swirly rb67

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by nwilkins, Sep 24, 2013.

  1. nwilkins

    nwilkins Member

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    Hello everyone,

    I would love to get swirly petzval-like effects with portraits on my rb67. Is there any way to do this? I don't know much about petzvals but I assume that the swirling occurs at the extremes of the lens coverage on a 4x5, so would shooting it on 6x7 would mean that the swirly bits won't be captured on the negative?
     
  2. eyesage

    eyesage Subscriber

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    Old petzvals have been adapted to SLRs before, but I believe this involves a goodly amount of custom machining. If that's not for you and you're okay with shooting 35mm instead, Lomography has started producing petzval lenses for Nikon and Canon.

    View attachment 74718

    Brass barrels and all!
     
  3. nwilkins

    nwilkins Member

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    thanks eyesage - I probably would have been interested in that if the funding campaign was still on and I could have had one for the $300 or $350 price. I assume they will cost significantly more than that once they are released.

    I can't justify getting into custom machining a lens mount so I guess I am out of luck for the RB, eh? I was hoping someone had done it already.
     
  4. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    On an RB67, what would you do for a shutter?
     
  5. nwilkins

    nwilkins Member

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    well that would be one of my questions. Perhaps someone has figured out how to attach a petzval to the parts from an RB lens (the mount and leaf shutter mechanism), or perhaps a way to attach a LF lens board to an RB? This kind of thing? http://www.apug.org/forums/forum379/116698-petzval-lens-shutters.html

    Anyway I guess it would probably be a crazy amount of work.
     
  6. Alan Gales

    Alan Gales Member

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    I have seen 4x5 monorails go for as low as $50.00 without a lens. Used 4x5 film holders sell for around $5.00 a piece. It's nice to have five so you can load a box of film. If you don't have a darkroom you can use a changing bag to load them. An old black T-shirt or sweat shirt works great for a dark cloth. You will want a cheap 4x loupe. You probably own a light meter.

    If you don't like sheet film you can use a 6x7 roll film back on the monorail.

    Add your Petzval lens and away you go!
     
  7. nwilkins

    nwilkins Member

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    can you put a petzval on a crown graphic? I know almost nothing about LF cameras, but I do have access to a crown graphic, with 4x5 and 6x7 roll film holders.
     
  8. Alan Gales

    Alan Gales Member

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    I have heard of people using Petzvals on Speed Graphics. The advantage of the Speed over the Crown is that the Speed Graphics have a focal plane shutter.
     
  9. nwilkins

    nwilkins Member

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    what do people normally do for a shutter when mounting a petzval on a view camera?
     
  10. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Re: mounting on an RB, Possible to get ahold of a lens with bad glass and mount a petzval on it?
     
  11. Alan Gales

    Alan Gales Member

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    A lot of people use Packard shutters or a hat or lens cap. Sinar shutters are great but they are expensive.
     
  12. Alan Gales

    Alan Gales Member

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    Google Jim Galli shutter. :smile:
     
  13. nwilkins

    nwilkins Member

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    so could I use a packard or sinar shutter with a petzval on a crown graphic?
     
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  15. Alan Gales

    Alan Gales Member

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    The Sinar shutter is much too large. I have no experience with Packard shutters but I would say no on that one too. You can buy old Speed Graphic cameras pretty cheap as long as you don't want a mint one.
     
  16. nwilkins

    nwilkins Member

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    okay thanks alan. maybe I will have to try the Jim Galli method!
     
  17. nwilkins

    nwilkins Member

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    if I did go the modification route I don't suppose anyone knows if there is a particular RB lens that would be best for stripping the elements and sticking a petzval in?
     
  18. erikg

    erikg Member

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    A Speed Graphic as mentioned is a fairly cheap way to go, also Rolleis and focal plane Hasselblads have been used with barrel lenses. A graflex SLR could work too with some of these lenses, if the barrel wasn't too big and the focal length was right. Check out SK Grimes website.
     
  19. Whiteymorange

    Whiteymorange Member

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    Putting a Petzval design lens on almost any camera is possible, it's just a matter of solving the problems you have noted–shutter and mount. Graphics and monorail cameras are easy, since the lens boards are pretty adaptable. Cheap alternatives to fancy brass lenses from the 19th century include lenses from magic lantern projectors, 35mm film projectors, opaque projectors, etc. Or see if you can find one of these, a lens from a multiple image camera. didn't know what they were when I posted that. They were meant to take many very small images on a single plate and mount screw-end toward the subject, not toward the film. Another source for lenses, my current favorite for soft portraits, is the objective lens from a set of binoculars, but it's not that swirly. Hot glue has been my friend in many, many modifications–it's quick, holds pretty well and is removable. I haven't tried an rb67, but I've done a few Baby Speeds shooting roll film–certainly the easiest since the shutter is not a problem. I just (today) finished an RB Graphlex Model B 3 x 4 with a custom back for Fuji instant film so I could shoot without having to focus, load and then shoot. The depth of field is really, really shallow with these lenses at portrait distances. The swirlies just begin to show up at the edges with the lenses I have.

    One of the issues that becomes important if you want to use film and something like a lens cap or hat to time your exposure is that the Petzval design is a fast lens. Most I have used hover around f4 to f5.6, making exposures that need to be quicker than what you can accomplish with a lens cap, unless you shoot in low light. Even a Packard, topping out at a blisteringly fast 1/20 of a second makes daylight shooting with film difficult. Remember, stopping the lens down with a Waterhouse stop (or the equivalent) will greatly reduce the swirlies you seek in the first place. One way around this is to shoot slow ortho film or paper.

    Have fun!
     
  20. Alan Gales

    Alan Gales Member

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    Buy a Petzval and try it out on the Crown with some b&w film. If you don't like it you can always sell the lens for around what you paid for it. If you really get into Petzvals and other barrel lenses then research your options and add another camera if you want.

    Beware though that all Petzvals don't have the same amount of "swirl". Do your research before buying. You might want to post a question on which Petzval to buy on this forum. There are some experts on old lenses here (not me :smile:).
     
  21. Alan Gales

    Alan Gales Member

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    You bring up some good points.

    Have you tried Neutral Density filters?
     
  22. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    If you want to shoot roll film behind a Petzval lens, then the thing to do would be either get a medium-format SLR with a focal-plane shutter (Hasselblad 2000 series, Rolleiflex SL/SLX/600x series, Pentax 67, Kiev for a few examples) or get a 4x5 and use a roll-film back for it. You CAN use a Petzval with no mechanical shutter if you want - you'll just need to use either excruciatingly slow emulsions or get really good at using a lens cap/hat/darkslide as a shutter. Traditionally Petzval lenses didn't need shutters because they were being used with wet plate or later dry plate emulsions, which had a rough equivalent of ISO 0.5 to ISO 4. You don't HAVE to get all fancy with machining - I've seen someone take a body cap for a camera, drill a hole in it, glue a piece of appropriate-sized PVC to the cap, and then insert the barrel of the Petzval lens into it. You focused it via friction, much the way the lenses were originally used. I've even seen one with a bag-like "bellows" made of duct tape for focusing that allowed some (rather imprecise) degree of perspective control.
     
  23. nwilkins

    nwilkins Member

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    okay thanks guys - if I can figure out the mounting I could always keep a dedicated RB back for Rollei Pan 25 or something and use longer exposure times - even hold an ND filter over it if necessary.
     
  24. Maris

    Maris Member

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    Yes, I've done this with a 65mm lens with bad glass but a good shutter ($23 out of B&H !) except I use the now lensless barrel for experimenting with meniscus lenses rather than petzvals. I chose the 65mm lens because I wanted the shutter to be close to the camera body to give me more versatility in choosing experimental focal lengths.
     
  25. nwilkins

    nwilkins Member

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    okay great, thanks Maris! Maybe I'll start a petzval thread too to find out what I need.
     
  26. Whiteymorange

    Whiteymorange Member

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    Fitting filters of any kind is a challenge when using old or cadged-together lenses. It's possible, but the size needed and the mounting difficulties have led me to work around the question by using very slow media, like paper negs.