View Full Version : which shortish lens for macro work on WP?

katie cooke
27-Jul-2008, 04:29
I need a little advice or some suggestions, please. I'm looking for a lens I can use on my lovely Victo whole plate camera, for doing close up work on wet plate.

I've currently got an 11" Cooke series V on there, which is terrific, but I'm looking for something shorter so that I can go to more than 1:1 without seven yards of bellows extension. Ideally I'd be able to use something as is on the existing packard shutter (which has, um, 45mm threads or thereabout). I've been using a sweet little wollensak raptar 101mm lens on my 4x5 camera for making 2:1 closeups of flowers and dead things, so, I'm looking for something along the same lines to use with on the Victo. I don't need mad swirlies or anything. My budget is limited and probably runs out at about the 200 dollar mark before shipping... anything particular I should be looking out for? Any suggestions would be useful.


27-Jul-2008, 05:02
How about a shortish G-claron? Or since you don't need a shutter other process lens. The ones that don't fit a shutter should be a small fraction of your budget.

Are you saying there is a ring mounted on the front of the packard? And you want to use that?

domenico Foschi
27-Jul-2008, 08:42
Katie, I can't wait to see the work.

Colin Graham
27-Jul-2008, 08:56
I've been using a Zeiss jena 105 f4.5 on 5x12 for some macro work. Hardly a model of sharpness and contrast, but I really like the look from it, and it's pretty common I believe. (Pardon the brush marks, from when I was first learning kallitypes.) Xenars also work well, better contrast and general technical quality. I have a 135, 150 and 180 that look nice on the format and cover very well at macro range. But I'm a fool for tessars.

Bernice Loui
27-Jul-2008, 09:17
APO artar in shutter or similar lens should work fine down to 1:1. If more magnification is required, use a reverse mounted enlarging lens. The exposure times at these magnifications and long bellows draw might allow the lens cap to be used as the shutter.

erie patsellis
27-Jul-2008, 09:38
If you have a few Componon's or Rodagons in the darkroom, try a 135 or 150, you'll be pleasantly surprised. If not, they go unbid often on "that" auction website. The Componons were available in shutters for just this reason.

Mark Sawyer
27-Jul-2008, 09:56
I've used a 150mm Konica GR-II and a 150mm Eskofot Ultragon (both process lenses) on 8x10 with very good results. These are also relatively inexpensive.

E. von Hoegh
27-Jul-2008, 10:03
Ms. Cooke, could you suggest a site on which I can find info. about making wet plates? I have the article in my 11th. ed. Brittanica, and a basic understanding of the process, so I don't need to start from square 1.

Thank you.


27-Jul-2008, 10:40
I'd recommend the agfa repromaster 150mm f9, I think it is the same lens as the eskofot ultradon Mark Sawyer mentioned. Should be available very cheap.

Ernest Purdum
27-Jul-2008, 20:25
There is an article amongst those at the bottom of the Home Page that I think would be helpful to you.

Pete Watkins
28-Jul-2008, 00:20
If you opt for a 150mm Repromaster or Eskofot I've got one you can have for the P&P. I think that you know my e-mail address or send me a PM.
Best wishes,

katie cooke
28-Jul-2008, 09:44
thanks for the advice! It really helps to know what I should be looking out for.

Bill: I'm a complete beginner on the wet plate side, and haven't *yet* gone solo with it after doing a workshop with Kerik (and I can't recommend his workshops highly enough) but am very close now to getting all I need together to carry on. A very good starter article, though, is this one from Joe Smigiel (http://unblinkingeye.com/Articles/WPC/wpc.html)

Pete, yes please! That's very kind of you indeed. I'll drop you a PM.

katie cooke
2-Aug-2008, 14:04
two lenses arrived in the post...a repromaster from Pete (thanks, Pete!) and a 150mm ektar in a barrel as a birthday present from a friend. Rigged up the Ektar with a cardboard lens board (a slightly odd look on the drop-dead-gorgeous wood and brass Victo) I did a couple of test shots with paper negs...the attached is about 2:1 macro, at f8, for about 30 seconds, dried roses in a very dusty glass jar. Not the world's most beautiful photograph, but I think I'm going to *like* this lens. (And will try the other tomorrow).

thanks again for advice and kindness!