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  1. #1

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    New to 4x5: Looking for Inexpensive 4x5 Lens

    I just got a Calumet 4x5 camera. This is an older style Calumet, it's gray with a smaller lens board than the black Calumets we used in school (they were co-branded as Cambo cameras). My calumet looks just like this one: http://www.ebay.com/itm/CALUMET-4X5-...ht_5697wt_1386 .

    It came with a recessed Copal 0 lens board and 3 film holders, but no lens. In the meantime I am planning on just taping a pinhole onto the lens board, but I'd like to have a lens for the camera obviously.

    I want to spend as little as possible, hopefully under $100 for a lens (and lens board unless a recessed lens board would work). What can you recommend in the sub-$100 price category for a 135-210 (somewhere around there would be fine) lens with decent performance? Not necessarily looking for a tack-sharp, awesome lens (my budget won't allow that), but I would like a lens that would offer some good 11x14's with some 16x20's as well.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    ColdEye's Avatar
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    A g-claron 210 is nice, (maybe buy it in a polaroid shutter so it is cheap). it is very sharp and allows a lot of movements.

  3. #3

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    let me look in my big box of lenses, I have a 135 mm Tominon in a shutter that would be perfect for you and
    I would let you have it pretty cheap.

  4. #4
    desertrat's Avatar
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    If you want a really cheap lens that will cover 4X5, you can sometimes find an old 3A folder with a triplet or tessar type lens for less than $50. These cameras are 3-1/4 X 5-1/2 format, and their lenses will cover 4X5. When I bought an off-brand 4X5 camera last year, the first lens that went on it was the f7.5 triplet off my Ansco 3A folder. I think the focal length is around 170mm, and it would be sharp enough for 11X14 or 16X20 enlargements except the very corners would be just a bit soft, but not bad.

    Some of these cameras, however, had meniscus or RR lenses that wouldn't take much, if any enlargement.
    Happiness is a load of bulk chemicals, a handful of recipes, a brick of film and a box of paper. - desertrat

  5. #5

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    When I'm looking for Lensboards, what should I look for? This is a Calumet camera, but Calumet is also a brand that is applied to Cambo cameras. What is the terminology I should look for when looking for them? Or should I just make one out of some material?

    That Tominon sounds great Chris! It will cover 4x5?

  6. #6

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    yes

  7. #7

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    I am going to look for it in a minute.

  8. #8

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    Ok, I am looking at it. It is a Tominon lens, 135 mm f/4.5 in a Polaroid shutter from a MP-4 copy camera.
    The shutter fires perfectly and it has speeds from 1/125th to 1 second and has the retaining ring.
    You could Google this lens and see that it has a good reputation, maybe someone on this thread has
    knowledge of the brand.
    How about 40 bucks ?

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by brofkand View Post
    When I'm looking for Lensboards, what should I look for? This is a Calumet camera, but Calumet is also a brand that is applied to Cambo cameras. What is the terminology I should look for when looking for them? Or should I just make one out of some material?

    That Tominon sounds great Chris! It will cover 4x5?
    Your Calumet was made by Calumet, not by Cambo, and takes 4" x 4" lens boards. 4x5 Cambo view cameras (5x7 and 8x10, too) take 6.41" x 6.41" mm lens boards. Be careful what you order.

    Re the 135/4.5 Tominon, it is a lens that some love and others don't. I've had several of them -- long story -- and didn't love any of mine. They were made for use close-up, mine were so-so closeup, as in there are much better lenses for that application, and not good at distance. They're designed to screw into the front of a #1 shutter, as were the other Tominon macro lenses made for the Polaroid MP-4. Your lens board would have to be rebored to accept a #1 if you took Chris' very generous offer.

    Many, not all, f/5.6 plasmat type 150 mm lenses for 4x5 view cameras are in #0 shutters, so would mount to your recessed Calumet board. If you have the money, you'd be best served by getting one and a flat Calumet board for it. But if $100 is all you have, Chris' lens and a flat board drilled for #1 will get you going.
    Last edited by Dan Fromm; 07-18-2012 at 05:21 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  10. #10

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    They are a lens that is designed for "flat field" work, and were intended for high resolution copy work,
    and are some pretty good glass. I doubt if Polaroid would have gone with inferior optics on the MP-4's,
    they were a pretty expensive rig.

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