View Full Version : Looking at buying this lens...

5-Jul-2008, 15:48
Hey hey all,

I'm looking at buying this lens for my newly purchased (and yet to have received Graphic View II) but really wasn't sure how to mount it. The camera I'm getting comes with an extra board, but I guess what I wanted to be sure of is that I could attach this to my camera easily. I'll attach two pictures to show you. It's a Bausch and Lomb Rapid Rectilinear lens.

Thanks in advance!


Neil Purling
5-Jul-2008, 23:43
Is there any special reason why you would want a rapid rectilinear? Just wondering as you would need a focal length if 6"/150mm to cover 4x5 with the lens wide open. The image circle does expand a little on stopping down. Possibly not enough to utilise the tilts and swings of a view camera, though you would probably get the 'swirlies' if you used the lens wide-open. The 'Unicum' shutter employs two vulcanite blades that blink like human eyelids. The air damper may be excessively worn & the speeds may not be very accurate.
You would probably be better off going for something like a 150mm Symmar or a G-Claron.
Some of these old rapid rectilinear's can be surprisingly sharp. My Beck Biplanat compares quite well to a G-Claron on sharpness. Contrast may not be as high with a uncoated lens, which is something to note. Obviously I don't expect the Beck to be sharp right into the corners. The Beck is also in a 'Unicum' which always jammed half-closed so I removed the twin shutter blades. I shot with slow speed graphic arts film for my comparison.

5-Jul-2008, 23:54
A lot of it was the price, since it's just 20 dollars I figured it would be nice to play around with. The person I'm buying from did say the shutter was working, but doesn't know about the speeds, and I'm sure it is off. I'm pretty sure I'll end up buying it, was just hoping I could really mount it up to the camera. I do want a lens with "The swirlies", but I don't really know what lenses are best at that.

Thanks for all the input, I'll certainly look in to the other lenses you mentioned as well!


Ernest Purdum
6-Jul-2008, 07:40
The lens is mounted to a threaded flange which is fastened to the lensboard by three or four very small screws. The flanges are rather hard to loicate when missing. Gluing directly to the board is possible, but somewhat hazardous to the lens.

Unless you're sure of the focal length, try a cardboard lensboard first to make sure that the lens is going to be usable.

John Kasaian
6-Jul-2008, 08:25
What you'll want is a Graphic "C" board---4"x4" and fairly common as the Anny Speed Graphics used them as well as a host of other cameras.

If you want swirlies scope out what old magic lantern lenses are available on the 'bay for your best $20 bet. Rapid rectilinears claim to fame was as an improvement to the swirly old glass.

Rudolph Kingslake has a bit about those swirly lenses in his book History of The Photographic Lens( if I recollect the correct title) so a trip to the library might be in order to hedge your bet :)

Mark Sawyer
6-Jul-2008, 09:13
For $20, you should buy it just because it's so darned cute! In the photos it looks like it has a retaining ring screwed on the back of the lens. Unscrew that, put the rear of the lens through a properly sized hole in a lensboard, and screw the ring back on to hold it in place.

If that's not a retaining ring, a hot glue gun holds lighter lenses like this pretty well, and usually peels of cleanly withour damaging the lens if you ever want to remove it. (I wouldn't trust it on a large or heavy lens, though...)

As Neil said, it's probably a pretty sharp lens. Old shutters are always a question mark, but for $20, take a chance! As for the swirlies, try it and see...

6-Jul-2008, 09:20
It will probably make a good portrait lens with defined sharpness in the center and pleasing fuzziness at the perimeter. However, it will be almost useless for landscapes as it will not be sharp in the corners and will offer very little coverage. RR's can be good for landscapes but go with a longer focal length or a wide angle version (f16).

6-Jul-2008, 11:42

I know, it is damn cute! I couldn't get over the look of it myself, I'm not used to seeing such lenses, so it was kind of a first for me. I would probably be using it for a good bit of portrait type work, so it should be great for that it seems.


Thanks for the tip on the book, I'm all for hedging bets! I am pretty attracted to the swirlies that I've seen, some what surreal or whatever those artists might call it.

Thanks for all the help guys, I'll post some pics as soon as I get it mounted up :D