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Thread: How were barrel lenses used to make exposures on process cameras?

  1. #1

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    How were barrel lenses used to make exposures on process cameras?

    Hello,

    I have been looking at lenses that might be useful for a 8x10 and/or 11x14 and have been intrigued to see that various LF photographers are using so-called "barrel" lenses to make exposures, either with a Packard shutter, lens cap, felt hat, or by reworking into a modern shutter.

    What is unclear to me is how these lenses were used in the first place in process cameras if they didn't have shutters. Didn't they require a shutter somehow for accurate reproduction etc.?

    The APO-Nikkor process lenses don't see to have shutters but there is a different control slider on the lens that is apart from the aperture control. What is that?

    I would love a pointer to any articles/essays relevant to the topic.

    Thank you!

  2. #2

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    Re: How were barrel lenses used to make exposures on process cameras?

    Old process lenses often had a slider which covered a broad Waterhouse slot opening. The slider kept the dust out. Used for filters and the strange patterns cut out in connection with graphic reproduction.

    Many large cameras studio/reproduction were supplied with a Packard/dallmeyer or a Grundner shutter fixed inside the front standard. The brass connecting pneumatic fixture is often found on front standard or the 1/4" hole where it used to be.

  3. #3

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    Re: How were barrel lenses used to make exposures on process cameras?

    At the newspaper I worked at in the 70s, the camera had an electronically-controlled Packard, as have the several other graphics cameras I have seen since.

  4. #4

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    Re: How were barrel lenses used to make exposures on process cameras?

    And in the REALLY old days -- when film was so slow that the backing was a sheet of glass and the subject could not move for several minutes -- taking off, and putting back on a lens cap was the easiest part of the procedure.

  5. #5

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    Re: How were barrel lenses used to make exposures on process cameras?

    Flash. Darken room. Remove lens cap. Pop. Replace lens cap. Continuous hot lights, on time controlled by a time, were an alternative to flash.

  6. #6

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    Re: How were barrel lenses used to make exposures on process cameras?

    In the olde days, either the entire process camera or just the "business end" (film end) of the process camera was in a darkroom. You shot orthochromatic film so the red light could be on the entire time, and then as Dan Fromm mentioned, turning on the continuous lights for a period of time made the exposure. No need for a shutter.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    In this example, the film plane end of the process camera is in a separate darkroom to the right.

  7. #7
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    Re: How were barrel lenses used to make exposures on process cameras?

    Quote Originally Posted by mdarnton View Post
    At the newspaper I worked at in the 70s, the camera had an electronically-controlled Packard, as have the several other graphics cameras I have seen since.
    Thanks for that. I deleted my earlier post because I recalled incorrectly. Given the huge mass of the process camera, a Packard shutter was feasible.
    .

  8. #8

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    Re: How were barrel lenses used to make exposures on process cameras?

    I know about process cameras with highspeed shutters while using bulbs for reproduction.

  9. #9

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    Re: How were barrel lenses used to make exposures on process cameras?

    Thanks for all the informative responses! Makes sense now. I think I'll keep an eye out for some of the APO-Nikkor lenses with an eye to using them eventually on a 11x14 and/or 8x10.

  10. #10

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    Re: How were barrel lenses used to make exposures on process cameras?

    Hmm. The shortest Apo-Nikkor that will cover 8x10 is the 455/9. So will all longer ones. The shortest that will cover 11x14 is the 610/9. So will all longer ones. Prices are all over the map and real bargains, relative to a few years ago, turn up.

    Believe it or not, a 610/9 mounted in front of a Copal #1 will easily cover 8x10 and will cover 11x14 with a little room for movements. SKGrimes can make an adapter. If you're not comfortable with a #1, get a #3 or a Compound #4 or #5. Again, Grimes can make an adapter. I b'lieve a Compound would best be hung in front of the lens, otherwise access to the shutter controls will be very tight. If you're not comfortable with front-mounting or hanging a shutter in front of a lens, discuss putting the Apo Nikkor of your dreams in a large Ilex with Grimes.

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