Help with old Lenses for sale (military WWII) - 8x10?
I am new to large format and plan to build my own 8x10 in the near future - learning on the way first by making a 4x5 which I have bought an old Zeiss lens for (I am also plan to use a Rodenstock enlarger lens as well) ...
I am too busy to start work so far but have been offered in the meantime a selection of old military lenses that may or may not be good for an 8x10 - does anybody recommend any of the following:
- Zeiss Jena Tessar 'XII' APO 64cm F10 - ~90 No. 625245 - the cement(?) between the two rear elements is separating a little at one edge, but by stopping it down to about f16 it is no longer 'seen'
- Unbranded but seller suspects either a Cooke or Taylor-Hobson 5" f4 - ~32 No.158157 'ree 14A/1101'
- Unbranded again and again suspect its a Cooke or Taylor-Hobson ANASTIGMAT 14" f5.6 - ~128 No. 280729
All have the 'A~M' logo on them which I think is something to do with 'Air Ministry' / Air Force - they were apparently used for aerial photography, and are probably pre-WWII era...
I am after a wide lens, which puts the Zeiss out of the picture, but am wondering if the 5" is either too wide or would not have the coverage for 8x10 ? (it is a smaller lens also) - Altho not wide for 8x10 is the 14" the safe bet here ?
As I mainly deal with long exposures (minutes+) I usually am stopped down quite a bit, does this affect the size of the image circle ?
What sort of worth are these lenses ? all clean except Zeiss (see above), no shutters - if the Zeiss APO is a good price should I just buy it on principle ?
A heap of questions there - looking forward for any help - hope I can return the favor one day
I really doubt the 5" has enough coverage for 8x10, being ~127mm, but the 14" lens should be a safe bet.
Let's see what I've got in the magic trash can for Mateo!
The 5" lenses are common and won't cover. Not much value. The 14" lens is a "normal" for 8X10 like a 50mm on a Nikon. It likely is a Cooke Aviar. I sold one recently for $45 so that's about what it's worth. The longish Zeiss is intrigueing and if you can get it under a hundred, most folks around here would. Look for Agfa Repromaster or Staeble Ultragon in 210mm. Covers 810 and is like a 30mm on a Nikon.
can these lenses (the Zeiss and the 14" Cooke) have shutters mounted? - they are both quite large (at least ~70mm in diameter from memory) - I'm guessing its costly ?
Hmm. The Apo Tessar should be a nice lens. Should cover 8x10. Longer, as you pointed out, than normal for 8x10.
The 5"/4 made under contract 14/1101 is a Ross Wide Angle Xpres. The Lens Collector's Vade Mecum says its a good lens, will easily cover 4x5, even 5x7. But not, as Jim said, 8x10. FWIW, I have one and I think its dreadful. Not very sharp and very flary. Yours may be better, since it stops to f/32 and mine goes only to f/11. So if you can, give it a try.
The unbranded 14"/5.6 could be a Taylor Hobson Aviar or it could be a tessar. The Air Ministry bought both types in that focal length/maximum aperture. The test is simple. If an Aviar, the front and rear cells will each show four strong reflections, no weak ones. If a tessar, the front cell will show four strong, the rear two strong and one weak that may be quite hard to see. The strong reflections come from air-glass interfaces, the weak from glass-cement-glass. Either should cover 8x10, 14" is, again, longer than normal for 8x10 so not quite what you said you want.
None of these lenses or the process lenses that Jim suggested, for that matter, is easily or inexpensively put in shutter. The 210/9 Repromaster/Staeble Ultragon (same lens, different painted markings) should go in front of a #3 or perhaps a #4 Alphax/Betax/Ilex without much trouble, so might work for you. Putty or epoxy or even darkroom tape, depending on how permanent you want the job to be.
Good luck, have fun,
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cheers Dan that's great info - i'm probably going to go for the 14" as its well within my budget and make do with it until I really want to get serious and buy a decent shuttered wide 8x10 - I'll think of it as a prototyping lens and/or if it is cheap I might get the 5" and use it for 'arty' distorted, dispersed and vignetted 8x10's (the intended audience at architecture school here lap that sort of thing up)
The shortest "classic" lens I have that will cover 8x10" is a Busch Weitwinkel-Aplanat No.3, f:15, probably 150mm focal length. For anything shorter than that the choise is really limited to newer wide-angle lenses or the (horrendously expensive) Goerz Hypergon. As soon as you step up to 210-250mm, the options multiply and there is no problem finding old good lenses. I like my 240/420 Symmar convertible, and the 21cm O. Simon Weitwinkel-Anastigmat...
-- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist