Super Biogon on 4X5 Project

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by jjstafford, Aug 1, 2005.

  1. jjstafford

    jjstafford Inactive

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    A couple of you might have seen the beginning of this project two years ago from another list. The project was halted when I became ill, then the machinist priced it over the top.

    IT'S BACK! I think I found a new machinist.

    A brief overview is shown here.
    http://elearning.winona.edu/jjs/proto/

    Input is most welcome.

    (I do have an image from the second prototype pictured, but the print is just too large to scan. Will be shooting and printing more next week.)
     
  2. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    John, not to be a complete wet blanket or anything, but since your lens' coverage won't allow much in the way of movements and since you have it in a shutter, loveable or not, why not put it on a humble Crown Graphic? And if you want shutter speeds faster than 1/50 to take advantage of the lens' speed, why not a humble Speed Graphic?

    Yes, I know, too obvious. But, y'know, I swear I've seen an image of a 44/5.6 Super Aviogon on a Speed somewhere on the web. I've dandled one of those lenses on my knee, it lives the next town over. What a monster! If a Speed is good enough for that Bertele design, its good enough for yours.

    Cheers,

    Dan
     
  3. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    ahh...WOW! That's really cool John! Please keep us posted.
     
  4. jjstafford

    jjstafford Inactive

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    No problem; no wet blacket is there, Dan. The Crown won't hold the lens as well as the Sinar, which is already history. Biogon's are really intended for straight-on shooting. Distortion is almost neglibile, as is fall-off which is something the Super Angulons cannot even pretend to have. And 12 degrees at the rear standard is really signficiant for a Biogon - enough to make the best even better.

    Regarding the body design - since this lens is just near perfect, I want a body that is not a compromise. I want to make a rugged camera that suits the optics perfectly. Hope that's okay. Life is short.

    Maybe I should send you one. The deposit will be a killer. :smile: The last guy I sent one to for free disappeared. I suspect he sold it to finance his house; the ****er. (You know who you are out there!) Not you, Dan.
     
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  5. MikeS

    MikeS Member

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    You can send one to me :smile: And a deposit wouldn't be necessary, it won't disappear, I'll always know where it is! :smile:

    -Mike
     
  6. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    I came across this review on the net...Is your lens notably different?

    Zeiss 75mm f/4.5 Biogon Test Review

    © 2005 KenRockwell.com back to 4x5 lens page




    Introduction

    Developed in the 1950s and introduced in 1953 as an available-light ultrawide lens for shooting hand held wide open on press cameras, this lens is awful for use on a modern 4x5 because it has too little coverage (92 degrees or 153 mm image circle) to provide any movements. These lenses are only bought by rich impressionable amateurs who don't know how to use the movements on their 4 x 5" cameras. They also weigh a ton and are huge. You can buy these for about $600 without a shutter from a industrial surplus place in Pasadena, CA, ($1,200 with a shutter) or be an idiot and pay $2,500 for the same thing from a camera store. It is poor for real photography because it is huge and does not provide movements with its restricted 153 mm image circle. It's great for use on aerial cameras and working wide open, but that's not what you're doing on 4 x 5." A much better lens is the 75mm f/5.6 Schneider Super-Angulon or 72mm XL.

    Specifications

    10 elements. The Hasselblad 38mm SWC lens is a simplified 8 element version of this.

    92 degrees coverage, wide open or stopped down

    153 mm image circle

    Huge size and weight

    Performance

    Performance is spectacular wide open, which is great for aerial cameras and spy satellites, but meaningless for photography.

    No distortion

    It has the usual cos^4 light falloff. What's unusual about this design is that it has no additional mechanical vignettting even wide open. it is designed to give full performance wide open.

    Recommendations

    Get one for your spy plane or hand-held press camera, but get a lens designed for a view camera for your view camera.
     
  7. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    It is indeed a specialized lens, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. The same could be said of the 135/3.5 Planar or the 150/2.8 Xenotar--they were designed to be sharp wide open with a tight image circle for handheld press camera use. I use the 135 Planar, cammed for my Tech V, handheld, and I have a 135 Caltar II-N (Sironar-N), if I need a 135 with a larger image circle.
     
  8. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Donald, Rockwell is rarely in doubt, often wrong.

    One of the wonderful things about the second generation of Biogons (38/4.5, 45/4.5, 53/4.5, 75/4.5) is that they have rather less than cos(theta)^4 falloff of illumination. And they do have mechanical vignetting. At the edge, illumination falls off precipitously.

    Why do I believe this? Because I shoot a 38/4.5 Biogon, ex-AGI f135, on a Century Graphic with a 2x3 back. It covers 84 mm with good illumination and sharpness. Sharpness is maintained to 86 mm, and there the illumination is gone completely. My little camera has nil in the way of movements, but an 84 mm usable circle on 57 x 82 gives useful cropping opportunities. Do the arithmetic.

    The 75s cover at least 168 mm. One of my neighbors has a flock of them, also a 45, a coupla 53s, and a small pile of 38s. And the Super Aviogon I mentioned.

    John, thanks for the explanation. I fear you've fallen into the "the better is the enemy of the good" trap. But since its your resources and, in the end, your satisfaction, please yourself and be happy.
     
  9. jjstafford

    jjstafford Inactive

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    Rockwell is well informed, but like the rest of us, his opinions are a couple feet from his brain. However, he may not be FULLY informed. Read on.

    There were at least TWO DIFFERENT big Biogon lenses which almost fit the description given by Rockwell.

    See this: http://elearning.winona.edu/jjs/proto/note1.html

    One is the 75mm 'military' which you can see on SK Grimes' web pages and while it is big, there is another which is more properly called the 3" (76mm) and it is bigger yet, even after all the extra is machined away. The later, the 76mm is the one you see on my page. (Yeah, I will fix the text.)

    When Mr. Grimes was alive I showed him the 'before' lenses and he said he had never done a shutter mount on one, and indeed had never seen one before.

    So Rockwell was probably talking about a different lens. It was mounted in ... wait... can I reveal what camera when it was once in a classified configuration?
     
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  10. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    John, I encountered "the better is the enemy of the good" while in grad school. I'd written a seminar paper that was good enough to get an A, then decided I didn't like it and did another better one. Still got an A, with that comment.

    I'm not sure which 3" Biogons Charlie has, will ask him.

    Regards,

    Dan
     
  11. jjstafford

    jjstafford Inactive

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    Thanks. I looked up later, too. However, if you were referring to the tentatively proposed body (second page of site) being better but not significantly, then no - the Sinar body is overstressed and too feeble to use with this lens in the field. The body I wish to have can be manhandled nicely and should be quite strong.

    If you mean the lens is overkill, then compared to what? I'm puzzled. Surely not the 75mm Super-Angulon - man, is that lens over-rated! Someday, should I ever get this thing done and have a vacation I will do side-by-side comparisons with the S/A.

    Ever used tilt with a Biogon? :smile: Cool.
     
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  12. Elox

    Elox Member

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    Just looking at your proto design, could the back from a Calumet 4x5 (CC-400?) be modified to fit? I don't know if the round rail they use is close to the size you are using.

    For that matter, remove the front standard from the sliding base of a CC-400, add a flat plate and mount your lens supports to that and keep the existing back and rail. Attach the bellows to your adapter plate for the lens and your done. That would cut the amount of machining down to two lens support plates, a bottom plate, and the bellows attachment.
     
  13. jjstafford

    jjstafford Inactive

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    Thanks for the suggestions. My error, I think, is from my crummy drawings. The rear can be any good existing 4x5 back I can weld or machine to the design. I have your good suggestion in the GOOD IDEA box. Again, many thanks for looking and helping out.

    Best,
    JJ