A while ago I got a lens made for a Koni-Omega to use on a 2x3 Graphic. Same problem as you asked about, the shutter is made to be cocked and fired by the camera body. I unscrewed my lens' cells and put them in the right size Copal shutter. #0, as it happens, and I had its aperture scaled for the lens. The 140 RB macro lens is, I think, in a #1.
You should be able to do the same with an RB lens. Coverage on 5x7 (210 mm circle) will be a little iffy below a little over 1:1.
I understand your desire to use what you have, but you might be better off with, e.g., a 150 Apo-Ronar (in #0 or front-mounted on an ex-Polaroid MP-4 #1 Press) or G-Claron (cells are direct fit in a #0), both for cost and for usable range of magnifications.
Good luck, have fun,
Thanks for the responses. I knew it wouldn't be optimal, I was just curious if you could stop it down to f/22 (which slightly increases image circle IIRC) and move it away from the film plane to maybe cover a 5x7.
I understand now that it's probably very unlikely. Still, I could make tiny little 2x2 inch paper negs.
If you move the lens far enough from the film plane, it will cover any format you might want to use. But you will then be working very close up. You do understand how focusing works, don't you?
Exactly. The lens-to-film distance of most 35mm lenses is like 25mm or something. So if your subject is 25mm away, just flip the lens over, and I see no reason why a 35mm lens wouldn't cover 4x5. Usually you want more than 25mm from your subject, though, for lighting reasons.
I've known the joy of trying things out, also the joy of finding good uses for what appears, at first glance, to be scrap so I don't want to discourage the OP from trying to find a use for his ex-Signet 44/3.5. That said, all the lens is good for on 4x5 or 5x7 is relatively high magnification macro work.
If I were in the OP's situation and wanted to shoot macro on 4x5 or 5x7 I wouldn't start with a 44 mm lens or, for that matter, any of the 35 mm SLR more-or-less normal lenses I have. This because a lens that short will cover the formats only at relatively high magnification. Shooting LF at relatively high magnification is possible, has been done, is very difficult. Shooting at magnifications from 1:8 to 2:1 is hard too, but much easier than shooting above 2:1 or so.
If I wanted to do that, I'd look for a decent process lens, focal length around 210 mm, for shooting up to perhaps 1:2 on 5x7 and for a decent process lens, focal length around 150 mm, for shooting above 1:2 on 5x7 and from 1:8 up on 4x5. First choice for a 150 would be a 150/9 G-Claron even though the one 150/9 G-Claron I've had was noticeably worse than the 150/9 Apo Ronars I still have.
An alternative would be a decent enlarging lens whose cells fit a standard shutter. I'm a little partial to 105/4.5 and 150/5.6 Comparons as low-budget macro lenses because they fit #0 shutters so are easily reversed.