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Thread: Bausch & Lomb Telephoto Anastigmat 20inch 508mm f/5.6

  1. #1

    Smile Bausch & Lomb Telephoto Anastigmat 20inch 508mm f/5.6

    Dear All

    Do you have any information about this lens and some idea about the price?

    Bausch & Lomb Telephoto Anastigmat 20inch 508mm f/5.6, serial No.VF 1646R, mounted on a N0.5 Universal Synchro Shutter, Sinar Board.

    Thank you in advance for sharing.

    cheers

  2. #2

    Re: Bausch & Lomb Telephoto Anastigmat 20inch 508mm f/5.6

    These used to be custom mounted on SpeedGraphics to make 'Big Bertha' sports cameras. You could try googleing 'Big Bertha Camera' or a search here.

  3. #3

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    Re: Bausch & Lomb Telephoto Anastigmat 20inch 508mm f/5.6

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Fitzgerald View Post
    These used to be custom mounted on SpeedGraphics to make 'Big Bertha' sports cameras. You could try googleing 'Big Bertha Camera' or a search here.
    You learn something everyday! I too have one of these lenses - it was part of a government auction lot I purchased a few years back. Mine is in barrel, but has a Graphic "direct mount" (I wouldn't call it a lensboard) on the back of the rear element - that never made much sense to me until now...

  4. #4
    cyberjunkie's Avatar
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    Re: Bausch & Lomb Telephoto Anastigmat 20inch 508mm f/5.6

    I am resurecting this old thread because it's the only one with the full name of the lens in its title. Good for future reference...

    Out of pure curiosity, i just purchased this old lens, originally built for aerial photography aboard military aircrafts. Late WWI and Korea war, i think.
    There is a long thread about B&L serial numbers where this same lens is mentioned many times. On other threads there are conflicting opinions about lens coverage, somebody says that it covers 8x10" at infinity, others say that the circle of good definition is only 15 degrees. Such conflicting claims give the idea that the same lens could have been made in different versions (i have found this claim at least one, during my searches).
    Who's right and who's not?
    I attach a picture of the front lens/beauty ring of the item i purchased.

    have fun


    CJ
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails B&L Telephoto Anastigmat 5.6-20".jpg  

  5. #5

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    Re: Bausch & Lomb Telephoto Anastigmat 20inch 508mm f/5.6

    CJ, your lens is not ex-US Air Force. If the Air Force had bought it, it would have been engraved "Type I".

    I have a USAF data sheet on a 20"/5.6 "Type I Aerial Reconnaissance" lens that says that it covers 24 x 36, shows a lens mounted to a 35 mm SLR. Lousy image, I can't quite recognize the camera. Front cell diameter is 4", rear is 2", back focus is 5", weight is 10 pounds. How big is your lens? Resolution at full aperture in the corners (2.5 degrees off-axis) is nearly as high as central resolution; this suggests that the lens covers more than 43 mm, but how much more is anyone's guess.

    I have no idea whether there were other versions. It is very possible that the lens was put in mounts for more than one camera.

    Try it out and tell us what it does for you.

    One other comment. Paul Fitzgerald commented that the 20" B&L tele was mounted on a Speed Graphic to make a "Big Bertha" sports camera. I'm writing an essay on Berthas, have found nothing to support this. Big Berthas were built around Graflex SLRs. Gandolfi made a similar long lens SLR for shooting cricket matches built around (what else?) a Gandolfi SLR. The Gandolfi camera may antedate Graflex-based Berthas.

  6. #6

    Re: Bausch & Lomb Telephoto Anastigmat 20inch 508mm f/5.6

    Hi there,

    for 'Big Berthas' keep the link below, they have lots of pics. They were all custom made to suit the purpose at hand.

    "Who's right and who's not?
    I attach a picture of the front lens/beauty ring of the item i purchased."

    Not being funny but ask the lens. With a 4" front element and a 90mm aperture it should easily cover more than 35mm.

    Looks to be the same size as my Aero-Tessar 24"/6 VF7609R, really large.

    Custom built Graflex cameras

  7. #7
    cyberjunkie's Avatar
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    Re: Bausch & Lomb Telephoto Anastigmat 20inch 508mm f/5.6

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Fitzgerald View Post
    Not being funny but ask the lens. With a 4" front element and a 90mm aperture it should easily cover more than 35mm.
    I would very happy to ask the lens, but i am fraid that it won't come very soon.
    Even when i get the lens, i will have to fix the iris and clean the lens; after that, i guess that it would be better to make some sort of adapter for a behind-the-lens shutter, i am afraid that even the bigger shutters i own can't be mounted at the front (Packard, Silens or Zettor would vignette in front of the lens...but i could be wrong).
    I understand that's a very heavy lens, i wouldn't trust a makeshift attachment like cutting a plywood lensboard and friction-mount the lens on it.
    Building a wooden box for a Packard would mean to move the baricenter even further away from the front standard, with an even bigger torque: i think i am not going to fit something like that on my Eastman 2D
    Fortunately i have an old De Vere monorail, and a Calumet C-1, that's even better for that purpose. The only weak spot could be the lensboard locking. A box-shaped Packard adapter, that mounts like a conventional lensboard, could be seen like a true weight multiplier, and when you fit a lens of such weight... i have no idea if the lensboard locking could be trusted or not!
    In a few words, testing the lens on a sheet of white paper is one thing, doing a meaningful test on the groundglass of an actual camera is totally another thing...
    I don't know the weight of the lens, but i expect that it should be over 2Kg. A big chunk of glass in a very robust barrel can't be fickly tested with an iris clamp - the example i own is small, but i wouldn't trust a bigger one.

    I would appreciate any info about the actual weight of the lens, and about the existence of some examples adapted for shutter.

    have fun


    CJ

  8. #8

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    Re: Bausch & Lomb Telephoto Anastigmat 20inch 508mm f/5.6

    Paul, thanks for the link. It shows long lens cameras built around Graflex SLRs, not around Speed Graphics. A Speed Graphic is not an SLR.

    I can document that Graflex made Big Berthas. I can also document some that were made by newspapers, not always clear who exactly -- press photographer, someone else -- did the work. In addition, General Research Labs, whoever they were, made Berthas to a Frezzolini design. Your link shows a name plate with a space for a serial number and I know an owner who has sent me pictures of hers. The GRL Bertha was built around a 5x7 Home Portait Camera, has to have been in series production.

    CJ, asking the questions "does it cover more than 43 mm" crudely should be easy.

    About the lens' weight. My USAF data sheet says 10 pounds. I told you that in post 5 of this thread.

    The data sheet also says that the lens' back focus is 127 mm. That's vertex of rear element-to-film plane distance. It really is a telephoto.

    If the lens will pass through your camera's front standard the front standard can serve as a support. If not, you should have more than enough rail in front of the front standard when the lens is focused "far away" to put a support for it on the rail.

    CJ, this http://www.bonanza.com/booths/JimsCa...ew__No5__Illex was among the first 100 hits returned by this http://www.google.com/search?q=%22Ba...fe=images&tbs= Google search. STFU and start looking for yourself.

  9. #9
    cyberjunkie's Avatar
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    Re: Bausch & Lomb Telephoto Anastigmat 20inch 508mm f/5.6

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Fromm View Post
    CJ, asking the questions "does it cover more than 43 mm" crudely should be easy.

    About the lens' weight. My USAF data sheet says 10 pounds. I told you that in post 5 of this thread.

    The data sheet also says that the lens' back focus is 127 mm. That's vertex of rear element-to-film plane distance. It really is a telephoto.

    CJ, this http://www.bonanza.com/booths/JimsCa...ew__No5__Illex was among the first 100 hits returned by this http://www.google.com/search?q=%22Ba...fe=images&tbs= Google search. STFU and start looking for yourself.
    1)
    I have seen your reference to the USAF chart, here and on another thread, i was just trying to find somebody who did the test and found that the lens does not cover 8x10". A few users reported 8x10" coverage, another one claimed that it gives a good image quality only with 15 degrees, and you reported 24x36mm. I am starting to guess that the lens was always the same, the different reported coverage was probably due to the fact that the lens was used on very different cameras. Just a guess, of course...

    2)
    Maybe i am getting too old, and my memory is starting to fail, but i think i have read somewhere "2 1/2 lbs.". Probably you're right and i'm wrong. If it's true, i think that front-mounting the lens in a shutter is not a wise choice.

    3)
    Definitely it's an huber-telephoto! 508mm FL and 127mm back focus!
    Now i understand why the lens was used in Big Bertha Graflexes.

    4)
    Many thanks for the link! I thought i made a nice search but i missed the link you reported.
    BTW the lens is still on sale, and i went to the seller's web site.
    Unfortunately there is no picture of the back of the lens, only one is available and the back cell is hidden by the shutter. From the length of the front tube i got that the original barrel was cut in two, and put part in front and part at the back of a No5 Ilex shutter. Much better than front-mounting the whole objective, but most part of the total weight is still resting against the front thread of the shutter. It looks like a professionally made adaptation, and the vendor says that the Ilex No5 was totally remade at a great cost: if a work like that was ever made, then the shutter should be perfectly fit for supporting the weight. Nice to know it, but when i checked i found that the diameter at the front hood is about 4 1/4" (the glass is less than 4"), so one of the bigger Packards should be enough. BTW, there are outer and inner pins, which allow to manufacture an easily removable adapter for a front mounted shutter.
    No bad news at all, for a lens that was purchased out of curiosity, and because it was big and cheap, and nobody else placed a bid Just a collector's item... now i have the hope that it will take pictures again, if it does not cover 8x10", i will try to use it with smaller formats!

    have fun

    CJ

  10. #10

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    Re: Bausch & Lomb Telephoto Anastigmat 20inch 508mm f/5.6

    What may be the same lens in the link is also offered on ebay.com I don't believe the shutter was "totally remade." Fitted with threaded bushings seems much more likely. That how its done.

    Re how strong shutters are, I hang a 610/9 Apo Nikkor in light alloy cup-shaped adapter on a Copal #1. The lens alone weighs 3 pounds. No problems. Big Ilexes are stronger than Copal or Compur #1s.

    You are confusing the USAF 1951 lens testing target with the data sheets I have. I realize English is not your first language, but still ..

    A subset of the data sheets I have is online at http://www.captainparker.com/lens-sp...s/sample-1.pdf , http://www.captainparker.com/lens-sp...s/sample-2.pdf, and http://www.captainparker.com/lens-sp...s/sample-3.pdf Look at them and then you'll understand what "USAF data sheet" means. I don't know whether the 20"/5.6 B&L is in the subset.

    I don't know whether a 20"/5.6 B&L was ever fitted to a Bertha. Its a little short for the typical Bertha. FWIW, the Frezzi-GRL Bertha whose owner I know has a 500/4.5 CZJ Tessar. You can read more about Berthas in use here http://books.google.com/books?id=SiE...tha%22&f=false

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