View Full Version : TT&H Cooke Series XV Convertble Anastigmat 6.8 312mm

Ian Greenhalgh
16-Nov-2013, 08:37
I just found one of these beauties in a local antiques shop for a very nice price. I bought it for a friend in Europe who shoots 8x10.

I will have a short time to try it out before I send it, but I only have a 5x7 camera and the lens is not in shutter, but I think I can get away with using paper negatives, a lens cap shutter and the 1 potato, 2 potato etc exposure method.

A few questions:

Has anyone ever used one of these on 5x7?

How much bellows draw does it need?

Were they all threaded to fit a Ilex#4 or Compur #3 (58mm threads)?

With 8 air-glass surfaces, how is the contrast and flare?

This is the same lens that Ansel Adams used, right?

16-Nov-2013, 09:08
Isn't the bellows draw the same regardless of format? 12.5" at infinity?

Ian Greenhalgh
16-Nov-2013, 09:17
Yes, I don't see why the bellows draw would change, I just wondered how much it needs because my 5x7 hasn't got very long bellows, 12.5 inch will be about the maximum.

E. von Hoegh
16-Nov-2013, 13:22
Yes, I don't see why the bellows draw would change, I just wondered how much it needs because my 5x7 hasn't got very long bellows, 12.5 inch will be about the maximum.

Actually, 312mm would be measured from the close vicinity of the aperture on this lens. So you'll need say 11.5 inches from the GG to the lensboard, if it mounts with the rear element roughly level with the flange as most barrel lenses do.

Ian Greenhalgh
16-Nov-2013, 13:29
Cheers, let's hope it's not too heavy for the front standard on my Instantograph. :)

BTW, anyone got a rough idea of value of this lens with good glass but quite a bit of brass showing through the worn enamel and a couple of minor filter ring dings? I paid 50ukp so I'm fairly sure I paid less than I would on ebay.

karl french
16-Nov-2013, 13:58
In barrel: $800-$1000
Mounted in shutter with correct aperture scale: $1200-$1500

Ian Greenhalgh
16-Nov-2013, 16:08
Cheers Karl.

Wow, that much, my friend is going to be very happy when I tell him that.

Ian Greenhalgh
23-Nov-2013, 18:33
I decided I had to try this lensout before I pass it on,so I found a suitable cardboard box to make a rudimentary camera.

I've mounted the lens in the centre of one end and painted the inside of the box black.

Now comes the tricky bit - how to work out the distance to place the film plane. Does anyone have any suggestions about how to go about working this out? I'm guessing what I need to do is place the plane at the correct distance for the hyperfocal distance of the lens.

Tim Meisburger
23-Nov-2013, 19:41
Easiest is to make a ground glass and test. or use the glass off your 4x5 (5x7?). Or make a top hat or extension back for your 5x7.

Isn't that the lens Ansel Adams used to shoot Moonrise? Not sure I would get rid of it if I got it for a good price, as you are never likely to see that price again.

Ian Greenhalgh
23-Nov-2013, 19:56
Cheers Tim. I'll see what can do with the ground glass.

Apparently it is the lens Ansel used and the 50ukp I paid is ridiculously cheap.

I'm just not sure I'll ever want to shoot 8x10 and the lens isn't very suitable for 5x7.

I'll see how I feel once I've made some shots with it in this cardboard box cam, I might change my mind.

The lens is in nice shape, some brassing to the barrel but the glass is good, just one scratch on the front, otherwise perfect. The aperture is very stiff, but I can surely cure that.

Tim Meisburger
23-Nov-2013, 20:16
Hmm... Its probably fine on 5x7 and even 4x5, even though it has the image circle for 8x10. If it was mine, and I got it for that price, I'd spend the money to have it mounted in shutter, and then hang on to it at least till I needed some money. Once you shoot it you could fall in love, or not. I had a Cooke knuckler (which many people love) and a Universal Heliar (also well loved). Both with soft focus, which I don't seem to have much affinity or talent for, but I loved the Heliar full sharp, so I sold the Cooke and will never sell the Heliar, even though it is too heavy and clunky for 4x5, and a pain in the ass without a shutter.

You never know when you will fall in love....

Ian Greenhalgh
23-Nov-2013, 21:10
Looking at this one, it doesn't appear to have 58mm threads to fit an Ilex #4 or Copal #3, the threads appear a bit bigger than that, so putting it in a shutter is likely going to be very expensive as it will need a huge shutter.

I always need money, but I am going to give this baby a chance to seduce me!