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BetterSense
16-Sep-2009, 13:14
Any hints for finding cheap LF lenses?

When I got into LF I somehow I figured they would be cheap, but they aren't. I'm used to getting really nice Japanese 35mm lenses for like $50. I suppose it's because LF was never as popular as 35mm was in past decades and it hasn't been replaced by digital at all really.

Luckily I have a 135mm enlarger lens that I really really like and I got a free Tominon 127 off a process camera, but I've been looking for a wide-angle and they all seem to be several hundred dollars. I have a speed graphic so I can use barrel lenses but I haven't even seen any of them.

I have very low standards and don't care about mold, scratches, uncoated lenses, or whatever. The way I see it, I read in my Ansel adams book that he used a 3-element convertible lens, and that's probably not a lens that would be highly regarded, and if it was good enough for him, it's good enough for me. So I figured I could find some cheap lenses but the thing is there doesn't seem to be a bargain-bin market for LF at all. I can use barrel lenses too because I have a working speed graphic, but I can't even find any barrel lenses on eBay.

What's a good wide-angle for 4x5? 90mm?

Robert Hughes
16-Sep-2009, 13:26
Well, what can I say - good lenses still go for good money. If you don't need one of those you can probably get by on something a little less fancy, say a Wollensak 135mm, which is the lens in my Busch Pressman. It works just fine, and I haven't yet reached the limit of its capabilities. You can probably find one of those on the Dreaded for about $50. I am using a Wollensak 101mm as my wide angle lens; although its image circle doesn't quite cover 4x5, I like the distortion effects in the corners.

There are a lot of lenses out there, and it's a buyer's market, so look around.

BarryS
16-Sep-2009, 13:27
I see 90mm Schneider Angulons(in shutter) from time for $90-$100--that's pretty cheap. There are tons of cheap weird-ass lenses out there, but you probably aren't experienced enough to find them. Put a WTB ad here in the forum asking for cheap lenses and see what turns up.

Chuck Pere
16-Sep-2009, 13:44
Damaged lenses should be pretty cheap if the seller is honest about stating the damage. Most people try and avoid them. In fact most people probably don't even try and sell them figuring nobody will buy or the price is too low to bother with the selling effort. Look for that 90 Angulon or maybe even a dented up 90 Super Angulon.

Just curious but if you have such low standards why use large format? Sheet film isn't cheap either.

BetterSense
16-Sep-2009, 13:58
Just curious but if you have such low standards why use large format? Sheet film isn't cheap either.

Good question, I don't know. I don't know why I take pictures at all actually, other than I like it. But it's not that I have low standards of image quality, I just think you can use scratched, uncoated, or otherwise undesirable lenses and get great image quality out of them. Or lenses that nobody else wants on account of their being barrel, etc lenses.

D. Bryant
16-Sep-2009, 14:34
Any hints for finding cheap LF lenses?

When I got into LF I somehow I figured they would be cheap, but they aren't. I'm used to getting really nice Japanese 35mm lenses for like $50. I suppose it's because LF was never as popular as 35mm was in past decades and it hasn't been replaced by digital at all really.

Luckily I have a 135mm enlarger lens that I really really like and I got a free Tominon 127 off a process camera, but I've been looking for a wide-angle and they all seem to be several hundred dollars. I have a speed graphic so I can use barrel lenses but I haven't even seen any of them.

I have very low standards and don't care about mold, scratches, uncoated lenses, or whatever. The way I see it, I read in my Ansel adams book that he used a 3-element convertible lens, and that's probably not a lens that would be highly regarded, and if it was good enough for him, it's good enough for me. So I figured I could find some cheap lenses but the thing is there doesn't seem to be a bargain-bin market for LF at all. I can use barrel lenses too because I have a working speed graphic, but I can't even find any barrel lenses on eBay.

What's a good wide-angle for 4x5? 90mm?

Just watch the for sale section here. There have been a lot of great deals for lenses lately, but the bottom line is that good glass still costs. This is a buyers market these days.

Don

Mike1234
16-Sep-2009, 14:48
Nothing today is "cheap" when it comes to the average person. I think you're looking at the "golden age" between the 1950's through the 1970's... a mere 20 years of wealth distributed "somewhat fairly" amongst the populous who actually do the labor to make the things we want. That time is past.

Pete Watkins
16-Sep-2009, 14:52
Look out for process lenses. Escophot & Repromaster. Cheap Petzvals for the "different" look.
Pete.

Mike1234
16-Sep-2009, 15:14
Yes, LF lenses can be pricey. That said, there are some extremely good deals around... just search. All else SUCKS... BIG TIME!! Life SUCKS... BIG TIME!!! So enjoy what you can...

Ivan J. Eberle
16-Sep-2009, 15:32
I disagree with the premise that all used LF lenses are expensive. They're dirt cheap right now, without a doubt the cheapest they've ever been (when currency inflation is factored in, anyhow).

Heck, even exquisitely well built-and-cared-for apochromats are often selling for just a fraction of what new ones cost.

If you're expecting free junk-drawer stuff, you might find even that, if you're patient.

Ernest Purdum
16-Sep-2009, 15:32
For your wide angle, Wollensak made a 90mm f12.5 that sometimes goes cheap because it's so slow. Most LF pictures are made at small apertures though.

Dan Fromm
16-Sep-2009, 15:44
Well, now, OP, if you want to find buried treasure you'll have to learn to recognize it and then you'll have to search for it. You'll also have to learn how to search. Depending on what you're after, you may have to redefine what you mean by "cheap."

When I started chasing lenses for my modest little 2x3 Speed Graphic I bought a copy of the bible, also called Graphic Graflex Photography, to find out which lenses were originally issued for my camera. Graphics get a bit of ribbing here -- they're not proper view cameras, end of discussion -- but in their day they were first rate cameras and the lenses offered for them were pretty good too.

GGP didn't get me very far. A kind friend gave me a copy of A Lens Collector's Vade Mecum; the price was a contribution to the charity of my choice. The VM is a catalog of lenses, not a text on optics with examples of lens designs, with evaluations. It is incoherent, incomplete, inconsistent, incorrect, infuriating and invaluable. Close reading of the VM led me to many treasures that no one else knew were worth anything. You will faint dead away if I told you how little money I have in some well-respected lenses. I just bought another one this week. 4 3/8" /6.3 Tessar in Compound; I think it is a B&L-made lens, but CZJ can't be ruled out. Not for a 4x5er but just what I need and at $19 delivered if it is a mistake I can afford it.

If you want cheap, you want lenses that others don't know enough to respect. In normal lenses, that's f/6.3 Tessars. In wide angles, that might be Leitmeyr, is Wollensak. Whatever you do, don't run with the crowd.

And don't compare cheapo lenses for 35 mm cameras with decent lenses for LF. Compare decent with decent. The better Nikkors in F mount are still not cheap. For example, if I could get a clean 35/2.0 Nikkor AI for $50 I'd buy it. Original AI or AIS, not AI converted with a Dremel tool.

Now stop whining and start learning. The rest of us did, you might be able to.

eddie
16-Sep-2009, 16:16
they are cheap....but not free.

look for any number of "studio" lenses in thge 150, 210 and 240 range. many are in copal shutters commanding prices about what the shutter alone should be getting.

here is (http://www.keh.com/OnLineStore/ProductDetail.aspx?groupsku=LF060090301280&brandcategoryname=Large%20Format&Mode=&item=0&ActivateTOC2=&ID=58&BC=LF&BCC=7&CC=6&CCC=2&BCL=&GBC=&GCC=) a 150mm symmar s f5.6 lens in a copal shutter for $150 from a reputable dealer (keh.com). what more could you want. it was probably well over $2000 when new...as apposed to the 35mm lenses you were talking about....they were probably only a few hundred new.

$150 sounds pretty "cheap" to me. if you a want a 50$ lens then expect to have an old barrel lens.

eddie
16-Sep-2009, 16:20
and an ugly: 180 F5.6/315 F12 SYMMAR COPAL for $59!

bargain: 210 F5.6 NIKKOR-W COPAL BULB 149$

210 F5.6 SIRONAR-N MC COMP T $144

holy sh!t:

210 F5.6 TOPCOR SEIKO B $84!?!?!?

210 F5.6/370 F12 SYMMAR COPAL $115

same place.....keh.com go already!

Greg Lockrey
16-Sep-2009, 17:15
There's always pinhole... :)

Glenn Thoreson
16-Sep-2009, 18:39
Most of KEH's bargain grade stuff is better than most "mint" grade stuff on the auction gizmo. Worth consideration. A wide angle that doesn't usually go for much is the 90mm f/6.8 Optar which was a standard option for the Speed Graphic. With careful watching you can pick up an older 90mm f/8 Schneider Angulon for not much money. Patient searching is what it takes.

jp
16-Sep-2009, 18:53
I am accustomed to buying higher end 35mm lenses, like new nikon AF lenses. Why did I buy new? Used isn't much less. A few years ago, I bought a brand new Nikon 50 1.2 MF lens and sold it 4 years later for the same price. That's the magic of Ebay and desirable lenses. The stuff holds it value crazy. Nikon lenses are usually in the $150-2000 range for common focal length ranges. Kit 18-70 zooms (such as would have come with a d70) are selling for more $ now than the camera body they came with. New 35mm lenses are an expensive taste. A weaker dollar is probably also hurting the economics of this.

On here, I can buy a variety of nice used lenses in the $100-250 range, spend $100 to get it's shutter cleaned and adjusted, and I'm good. That's a lot cheaper than they were new, and usually cheaper than my 35mm tastes.

Vick Vickery
16-Sep-2009, 18:56
If you're REALLY patient on eBay, you can sometimes pick up some real buys...I bought my Ilex 215mm f/4.8 convertible in a #3 Ilex shutter for $50 delivered. But you don't do that too often, even though this particular lens is a sleeper that often sells very reasonably.

Vizzy
16-Sep-2009, 20:30
I agree with Ivan.

I just picked up a very well cared for 210mm Symmar mounted on a linhof board for US$150 and a pristine (I mean you can't tell it's ever been used) 105mm fujinon also mounted for $100. Picked them up in Japan. Both have copal shutters that were checked and serviced by the store and come with 6 month warranty.

While the image circle on the 105mm doesn't allow for significant movements on a 4x5 the 210mm provides a lot of room. Really repends what you want to do.

jnantz
16-Sep-2009, 20:38
For your wide angle, Wollensak made a 90mm f12.5 that sometimes goes cheap because it's so slow. Most LF pictures are made at small apertures though.

i was just going to suggest that ..
the 3 1/2 inch f 12.5 exwa in a
funky alphax self cocking shutter
and stopped down it covers a 5x7 sheet of film ...

adonis_abril
17-Sep-2009, 00:36
What led you to that conclusion? :D 35mm Digital lenses are far away much more expensive..have a look at Canon's current Tilt-Shifting offerings 17mm and 24mm, both over 2k each! Big price to pay for having tilts and shifts and it's still missing back movements. As most have suggested...90mm f8 Angulons are cheap and produce excellent images.


Any hints for finding cheap LF lenses?

When I got into LF I somehow I figured they would be cheap, but they aren't. I'm used to getting really nice Japanese 35mm lenses for like $50. I suppose it's because LF was never as popular as 35mm was in past decades and it hasn't been replaced by digital at all really.

Luckily I have a 135mm enlarger lens that I really really like and I got a free Tominon 127 off a process camera, but I've been looking for a wide-angle and they all seem to be several hundred dollars. I have a speed graphic so I can use barrel lenses but I haven't even seen any of them.

I have very low standards and don't care about mold, scratches, uncoated lenses, or whatever. The way I see it, I read in my Ansel adams book that he used a 3-element convertible lens, and that's probably not a lens that would be highly regarded, and if it was good enough for him, it's good enough for me. So I figured I could find some cheap lenses but the thing is there doesn't seem to be a bargain-bin market for LF at all. I can use barrel lenses too because I have a working speed graphic, but I can't even find any barrel lenses on eBay.

What's a good wide-angle for 4x5? 90mm?

Nick_3536
17-Sep-2009, 01:02
Lenses that don't appeal to the current manias are cheaper and can be cheap.

So big heavy lenses are cheaper then small light weight lenses.
Longer tend to be cheaper then wide angle.
Unpopular names are cheaper then the in demand names.

Barrels can be cheap if you're sure you never want a shutter.

Mike1234
17-Sep-2009, 02:46
I'm seeing some good advice here. I'm no expert on the lesser known optics but it's a very good idea to learn about them so you can buy wisely. That said, I really have to disagree that the average LF lenses are too pricey at this time. In fact, they're often being dumped on the market for about half of what they were worth even fairly recently. People just aren't buying "stuff" right now. They're either saving or investing or paying off debts or they simply don't have the money. Of course, there are exceptions... new items and those in high demand but low supply.

As others have said... learn/seek/find. It's very much a buyers' market at the moment for average LF lenses. By "average" I mean easy to find slightly older models. I'm not referring to lenses of questionable quality. :)

Michael Graves
17-Sep-2009, 04:11
I'm seeing some good advice here. I'm no expert on the lesser known optics but it's a very good idea to learn about them so you can buy wisely. That said, I really have to disagree that the average LF lenses are too pricey at this time. In fact, they're often being dumped on the market for about half of what they were worth even fairly recently. People just aren't buying "stuff" right now. They're either saving or investing or paying off debts or they simply don't have the money. Of course, there are exceptions... new items and those in high demand but low supply.

As others have said... learn/seek/find. It's very much a buyers' market at the moment for average LF lenses. By "average" I mean easy to find slightly older models. I'm not referring to lenses of questionable quality. :)

I agree with you, Mike. If I wasn't up to my arse in college tuition bills right now, there are three or four things, I would jump on that are currently listed. My problem is that I'm a hobbiest and not a real photographer. I play with something for a while, get bored and sell it. Buy something new, play with her...er, IT... a while and then sell it. I have made a resolution that this winter, I am going to SHOOT. I started a project a couple of years ago trying to find order in the chaos of ice formations along side of the road. I will return to that.

Of course, to do it, I'm going to need a.....

Iga
17-Sep-2009, 04:20
Don't know, brand new fansy multi-shmulty apo-shmapo are expensive for sure, but there a whole world of cheap used / old classics.. I can't sell my Carl Zeiss 9/450 apo Tessar for 90 Euro... Maybe it is TOO expensive?
Best,
Igor.

Dave Hally
17-Sep-2009, 10:02
Better Sense,
I don't know if it OK to post this here, but I hesitate to post it in the for sale section. I have a 180mm/5.6 Symmar S that I can let go of for $100.00. It has a mangled front filter ring/threads from being dropped, and semi straightened by a local Camera Repair guy. It still works fine, I've used it about 4 years since it was dropped and I have a Skylight filter jammed onto the front, to use other filters. I've bought another 180/5.6, so I don't need ths one anymore. $100.00 including shipping within the Continental US.
Dave

Mike1234
17-Sep-2009, 15:06
^^^ I don't use filters so I would jump on that if I needed a 180mm. Heck, the shutter alone is probably worth more than $100.

Glenn Thoreson
18-Sep-2009, 14:12
A point to consider - price is relevant to the ability or desire to pay it. I'm a professional bottom feeder. I buy obscure and "low class" stuff. I will have to agree, though, that used high quality optics are selling for far less these days, I can't afford it. Nor do I particularly need it. That, in my case, makes it too expensive. I think that's a valid point that a lot of folks overlook. I won't buy what I can't hand over the cash for. Cash! :D

John Kasaian
18-Sep-2009, 17:39
You can always find "experienced" (leaky bellows) folders on ebay for a couple of bucks and pop the lens & shutter off 'em. :)

JohnGC
18-Sep-2009, 19:34
If you think LF lenses are expensive now, just wait and see where prices go when the economy picks up.

I'd love to in a position to buy now, and get the several lenses that are on my wish list. I'm guessing they will be selling for a lot more in the next year or so.

Jim Galli
18-Sep-2009, 20:36
LF lenses are CHEAP!

Talking about Mark Sawyer's Cooke Portrait lens the other day I noted that in 1921 his lens sold for $405! A new Ford was $265 You could probably score a Nash or an Oakland for your $405. In 2008 $$$$ that $405 = $4834. iirc Mark paid about $700. That's a real bargain compared to what the first guy shelled out. Everything is relative.

I have several thousand $$$ worth of Pinkham & Smith lenses out in my 1700 degree 2 hour safe. Just now the lens that is giving me the most satisfaction is a $59 no-name landscape meniscus. Killer look to it. Again, everything is relative.

Mike1234
19-Sep-2009, 08:42
If you think LF lenses are expensive now, just wait and see where prices go when the economy picks up.

I'd love to in a position to buy now, and get the several lenses that are on my wish list. I'm guessing they will be selling for a lot more in the next year or so.

You're spot on, John. There will be a double whammy causing prices to skyrocket over the next few years (4+ years)... (1) economic "recovery", or the "appearance" of it spurring more spending, (2) huge inflation caused by deflation of the US$. Our incomes will not keep up with inflation so NOW is the time to buy, NOT sell. BTW, I suspect that overseas purchases of US items will step up dramatically especially from the Asian countries.

BetterSense
19-Sep-2009, 09:46
You can always find "experienced" (leaky bellows) folders on ebay for a couple of bucks and pop the lens & shutter off 'em.

I never thought of this; I have an agfa Isolette I with a leaky bellows right now. Are you talking about medium-format folders? I would have thought medium-format 75-100mm lenses would not cover a 4x5 sheet.

eddie
19-Sep-2009, 09:53
I never thought of this; I have an agfa Isolette I with a leaky bellows right now. Are you talking about medium-format folders? I would have thought medium-format 75-100mm lenses would not cover a 4x5 sheet.

they will if you focus closer. use the longest one you have. shoot close ups.

remember bellows factor. 100mm lens extended to 150mm needs 1 stop. extended to 200mm needs two stops.

measure form the film plane to the iris.

JohnGC
19-Sep-2009, 10:06
Jim, a fire safe is a good idea, I believe my lens cabinet is fire rated at about 10 seconds. While I don't have your talent for collecting such treasures, I probably should protect what I own.

Mike, That's a little too "doomsday" for this eternal optimist.:)
I'll bet Jim has more than one of the lenses on my wish list in his safe, but money talks so I need some things to happen on my end before I can try to convince him to part with a few at today's prices.


My latest lens acquisition is a Goerz, no-name f6.8 process lens I got for $20 from a retiring print shop owner. Fun little piece of glass, nice drop off open, and sharp as tacks when stopped down. Great deals are out there whatever your budget.

Mike1234
19-Sep-2009, 10:36
John... What can I say? I'm a realist and I call's 'em as I see's 'em. :)

domaz
19-Sep-2009, 11:02
Go to estate sales, garage sales, flea markets. Check Craigslist frequently. You can find cheap lenses- usually older ones, but they can be a lot of fun and quite sharp. I've been using a Hugo Meyer Gorlitz Plasmat I found at a swap meet for $60. It's tack sharp and the shutter works well, no problems.

Lynn Jones
21-Sep-2009, 11:19
email me and I'll send some information.

Lynn
lynn@austincc.edu

Glenn Thoreson
21-Sep-2009, 11:28
If memory serves, one of the members here was using a 105 lens off an Isolette or something similar on 4X5 and it covered, but barely. Try it and see.

jb7
21-Sep-2009, 13:08
I just received a nice little projection Petzval elsewhere today, cost me 7.30 including postage from the UK-
it covers 4x5 too, marked /2.5, but more like an /6.

If you're willing to experiment, you can make a picture with anything-
I bought a magnifier set for 2, got two useful lenses, good for 8x10-

An eyepiece out of a pair of broken binoculars a friend gave me, a nice little 120mm lens- it looks like it might once have been coated too-

A rear group from an old Dallmeyer enlarging lens,
a 75mm meniscus lens, covers 4x5 with loads of movements, but completely mad-
I taped around it with gaffer tape, until I could wedge it in a Copal 1.

I suppose I must be getting interested in lo-fi...

aduncanson
21-Sep-2009, 14:18
...There will be a double whammy causing prices to skyrocket over the next few years (4+ years)... (1) economic "recovery", or the "appearance" of it spurring more spending, (2) huge inflation caused by deflation of the US$. Our incomes will not keep up with inflation so NOW is the time to buy, NOT sell. BTW, I suspect that overseas purchases of US items will step up dramatically especially from the Asian countries.

Me thinks the subject here drifts into politics, but I could be wrong. As facts and evidence do not seem to be a consideration, the subject could be religion.

John Kasaian
21-Sep-2009, 16:14
IIRC a lens off a 3a Brownie or Ansco should cover 4x5---maybe someone with a better memory can affirm or give a thumbs down?

Glenn Thoreson
22-Sep-2009, 11:26
If you find a 3A Brownie equipped with a B&L Rapid Rectilinear lens, grab it. The lens is great. The shutter is not. That never stopped me, though. :D
EDIT: The plain Jane Cooke triplet on those isn't that bad, either.

John Kasaian
22-Sep-2009, 13:58
Thanks Glenn. It's good to know I'm not as crazy as the nice hospital staff claims! :D

Mike1234
23-Sep-2009, 05:09
Me thinks the subject here drifts into politics, but I could be wrong. As facts and evidence do not seem to be a consideration, the subject could be religion.

Not political at all... else I would have pointed an accusing finger at certain ploiticians or parties. :)

My intent was simply to point out causal factors affecting prices and availability of consumer goods now and in the future with specificity to new and used LF lenses. I think it's a valid statement in this thread because I firmly believe that now is the time to buy and later is the time to sell. The OP seems to think that LF lenses are currently very pricey. I'm just saying that they'll only go up in price and by quite a large margin. What's more is I think prices will begin to rebound very soon. In the next few years we'll begin to feel the pinch of runaway inflation which will drive prices up through the roof. This is one reason I'm so desparately trying to piece my systems together now. Because I have serious doubts I can afford to do so later. ;)

I don't know how to react to the religion remark except that I'm using whatever my simblance of common sense is as I ponder immense budget deficits, overspending, printing truck loads of cash to replenish the Fed, world loss of confidence in the dollar and calls for a neutral (or at least different) standard getting away from the dollar.....

Mark Sawyer
23-Sep-2009, 09:36
From the original post:



I have very low standards and don't care about mold, scratches, uncoated lenses, or whatever. The way I see it, I read in my Ansel adams book that he used a 3-element convertible lens, and that's probably not a lens that would be highly regarded, and if it was good enough for him, it's good enough for me.

I agree completely. And if anyone wants to dispose of one of those crappy old Cooke XV Triple Convertibles, let me know. I'll take it off your hands, though it's probably not worth much...



I have several thousand $$$ worth of Pinkham & Smith lenses out in my 1700 degree 2 hour safe. Just now the lens that is giving me the most satisfaction is a $59 no-name landscape meniscus. Killer look to it. Again, everything is relative.

That's the funny thing about pictorial lenses. The P&S lens no doubt has one of the lovliest signatures of any lens, but but a complete P.O.S. lens can be every bit as lovely. We appreciate (and pay for) the history and rareness of these old lenses much like some dog owners enjoy (and pay for) the pedigree of an AKC-registered purebred. But in both cases, the mutts are really just a nice...

venchka
23-Sep-2009, 09:41
Somebody probably already mentioned this, and if so I apologize for redundancy.

I own several 35mm rangefinder lenses dating from the early 50s to the present. All but two of them are worth (and cost me) more than any of my view camera lenses. Maybe I should have had my head examined when I was buying them a few years ago.

Ben Syverson
23-Sep-2009, 13:07
Everything is relative. My Fuji 300 A, which is sort of rare and desirable in the LF world, cost me far less than my Canon 24mm f/1.4. I have a c-mount lens for old 16mm cameras that, bizarrely, is worth more than any lens I own.

For me, my DSLR has been FAR more expensive than LF. For the DSLR, I bought a 10-20mm, 17-40mm, 24mm, 28mm, two 50s and an 85mm. For 8x10, I have only a 159mm and 300mm.

35mm photographers are quick to accept the notion that a new lens will improve their photography. LF photographers, on the other hand, can go an entire career with only one lens.

venchka
23-Sep-2009, 13:24
...LF photographers, on the other hand, can go an entire career with only one lens.

Isn't that against the rules? :D

I totally forgot about my EOS lenses. One of them cost more than ALL my 4x5 stuff combined. Go figure.

On balance, LF gear is inexpensive. And very portable from camera to camera.

csant
23-Sep-2009, 13:37
And very portable from camera to camera.

That is one of the things that fascinate me: with small and medium format cameras you are (within certain limits that you can expand a bit) bound to a model, to a make or to a mount - with LF you can freely dispose of the whole history of photographic lenses (given appropriate coverage) :)

jnantz
23-Sep-2009, 14:27
http://candhsurplus.com/
has barrel lenses galore ... great service + inexpensive.
at one time he was selling BIG and small meniscus lenses, copy machine lenses
and fairchild + zeiss biogons ( as well as copy stands and other photographic stuff )

Dan Fromm
28-Sep-2009, 06:01
http://candhsurplus.com/
has barrel lenses galore ... great service + inexpensive.
at one time he was selling BIG and small meniscus lenses, copy machine lenses
and fairchild + zeiss biogons ( as well as copy stands and other photographic stuff )
No more, alas, John. These day C&H sells junk on eBay.

If you can show me how to find the good stuff starting from the link you posted I'd be very grateful.

Cheers,

Can

jnantz
28-Sep-2009, 08:54
No more, alas, John. These day C&H sells junk on eBay.

If you can show me how to find the good stuff starting from the link you posted I'd be very grateful.

Cheers,

Can

hi dan

yeah ... they are not on ebay or on his site at the moment ...
i telephoned him a few days ago, he said
they are in the midst of redoing their website ...........

so inexpensive lenses might not be a click of the mouse away
but more like a phone call away ...

the phone number is listed on the website ...


john

dh003i
7-Oct-2009, 21:17
Any hints for finding cheap LF lenses?

What's a good wide-angle for 4x5? 90mm?

I got the Nikkor-SW 90/4.5 for around $450 including shipping; that was an amazing deal, though; they're normally $600 or more. The Nikkor-SW 90/8 is usually similarly priced, despite having less glass, because it is an excellent lens, and is much lighter than he 90/4.5. Both have outstanding resolution, but the 90/8 is the one tested by Chris Perez. I got the 90/4.5 for easier critical focusing.

You will in general find excellent deals on the Kodak Ektar lenses, which Chris Perez highly recommends (http://www.hevanet.com/cperez/cameras/ektar_list.html). I have a 203/7.7 which I bought for around $160 or so. I took this shot of a foggy swamp area (http://www.tabblo.com/studio/stories/view/1763991/)with a tree using it. The uncropped version easily has enough detail for a 47 x 37 inch print. It was scanned at Praus for $60 using an Imacon 848. More resolution may have been obtainable with it via a $100+ scan using a Tango or Aztec scanner.

As for Kodak Ektar's in barrel, you might try this Ektar 7.5in f/4.5 (190/4.5) lens (http://cgi.ebay.com/Kodak-Ektar-7-5in-4-5-Barrel-len-EI387-LN_W0QQitemZ280295373333QQcmdZViewItemQQptZCamera_Lenses?hash=item4142e7fa15). The eBay seller doesn't list coverage, so you should ask him; I suspect it has enough coverage for 8x10, based a quote from a LF.info page on classic lenses (http://www.largeformatphotography.info/classic-experts.html):


5 1/2in, 6 3/8in, 7 1/2in, 8 1/2in, 10in and 12in - all f/4.5
Cover from 3 1/4 x 4 /1/4 to 8x10 (with movements) depending on the focal length. Fine lenses (great for architecture, as they don't display much linear distortions of any kind.)

I recommend reading the rest of that page, as it probably has some great info on classic lenses that will be excellent performers and selling for good deals.

Dan Fromm
8-Oct-2009, 01:46
Um, the 190/4.5 Ektar in barrel is (a) standard issue on the 4x5 Graflex RB Super D and (b) a tessar type.

Tessar types faster than f/6.3 usually cover no more than 110% of their focal lengths.

The 12" Ektar covers 8x10, shorter ones don't.

Wishful thinking is a killer.

dh003i
8-Oct-2009, 03:26
Um, the 190/4.5 Ektar in barrel is (a) standard issue on the 4x5 Graflex RB Super D and (b) a tessar type.

Tessar types faster than f/6.3 usually cover no more than 110% of their focal lengths.

The 12" Ektar covers 8x10, shorter ones don't.

Wishful thinking is a killer.

Thanks for the correction, but it wasn't wishful thinking, it was my best guess as to how much coverage the lens has, based on the reference I found. Where did you find this information on tessar types and how do you know what is and isn't one?

In any event, if it covers 7.5" covers 110% fl, that's good for 4x5.

Dan Fromm
8-Oct-2009, 05:20
A "tessar" has a pair of singlets in front of the diaphragm and a cemented doublet behind the diaphragm. There are reversed tessars, with the cemented doublet in front, e.g., some of the shorter Tominon macro lenses for the Polaroid MP-4, but they're uncommon.

Air-glass interfaces make a strong reflection, glass-cement-glass interfaces make a weak one. So a tessar will have four strong reflections from the front cell, two strong and one weak from the rear cell. Use a single lamp when counting reflections, and be aware that weak ones can be very hard to see. It helps to remove one cell from the barrel or shutter, that way you can be sure where the reflections you see come from.

You misinterpreted y'r reference, which doesn't clearly link focal length to claimed coverage.

For tessar types' coverage, see, e.g., dioptrique.info, note that Eric is somewhat conservative. Emmanual Bigler has posted the 110% rule somewhere on this board.

dh003i
8-Oct-2009, 06:49
Um, the 190/4.5 Ektar in barrel is (a) standard issue on the 4x5 Graflex RB Super D and (b) a tessar type.

Tessar types faster than f/6.3 usually cover no more than 110% of their focal lengths.

The 12" Ektar covers 8x10, shorter ones don't.

Wishful thinking is a killer.

Thanks for the correction, but it wasn't wishful thinking, it was my best guess as to how much coverage the lens has, based on the reference I found. Where did you find this information on tessar types and how do you know what is and isn't one?

In any event, if it covers 7.5" covers 110% fl, that's good for 4x5.

aduncanson
8-Oct-2009, 09:34
The Kodak Ektar Lens catalog below gives diagrams and application information (like coverage) for the general purpose Ektar lenses.

http://www.cameraeccentric.com/html/info/kodak_4.html

Noodle around the broader site (http://www.cameraeccentric.com/ and particularly http://www.cameraeccentric.com/info.html).
It has scans of many useful catalogs, brochures and even a few manuals.

dh003i
8-Oct-2009, 09:58
thanks for the links. They are quite useful.

IanG
8-Oct-2009, 11:07
You can always find "experienced" (leaky bellows) folders on ebay for a couple of bucks and pop the lens & shutter off 'em. :)

In the UK they (some less scrupulous dealers) seem to be doing that anyway, sell the camera without lens, and then the lens for very much more than the itwould be with the original camera.

They can sell a 135mm/150mm Tessar for far more than a complete 9x12 camera, the buyers are gullible.

There are good sellers UK/US and elsewhere, they usually sell via their own premises, often with a website and an Ebay Store. These guys are usually fair in their prices and accurate in their descriptions.

They might be more via their store/website but will offer a warranty usually only 3-6 months but that's long enough to know whether an item isn't up to scratch.

Ian

dh003i
8-Oct-2009, 14:24
I don't know, if people buy the lens & camera body separately for more than they'd be together, that seems like their fault. Maybe it is that some people have no use for the lens that comes with the camera body, or vica-versa, thus will pay for the individual component, and more than that component + the other one would be if bundled for the body. It is quite common that when people buy things in a bundle, they get a better deal than when people buy things all separated out.

IanG
9-Oct-2009, 03:34
I don't know, if people buy the lens & camera body separately for more than they'd be together, that seems like their fault. Maybe it is that some people have no use for the lens that comes with the camera body, or vica-versa, thus will pay for the individual component, and more than that component + the other one would be if bundled for the body. It is quite common that when people buy things in a bundle, they get a better deal than when people buy things all separated out.

Should have qualified that, I was referring to lenses from European cameras many of which were 9x12 format.

The same UK sellers have lenses like 90mm f6.8 Angulon's for sale at "Buy it Now" prices between about 230-260 ($370-$415) while reputable dealers generally sell them with no reserve or for via their shops/websites for90-120 (144-$192) although one is at 152 ($246), these are for good clean optics and fully working shutters.

Ian

community1313
27-Dec-2009, 12:13
LF lenses are CHEAP!

Talking about Mark Sawyer's Cooke Portrait lens the other day I noted that in 1921 his lens sold for $405! A new Ford was $265 You could probably score a Nash or an Oakland for your $405. In 2008 $$$$ that $405 = $4834. iirc Mark paid about $700. That's a real bargain compared to what the first guy shelled out. Everything is relative.

I have several thousand $$$ worth of Pinkham & Smith lenses out in my 1700 degree 2 hour safe. Just now the lens that is giving me the most satisfaction is a $59 no-name landscape meniscus. Killer look to it. Again, everything is relative.

I must agree with JIM, got a mint 12 inch Heliar and an "Brand new second hand in box" 10 inch Hermagis portrait F3, both on line for less than 200 USD, it's kinda an addiction, hard to let them go for such a bargain price and my favorite lens are always very affordable! I use to enjoy a leica R6.2 and paid 2000 USD for some lenses and that was second hand and a bargain, that was in the last century!
Mostly one must be patient there is a lot of deals..I am also very pleased with KEH, what they sell is in very good shape!

Louis Pacilla
27-Dec-2009, 16:15
I disagree with the premise that all used LF lenses are expensive. They're dirt cheap right now, without a doubt the cheapest they've ever been (when currency inflation is factored in, anyhow).

Heck, even exquisitely well built-and-cared-for apochromats are often selling for just a fraction of what new ones cost.

If you're expecting free junk-drawer stuff, you might find even that, if you're patient.

What Ivan said.

BetterSense
27-Dec-2009, 21:38
Well, as of now I have a Tominon 127 f/4.7 in a Copal self-cocking shutter (free), a 90mm Angulon f/6.8 ($100), a Raptar 210 f/4.5 process lens (I think-$50) along with my $20 enlarging lens. I would like it if these lenses had more coverage or were faster or had shutters, but these really do all I need to do right now.

Rust Never Sleeps
27-Dec-2009, 22:36
If buying new in the US, yes large format lenses can be expensive because the dollar is black and blue with it's jaw broken and it's teeth missing with a good black eye. This is including not just stuff from Europe but Japan too. But if you buy used there is very good deals out there. I got two lenses recently at very good prices. Cheers