View Full Version : El cheapo lens for 4x5 and Graphic Kowa 150 f/9

16-Jun-2013, 07:58
Hi one and all! My name is Vallo and I am new to both this board and LF.
First, I am familiar with view cameras, I made one for myself out of scrap parts but it is mere 120 film format with a 6x7 frame. I want bigger. Ideally I want to reach 8x10 but until then 4x5 will do.
Since I come from a less economically able part of Europe, I don't have much cash to throw around for a decent camera, so I will make one myself. No biggie. Now, the lenses can be quite expensive. I have my eye on Tominon 127 and 105, both which allegedly cover 4x5 and go around cheap sometimes. I have a 75mm version myself but that doesn't cover nearly enough at infinity. But the Tominons are getting scarce and expensive and a good, cheap Raptar is also a bit hard to find.
Now, I got a nice metal plate from a neighbour of mine and that metal plate has 4, yes, 4 Graphic Kowa 150mm f/9 lenses mounted on it, without shutters unfortunately. But I like what I see on ground glass so I'd really like to utilize one for a 4x5 camera. It has a nice coverage, too. I am unfamiliar with the terminology but I believe these are barrel mounted? How could one attach a shutter to this lens?
Alternatively, I could offer a trade - one of the Kowas for a shutter for this lens or some other shuttered lens I could use for my project. All of the Kowas are in good condition.

All the best,

Ian Greenhalgh
16-Jun-2013, 08:03
Hi Vallo

The Tominons are poor choices for 4x5 as they only cover adequately at close distances.

The Graphic Kowas are very good lenses, sell three of them to finance something else. The fourth one, you can indeed use. I am not sure if the cells from this lens directly fit into a shutter or not, I suspect not. Unless you have a friend who can do the skilled machine work to make adapters to make it fit a shutter, it will be very expensive.

To get going in large format for minimum cost, look for an old 9x12 or 12x18cm folding camera. There were dozens of different German makers and most models had good lenses, mostly 4 element dialytes or tessars. These cameras can be found from 25eu for the 9x12 size.

16-Jun-2013, 11:11
It seems to me that I can screw out the cells but I don't have the proper tool to do that yet.
I attached some pictures of the actual lens. The barrel measures 38mm measured from the threaded part for us metric folk. The "screwable" part that looks like a cell to me measures some 33mm. Ignore the wide metal mounting piece, that comes off if I were to apply enough force.
There also seems to be a fixed iris right in the middle, so my guess is that if it really consists of cells, it could gain a stop in a shutter?
I gave a call to my neighbour, he said it was from some sort of complicated copying apparatus they used at the hospital in the old days.
I really-really-really like what I see on the ground glass with this lens. Sharp, yet subtle. Well-balanced.
By the way, I really like Tominons, even at low magnifications. Despite being reverse-tessar macro lenses, they draw good at my opinion. Here is a shot I took with a 75mm one, stopped down to 8: https://www.flickr.com/photos/moribu...n/photostream/
And here's the beast that I built around the lens: https://www.flickr.com/photos/moribundworld/8962444804/
The vignette fairy visits me quite often, though :P

Dan Fromm
16-Jun-2013, 11:35
Be careful when you unscrew the trim ring. It could very well retain the glasses in the barrel. The barrel appears to be in one piece, with no diaphragm. This is not a good sign.

16-Jun-2013, 11:43
Yes, the diaphragm is not adjustable, just a thin sheet of plastic or metal between the middle elements. But it is there. There are trim rings on both sides, the lens is perfectly symmetrical besides the writings, there are none in the other side. Worst case scenario is that I might find a shutter big enough to accomodate the barrel and just put it in front of the shutter. I lose the ability to stop down but hey, at least I can time my exposures!