View Full Version : Hunter Penrose, Little John process cameras....

01-23-2013, 10:58 AM
I'm writing up a little blog post on process cameras, after being contacted by a few people that saw a previous blog post on the Hunter Penrose camera I got off Feepay.

Does anyone one here have one that they are using? Would you like to send me a pic of yourself with it and maybe some text/link about what your doing with it?

Would be great to hear who's using what and where.




01-23-2013, 01:49 PM
I don't, bu tI do own a very strange looking Hunter Penrose lens(Penlite), that properbly would have been sitting on one of those cameras...

(I was told it was a soft focus lens, but it surely isn't...)

01-23-2013, 02:12 PM
Have you shot with it yet Gandolfi? A quick google search brings up your conversations regarding this lens.

01-23-2013, 04:54 PM
no - I have a HARD time figuring out the aperture system(s) (there's two of them....)

01-24-2013, 01:25 AM
Fair enough. So if your not using it I'm sure it would look great on my camera :D

02-19-2013, 05:18 PM

I don't know if this has been mentioned elsewhere, but many (relatively) modern process lenses were equipped with square stops.

The reason has to do with the nature of lithographic film--below threshold exposure, the no density develops; above that exposure, it goes to maximum density. A halftone screen produces dots which have smoothly falling edge brightness; the radius at which the brightness crosses the critical level determines the radius of the resulting dot and ultimately the average ink density on the printed page. Now, in theory, the dots are so small that the original image is reproduced arbitrarily well. In practice, because of diffraction (if nothing else) sharp corners are rendered as radii, and the halftone process exaggerates the result. A non-circular stop allows the effective aperture to be larger at some angles, thereby suppressing diffraction, while keeping the "average" aperture small enough to suppress lens aberrations.

The Penlite aperture looks to be a refinement of the square aperture, to allow vertical/horizontal and diagonal enhancement at the same time, probably to improve the "look" of certain typefaces. The need for this may be an indirect indicator of the overall quality of the optics---so you might just have a decent portrait lens there anyway :)

Incidentally, in the dim, dark, medieval ages of the electronics industry, masters for printed circuit boards and even integrated circuits were hand-cut from red plastic film, and to get uniform-width lines the corners were "filleted" on the inside and outside (a little notch at the inside corner and a corresponding point at the outside corner). This did more or less what your odd aperture would do; maybe the lens dates from that era (late 1950s through early 1960s).

02-19-2013, 05:53 PM
Thanks Greybeard. I haveheard something like this before.

I bought this from a very profilic and respected Ebay seller - a man with lots of lenses and always with VERY long descriptions on what it is....

This time he was wrong. I bought it because I beleved his words that it is a special soft focus lens...
(Fitting this on a board and focussing out side, I got VERY wierd bokeh - like small stars (which makes sense) so maybe it was a "Christmas Card Lens"....))...

So a copy lens it is - I think more from the twenties than the fifties ...

Thanks again

02-24-2013, 01:28 PM
i'd love to see this "weird bokeh"

02-24-2013, 03:44 PM
I own a Century process camera which is big enough for me to get iside - should I wish. I'm thinking of being buried in it ;)

It is in a poor state of repair - although structuraly sound as the wood used is very high quality stuff...
It is something I look forward to renovating as I haverather a lot of lenses that would work well on it, but as is the way of these things - life tends to get in the way :(

Tony Lovell
11-24-2013, 09:41 AM
I've just bought a Hunter Penrose 16 x 18 camera the same as your May 2010 post. Are you still using it?

Tony Lovell