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Thread: Process lens for 16x20

  1. #1

    Process lens for 16x20

    Hi all,

    I'm looking for a new lens for the 16x20" camera I built as the one I have is 20" and doesn't give full coverage when focusing on things further away than a few meters. I found a Rodenstock Apo-Ronar 600mm f9 N.F. lens online for about 300, which is basically my budget. I'm still a bit of an ameture with it all, will this be a good lens? What are the pros and cons of this? I know it's not very fast but I'll mostly be shooting still life's in the studio and have plenty of light so that won't be too much of an issue (although I do want to do some portraits, so may be an issue here I suppose, especially as I'm using paper negs, positive paper and eventually wet collodion, so very low asa). I'm a bit confused about the ratio coverage information and why/how this is different to a normal lens.

    http://www.wetplatesupplies.com/rode...-n-f-lens.html

    Any help, advice, better suggestions of lens and where to get them would be really appreciated.

    Many thanks
    Brendan

  2. #2

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    Re: Process lens for 16x20

    My experience is more with the Artars, I would suggest a 24" Artar, the 20" Apo-Ronar does not show full 16x20 coverage at infinity, although it more than likely will. I know the 19" Artar will cover 8x20, but not sure about 16x20. The 24" should be close and the 30" will certainly cover it. Hopefully some with experience with that particular lens can chime in. From another post, Tri Tan claims the 24" Artar will cover 20x24. L

    http://www.largeformatphotography.in...coverage/page2

  3. #3

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    Re: Process lens for 16x20

    Short answer, continue saving your small monetary units. 300 quid probably won't get what you need. Also continue looking, since lenses that will do what you need very occasionally turn up at prices you can afford. For example, my 900/10 Apo Saphir, which covers 655 mm at infinity, cost $200 delivered.

    A propos of what you need, if you're going to be doing only studio work you won't need a lens that covers 16x20 at infinity. So think hard about how much coverage you'll need. Other things equal, the less the less the lens will cost.

    Here https://onedrive.live.com/redir?resi...nt=file%2cdocx is a list of links to manufacturers' catalogs and other sources of information on, mainly, LF lenses. FWIW, Rodenstock's documentation claims less coverage for the 600/9 Apo-Ronar than your source does.

    When you read the catalogs, pay attention to the magnifications for which process lenses' coverages are quoted. Some sources give coverage at 1:1, others at infinity coverage as well.

    All dialyte type process lenses perform better at all distances than you'll need. So, I gather, do all tessar type process lenses.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Dan

  4. #4

    Re: Process lens for 16x20

    Thanks guys, that's really helpful.

    Can you recommend anywhere to keep a look out for this kind of thing for sale online?

    And if anyone else has any recommendations of lenses they've used (not too expensive!) would be useful.

    Cheers

  5. #5

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    Re: Process lens for 16x20

    Where to look? The obvious place is eBay. Just keep on saving and remember that the lenses you're looking for (consult the sources of information I gave you, also buy a copy of A Len Collector's Vademecum) are uncommon and aren't often found at low prices.

    Educate yourself. I got my 900 because the seller had done a poor job of describing it and very few prospective bidders knew enough to recognize it.

    Also, and all kidding aside, be more analytic and open-minded about what you need. If you're going to be shooting at near distances you don't need a lens that will cover 16x20 at infinity. Think that through carefully. Also contemplate other lenses. In late June I met M. J-M Collinet and saw the 16x20 view camera he'd made. Nice camera, well thought through. His more-or-less normal lens for it is a 700/6.3 Boyer Saphir, a tessar type, that he'd found on www.leboncoin.fr for something like 300 euros. Learn about big tessar types.

  6. #6

    Re: Process lens for 16x20

    Thanks Dan, once again really good advice. I took some of it and spent today doing some research and getting in touch with local camera dealers and collectors. I found a Taylor Hobson Projection Anastigmat 30" lens and got it for 30!

    Will do some more reading and keep my eyes and ears open!

    Thanks again

  7. #7

    Re: Process lens for 16x20

    Sorry to bother you again Dan but what do you think of these lenses?

    The Rodenstock APO-Ronar-CL 485mm f/9 lens. This covers 20x24 at 1:1 so would still give me room to play in the studio with16x20.

    And the Nikkor has the same focal length so presumably the same coverage.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Mint-Rodenst...3D232025225560


    http://www.ebay.com/itm/NIKON-APO-NI...3D232025225560

    Good buy do you think? Within my budget and look in good condition.

  8. #8

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    Re: Process lens for 16x20

    If you can post here you can probably read. Go look at the catalogs. You have the links. Also look at my piece on the French LF forum re Apo-Nikkors. You have the link.

    Both fine lenses if in good order. Breguet Camera is typically a high priced seller and prices for both lenses seem high. If you want to stay within budget, keep looking. Hint: search eBay's sold listings to form an idea of actual selling prices. BIN listings' prices are often on, um, the high side of realistic.

    Oh, yeah, I like my 480/9 Apo Nikkor but there's no rational basis for choice between a dialyte type Apo-Nikkor and the equivalent Apo-Ronar. Fine lenses, functionally equivalent.

    More about Breguet Camera. This listing http://www.ebay.com/itm/EX-XEROX-10-...-/311634757085 is dishonest. The lens is TTH's process tessar, contains thoriated glass. A tessar isn't a heliar type and all the lens offered has in common with the Apo Lanthar is one or more radioactive elements. I have a 10.16"/9 TTH copying lens. Good lens, absolutely not what you need and anyway Breguet's asking price is outrageous.

  9. #9

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    Re: Process lens for 16x20

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Fromm View Post
    buy a copy of A Len Collector's Vademecum
    Vademecum is an invaluable resource. Also get a copy of "The use of Historical Lenses in Contemporary Photography" by Paul Lipscombe. When I was looking for a very wide angle lens for my 11x14, found 2 optics at very reasonable prices which I would have most certainly passed over if it had not been for me being able to reference them in these publications.
    Good Luck

  10. #10

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    Re: Process lens for 16x20

    Greg, thanks for mentioning the Lipscomb book. I don't have it but have added a link to the site that's selling it to my list of links to useful sources of information about lenses. The link to the list is in post #3 above.

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