a good one.

    A shutter is a nice thing to have. A "newish" (1930 and newer) lens often comes in a shutter, or a Thornton-Pickard shutter can be picked up on ebay for not much money. Even working ones.

    Most of the time I use a hat as a shutter when using very old lenses. That works well, too.

    The main problem with old plate cameras is film/plate holders, especially if you don't have any. It may be possible to find old plate holders which fit your camera, especially since you know who made it. Else you may have to get an adapter made, so you can use modern film holders...
     
  11. Ash (uk)

    Ash (uk) Member

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    Great. Thanks for the help so far.

    Does anyone know of sites that may be able to help me with a not-so-expensive lens? I'm guessing I'll be stuck with a hat or lenscap for these photo's.

    Something tells me this is going to become a labour of love :smile:
     
  12. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I took too long in writing my previous post - now I see the plate holders!

    Use those, with glass plates as backing for the film. My "backing plates" are from clip frames bought on IKEA...
    I attach the film to the glass plates using spray-on "post-it glue" - or orange marmelade in a pinch. You might also be lucky enough to find metal film sheaths; I use those in 18x24cm, but I don't know if they were made in 8x10".

    "sites that may be able to help me with a not-so-expensive lens?" We can do that here. Or have a look at ebay.co.uk, under "Photography > Vintage Photography > Vintage Lenses". Something like a 12" brass lens with f:7.2 is fine, that would be a 100 years old "standard lens" for your camera. Avoid the f:4 or faster, and f:12 and slower, until you know exactly what you want (hint: F:4 and faster means fast portrait lens, very heavy, needs 20" focal length to cover 8x10". f:12 and slower is wide-angle - tiny little things, a 180 to 210mm covers 8x10", and tend to be expensive since so many people want them).
     
  13. Ash (uk)

    Ash (uk) Member

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    sounds good about using clip-frame glass. That stuff is magic. I recently created a MF-film holder for my scanner from one of those :smile:

    As for lenses, under Ole's recommendation, does anyone have one going cheap here then? :D (I have a few various lenses on my eBay watch list finishing at the end of the week as well)

    Thanks