View Full Version : linhof 240 5.5 tele xenar

26-Nov-2005, 10:26

Anybody know about this lens?
I recently purchased an incredibly clean, precise working version of this lens for use
on a Crown Graphic, hoping it would also do double duty on a 5x7 (ancient B/J with relatively
short bellows).

I was elated to find that my first image made with this lens, a relatively close (4 ft or so)
still life, covered the 5x7 film without even a hint of vinetting (did I spell that right...?).
Anywho, today I developed a negative made yesterday, of an old, spooky looking house. I was
quite pleased with the contrast, clarity and sharpness of the lens. I was also amazed to see a
circle cutting into the 5x7 frame.

What gives? I notice the bellows draw is very short for infinity focus (about 6-7"). The house
I shot yesterday was about 100 yards distant. Does this have anything to do with anything?

I am perplexed. I just shot a self portrait (quite close) and found no problem. As with the image of the house,
I shot the portrait at f/22.
(heavy sigh)
I can return the lens, but it seems a pity to do so, it has a different character from that of the
300mm Fujinon W I've been using. The build quality is stunning. In short: I like the little thing
and am perhaps looking for a good reason to keep it, as it is quite portable with my old B and J
5x7 wood field camera. Hope this makes sense. Any help would be appreciated.

Michael Graves
26-Nov-2005, 10:31
When you shot your closeup images from four feet, you were throwing a much larger image circle than you'll get at infinity. Therefore, at 1:2 (which is a pretty close estimation of what you were shooting at without taking the time to do the math) you were able to cover 5x7. At infinity, it doesn't. Try this. Take a flashlight and shine the beam on a wall. Look at how big the circle of light is at four feet. Now back off and shine the light from 8 feet. Your lens is that flashlight, and the bellows extension is the distance from the light to the wall.

26-Nov-2005, 11:51
but shouldn't I have been able to see the vinetting on the ground glass when I brought the image into focus ?

Michael Graves
26-Nov-2005, 12:03
Sometimes you just don't notice a thing like that. Other times the image on the screen just looks brighter than it registers on film. I once shot an entire series of an old church building in New England where I deliberately used a lens that I knew wouldn't cover the format. I was looking to use the vignetting effect to make the images seem more "vintage". (It didn't work, by the way.) I carefully composed the images, letting the vignette drop around the steeple of the building on the ground glass. In the final negatives, the darkening of the image circle invaded the clapboard of the building.

Jack Flesher
26-Nov-2005, 12:10
First off it's "vignette" with a "g". And for some unknown reason the infinitive verb form, usually created by adding "ing", is not accepted as a real word.

Second, yes you will see it if you look for it -- Generally this requires you to stop your lens down to its working aperture as this makes the edge harsher, then stretch to the rear of your darkcloth so you are far enough away from the GG to see the entire image with a narrower viewing angle.

Michael Graves
26-Nov-2005, 12:49
Some dictionaries seems to thing "vignetting" is all right. From Wikopedia:


A vignette is a small decorative design, or a brief descriptive piece of writing. Vignetting is also used to indicate an unintended darkening or blurring of the image corners in a photograph. In graphic arts and printing, a vignette design usually incorporates a color gradation.
Vignettes are the literary equivalent of a snapshot. They are usually found in sets, around similar subjects or ideas. These sets do not usually follow a plot, but convey an overall mood, theme, or idea. They usually contain colorful, poetic symbolism and metaphors. They are generally short and to the point, not dwelling too long on anything." (copyright 2005; Reference.com)

Donald Qualls
26-Nov-2005, 17:01
Another possible contributor to vignetting with a "tele" lens is movements. Because of the "extender" group that lets a true tele mimic a long focal length on a short bellows (a negative achromat mounted behind the usual 4 elements of a Xenar, in your case), any front tilt will very quickly move the image circle beyond coverage -- it's approximately as if you were tilting a long extension lens board in your front standard; the tilt is being applied far behind the lens node. Solution: do all tilts in the rear, if your camera supports that, or be hyperaware that a downward front tilt will also require a (large) front fall or rear rise movement to keep the film inside the image circle.

Tele lenses, originally, were mainly intended for compact press and field cameras with their limited bellows draw, where movements weren't usually a big issue...

27-Nov-2005, 05:52
Thank you, Donald, first, for bringing the thread back on topic, and second for providing what seems
to be the culprit; I did, as I recall, use quite a bit of rise in order to include more sky and less forground in
the image.