View Full Version : A Future Dream - Which lens would cover a 14x14 plate

2-Apr-2015, 06:13
Hello everyone,

This is the second time I am asking a question in this forum, you have been very helpful in the previous, thanks for that.

I have been making ambrotypes since 7 months or so, I have a Chamonix Whole Plate and a Taylor Hobson Cooke lens.
I am pretty happy with the equipment and the way I am driving with the wet plate process.

As said, 14x14 is a future size I want to work in. And finding a lens is harder than buying a camera. So during this time, I am thinking of looking for lenses and Im lost. No mathematics works in Ulf- as calculating the diagonal of a rectangle doesn't work I guess.

Will be waiting for your replies.
Respects and Love.

Dan Fromm
2-Apr-2015, 06:18
Of course mathematics works in ULF. You need a lens that covers 500 mm.

This link http://1drv.ms/1w0vbMD will take you to a list of links to lens catalogs. Look in them.

2-Apr-2015, 09:32
I have checked some catalogues and some questions rise. Is it impossible to get apertures such as 4.5 or around that with a 17 inch lens for ex?
I just checked eBay for a Voigtlander Collinear and it is an 17inch lens with an aperture of 6.3. It says that it covers 14x17.
Is an aperture 6.3 good for this type of a huge lens? Can any better lens be found?
Will make search for lenses with more knowledge if i get answers to these questions.


Dan Fromm
2-Apr-2015, 10:06
How much money do you to spend on a lens?

As for the Collinear, the seller says that http://www.ebay.com/itm/Voigtlander-Sohn-Collinear-II-1-6-3-No-5-Lens-HUGE-COVERAGE-/201051580415 is a 250 mm lens. He confuses "illuminate" with "cover" in the sense of "puts good image in the corners." There's no way it will cover 14" x 14", let alone 14" x 17". The mathematics you don't like says that a 250 mm lens that covers 500 mm at infinity must cover 90 degrees. Not possible.

Read the catalogs. If you are patient, sooner or later a long (>= 500 mm) f/6.3 Tessar or equivalent will turn up.

Buy a copy of A Lens Collector's Vade Mecum. Directions to a seller are in the list of links I gave you. Study it. Read the catalogs. Look for long (>= 500 mm) lenses offered on ebay.com, ebay.co.uk, ebay.de and ebay.fr. Look them up in the catalogs and the VM. Be patient. Don't jump on the first semi-plausible lens you see. Avoid telephoto lenses. Don't believe eBay sellers' coverage claims. Be patient. Take your time.

2-Apr-2015, 10:09
I will Mr Fromm, thank you and respects.
This 14x14 dream is gonna happen in two years time so there need to be patience as you say.

2-Apr-2015, 10:10

this was the one i was mentioning by the way, respects

2-Apr-2015, 10:24
Yes, you can get an F4.5 Tessar that should cover. The Bausch and Lomb Series IC was made pretty long, and are easy to find. Or a triplet such as a Wollensak Varium which is F3.5.

If you are taking landscapes, where nothing is moving, the speed doesn't matter. But with portraits, people cannot hold still very well longer than about 15 seconds. With wetplate, if you are shooting outdoors in bright lighting, an F6.3 lens would give you about a 5 to 10 second exposure at mid day. Towards the beginning or end of the day, double that. With artificial lighting you need even faster lenses. So an F4.5 is better.

Hugo Zhang
2-Apr-2015, 16:42
I have an old uncoated Goerz Celor 480 mm f/5.5 that covers this format easily.

3-Apr-2015, 02:08
Hello Hugo, I have sent an email to you asking the price. Thank you for being interested again.