Speed Graphic Lenses

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Tom C, Jul 27, 2011.

  1. Tom C

    Tom C Member

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    So, if my Ektar 127mm lens will allow for little or no lens shift or tilt just what lens type and focal length will allow me to use the tilt and shift to a maximum (or reasonable) extent? All I can find are references to what won't work.
    Thanks
     
  2. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    Surprised no one has hit this one yet so I'll offer my limited knowledge.

    135 0ptar is better than the 127
    There is a Kodak Ektar that is 152 I think (cant recall exactly, never owned one.)
    If you can deal with around 200 the 203 Ektar is real nice.

    I'm sure there is a resource on the web that reports image circle for a lot of these lenses somewhere
     
  3. Tom C

    Tom C Member

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    With all the info out there on Speed/Crown Graphics I can't imagine there is not some resource out there. I keep reading everything I have found but so far no luck.
    Do you mean the 135 is optically better than then 127 or that it has better coverage when the lens is displaced?
    Thanks for the input.
     
  4. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    I believe the 135 has better coverage so corners would be obviously better.
    Keep in mind you can mount more modern optics on a Speed board so you aren't limited to the usual suspects.

    I haven't shot my Pacemaker for awhile but I do remember how poor the 90 Optar I had was.
    That thing really vignetted when you tried doing any movements and it wasn't that great zeroed in.
     
  5. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Look for a lens with about 200 to 220mm image circle.
     
  6. eSPhotos

    eSPhotos Member

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    I've worked out.
    4x5 require approx 150mm image circle with no movements.
    Speed/Crown has a max vertical shift of about 30mm and bed drop of about 20mm (at 150mm). Side shifts of 20mm.
    So, effectively you need lens that covers film area of 150x150mm or 6 inch squares. That is about 210mm image circle.
     
  7. ChuckP

    ChuckP Subscriber

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    Do you need a lens that will fold into the camera? That size constraint will limit your choices.
     
  8. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    There is good advise offfered above. using movements on aveiw camera is extending the intended usage of the original 127/135 lenses to the point where they simply cannot perform. One option is to look around for a 1980's vintage 135, like a Schneider Symmar-S MC or similar. These are available, affordable, and will give the image circle you'll need for movements. The Schneider will not fold up into a Graphic, however.
     
  9. Whiteymorange

    Whiteymorange Member

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    There are lots of 135 to 170mm lenses out there that will fit the camera, fold up with no problem and give you the image circle that camera requires for its limited movements. The 152 Ektar, mentioned above, is an excellent choice, another is the 203 Ektar- a standard for 5x7, so it will certainly fit the bill. Mine came with a 135 Tessar- works fine. One cheap source of them is old 3A folders, often neglected because they take 122 film. Another option (the one I find I choose most often) is a lens in barrel, since the Speed doesn't require its lens to be in a shutter. Lots of those out there, too
     
  10. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    These are two very good ideas. I've done both with success. For the 3A option, be aware that the shutters are crude and the saperture markings often are US.
     
  11. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Um, er, ah, Brian, I've extracted a #4 B&L Zeiss Kodak Anastigmat in Compound, also made by B&L, from a #3A Folding Pocket Kodak. Other fine lenses in good shutters were fitted to these cameras. Look at the Kodak catalogs posted here http://mgroleau.com/catalogues_kodak/ to get an idea of what EKC offered to the US market. Kodak UK offered a variety of good lenses from, mainly, UK makers and CZJ to the UK market. One has to look in many FPK's to find much of interest, though.

    Tom, as a practical matter Graphics have only one useful movement, front rise. With most lenses the shift available is limited by the bed struts. Similarly, only a very narrow range of focal lengths can get usable front fall with the bed dropped. Back tilt is rarely very useful and, as with front fall, getting usable front tilt with the bed dropped is possible with only a narrow range of focal lengths.

    If you want a view camera, give up your Graphic and get a view camera. FWIW, I have 2x3 Graphics and a 2x3 Cambo; I use the Graphics much more than the Cambo.

    There's no reason to stick with original issue lenses. Older modern plasmat types, e.g., Symmars (convertible and later), aren't that expensive ...
     
  12. MattCarey

    MattCarey Member

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    Excellent point.

    Tom, do you want a "speed graphic" lens or just a lens that will work on a speed graphic? Any 4x5 lens (or 5x7) will likely do. Many will not fold up into the camera.

    I was just testing the lenses I have to see what to keep and what to move. I have a 152 ektar, a 150 heliar and a 150mm rapid aplanat (tiny, no shutter). All work with some movements. All are small enough to fit in the camera.

    I also have a 180 symmar-s MC. More modern lens. More modern shutter. More movement (it is a 5x7 lens). Sharp. Won't fold into the camera (mine is a Burke and James press, but same idea).

    There are a ton of options. What do you want to spend? As a benchmark, the lenses I have ran from around $10 (the aplanat) to around $100 (ektar and heliar) to about $200 (symmar).
     
  13. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    You really need to get that stammer looked after, Dan... it really comes across a tad offensively. If you beg to differ please do so; I welcome that. Just spit it out.

    I did not intend my comment to be all-inclusive and absolute. I'll remember to put in all of the proper weasel-words next time to ensure no miscommunication.

    Here is a sample of the camera/lens I have experience with (B&L RR in Kodak TBI shutter):

    http://www.vintagephoto.tv/3afpk.shtml

    Your example may be different as may be your experience. Thanks for the additional information.

    I am actually quite pleased with the performance of the lens/shutter despite the fact that the shutter is indeed crude. And it is definitely marked in US stops, whcih as you know requires some rather simple translation, but translation nonetheless.
     
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  15. BradS

    BradS Member

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    It depends, I suppose, on what specific shutter is involved but, I can say from first hand experience that the Schneider 135mm Symmar-S in a Copal #0 certainly does fold up in a 4x5 pacemaker crown/speed graphic. The Rodenstock 135mm Sironar-N also fits very nicely. The Nikon 135mm Nikkor-W also will fit. In fact, even a 210mm Geronar in Copal #1 will fit. All of these have considerably more coverage that the stock 127mm Ektar.

    EDIT: Just thinking.....the 135mm Symmar convertible which is commonly found in a copal #1 might not fit...I've not tried this combination....but I think it will fit since the 210mm Geronar fits
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 28, 2011
  16. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    I believe you. It didn't fold up in my SuperGraphic, and I haven't tried it on my Anniversary because I'm very happy with the elderly Kodak Anastigmatic that the camera came with.
     
  17. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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  18. BradS

    BradS Member

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    Oh...yes, I agree. The rails and geometry in the Super are a bit different from that of the Pacemaker. :smile:


    Funny thing is...after trying all of these, I have gone back to the stock 135mm Optar...I just love the lens.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 28, 2011
  19. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    Me 2. The original equipment has been just fine for me. Any more advanced nees get satisfied with a real viewcamera and other lenses.

    Not lens related but related to satisfaction with original Graphic configurations - I just added a Graflite Jr to my SuperGraphic kit. Call me "Ouiji" if you'd like but I still flash with bulbs on both of my Graphics!
     
  20. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    I agree that if you are interested in movements the Speeds may not be the best choice.

    I love shooting mine handheld.
     
  21. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    The 90mm lens and the 135mm lenses fit in nicely into my 4x5 Pacemaker Speed Graphic. The Schneider-Kreuznach Sinar Symmar-S f/5.6 210mm, not so well.

    Steve
     
  22. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    Dan, I just had a chance to look at the site you provided a link to. What a great resource. Thanks for passing along that link!
     
  23. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Brian, I'm g-g-g-glad you found it useful.

    Re your earlier posts in this thread, EKCo and their customers viewed the optional more expensive anastigmats (Tessars, Cooke Triplets, ...) offered for FPKs as b-b-b-better lenses than ra-ra-ra-pid rectilinears. I'm somewhat puzzled by the small craze for non-anastigmat lenses.

    "Um, er, ah" indicates hesitation to disagree, embarrassment at the possibility of offending, ... It isn't stuttering.

    Cheers,

    Dan
     
  24. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    Ya, I figured that after thinking about it. I was partly tongue-in-cheek, but it does read "oddly" at first glance (even though I've seen it plenty of times before). Maybe I need to up my dosage on the "chill pill"! You certainly don't need to be coy or hesitant around me if you have corrections or additional information. I crave knowledge! Thanks Dan.

    Re: the F.P.K. (TBI) shutter... once overhauled mine is very reliable. It is just limited to one shutter speed (1/50). the lens itself, even though it is lower on the line, is actually a fairly respectable performer. I ended up putting it back onto the 3-A B-2 folder and one day plan to do a 120 conversion to it.
     
  25. Wade D

    Wade D Member

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    I don't know if its from a 3A but I use a 5x7 Rapid Rectilinear in a Kodak Ball Bearing Shutter on my Crown Graphic and love it. It folds right up and provides more movement than necessary. The only drawback is the 3 speeds. All of them are 1/25 at its advanced age. The US stops are easy to get used to.
    It also works well as a convertible but a camera with longer bellows is required.
     
  26. Tom C

    Tom C Member

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    What is a convertible lens?