I'm looking into purchasing a copy lens to use as a telephoto lens on my 4x5 because of the cheaper cost. Does anyone know of a good resource for information on these lenses (specifically in the 240-360mm range)?
I know the lens will be lacking a shutter, so for the time being I'll just cover the lens and shoot for 1 second plus exposures. But when I decide to have a shutter put on it, what's the general range for this time of work?
graphic arts lenses are a good substitute for taking lenses. The Kowa and G-Clarons are excellent and I have a 305 and a 210 G-Claron. The graphic arts lenses are generally somewhat slower than normal taking lenses. Mine are typical and are f:9's. This is really not a problem for me and the G-Clarons can be screwed right into a Copal #1 shutter. Those Copal #1 shutters can be had new for around $345 with the proper scale for f:stop markings. These can be bought from skgrimes.com . The issue of mounting lenses to shutter is best left to professionals as sometimes there needs to be a spacer ring in either the front or the rear of the shutter to make the lense focus poperly and at the right spot. SkGrimes company (he died this year) can do this type of work. Also, I would not think of these longer lenses as telephoto unless they really are of that design. In largeformat they are just longer and require more bellows to focus at infinity. The tele designs use less bellows but cost more.
There are probably a number of different copy lenses by different mfg that are in the focal length that you want. The ones that seem to be used a lot by photographers are the 305 and 355 G Clarons. I doubt that you will find a barrel mounted 355 since Schneider discontinued the G Claron line and that lens will cover 12X20 format.
I personally have bought a used 305 RepoClaron and have been pleased with it. Schneider told me that the RepoClaron has optical performance very near the G Claron with less coverage. I have never run out of coverage with mine. Mine was mounted in a Compur shutter when I bought it. You may be able to buy a used lens like this already mounted in a shutter for less money then buying a barrel mounted lens and later having it mounted in a new shutter.
I have seen the Repo Clarons come up on Ebay occasionally. Good luck.
My advice is to look for an old copy lens in a usable shutter and pony up for a CLA, or to use the barrel lens with no intent of mounting into a shutter UNLESS you know the cells will screw directly into a modern shutter.
I went through the copy/repro lens process and found I couldn't justify the long range cost if I wanted anything approaching a current lens. The reason is the cost of shutters, mounting, CLA of the lens and shutter, etc.
S. K. Grimes posts cost of remounting shuttered lenses into Copal shutters with iris scale, and retainer, mounted on your board as $300 for a Copal 1 and $475 for a Copal 3. Add $225 for mounting a barrel lens that requires machining (cells don't directly screw into the shutter). CLA of the lens is usually about $80. As you can see, if you find a nice Artar or G-Claron for $100, you'll eventually have $700 - $875 or so for a barrel lens requiring machining, or about $500 - 650 if not (including the $100 lens and CLA). When you weigh this cost against the cost of a good used late model multicoated lens), you just can't do it based only on cost.
Buying a used shutter will save you a little, but good used modern shutters for sale by themselves are not all that common. If you do find one with a flange, used late Copals usually go for $125 - 225, and if the cells screw in directly, you'll add $80 CLA, $45 iris scale, and $25 to bore a board. So you now have about $375 - 475 in your barrel lens. This isn't too bad, but you should be able to do as well by careful shopping for a newer in-shutter lens.
Another option you could consider is getting something like a LUC shutter. It is kind of like a packard shutter except that it is mechanical rather than air/pistin (SP)? operated. It screws on to the front of the lens and has 2 speeds. bulb and about 1/15 second. I will post a picture of one when I get home from work.
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For anything common just go to
Originally Posted by Jeremy Moore
Which is just google groups. And type in the lens you're looking for.
What format are you looking at? If just 4x5 they all will work. The things to look for is how big a mount hole do they need. Does the lens have the flange. Some of the lenses have normal filter rings [Nikon's for example] This is a plus.
IMHO don't buy any of these lenses if you intend to mount them in a normal shutter. The bigger ones will need at least a #3 shutter [Almost $300 new] Plus maybe I think $250 in labour. So for 4x5 and 8x10 I don't think that makes sense. If you feel you can live without a shutter or can live with a packard shutter tthen things are different. I have what feels like a collection of process lenses. The bunch cost me less then one lens in a shutter would have. Most will cover 8x10 with movements when and if I go that far. The lenses work best at F/22 [longer models more then 600mm] need to be stopped down an additonal stop supposedly. If you're doing B&W and adding say even a yellow filter to the lens a hat is all the shutter you need. What is likely the best idea with these things is to find yourself a shutter big enough to have mounted onto a board and then mount the lenses on to an adapter board. This way you have one shutter for many lenses. It also saves you the labour of getting the lens mounted to the shutter.
Also I doubt any of these are telephoto designs. Now the way you mount them to the board they do need a little less bellows but they aren't telephoto.
If you do go this route don't go overboard on price. I see people bidding amounts that could get a similar brand new.
I just posted two pictures of the Luc shutter that I mentioned. I attached it to the front of an Schneider 135 componon-s enlarging lens. My shutter has a maximum barel width of about 53mm that can fit in the opening, but I have seen larger ones also.