My "New" Focusing Lupe

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by naturephoto1, Jun 7, 2006.

  1. naturephoto1

    naturephoto1 Subscriber

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    Well I may not have done as well as David b for his new enlarger, but I made a purchase of a new focusing lupe over at eBay yesterday.

    Having just recently replaced my Ground Glass of my Linhof Technikardan 45S with a new Satin Snow Ground Glass I wanted another focusing lupe to take the place of my trusty 7X Wista Hood Lupe. The Wista is one of those extendable lupes that allows for work with a Hood. The lupe is long with good optics. But, I wanted something to take its place and something that would work well with the about 1 stop brighter, finer grained Satin Snow GG with and without my Linhof Fresnel Screen.

    I know that most of you use a lupe in the 4X - 6X range, but with the new GG I thought an 8X might do the trick.

    I had an order (backorder) for an 8X Silvestri Lupe for almost 3 months and finally decided to find an alternative.

    So I had been watching 3 Schneider lupes over at eBay:

    I lost the bid on the this one:

    http://tinyurl.com/pqycu

    Watched this one close a short time ago:

    http://tinyurl.com/pluwz

    This is the one that I won yesterday:

    http://tinyurl.com/mq3kn

    I think that my won Lupe should prove a great asset and didn't cost me that much. By the way I cancelled the order on the Silvestri lupe.

    Rich
     
  2. roteague

    roteague Member

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    Let me know how it works out. I'm using a Toyo 3.6X - I was thinking about upgrading.
     
  3. naturephoto1

    naturephoto1 Subscriber

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    Robert,

    No problem. As I had mentioned to you in the past, the Satin Snow Ground Glass (I can't recall but I thought that you said you had one as well) was about 1 stop brighter and a finer surface than the original Linhof screen. The finer grind to the glass and the about 1 stop brighter viewing have made it much easier to focus my slower Rodenstock f6.8 75mm and 90mm Rodenstock Grandagon N MC, Rodenstock f9.0 240mm, 300mm, 360mm Apo Ronar (240 & 300 are MC), and my Nikon f 11/f16 500/720mm ED T lenses. Viewing under a good focusing cloth with this new ground glass is a definite improvement.

    Rich
     
  4. User Removed

    User Removed Guest

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    Wow! It weights 1 1/2 pounds! Thats quite alot of extra weight to carry around.
     
  5. roteague

    roteague Member

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    Perhaps the seller just wanted to inflate the purchase price a bit. :D
     
  6. naturephoto1

    naturephoto1 Subscriber

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    The plot thickens. As it turns out, I was the second highest bidder on the first lupe:

    http://tinyurl.com/pqycu

    I received an e-mail from the seller of that item last evening at about 7:28PM Eastern time indicating that the winner of the lupe had not responded or made payment. The seller inquired whether I was still interested and if I were he was going to offer me a 2nd chance offer. Since I had already purchased the poorer condition but less expensive lupe I declined. I know some of you may have question regarding the seller and whether or not someone was trying to...... But, I will give the guy the benefit of the doubt, he appears to have a good strong history and is honest.

    Rich
     
  7. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    There is no way to determine, absolutely, the honesty of the seller; however this "Second Best Bidder" ploy is a well recognized "inflate" system. The seller is not satisfied with the bidding, so s/he claims to receive an unreasonably high bid (which does not exist) with the inevitable outcome of, "The buyer did not honor their commitment - so, seeing that YOU are interested ... I'll give you a marvelous chance to `come close' to the value established by Mr. Unfortunately-did-not-complete-the-transaction". Done with the hope of receiving a LOT more than the seller would have received if the actual high bid had been accepted.

    I am not very happy with eBay. While NOT statistically valid, I have had a couple of unfortunate experiences where I pulled out all the stops and complained wide open, availing myself of every type of "consumer protection" listed - so far, the only thing that has actually worked was to effect a "chargeback" through MasterCard. That said, my complaints had *no* significant effect on the seller's rating; (99.4% or 98.0%) seemed to stay much the same.

    Hmmm... Interesting!!! Out of curiousity, I reviewed the comments directed to this SELLER. A significant number of them contained the same mistake - referring to the SELLER as a BUYER ... ; "Great buyer, eager and salivating to do business with him again, as soon as possible."

    I feel like a teacher, correcting papers, and discovering the same error made on many of them. I wonder if there is some kind of 'padding" going on...
     
  8. Mike Kovacs

    Mike Kovacs Member

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    Myself I use a Cabin 4x loupe. Its the exact same loupe marketed by Mamiya in the USA, at about half the price!

    Leo's in Vancouver BC can probably sell you one. Mine was something like $75 Canadian. I didn't find the Schneiders impressive in comparison - optically just as good but the cabin is all metal, not plastic construction.
     
  9. Capocheny

    Capocheny Member

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    I've used all kinds of loupes in the past but have now settled on a Horseman 6x loupe that is in a length and shape similar to the Toyo model. I did try a Schneider loupe but, like Mike, didn't care for it all that much.

    I bought it at a very reasonable price. It's now what I use 95% of the time on Dave's SatinSnow gg for both my 4x5 and 5x7 cameras. I'll most likely order one for the new 8x10 that I've just picked up as well.

    Rich, you don't find the 8x strength magnifies the groundglass too much? And, was that a Sylvestri tilting loupe that you had on order? :smile:

    Cheers
     
  10. naturephoto1

    naturephoto1 Subscriber

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    This whole thing is getting a bit weird. Subsequent to my last posting, I got another e-mail from the seller of the initially posted Schneider lupe asking me if we can do something. He is supposed to be selling all his Contax 645 etc. equipment to do a 200 mile I believe trek through China with a 4x5.

    In any case, getting back to the several comments. First, I do not know if the lupe that won which I have yet to receive is in fact made of metal or plastic.

    I did want something lighter than my 7X Wista Hood Lupe that weighed about 5 oz. I have used the 7X lupe for some years, though it would pick up the "concentric" rings on the Fresnel Lens and the grind of the Linhof GG in most instances, it was certainly doable for focus.

    With Dave's new Satin Snow Ground Glass, focusing is certainly easier and brighter with the about 1 stop gain in brightness and the finer grind. That is both with and without the Fresnel lens in place. Focusing to this point with the Satin Snow GG has been with the 7X Wista Hood Lupe.

    With the added brightness of the Satin Snow GG and finer grind I really do not believe that the increase from a 7X to an 8X magnification will make that much of a difference. I need to get critical focus as best I can though because I frequently sell images that are 24" x 30", some 30" x 38" and the potential for 40" x 50" Chromira/Lightjet prints all from 4X5.

    No, I had special ordered a straight 8X Silvestri Lupe from Bromwell (this is listed in the Silvestri catalog, but not imported into the US). It was not the tilting lupe. Part of the problem with the set-up of the Linhof Technikardan 45S is that the Fresnel Lens is closest to the photographer. I like that set-up (this gives the photographer an easier time if he wishes to work with or without the Fresnel Lens). The problem with the metal Lupes (including the tilting 6X Silvestri Lupe) is the potential for damage/scratching of the soft Fresnel material. I know that there are ways around the problem of the metal against the plastic lens, but I wanted something that would be a little easier on the Fresnel lens. That was the reason for looking at the plastic Silvestri 8X Lupe or in the case of the Schneider 8X lupe that I won on eBay. The Schneider Lupe has a "gasket" at the bottom of the Lupe that will protect the Fresnel Lens. That is true, whether the Lupe housing is plastic or metal.

    Rich
     
  11. Capocheny

    Capocheny Member

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    Hi Richard,

    :smile: Be careful of offers from second sellers! :smile:

    If you ever get a chance to try the Horseman loupe... it's pretty nice. I also have a Kodak loupe, the Sylvestri tilting loupe, a Fuji loupe, a Toyo loupe, and a Leitz loupe. My favorite is now the Horseman version. It's a bit longer so it isn't as much of a pita as the short, short Schneiders, which I got rid of a short while ago.

    Again, the little tilting Sylvestri is a pita when you're up so close to the gg. That's just my take on these short length loupes.

    Well, enjoy your new loupe...:smile:

    Cheers
     
  12. naturephoto1

    naturephoto1 Subscriber

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    Thanks for the comments and suggestions. I also have the Leica loupe which I like very much, but that one I want to keep at home and not take out into the field. I appreciate your comment regarding the Horseman Lupe, something for consideration (and about the same length of my Wista Hood Lupe).

    I appreciate that a short lupe can and may present itself as a problem. After checking back over other eBay listing of Schneider Lupes of the same age period I believe that lupe that I am getting is in-fact a metal housing (however, I could be incorrect). For $41 plus shipping, I think that this was a good price. Additionally, I do like the bottom of the Schneider Lupe so that it should not damage/scratch my Fresnel Lens. If I find that it is a problem for length and in particular when cold due to ones breath, I may follow your suggestion regarding the Horseman Lupe.

    I will report in once I receive and have a chance to try the Schneider Lupe.

    Rich
     
  13. Capocheny

    Capocheny Member

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    Hi Rich,

    I understand what you mean about the Leica loupe... it'd be terrible to lose that baby in the field!!! :sad:

    $41... that's a really decent price for the Schneider loupe. They sell (retail) for about $135CDN up here. But, the ones here aren't metal... they're made of plastic.

    Anyway, FWIW, I just found it awkward to hold up against the gg due to its shortness. But, I know there are a lot of dedicated fans of these loupes out there. They can't all be wrong! :smile: Or.... (just kidding! :smile:)

    Good luck and let us know how you like it.

    Cheers



     
  14. wilsonneal

    wilsonneal Member

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    I have a Schneider 8x focusing loupe that is very good for looking at film, but I think it is a little too much magnification for GG. When I use it I feel like I am looking at the glass texture more than the aerial image. I am casually looking for an inexpensive 4x, I think. I like the look of those Fuji's that keep coming up, but I don't know that they're really worth the $40 or $50 they've been getting at auction (I think they were actually a free premium when you bought Fuji film??).
    N
     
  15. naturephoto1

    naturephoto1 Subscriber

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    Actually, I have a lot of lupes from which to choose including: a 4X Rodenstock, 4X Horizon, 4X Fuji, 3X 6X6 Aspheric Rodenstock, 5X Leica, and the 7X Wista Hood Lupe. I have been using the Wista Lupe for years, it has good optics and though it does pick up a bit of the Fresnel Lens and the original Linhof Ground Glass, I have found it quite usable.

    But, now that I have the Satin Snow GG installed into Linhof Technikardan 45S, I have about an additional stop of light and the grind of the GG is not as visible as the original GG. So far, I have found that the 7X Wista Lupe relatively easy to work with the new Satin Snow GG. As mentioned I do not feel that there will be that much difference in magnification between the 7X Wista and 8X magnification of the Schneider Lupe. But, I will have to check the Lupe when it arrives. Also, as mentioned I need critical focus due to the size prints made of between 24" x 30" to 40" x 50".

    By the way the original Fuji Lupes (including the one that I have in black) were a Fuji Giveaway. I think that those in silver were later released for sale. By the way these do have good optics.

    Rich
     
  16. naturephoto1

    naturephoto1 Subscriber

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    I have decided to also make this into a new thread.

    Well, I wanted to let everyone know that I received the Schneider 8X Lupe. First of all, I was in error the housing does appear to be made out of plastic. The lupe is smaller than I would have thought, has good optics, and weighs a remarkable 1.2 oz including the neck strap.

    I have run some non scientific tests of this lupe and a series of others that may be of interest to read. First I set up my Linhof Technikardan 45S with a new Satin Snow GG and a grid overlay, Linhof Fresnel, with a hybrid BlackJacket Dark cloth, mounted on one of my smaller Gitzo Carbon fiber tripods- the 1257LVL. The camera was mounted via 2 Arca 3" QR plates to a Kirk 2 1/2" Arca Type QR which was attached to a Markins M20. Let me make comment however that in the tests I did not lock the controls of the camera.

    I used 3 lenses to test the set-up a Rodenstock f6.8 90mm Grandagon N MC, Rodenstock f9.0 300mm Apo Ronar, and a Nikon f11.0 500mm ED T Telephoto lens. All lenses were used wide open to check the ease of use of a series of lupes with these slower optics. Most of the tests were conducted using the Rodenstock f9.0 300mm Apo Ronar and the Nikon f11.0 500mm ED T Telephoto.

    I compared the focus and ease of focus of the following lupes: 1) Schneider Kreuznach 8X Lupe, 2) Wista 7X Hood Lupe, 3) 5X Leica Universal Lupe, 4) Fujifilm Professional 4X Lupe, 5) Rodenstock 4X Lupe, 6) Horizon 4X Lupe, and 7) Rodenstock 6x6 3X Lupe.

    I am quite near sited and wear glasses, but frequently will focus my cameras including my Technikardan 45S without them. All the tests were focused with my left eye without glasses.

    I focused on several items outside, one the key hole of a lock to an outside door to my garage that was about 2/3 out from the center and a set of shutters on the house behind my home which were between center and about 1/3 out from the center.

    I found that the Schneider 8X lupe is usable with these lenses, but with some difficulty. This narrow field Lupe optics are sharp, but it did pick up more grain of the ground glass and the Fresnel Lens. This is short with low eye relief and requires the viewer to be looking right down the lens axis otherwise there are abberation problems. I have to decide for myself how I want to use this new lupe, I may carry it on ocassion and/or for the lightest weight backpacking lupe.

    I was unable to adjust the focus of my Rodenstock 6 x 6 3X lupe for ground glass focusing.

    The Wista 7X Hood Lupe which has been my go to Lupe for years performed quite well with a good distance from the ground glass, but relatively narrow field of view. The optics are sharp, but picked up less grain from the ground glass and the Fresnel Lens that the 8X Lupe but a little more than the 5X and the 4X Lupes.

    The performance of the Rodenstock and the Fujifilm Professional 4X Lupe were similar but not up to the performance of the Horizon 4X and the Leica 5X Lupes. The Horizon and the Leica seemed close in performance, the Leica perhaps slightly better. Of all the Lupes the Leica is the most expensive and probably the best constructed.

    The surprise of all the Lupes is the Horizon which was a gift from one of my friends at Bogen Photo (they used to be the distributor) and this one needed the skirt to be glued back in place. The Leica Lupe may be slightly more magnification at 5X than the Horizon at 4X. From what I was told by my friends at Bogen, and I can not confirm this, this Russian Lupe is actually made from Zeiss Jena optics. Judging from the performance, I believe it. This is a great inexpensive Lupe (plastic housing) if anyone is looking for one. It has a Square skirt and a tremendous field of view. The image was quite bright, extremely sharp and contrasty with very good color, and quite detailed.

    For me at this point, I believe that my first choice for lupes will either be my Horizon 4X or my Wista 7X Hood Lupe, with the Schneider 8X lupe selected primarily for light weight backpacking or to supplement the Horizon. Now all I have to do is to make a neck strap for the Horizon and I am in business.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 15, 2006
  17. Baxter Bradford

    Baxter Bradford Member

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    Hi Rich
    Ebay issues aside, this looks like the lupe I have been using for 2 -3 years. It works very well and weighs more like 1 1/2 ounces. Great little thing. Drawback is that can't get right to edges of GG. I still carry the Silvestri 6x tilting loupe, but cannot remember the last time I used it.

    Reason I can't say for sure that it is the same as mine is that once I'd adjusted the focussing, I wrapped black pvc tape around it to lock the thread.
     
  18. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    I have a Peak x7 and a Nikon x7 and they are sufficient for me.