Paul Strand's Right-Angle Lens

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by Will S, Apr 13, 2005.

  1. Will S

    Will S Member

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    I've read that Paul Strand modified an old barrel lens with a right-angle prism to make it look like his camera was pointed 90 degrees from where it was really pointing. At some later point he purchased a lens that accomplished this task. The famous picture of the blind woman selling newspapers was taken this way.

    Does anyone know if he used something like this lens:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=30077&item=7507762433&rd=1

    Or was it more like this:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=7507058874&ssPageName=ADME:B:BN:US:1

    I'm interested in trying to hook up something similar...

    Thanks,

    Will
     
  2. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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  3. JG Motamedi

    JG Motamedi Member

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    I have never actually seen one, however in the early Daguerrian years of photography a right angle prism was commonly used to "correct" normal reversal of images. So, when you see a daguerreotype with writing running in the correct direction, chances are the photographer used a prism.

    I have used the Kodak Prism, the second eBay auction you reference. As long as the mirror hasn't tarnished, these are remarkably high quality and don't actually reduce exposure by very much. They do cut down on contrast, since they add a number of uncoated glass surfaces.
     
  4. eric

    eric Member

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  5. juan

    juan Subscriber

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    It's my understanding that Strand didn't use a right angle lens - he just made a large, fake "lens" and stuck it on the side of the camera. Folks in those days had not seen so many cameras, so when they saw the large and obvious "lens" pointing away from them, they didn't notice the real lens pointing in their direction.
    juan
     
  6. Will S

    Will S Member

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    That was true originally, but he did use a prism lens later. (I think for some of the New Mexico stuff. I suspect the famous picture of the group of Native Americans at the Taos Pueblo was done this way, but don't know for sure.) I think you are correct that people today would not be fooled. Maybe anyway....

    Thanks,

    Will
     
  7. Will S

    Will S Member

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  8. Huram

    Huram Member

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