View Full Version : New to L.F.

19-Dec-2007, 12:41
Greetings to all. I'm new to L.F. and have purchased an Agfa-Ansco 5x7 as my first L.F. camera. To date I've used 35mm, (mostly film and some digital) and medim format film cameras. I'm exitedly expecting the arrival of the 5x7 and couldn't be happier to be learning new things. So please bear with me if my question is intolerably naive. I'm unfamiliar with L.F. lenses, especially the antique ones that will shortly arrive with my camera. The first is a Gundlach-Manhattan Optical Company, Turner-Reich, and Anastigmat 6 1/2 x 8 1/2. The second is an Ilex Anastigmat 7 1/2. I've enjoyed reading about the history of Gundlach but haven't found a table that can show me what the sizes of the lenses are in a way that I'm familiar with. I'm assuming they would be considered wide angle for 5x7 but don't know since I have yet to understand what the 6 1/2 x 8 1/2 relates to. I believe that represents an area of image coverage but I'm just not sure. Any information would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance &
Best Regards,
Dan Cordle

Jim Noel
19-Dec-2007, 13:00
6 1/2 x 8 1/2 refers to a full plate camera. In other words, the image area it will cover is 1 1/2 inches larger on each dimension than 5x7.
The lens is most likely a "normal" focal length for full plate. It thus will have a lot of coverage for movements on 5x7. I suspect the focal length is somewhere in the vicinity of 10", or 254 mm.
The 7 1/2" lens is just shorter than "normal" on 5x7. It woould not be considered wide angle, even though it is slightly wide. About like 45mm on a s5mm camera.
When the camera arrives, have fun focusing the lenses on various subjects at various distances to see what the view is like before you even think about film.

Welcome to LF.

19-Dec-2007, 13:16
Thanks, Jim for your generous reply!

Vick Vickery
19-Dec-2007, 14:08
Welcome to group therepy, Dan! :) I would guess that your Turner-Reicht will be a triple-convertible lens since every one I've inspected has been (they might have made non-convertibles, but I've never seen one). I use a Turner-Reicht 6 1/4" (160mm) as my normal lens on my Cambo 4x5 and am very well pleased with it. Converted to either 11" (275mm) or 14" (350mm) it gives very usable results. When using any convertible lens with only one group, be sure to check your focus after stopping down to the taking f-stop; focus shift upon stopping down is very common with these lenses and only one group.

19-Dec-2007, 15:03
Thank you Vick. Triple convertible? I feel like I've won the lottery! Of course, I have no experience with convertible lenses... Sounds very intriguing though. I'm excited to see how it operates. That said, never even having used a camera with movements, I know I'm in for an eye opening experience.

I've uploaded a photo of the lens and camera at my flickr site: http://flickr.com/photos/dancordle/
My camera is the only Agfa I've seen without the top metal bar. I'm not sure what model it is, but am pretty sure it's not an older model since it has the plastic knobs.

Best Regards,

John Kasaian
19-Dec-2007, 15:23
Welcome! Agfa Anscos rock! Your Turner Reich should work nicely for you. If you find the shutter needs a cla, Carol Miller at Flutot's is the person to talk to. Have fun with your new gear!

Vick Vickery
19-Dec-2007, 15:33
Yep...that is a triple-convertible lens in a dial-set shutter (see the tripple f-stop scale on the shutter); quite a bit older than mine (the shutter, anyway...the glass might be about the same age since mine has been moved to a Rapex shutter), but it looks like a workable rig! Plan on having a CLA on the shutter to make sure it is working right and to learn what the true shutter speeds are (little chance they will be as marked); Carol at www.flutotscamerarepair.com worked over a dial-set from an old Schneider 240mm for me recently, and I was very happy with both the work and the price!

19-Dec-2007, 17:32
Hey Dan.

There's a chart on the turner-Reich lenses (focal lengths and coverages) that I found in www.Cameraeccentric.com.

Seth has a huge amount of info on antique and vintage equipment posted there including many of the original catalogs or instruction manuals for bygone equipment. The books are posted as the original covers, but when you click on those, the whole publication becomes available, page by page.

Go to his site, click on the button for information then scroll down a little over half the page to the Gundlach catalog #32. When you open it, you will find everything that was published by the company on all their lenses.

Carol Miller at Flutot's has been mentioned here VERY favorably and rightly so, but she also has links to her site that are amazing for finding people like Seth and finding resources for data, processes, parts and generally "where the hell did they find that" info that would take months of research to find on your own. www.Flutotscamerarepair.com

Enjoy the Ansco. I've got a slightly different version of the 5x7 and it's big brother 8x10. Wonderful gear. I've also owned two triple convertible lenses, one a Turner-Reich, the other an ancient Ilex and have been pleased with the results from both.

Good luck.



19-Dec-2007, 17:40
Thank you John. I'm pleased to be in the company of new friends! Great to hear about Carol from both of you. I will definitely give her a ring. I'm very happy to hear it's an old lens and "triple convertible lens" will sound very sexy to my digital slr friends. I like the idea of using a very old lenses. How is the shutter on the one I have tripped? I've seen the air bulb release on other Anscos. Boy do I have a lot to learn!

19-Dec-2007, 19:15
Hi Tim,

I must have been posting at the same time as you and missed your post. That catalogue is fantastic to see.

Paul Fitzgerald
19-Dec-2007, 19:32
Hi Dan,

that looks like a Compound air shutter, they CLA very well. To cock the shutter move the pin at 6 o'clock fully to the left (M), set the speed at 12 o'clock, cock the shutter at 3 o'clock, wait 3 - 4 seconds then trip the shutter at 8 o,clock.

Set the pin at 6 o'clock to the center (B) for Bulb or move it fully to the right (Z) for Time setting.

Have fun with it

19-Dec-2007, 20:11
Thank you Paul. This camera gets more and more exciting. Being a compound air shutter, does that mean that a cable release would be the air/bulb variety?

Best Regards,

19-Dec-2007, 21:25
Hey, Dan. More info from the Flutot's site.

Go there and click on links then on the products topic. Fourth down on the list is Bulbs and Hoses which are what you need for this shutter. The nipple at the left of the speed controls is a fitting for a hose for an air release. te just slips over the whole nipple and is held on by tension.

I don't think that there is a fitting on this shutter for a regular threaded mechanical cable release.

Merry Christmas


Paul Fitzgerald
20-Dec-2007, 08:23
Hi Dan,

in the photo of your shutter there is a chrome fitting at 11 o'clock, it should take a standard cable release.

A Compound air shutter uses the air piston at the top to adjust the speeds, it's almost silent in operation BUT doesn't like quick changes in temp. Cycle the shutter thru a few times before the actual exposure and wait a few seconds between chocking and tripping the shutter.

Happy Holidays, enjoy the Christmas present.

20-Dec-2007, 12:12
Thank's guys. I'm excitedly awaiting the camera. It is a bit like Christmas!

3-Jan-2008, 14:02
I received the camera yesterday and it's a beauty! I'm very intrigued by the Turner Reich convertible lens and have been scouting about for information about how to best set it up for the three different focal lengths. I'm also unsure of which f-stop scale relates to which set-up. Any help from Triple Convert. users would be welcome.
Best Regards,

3-Jan-2008, 16:28
Hi again, Dan.

Go back to the Cameraeccentric.com info page and then to the Turner Reich catalog #32 and open it. Then look at page three which is a table of focal lengths for the cells and how to use them. Should be all that you need to figure this out.

Have fun.