View Full Version : Gundlach-Manhattan Hyperion Diffusion Lens on E-bay

31-Aug-2001, 11:26
Hello all, I've found this huge lens on e-bay, Gundlach-Manhattan Hyperion Diffu sion Lens, item # 1270036754 . I was wondering if anyone has seen the kind of ca mera which would take this kind of lens and what kind of film would you use? If it's 11x14, do you use reducers to make smaller prints or is it just to make 11x 14 and bigger? Also, why does it have different f-stop readings for different fo cal lenght? It has 12, 18 and 30mm setting, but how does it work if it's not a z oom lenz?

Dave Willison
31-Aug-2001, 13:44

Gundlach-Manhattan made a large number of lenses which were convertible, meaning that the focal length of the lens (12", 18", 30") changed when parts of the lens were removed. Thus, the lens has several possible focal lengths but does not "zoom" in the same manner as a 35mm zoom lens. When all of the lens elements are together the focal length is shortest (12" in this case). The rear element (alone) produces the medium length lens (18") and the front element (alone) yields the longest focal length (30"). Because the length of the lens changes, the corresponding aperture settings must be differnt for each length and, thus, the lens has three sets of markings.

This type of lens could be used on any view camera (4x5, 8x10, 11x14) provided that the bellows was long enough to focus the lens. Focusing at infinity you need a bellows that stretches anywhere from 12 to 30 inches. If the camera is used with the longest lens element (30") to shoot portraits, you would need a very long bellows--perhaps 48"to 60" or so.

The lens is labeled 11x14, which can be interpreted in several ways. The most obvious interpretation is that the lens was made for an 11x14 camera using 11"x14" film which is simply contact printed (not reduced or enlarged). The other interpretation is that the 11x14 refers to the image circle of the lens. In other words, the lens will cover a circle with a diameter equal to about 18" or the diagonal measure of the area 11x14.

The e-bay post indicates that the lens is multi-coated. This seems odd since most older lenses were either uncoated or single coated. It is conceivable that the lens was coated after it was made, possibly by a third party.

I hope this helps.