Vintage Wide Lens for 4x5

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Two23, Jan 12, 2013.

  1. Two23

    Two23 Member

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    I've been collecting historic (pre-Civil War) and vintage (1900-1930) lenses for awhile now, but am now looking for a newer lens. What I have in mind is a coated lens with X-sync that is fairly wide angle (e.g. 90mm to maybe 130mm.) I want a top line premium lens from the 1940s to mid 1950s, I think. Nothing newer. I've been looking at a Kodak Ektar 127mm, but am also considering a DAGOR. What else is out there? I will be using the lens for night shots of trains, using flash (fired by CyberSync radio triggers.) What wide lens was O.W. Link using?

    Kent in SD
     
  2. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    100mm WA Dagor I'd guess.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 12, 2013
  3. Whiteymorange

    Whiteymorange Member

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    Kodak lenses from the period you are looking at (1900-1930) would be labeled Anastigmat Special. Ektar came in after coating started, though some of the later "Special" lenses I've seen are coated. This 1953 Kodak lens catalogue gives a good idea of what's available from them.
     
  4. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Coated with a flash sync - you might look for a post WWII Meyer Wide Angle Aristostigmat, the 80mm covers 5x4, or a 90mm Angulon.

    Ian
     
  5. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Kent, the 127/4.7 Ektar is a tessar type. Ain't no way it is a wide angle lens.

    In addition to the wide angles suggested (Angulon, WW Aristostigmat) you might think about a Wide Field Ektar (read about all Ektars here: http://www.bnphoto.org/bnphoto/KodakEktarsDB-Index.htm) or a Cooke Ser. VIIb. You might also want to consider a Wollensak wide angle, see http://www.cameraeccentric.com/html/info/wollensak_5.html .

    All of these but the Angulon and (I think) the Wollys are 4 elements in 4 groups double Gauss types. The f/9.5 Wolly is an 8/4 double Gauss, I'm not sure what the f/12.5 is. I have and use an 80/6.3 WF Ektar, am very happy with it; not for you 'cos it won't cover 4x5. I have and don't use a 100/6.3 WW Aristostigmat; it isn't much good at large apertures, using it as a normal lens on a 2x3 Speed Graphic makes no sense.

    Finally, Schneider brought f/8 Super Angulons to market in 1956. They'd just meet your mid-50s criterion and are very fine lenses.

    Dagors' coverage is frequently disputed. My friend Eric Beltrando wrote a ray-tracing program and has used it to evaluate lens designs, got most of the prescriptions from patents. He has told me pointedly that f/6.8 and f/7.7 Dagor types cover at best 70 degrees and for stringent applications shouldn't be counted on for more than 55 degress. Visit www.dioptrique.info to learn more. f/8 and f/9 wide angle Dagors have more coverage, are typically very expensive.
     
  6. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Maybe not on its 'intended format' but 127mm is a wide angle when on 4x5 format. It would give a diagonal angle of view similar to a 35mm lens on a 35mm camera.
     
  7. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    ic, the normal focal length for 24x36 is 43 mm. 35 mm on 24x36 isn't very wide.

    A 127 mm covering covers 150 mm requires a 61 degree angle of view. That's hardly what most of us mean by wide angle, and that's about as far as an f/4.7 tessar will go.
     
  8. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    A Rodenstock Ysarex 127 from a Polaroid 110a or 110b will give you what you are asking for. It covers 4x5 easily with room for movements.
     
  9. fotch

    fotch Member

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    You might find the 90mm wide angle perfect for your needs.
     
  10. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    So it is a wide angle, that is what I thought.
     
  11. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

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    If you want something on the wide side, get a 90mm Agulon. (not super). They are plentiful. The dagors and WF ektars are good, but not especially better. There is also a 120mm angulon, but its hard to find.
     
  12. Two23

    Two23 Member

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    I did some more research, and it was the Dagor 100mm that Link used. It's something like f6.8 though. Hmmm. It takes a lot of flash power to light up a train using ISO 400 and f8. I only have about 10,000ws to play with. Link's flash power was virtually unlimited shooting those big flashbulbs! There's also a Dagor 120mm. I'll keep an eye out for one of those two. Another possibility is the Super Angulon 90mm f5.6. I think it's a newer lens, but it would give me a faster f5.6. That would be helpful. You guys know your stuff! I was aware that fast wide angles were pretty scarce in this time period.


    Kent in SD
     
  13. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Y'know, if you have the budget and are willing to give up your fixation on older gear, you might consider getting a 90/5.6 Nikkor-SW, which covers 4x5 wide open, or a 95/4.5 Grandagon-N. These lenses weren't around when Mr. Link was active, but that's no reason to handicap yourself by using what he did.
     
  14. 250swb

    250swb Member

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    The 90mm Angulon (not 'Super') is a very nice lens indeed, but with the bonus that it is older, so less coveted compared to modern Schneider's, meaning cheaper and you get a big bang-for-buck!

    Steve
     
  15. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    A good one is quite capapble of high quality results with minimal movements but there were quality issues with many earlier ones and some are awful, extremely poor.

    Ian
     
  16. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    It (the Angulon) is also a reverse Dagor design and was patented in the U.S. in 1893, so it certainly fills the "vintage" requirement.
     
  17. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    E., are you sure of that date? I ask because I thought (a) that Schneider was founded after 1910 and (b) the Angulon was brought to market around 1930. Surely such a wonderful design would have seen the light of day in the 1890s if had been patented then.
     
  18. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    I'm positive, although I was a year off. The reverse construction was covered in the original U.S. Goerz 1894 patent albeit not in the wide-angle incarnation. http://ip.com/pat/US528155
     
  19. Old-N-Feeble

    Old-N-Feeble Member

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    There's also the B&L 88mm Wide-Angle f/6.8... a double gauss design.
     
  20. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    how about an old wollensak ?
    they made many good wide angle lenses that don't harvest that much $$ these days ..
    everything from a series 111a exwa to a raptar ...
     
  21. ThePetor

    ThePetor Member

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    Kodak's Wide Field Ektars are pretty nice..I've got the 80mm and 100mm both f6.3 and they cover 4x5 no problem. They're from the early fifties, but both of mine are in very modern Copal shutters with a x sync pc port.