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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    35mm RF
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    Velostigmat series I, f 6.3, convertable focus 6 1/2 inches lens and Premo camera

    Hello,
    I was given a Pony Premo camera with the above lens mounted on it. There are lines on the ground glass that measure 2 1/4 x 3 1/4. It is a beautiful wooden camera. There appears to be lots of info on the camera and on the series II lenses, but there is hardly a mention on the series I lenses or of this lens in particular.
    Since I have never used a camera in this format and I would like to learn about these larger format cameras ( I have been strictly RF ) I was wondering if some one could recommend a book one large format cameras to get me started.
    Thanks for any help,
    regards,
    Joe

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by fanuja View Post
    Hello,
    I was given a Pony Premo camera with the above lens mounted on it. There are lines on the ground glass that measure 2 1/4 x 3 1/4. It is a beautiful wooden camera. There appears to be lots of info on the camera and on the series II lenses, but there is hardly a mention on the series I lenses or of this lens in particular.
    Since I have never used a camera in this format and I would like to learn about these larger format cameras ( I have been strictly RF ) I was wondering if some one could recommend a book one large format cameras to get me started.
    Thanks for any help,
    regards,
    Joe
    I've haven't run across a modern large format book that didn't end up annoying me (though there is some value in most of them). Some people do like the Simmons book. Closest for me would be the Ansel Adams "The Camera" from his classic "Basic Photo Series". I put the titles in quotes to indicate titles, but actually wrote them from memory, so they might not be exact. The other book I really liked was the old Navy training manuals. They are commonly available cheap. I'll dig up a link if you are interested. They are very old fashioned non-arty books, but that's part of what I like about them. Just good solid basic practical information.

    I do have some thoughts on the lens. The series Ia I am familiar with is very similar to a Protar design and should be a very good lens when you use both cells. You convert it to different focal lengths by removing on or the other lens cell. I don't think any of these convertible lenses will be very good converted on 2 1/4 x 3 1/4. On 8x10 they are fine, but the usually won't take much enlargement.

    The qualifier to all that is that the lenses I'm familiar with are f6.8 and triple convertible (each cell is a different focal length). I suspect yours might be a double convertible lens where both cells are the same. That symmetrical design would account for the difference in f stop. If yours is indeed a three focal length lens, then it may be something different (probably a lesser Rapid Rectilinear type design). Maybe someone else knows for sure (or I might have the info somewhere in old literature.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    It looks like I was right about the lens. Your lens should be a symmetrical convertible lens with 4 cemented elements per cell. About like a Protar VII.

    Here are a few links to the Navy training books I mentioned:
    Photographers Mate 3

    Photographers Mate 3&2

    Photographers Mate 3

    Lots of variations, widely available from a variety of sources. Most I've seen are similar and should cover 4x5 Graphics, plus 8x10 view (loading, shooting, processing, and printing). Later ones may also feature Rollei and Lecia.

    BTW, I believe George Tice trained as a Navy photographer (I should check that first, but think it is correct).

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jun 2003
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    hi joe

    check out
    http://www.antiquecameras.net/1910premocatalog.html

    it is a website by a fellow who advertises / sponsors apug
    it has a few tidbits about what might .. be your camera

    your lens is a rapid rectalinaer ( or is suggested in the catalog ? )
    if it is a 6.5" ( 165mm ) it converts to 11.5" (292mm)

    you might want to poke around largeformatphotography.info for tips &c on using a large format camera.
    it isnt' really that much different than using any other camera ...
    except you put the shutter on bulb ( or time ) look at the subject on the ground glass / focus
    close the shutter ...
    take a light meter reading ( or guess, or do sunny 16 )
    set the shutter / fstop
    put film holder in the back of the camera ...
    remove dark slide
    trip shutter ...

    then ... you process the film/sheets in a tray or tank or ...

    it really isn't as complicated as it sounds ...

    have fun with your camera !
    john



 

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