View Full Version : Conley 4x5 triple convertible lens

Alex mckay
15-Jul-2004, 12:47
I have a Conley triple convertible lens on a Conley 4x5 camera. I have seen the discussion thread on the 5x7 and 8x10 lens, does anybody know anything about the 4x5 version? Its focal lengths are 6.25, 10.5 and 14.5 inches. I understand the shutter mechanism, which is a simple two leaf type as near as I can tell, is pneumatic or air driven rather than spring loaded/driven? My shutter speeds are all off and thus even more limted than when manufactured, is there any way or any body out there who can repair this thing? Or is it possible to mount these optics on a new or newer shutter? I am considering just buying a new/used feild camera but I think I want old optics for an "yee oleden tyme" feel. Or is there a new or newer convertible lens out there that doesn't cost two grand?

thanks, Alex

Jay DeFehr
15-Jul-2004, 13:11
If you like the lens, but have a beef with the shutter, send it to SK Grimes in Woonsocket. Small lenses are fairly easy to find shutters for, and they're less expensive than bigger ones, but the machine work will still cost you something. Speaking strictly hypothetically, is the lens worth an investment of $200? If so, The SK Grimes shop can probably set you up. They do excellent work, and are truly an asset to the LF community. If you find another vintage, triple convertible lens in nearly the same range, it will likely suffer the same shutter problems that yours does. A reliable shutter is a beautiful thing, and worth the investment I think. Good luck.

Ernest Purdum
15-Jul-2004, 21:05
I can't tell much about your shutter from your description, but most early pneumatic shutters that aren't actually broken respond quite well to cleaning, which should cost very much less than having a different shutter fitted, a very expensive procedure not economically feasible for most lenses.

Convertible lenses are not particularly sought after at the moment and many can be found for much less than $2000. One is the Schneider Symmar befor the "S" series. It isn't a triple convertible, both cells being the same focal length. The most commonly found of the earlier uncoated convertibles are the Zeiss Protar Series VIIa and the Turner-Reich. Condition is very important with these. The Turner-Reich seems particularly susceptible to separation. Both of these came in either double or triple configurations as well as sets wih additional focal length cells.