Xenar 135/4.5 ca. 1928, bought in greed bout... a real gem! :)

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by eumenius, Jul 7, 2006.

  1. eumenius

    eumenius Member

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    Hello friends,

    finally I got some time to give my old Xenar a try... Ilford Delta 100, again, souped in Ilfotec-HC 1+47. Hot light, 1/15s, f/8-11. My dear friend Lesha, again - now in some different interiors, our dry sterilisation room :smile:

    I really like how this lens works in portraiture - well, I am yet to try it on other subjects :smile: Soft shadows, plenty of sharpness, excellent skin rendition... looks like the lens was built to last :smile:

    Maybe I'm wrong with posting my pictures in LF subdivision? They definitely belong to the gallery, but now my APUG subscription is over, and I can't use galleries and classifieds as well... and for me in Russia, there's no imaginable way to pay :sad: So imageshack would be a good solution.

    Picture 1

    Picture 2

    Cheers, Zhenya
     
  2. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    What? Already???

    Allow me to remedy that.

    :D
     
  3. JHannon

    JHannon Member

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    Ole, nice of you to do that..we must keep Zhenya active, you never know what lens he will get next :smile:
     
  4. eumenius

    eumenius Member

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    Dear Ole,

    if it's okay, I would be very obliged for your remedy of this problem - thank you very much, that's so kind of you :smile:

    In meanwhile, how did you like the pictures this old Xenar is capable of? With every old lens I get, I keep wondering how these were calculated and made without any computers... :smile:

    Cheers, and much thanks - Zhenya

     
  5. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    I liked the pictures a lot. These old lenses have a lot of character.
     
  6. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Of course they used computers! The Petzval lens was calculated by Petzval, assisted by a team of "computers": A corporal, and six artillerists skilled in calculus. The computers were people, not electronic devices. But the principle is the same - break the job down to sub-tasks, and sub-sub-tasks, until each part is small enough to be simple. Do all the jobs, and assemble all the results. Job done. It may take seconds, or months depending on your "equipment", but it will eventually be finished.

    I do like the pictures. I'll have to put my 135/3.5 "Typ D" to the test some day - yet another case of the Vade Mecum being completely wrong...
     
  7. eumenius

    eumenius Member

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    Jim,

    The more I try the old lenses on a new materials, the more I wonder how well were they made - in all senses. And the individual character of old lenses is a quite distinct and charming thing - as I can see, the picture made with echt 135/4.5 Zeiss Tessar from exactly the same era, is a bit different from the one taken with Xenar. The optical scheme is about the same, the shutter is the same - the soul of lenses is definitely kept in their glass :smile:

    Cheers, Zhenya

     
  8. eumenius

    eumenius Member

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    Yes, Ole, calculators, not computers - and that's really great way to solve complex things manually. I well remember Russian artillery tables of trigonometry values, made in early 19th century by an especially trained division of soldiers and officers - with seven digits precision, by the way :smile:

    I am pleased to hear that you like the pictures - in fact, I like them very much by myself :smile: They came out exactly as I wanted them, and the lens gave them some special spirit - a very non-modern one :smile: I would be very eager to see how your Typ D would work - hope you would test it soon :smile:

    Cheers, and thanks - Zhenya

     
  9. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    Every time I take an old shutter apart I wonder how they managed to design such a complex mechanism without computers and CAD, etc. Nobody would even try now using a drawing board and a slide rule.

    Oh, I liked the pictures too!

    Steve.
     
  10. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Zhenya, when I went off to college in 1961 I took my copy of the Chemical Rubber Company's book of tables (logarithms, trig functions, ... ), all hand-calculated, to use in further hand calculations. Its probably somewhere in my library now.

    And when I got my first research assistantship, in 1965 (before I'd graduated), I did large calculations with a Monroe elecromechanical calculator. That summer I had three of them die in a cloud of blue smoke. Multiplying two 20x20 matrices took me a day and a half, including doing it a second time to check.

    Digital computers were a little bit around then, but very scarce and hard to get at. Also hard to use, it was only in the early '60s that the idea of operating system was developed well enough to make it unnecessary for programmers to write "to the hardware."

    The first electronic calculator I encountered was an English machine, the ANITA. ANITA being, of course, an acronym for A New Inspiration To Arithmetic. Desk top machine, with many buttons and a row of nixie tubes.

    Cheers,

    Dan
     
  11. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    I actually had one of these! It didn't work though. It was given to my when I was about ten as I used to like taking things apart then (still do).


    Steve.
     
  12. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Hey, Ole, the VM says "Xenar Type D f3.5 There seems to have been an uncemented 3-glass Xenar for Portrait work, of excellent quality and able to stand comparison with the 4-glass. This type was for small cameras only." Where were they wrong?

    I ask in part because there's been a lot of VM-bashing here lately. I agree that its incomplete, inconsistent, sometimes incorrect, often infuriating, but still find it invaluable. I've yet to find a better alternative. Suggestions?

    Cheers,

    Dan
     
  13. eumenius

    eumenius Member

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    Dan, what do they mean under three-glass scheme - a Cooke's triplet, I think? A positive front lens, a negative middle and a positive back, right? If the lens lacks any cemented elements, why should it be called Xenar, then? :smile:

    Zhenya
     
  14. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Zhenya, "Xenar" is a trade name. Schneider can attach it to anything they want, including ashtrays.

    There's also an S-Xenar, five elements in four groups, rather like a tessar but with the first singlet replaced by, IIRC, two meniscii. I have a similar mystery lens, a 75/2.8 sold as an enlarging lens and with no trade or maker's name anywhere on it.

    Here's another example. Early G-Clarons are 6/2 double anastigmats. Slow narrow-angle Dagors, in all but name. Later G-Clarons are 6/4 plasmats.

    Cheers,

    Dan
     
  15. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The VM is just as you said - "incomplete, inconsistent, sometimes incorrect, often infuriating, but still invaluable".

    The "Typ D" is a four-element "tessary" lens, but the rear group has negative focal length. So it's somewhat similar to a Tessar, but with radically different groups - if that makes any sense at all?

    Which reminds me - even on English lenses, the VM isn't always correct: My "Ross Cabinet No.2" is an f:4 Petzval with about 12" focal length (yes, a big heavy thing), not a RR...
     
  16. eumenius

    eumenius Member

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    Oh right, that's it - I forgot about those Western plutocrats and their habits :smile: In Russia, whatever lenss was made, it was given a name according to its optical scheme... sometimes it was something like RO or OKS, so no one knew what should it be :smile:

    Cheers,
    Zhenya