Old lenses for 4x5

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Sportera, Jun 4, 2006.

  1. Sportera

    Sportera Member

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    Ive been toying with the idea of adding a period lens to my Tachihara kit. What I am after is less technical photograph, not necessarily soft focus but unique. Problem is I don't know where to start. Somthing in the 150-210mm range.

    Any advice and direction would be appreciated.
     
  2. John Kasaian

    John Kasaian Member

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    An old Goerz Dagor. If you don't have one of these, IMHO you should have!

    Also check out the 162mm Wollensak Series II F/4.5 Velostigmat and Kodak 203 F/7.7---nice examples of classic glass that many (myself included) find pleasing.
     
  3. HerrBremerhaven

    HerrBremerhaven Member

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    How about a very old (pre WWII) Zeiss Tessar? You can find these very low priced in barrel mount.

    Ciao!

    Gordon
     
  4. John Kasaian

    John Kasaian Member

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    FWIW, If you like the look of Ansel Adams photos taken with a 10" Wide Field Ektar on an 8x10, you can get an identically designed lens scaled for 4x5 in a Kodak 135mm Wide Field Ektar.
     
  5. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    What period would that be?

    Heliar or Dynar might be a good "period lens", although they tend to be expensive. My 150mm Heliar with camera cost less than half of what a Heliar alone went for the next week, so you might consider something like that?

    Tessars I think are too "consistent". They are good, and have always been. Except for coating, there are no really important diferences between a 1906 and a 2006 model.

    Old Dagors have been mentioned, so I'll just add old Aplanats (or Rapid Rectilinears) too. For "less technical", Aplanat is the way to go.
     
  6. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    A nice '30s Dagor/Angulon or Tessar will have a different 'spice' than contemporary glass; more savory, less astringent. Uncoated, so softer blacks, but both able to make 16x20s from Tri X.

    I've got a feeling a 4 3/4" / 120mm Dagor / Angulon would suit you really well.
     
  7. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    you might surf to equinoxphotographic from time to time.
    jc often has nice vintage/period lenses (and other goodies!) for good prices - and his service is great (he knows his "stuff" too ) ...!

    a couple of the lenses mentioned you might find on
    his virtual shelf .

    -john
     
  8. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I have a 168mm ser. iii Dagor, and in addition to being an older style of lens, it will give you miles of coverage (mine just covers 8x10" stopped down), so it's handy for architecturals.

    A Heliar of around 210mm of course is a nice lens for portraits.
     
  9. ChuckP

    ChuckP Subscriber

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    Maybe the old Kodak lenses. Mainly stripped off cameras using old larger roll film sizes. Sometimes they can be found cheap. I've played with a 130 f7.7 and 108 f7.7 (2x3) and they are different.
     
  10. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    Edward Weston seemed amused at the "newer is better" attitude of some fellow photographers. He used an off-brand Rapid Rectilinear for some of his greatest photos. It may have been made before he was born, and was obsolete before he had his first camera.
     
  11. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

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    There's a Cooke Series II Aviar 178mm on Ebay just now. A Cooke at f4.5 has a delicious look. Last evening a coated 190mm Ektar in a #4 Ilex finished at $67 or some rediculous number less than 70 bucks. The new owner can feel safe that if he took the wonderful Ektar elements out and threw them in the trash, he could probably re-list the shutter as a Goerz Artar shutter wannabe and sell it for $175. Pity. A coated 190mm f4.5 Ektar is as smooth as a '52 Buick straight eight. Contact me offline if you'd like to play with an ancient Bausch & Lomb lantern lens of about 8" length. It's a triplet like the Aviar but has no aperture no shutter. It's up to the photog to figure out how to make it do it's magic.
     
  12. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Uh, Jimbo, the Aviar ain't a triplet. It are a dialyte. I had a nice coated post-WWII 7"/4.5 Aviar for a while. Its a bit of a cult lens, but to my naive eye mine wasn't quite sharp enough.
     
  13. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

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    Guess I need to retake Barbara's Cooke Optics 101 class again. I figured any series II was a triplet. Oh well, in the words of Roseanne Roseannadanna, "never mind"
     
  14. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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  15. ricksplace

    ricksplace Member

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    I have a Zeiss Kodak Anastigmat f6.3 No 4 Pat Feb 23 04. It came off of a large Kodak folder. It covers 4X5 well. It's in a dial set compur. Might be just the thing you are looking for. They come up infrequetly on ebay.
     
  16. DBP

    DBP Member

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    Look for a 3a folder with torn bellows. The lens had to cover 6.5" just to cover the postcard format. Be forewarned, though, the lens may be better than you expect.
     
  17. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Jim, FWIW, I also find the names that TTH put on their lenses extremely confusing. For example, Ser. VII and VIIa are triplets, VIIb is a 4/4 double Gauss. Hmm.

    The VM -- buy a copy if you don't have one already -- explains 'em well enough for me to understand. But since the VM is incomplete so I've had to buy a couple to find out what they were. Cheap thrills, sometimes cheap no thrills.
     
  18. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    This is an understatement. I've just completed a little lens torture exercise. On the emulsion I used with the target I chose etc. etc. etc. a CZJ pre-1912 150/6.3 Tessar produced images that can't be separated from ones made at the same apertures with two 150/9 Apo Ronars and a 150/9 G-Claron. Makes me wonder why I bother acquiring relatively modern lenses.

    I couldn't mount up my ex-3a B&L Zeiss 5 3/8"/6.3, but I included a ~ 7"/6.3 B&L. Same story with it, but images taken with it stood out a little because of the slightly higher magnification.

    Sam, if you want a crappy old lens that will take crappy pictures, look for a no-name Goerz Doppel Anastigmat. NOT a Series III, those are Dagors. The no-names are cheap dialytes and the 130/6.8 I have is flary, unsharp, basically not fit for use even though the original purchaser probably loved it.