View Full Version : ross homocentric vs. emil busch cooke-telar

jenn wilson
29-Jun-2008, 11:25
i would love any clarification anyone might be able to provide on this...

i am interested in purchasing a longer lens for 4x5 than i currently own. at the moment, it is a toss up between a ross homocentric 12"/8 in an inoperable volute shutter and an emil busch cooke-telar 13"/7 barrel lens. in my research on both of these lenses, i have found conflicting coverage info on the telar. one site says it will cover 4x5 and 5x7. another says that when the aperture is wide open, it will only cover 2 1/4 x 3 1/4 (http://www.allenrumme.com/lensdb/Telephoto.html). i figure one source is speaking of worst case scenario and the other speaks of best case possible.

in addition, i am concerned about the volute shutter. i know these shutters are unique in their design. will the lens be useless due to the nature of the inoperable shutter?

so as to avoid confusion, bellows extension is not a concern. and as far as i have read, both lenses will fit on linhof sized boards. but i would love confirmation on this point.

any additional info or clarification would be appreciated.

Dan Fromm
29-Jun-2008, 12:16
Um, Jenn, if you don't have a camera with a focal plane shutter, why bother with either? No shutter, no reasonably accurately timed short exposures. For me, short means shorter than 2 seconds. Some people can time 1 second manually well enough for negative film.

I've accumulated a moderate number of lenses in barrel or dead shutter so I can tell you from personal experience that a decent modern lens in operating or inexpensively reparable shutter, bought at a fair price, is usually a better bargain than a free ancient lens in barrel or irreparable shutter. If you have the money to solve all problems or incurable old lens obsession, buy both.

BTW, old lenses in unknown condition, i.e., not in hand, can't be evaluated, except perhaps as collectors' objects to be resold to innocents, most of whom reside in the far east these days. Same goes for used lenses in general. Whatever they may have been, the only way to find out what they are now is to ask them.

I know this is not what you wanted to hear.



Paul Fitzgerald
29-Jun-2008, 12:17
Hi there,

not being pushy but these 2 sound like dogs. There are too many far better lenses out there.

Ross Homocentric is a wide angle lens with a nice reputation a century ago. This one is listed for 8x10 and should cover 11x14 stopped down, major bellows flair on anything smaller. 4 elements, air spaced, 8 air-glass surfaces = low contrast, high flair, ghost reflections.

A broken Volute is not quite worthless, it can be used as a fishing lure. They were overly complex, parts are not available or easily made, no one works on them AND the aperture blades are the shutter blades. If it's broken nothing works. You could chase down a Kodak Supermatic shutter with the same threads, maybe.

If Busch listed their tele for 2 1/4 x 3 1/4 it's doubtful it would cover 4x5. If it could, they would have listed it as a 4x5 lens and sold it for more money. It's a tele so it will make swings and tilts really interesting and likely vignette quickly.

Neither would have a distinctive signature 'look' to the photo, either would make a really cute key fob.

Sorry to rain on the parade.

Ole Tjugen
29-Jun-2008, 12:51
I have to agree here. In addition I will state that you should never choose a telephoto lens unless forced to do so due to lack of bellows - any kind of front movement with a telephoto lens is an exercise in bringing on a headache.

If you do need a telephoto lens, get a decent modern-ish one in a reliable shutter. The one I had was a Schneider Tele-Xenar 360mm f:5.5 in a Compound #3 shutter; I wouldn't recommend anything much older than that one. BTW the Compound #3 just fits on a Technika board; but it may have to be mounted at an angle.

30-Jun-2008, 02:05
But a Volute is easier to try to fix than a Supermatic!