View Full Version : Unusual and off the wall lens choices

Ian Greenhalgh
12-May-2013, 21:48
Hi folks

In the small format & digital spheres I've done a fair bit of playing around with unusual lenses that were never intended for pictorial work - projector lenses, wierd lenses ripped out of arcane industrial machines, all sorts of things.

So I'm wondering, what unusual lenses have people adapted to large format use?

Steven Tribe
13-May-2013, 01:22
There is a long previous thread which includes cheap magnifying glasses (Wal-mart?).
Projection lenses (both triplets and Petzvals) are sold - often fraudently - everyday for LF use.
Personally, I have had my biggest thrills with the use of pre-photographic optics - George III (well known by our American friends!) front achromats from telescopes. Now these telescopes are often at a bargain price compared with early photographic optics, especialy if they have received ill treatment!

13-May-2013, 11:35
The only 'odd' lens I have used is a cheap magnifying lens. Speed Graphic and Type 55 film...

Dan Fromm
13-May-2013, 17:00
Whatever fits and can be shuttered (with the proverbial hat, if comes to that) and covers the intended format can be tried. Coverage is somewhat a killer, eliminates many lenses made for small formats. People will, however, insist that some macro lenses for 4x5, e.g., the dread 75/4.5 Tominon in its several forms, are wide angle lenses for 4x5. Scan eBay for a while if you haven't seen the claims yet.

sun of sand
14-May-2013, 22:24
the oddest lens I tried was a wollensak 90mm 4.5 enlarging lens.

sun of sand
14-May-2013, 22:27
i have a 75mm wollensak 4.5 that covers 4x5 "the most" out of the other 75/80's I have but not as well as does the 90mm which covers with mush
not too bad if needed a trashy cheap lens or something and especially if don't mind/want an oval frame

15-May-2013, 19:34
I use a transformed velostigmat series III 8x10 f9.5. It is missing both front and back inner elements and makes a lovely f4 90mm for 4x5. Diffuse glow with nice sharpness underneath wide open and stopped down it's wicked sharp. I guess it's just 2 meniscus lenses now. Decent 4x5 coverage

15-May-2013, 20:06
I'm getting ready to try the front element if a 360mm Repro Claron combined with the rear of a no-name 11" convertible. The resulting FL is 11" and the image looks fairly sharp on the ground glass. The unit is in a compound shutter.