Looking for European SKGrimes

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by medform-norm, Jun 26, 2005.

  1. medform-norm

    medform-norm Member

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    Today was lens day for us.

    Mounted a G-Claron 240 in an old 135 mm Compur shutter and it's beatiful now that those crude pentacon shaped iris blades are out of the picture. All we need to do to make it perfect is to re-calibrate the new assembly to get the F-stops matched. BTW it seems the G-Claron has won one stop in this new shutter - it seems to open up as far as 7.7 now. Or is this optical illusion?

    We need another shutter for a G-Claron 150 mm - but the big question is: what shutter will fit this lens? Suggestions anyone? Doesn't really matter what type of shutter, as long as it has nice irisblades. That route seems easier than finding separate iris blades.

    The one disappointment of the day was the odd ball Wallace Heaton Zodelar. Nice large piece of glass, unknown lens design, marked no.7, no focal length, just F4.5. Looks promising, but it badly needs a cleaning: the front element -composed of two or three cells - has a slight haze inside and some black spots, looks like chips from paint??? Tried everything to take this thing apart to get to the lens elements, but it just won't budge. It seems to be of a rather peculiar construction. Normally, the front retaining ring should come off, but it seems there is no thread. Impossible to unscrew without special tools. OR impossible to screw because it is unscrewable per se. Tried to find access on the rear of this element. Found some ribbed ring that looks like it could be screwable, but again, no! Someone must have glued the whole thing together, but that is hard to believe.

    We have given up. For the first time ever. What we need, is a continental European SK Grimes or some other lens specialist that will take this darned lens apart professionally to get it back into shape. Problem is: we don't know anyone that can. Does anyone here have a secret tip?

    Thanks, Norm
     
  2. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Ask on http://www.galerie-photo.info/forum/ , the french LF forum. They've discussed machinists and lens repair shops fairly recently. Also look around on the site, IIRC a few useful names are listed.

    For info in shutter sizes for Schneider lenses, visit http://www.schneiderkreuznach.com/archiv/archiv.htm

    The Vade Mecum says this about f/4.5 Zodellars: "(b) f4.5 This was German-sourced in 1924-5 and there is no hint of it being convertible, but rather it gave a good angle of coverage such as 10x8in with an f4.5/8.25in lens.(B.J.A. 1925, p364, 640advert.). It and the f3.5 could be used as soft focus lenses by unscrewing the front cells by up to one complete turn. They were claimed to be flare resistant and very sharp. The list was: f4.5 for 4.25, 4.75, 5.75, 6.0, 6.5, 7.25, 8.5, 9.5in where 6in was for 5x4in. For a use on a stereo camera there was a pair of convertible f4.5/3.25in Zodellar lenses in Stereo Compur, see B.J.A. 1926, p347. (There were few convertible f4.5 designs, but the Goerz Dogmar was a possible example. But the 1925 advert may explain it: there were accessory lenses sold for wide and long focus which may have allowed it to be classed as convertible.)" The VM isn't always right, so look at your lens.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 26, 2005
  3. John Kasaian

    John Kasaian Member

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    I think the 150 G-Claron will take a No. "0" prontor or copal.

    Good luck!
     
  4. jjstafford

    jjstafford Inactive

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    If the Euro machinist is as good as S.K. Grimes, Inc, and _reasonable_ in price, I'll send business there from my USA address in a heartbeat. Grimes' is just out of hand, stupid expensive.
     
  5. medform-norm

    medform-norm Member

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    Indeed, so I read. Now what confuses me is the possibillity that we have older design G-Clarons. Both have a a serial number starting with 12, dating back to mid-seventies ('73). This means they could be the dagor type (6/2) rather than the aplanat ones (6/4), and it's been said about these earlier `G-Clarons that they use different size shutters. I have no idea how to measure pitch on a thread, nor how to figure out what will fit other than trial and error. I was hoping someone here (Jim Galli?) might have had experience with mounting these older G-Clarons...

    but I'll keep the Prontor "0" in mind. Thanks for the tip.
     
  6. medform-norm

    medform-norm Member

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    Thanks a million, Dan, what a wealth of information! I think we have a 9,5 inch Zodellar, we measured it to be roughly 240mm. so that makes sense. Coverage should be immense! OTOH I don't know if this one has an unscrewable front cell. It seems the threading stops just short of the retaining ring. But it is hard to figure out what is going on in that area. It looks like it could be a sharp lens, so it could be worth getting it cleaned, especially taking into account that it cost us next to nothing: 5,50 GBP!

    About the shutter sizes: I'll check in the Schneider PDF, once I've figured out what type of G-Claron we have. I've downloaded the brochures.

    And now I'll rev up my French, put on my best accent and trot on to the French LF gang. :smile:
     
  7. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    www.srbfilm.co.uk At the current exchange rate, probably not worth using, alas. Oh, for the days when one UK Pound cost $US 1.05!
     
  8. avandesande

    avandesande Member

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    There are alot of other good lens machinists in the US.

     
  9. medform-norm

    medform-norm Member

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    Well, maybe it's time to compile a new list of addresses we can recommend on either side of the globe. Your contribution would be welcome.

    Tomorrow we're taking Zodelar to a repair guy in our neighbourhood. See what he says/does. I know him as the Dutch mr. Rollei, but I don't know how good he is on non-Rollei stuff. We'll see.

    I've found some reference about Dutch machinists and camera repair places, but have no first-hand experience. And I don't want to judge from what I read on the web about them. It seems we have just some smaller repair stations, ranging from pretty simplistic hobbiest doing a good job on 35mm to very hi-tech instrument making companies. But nothing with the dedication and specialization of the SKGrimes company. SKGrimes may be expensive, but if I really needed help for expensive lenses, I would trust them with it sooner than anyone else.

    BTW: the old 150mm G-Claron fits in the Synchro-Compur of our 105 Xenar, but we don't know if the distance is right. It seems to look good. Now we need another Synchro-Compur, as the Xenar is staying where it is.
     
  10. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Hi Norm, what is the thread diameter and pitch on your old 150mm G-Claron?
     
  11. medform-norm

    medform-norm Member

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    Hi Tom,
    "thread diameter" and "pitch" are words I can use in a discussion without blowing my cover, but which I do not completely understand nonetheless, if I'm honest about it. Where do I measure the thread diameter? Where do I start to count if I want to calculate pitch? What good is this information going to do me? We normally work by experience and mechanical insight rather than mathematics and calculus. Seems to be a matter of which parts of your brain are more active than others. So, please explain your words like if you would to a 3 year old.
     
  12. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Hope this helps, Norm.

    Threads
    Threads are an integral part of many mounting components - like bolts, screws and lenses.

    English notation is thread diameter (inches) x threads per inch.

    Metric notation is thread diameter (mm) x thread pitch (mm) (e.g. 42mm x 0.75mm).

    Lens Thread Diameter
    Lens thread diameter is the outer diameter of the threaded portion of the lens body (or lens element).

    Thread Pitch
    Metric threads are specified with a thread pitch instead of a thread count. The thread pitch is the distance between threads expressed in millimeters (measured along the length of the threads). For example a thread pitch of 1.5 means that the distance between one thread and the next is 1.5mm. In general smaller diameter devices have finer thread so they have lower thread pitch.
     
  13. medform-norm

    medform-norm Member

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    Well explained, Tom, that couldn't have been clearer! All the mystery has cleared up like a spring fog in the morning sun. Thanks a lot.

    The G-Claron front and back elements both have a Lens Thread Diameter of 2,85mm or 1 1/8 inch. For measuring the pitch we don't have the right tools. It seems to have 4 threads on 1/16th of an inch = 64 thread per inch. (Does that sound right?).

    Does this help to find the right shutter in any way? We guess it will very likely be a german/metric shutter, and not an english one.

    Regards, Norm
     
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  15. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Norm, 1 1/8 inch is 28,57mm. 64 threads per inch indicates a metric pitch of about 0,4mm

    If your thread diameter is actually 29,5mm that equals the thread diameter of a current 150mm G-Claron and it is also the thread diameter of the Copal 0 shutter.

    The thread pitch of a current 150mm G-Claron is 0,5mm. 0,5mm is also the thread pitch on the Copal 0.

    http://photoweb.net/pw_tech/copal.html
     
  16. medform-norm

    medform-norm Member

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    Very nice table with data. Bookmarked that. I suppose we really have an older G-claron, as the diameter is exactly 1 1/8 inch. Someone on another forum reported a difference in diameter between older and newer G-Clarons. As to the thread pitch: I won't know till we measure it correctly.

    That being said, it seems to fit a Synchro Compur nicely. You might not by any know where I can thread pitches of Synchro's?

    I'd prefer getting a Synchro if possible, Copal shutters tend to be little on the expensive side.
     
  17. David H. Bebbington

    David H. Bebbington Inactive

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    Good old-fashioned repairmen are getting scarce (which may be why Grimes charges so much).
    If you specifically want someone to dismantle and clean a lens, try:

    Optical Instruments (Balham) Ltd
    Unit 39
    Neville Court
    27 – 43 Neville Road
    Croydon
    Surrey CR0 2DS
    UK
    Tel.: 020 8664 9799

    To give you an example, they are currently dismantling and partly repolishing and coating a 12" f4.5 Dallmeyer Serrac for me and also servicing the #5 Compound shutter. I have wasted money in the past trying to save lenses that were beyond hope, but one like this I think is worthwhile - couldn't find anyone else to do it. Dismantling cemented groups seems to be the problem.

    PS:
    http://www.gandolficameras.com/
    have made parts for old view cameras for me in the past - not cheap, but good.
    For threaded adapters, would echo earlier recommendation of srb film services. I think fundamentally they will do anything that can be done with a lathe. It can be worth asking local machinists - I once had a local workshop make a lot of lens panels and bellows frames for a De Vere monorail - I caught them when they weren't busy and they did a great job quickly for not much money. Shortly afterwards they got a really big contract and couldn't take any more work!
     
  18. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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  19. David H. Bebbington

    David H. Bebbington Inactive

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    I'm sure they're good, Dan, but their prices seem to be pitched at the professional motion picture market, whereas for example the Serrac repair and shutter overhaul I mentioned will cost around £150 - enough, but affordable!
     
  20. medform-norm

    medform-norm Member

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    Succes with Zodelar

    Hi Guys,
    while you have been giving away good tips, we took Zodelar to Mr. Rollei Holland and he helped us take the lens apart so it could get cleaned- for free! His trick was to use something called Bison Thinning Fluid, applied very sparingly with a thin tweezer on the ring that was stuck and 1 minute later the Zodelar gave up it's resistance and opened up like there never had been a problem. Now it's a lot cleaner. Plus we could get a look at the lens design. It's probably a Tessar type. We took two test shots, but forgot the lightmeter and back home found out we had underexposed. Another DUH moment. Next time better. It looks like a promising lens.

    Mr. Rollei Holland is a very nice man who can do a lot of repairs on 35mm and medium format cameras plus the occasional shutter. He admitted honestly not to know a lot about lens design and optics. Nor did he know a Dutch equivalent Grimes - he only mentioned a place that had totally screwed up a lens for him! I'll reserve a black list for another thread.

    G-Claron update: reading the outer thread diameter by measuring from the ridges of the threads, not the cavities, gets us to 29,5 mm - so maybe Tom was right after all. Then we would have a newer model G-Claron which was made in '74, according to the Schneider archive. Perhaps it's possible, who knows?
     
  21. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    True, but you can get spare parts from Copal for the Copal shutters.

    Compur is no longer in business, so spare part availability can present a serious problem (unless you are capable of making spares).

    IMO, Copal's aperture control design (logarithmic) is superior to Compur's (linear).
     
  22. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    David, you're right, they're much pricier than the much-maligned (for price, not quality of work) SKGrimes. FWIW, SKG's price for a shutter overhaul is typically < $US 100 and they recently charged me not too much to dismantle a 38/4.5 Biogon and remove crud from the inside of the rear element. But AFAIK SKG doesn't repolish or coat ...

    On another topic, I've been wondering for a while why Serracs command such relatively old prices. Can you explain it? To me they seem like just garden variety f/4.5 tessar types.

    Cheers,

    Dan
     
  23. avandesande

    avandesande Member

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    Have at it

    http://groups-beta.google.com/groups?q=lens+repair+cla

     
  24. David H. Bebbington

    David H. Bebbington Inactive

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    A Serrac IS a Tessar-type lens, of course. The reason I bought mine and am spending money on it is just because it is an f4.5, with which I hope to obtain interesting modeling and pronounced out-of-focus backgrounds at full aperture. I really have not seen too many f4.5s of this length in a shutter, there seem to be quite a lot of Russian 300 mm barrel lenses, of course f5.6 Symmars of various ages and plenty of process-type lenses of f9 to 11. Aside from anything else, an f4.5 does give a nice bright focusing image!

    Regards,

    David
     
  25. medform-norm

    medform-norm Member

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    Hi A!

    never thought of going and looking there. Never spend time on the Google groups since IME they are less polite than here, even taken into account the smallish skirmishes we tend to have now and then.

    Will ook through this long list once there is time. But how does one go about it filtering out the non-European threads? That's a question I'll need to solve, since I sure ain't sending stuff to Virginia if I can help it.
     
  26. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    What's a "relatively old price"? Is that something like the Lancaster Patent Rectigraphic 12x10" which cost me the princely sum of £24 - the same as it cost new in 1904?

    I had a Xenar 300/f:4.5 in Compound #5 shutter, which was the biggest of the compounds. As you say nice and bright, and with that DOF there is no doubt at all about whether it's in focus or not...