Petzval advice

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by nwilkins, Sep 26, 2013.

  1. nwilkins

    nwilkins Member

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    Hello everyone,

    I started a thread in the Medium Format section about potentially modifying my rb67 to accept a petzval lens. I would like to be able to take portraits with that characteristic swirl. Now I thought I would ask for advice on what kind of petzval I should look for to get this effect in the 6x7 format. I am guessing I would want something with not much coverage, and a focal length definitely no longer than 250mm, preferably closer to 180. I am posting this in large format because I figured LF people have much more experience with these lenses.

    Thanks in advance!

    Nick
     
  2. Whiteymorange

    Whiteymorange Subscriber

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    As I wrote in the other thread, there are many choices when in comes to Petzval design lenses. After all, it was a successful formula for image making and was copied, modified and re-modified many, many times over the last 150 years. Check here for more information on Petzval lens makers. The website is the work of an APUG member, Dan Colucci, who is also publishing a major article about Petzvals in the upcoming PHSNE Journal. He really is the most knowledgeable person I know on the subject.

    Buying known-name antique lenses (Darlot, Voigtlander, etc.) can be an expensive proposition. Many of the no-name brass lenses of the early 20th century, say the run-of-the-mill projection lens (no slot cut for Waterhouse stops) will be cheaper. 5"-6" versions are common (the method of measurement most common on these is back-focus, the distance between the rear element and the film plane), and they can be had for far less money if you are patient. Recently, however, I've seen the lenses I picked up for $25 a few years ago bringing many hundreds of dollars on that auction site. Camera shows are a good place to find these lenses, but I'm not sure how many shows there are in NS.

    If you do go on to buy a press camera to more easily experiment with barrel lenses, buy a Speed Graphic, not a Crown. While Crown Graphics may be cheaper and they are certainly a bit lighter, they leave the question of the shutter un-answered. An older Speed will provide you with more flexibility in lens choice and can always be refitted with a Graflok back, to more easily mount roll film holders.
     
  3. LJH

    LJH Member

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    I think that 180mm will still have too much coverage.

    I used a 100mm (approx.) projection Petzval on 4x5" and the "swirl" was outside the 6x7cm area you're after.

    Don't forget that the closer you focus, the larger the image circle. This will push the swirl even further out.

    Whats the FL on the new 35mm version that's on Kickstarter?
     
  4. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

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  5. nwilkins

    nwilkins Member

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    okay thanks everyone. The petzval on the rollei 66 in that other thread certainly worked for MF. I guess I am just wondering what to look for in terms of lens specs to make sure the petzval will work for 6x7?
     
  6. Two23

    Two23 Member

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    I put a 4 inch Petzval on my Nikon. One of the things I was looking for was small, and the second thing was it had a knob focus. I would look for something that was 75mm-125mm.


    Kent in SD
     
  7. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Good luck finding one that short, at least one of the historical brass Petzvals - most of them were made to be much longer than what we would consider normal for the format so that they could use only the sharp, unswirly central portion of the image circle. Most CDVs (very similar in size to a modern 6x9cm negative) were shot with 8"+ lenses. You might have some luck finding a loose lens from one of the old penny picture cameras that had six, nine or even sixteen lenses to make a whole bunch of identical, small images on a single sheet, but even that can be hard, as they're now collectible.