old projector lens

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Wayne, Jan 27, 2009.

  1. Wayne

    Wayne Subscriber

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    Found someone who has an old projector and lens from a defunct theater, though I havent seen it yet. Wondering if it (the lens) would be good for any photographic fun, since it will never project film again. Obviously there will be logistical issues in using it (I'm not even sure it would fit through the opening on my 8x10, and I presume it has no aperture diaphragm) , but I'm wondering more about optical ones. For one, what focal length might it be? Does it have any significant value?

    I think it is a Bausch and Lomb but I'm not positive. When I find out more about it I can research it better.

    Anyway I can always use it as a paperweight if its nearly free.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 27, 2009
  2. MikeSeb

    MikeSeb Member

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    Sounds like great fun. Can't wait to hear more about your find.
     
  3. Whiteymorange

    Whiteymorange Member

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    Jim Galli has used (and sold) a number of old projector lenses over the last few years. Check out his posts for interesting "fuzzy pictures" taken with them. I use a few projector lenses myself, favorite among them a Bausch and Lomb made for the Edison Manufacturing company, a lens for one of the first commercially viable motion picture machines, the Projecting Kinetoscope. Other popular donor sources are magic lantern projectors - good for some fun Petzval lenses. Aperture control is not really part of the game - they are used wide open, though I've seen some larger varieties that have had slots cut in the side for the insertion of Waterhouse stops.

    Worth anything? That depends on what people want to buy. Like much the gear we analog types play with, there may be a good market among fans - mainly on websites like this one. "Soft focus lenses" (not the same thing, I know, but the term gets used a lot for old brass lenses of various designs) are currently bringing a good bit of money in certain circles. They are definitely worth using. Have fun.
     
  4. z3guy

    z3guy Member

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    Wayne,
    Having been a movie theatre projectionist, if the lens is from a commercial theatre it may bee too heavy for many cameras. My recollection is that they weighed several pounds. Other than that, if it fits it may be a lot of fun.

    Paul
     
  5. Hamster

    Hamster Member

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    I am also interested in what you managed to do with your lens. i just bought a 7cm IKON Kinostar for 1 eur off ebay and am wondering what optical fun I can have with it.
     
  6. Wayne

    Wayne Subscriber

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    I dont have the lens yet. I just found someone who has it. I havent even asked them if they would part with it, though I know its just sitting in an attic with the parts from the projector. Just wanted to inquire here before I inquire about the lens--I'm not willing to give more than a token payment for it, maybe $25. Sounds like I might have to use 2 tripods if I can even get it in my camera somehow.
     
  7. cooltouch

    cooltouch Member

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    I have a Microtecnica "Hi-Fi" 50mm/1.3 projector lens, made in Switzerland, that I use for a loupe. I picked it up at a camera show, probably almost 20 years ago, for a few bucks. I suspect it was originally used on a 16mm projector. It's coated, sharp even in the corners, and has an image circle just large enough to see a 35mm slide from edge to edge (the slide must be held flush to the edge of the lens in order to be in focus). Reversed, it provides about 1.5x magnification, which I find sufficient for inspecting slides for critical sharpness.

    If one wanted to use this lens for photography it would be of limited value. No aperture blades, and the image circle barely covers 35mm (film plane is roughly 1" from the rear of the lens).

    Best,

    Michael