Old shutters and lenses.

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by waynecrider, Nov 12, 2005.

  1. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

    Messages:
    2,297
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2003
    Location:
    Floriduh
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I have an old Ilex Ansco lens, on the front lens element it says, Ilex Rapid Rectilinear / Rochester NY. It has front and rear elements. It's off of God knows what, as it was a gift from an APUG member, and it has a good shutter but the elements are loose because of the retainers are not seating correctly and are not fixable. Is it possible the lens is threaded in American sizes rather then metric? I tried a Menicus lens off a old bad Kodak shutter (lens element screws into the back of the Kodak shutter) that "seems" to thread in. I'm going to look further and see if I can find other possibly better elements as even the Menicus element is slightly loose and I can;t see a way of tightning the retainer. The outside shutter mounting threads to the board look to be 24mm - 9/16", inside thread diameter about 22mm - 7/8". What shutter size might this be? I guess the lens is off an old folder, don't really know the focal length, but would like to find something to cover 6x9. I want to fool around with some older lenses like this for portraits and some alt landscapes.

    Are there other old lenses off folders that I can look for that would cover the 6x9 format?
     
  2. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    9,281
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2002
    Location:
    Bergen, Norw
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    A thread gauge can be a useful thing to own...

    Back in the Rapid Rectilinear days there were no standards. Shutters were made in a bewildering number of sizes and threads - they were made to fit the lenses rather than opposite. Don't expect a lens from one maker to fit into a shutter for a lens from another maker!

    If you have a couple of other lenses, you can estimate the focal length of the unknow one by using the technique described in this article: http://www.apug.org/forums/article.php?a=146 .

    BTW, a Rapid Rectilinear almost certainly has "imperial" threads. If it were metric it would be an Aplanat (same lens, different nationality).
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2005
  3. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

    Messages:
    4,168
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Um, Ole, if I have it right threading for UK-made lenses was standardized -- RPS standard, described somewhere in the Vade Mecum -- by the time RR lenses came in. But Wayne's is US-made, by Ilex in Rochester, NY so if its threading conforms to a standard the standard probably isn't the RPS one.

    Also, are you sure that RRs are anastigmatic? I ask because if I understand things correctly they were displaced by a variety of anastigmats. And in Lenses in Photography, Kingslake is explicit that the first anastigmats were invented long after the RR.

    Wayne, from your many posts I've formed the impression that you're one of the cheapest people in existence -- I'm cheaper than you, so don't feel too proud -- but I think you've just outdone yourself. You have a suspect lens that you can't make right and you want to replace the elements from something else, required spacing unknown, and go forwards. This seems pretty, um, optimistic. You've just earned the Murray Leshner Extracting Expensive Lemons From Free Lemonade Award.

    But if you're looking for lenses that will work on 6x9 and that don't cost much, anything from an old Kodak folder that uses film no smaller than 120 will do. These lenses' drawback is that the ones for films larger than 120 are longer than normal for 6x9. I have a couple of B&L Tessars, both longer than 4", that don't shoot badly on 6x9. Or look for a cheap 101/4.5 Ektar or Raptar.

    Good luck, go on having fun,

    Dan
     
  4. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    9,281
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2002
    Location:
    Bergen, Norw
    Shooter:
    Large Format

    AAAARRRRRGGH!!!

    TYPO ALERT: For "anastigmat" read "Aplanat". I'll fix it in my original post too - thanks for noticing!


    As to "standardised threads": This was a result of a standardisation of barrel diameters, whch was fairly easy in the UK since there were only two or three barrel makers supplying all the opticians. But out of the old British lenses I have, only one has one of these "standard threads".
     
  5. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

    Messages:
    2,297
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2003
    Location:
    Floriduh
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Dan I just love playing with old crap and making it work; Well somewhat work. This particular little shutter is a Press type. Since I guess the older shutters came in many different sizes, I might have to go with a lens like off a Monitor camera. What I'm basically looking for tho is an older lens with a sort of old fashioned look to it, slightly soft, with maybe even some falloff. I print Ziatypes and I think the look of an older lens would lend itself to the Zia style.
     
  6. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    9,281
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2002
    Location:
    Bergen, Norw
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    "Contrary to common opinion" most old lenses were not soft. Look at any old daguerrotype with a strong loupe, and you'll find it to be sharper than any modern film!

    But all is not lost: Portrait lenses and faster Rapid Rectilinears (and Aplanats) have a very limited sharp coverage at full aperture, maybe 15 to 30°. The center sharpness rivals any modern lens (and outperforms most), but the sharpness drops off rapidly and dramatically towards the edges. Using a RR or Aplanat in about the same focal length as the film diagonal (like a 6" on 4x5") will get you "authentic" softness for around $15.
     
  7. juan

    juan Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,746
    Joined:
    May 7, 2003
    Location:
    St. Simons I
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    FWIW, I have an old 8x10 Rapid Rectillinear that was probably made by Bausch & Lomb, but may have been made by Wollensak, that came on a Conley camera - last made in 1917. It has metric threads.
    juan
     
  8. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

    Messages:
    2,297
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2003
    Location:
    Floriduh
    Shooter:
    35mm