View Full Version : kodak no. 34 lens

anthony marsh
6-Feb-2010, 10:13
I need information about a kodak lens.It's a no.34 anastigmat 4.5 8 1/2 inch in a brass barrel.The front is black,the rear is brass and has a diagonal slot with a peg.I think the length is for 4x5.Does the lens have any value,is it usable and what kind of camera would it be used with?

Dan Fromm
6-Feb-2010, 10:53
A little.


Up to 5x7, but since it is in barrel, not shutter, the camera will have to provide the shutter or it will have to be front-mounted.

anthony marsh
6-Feb-2010, 12:00
Thanks Dan.I'm new to large format.What is front mounted?Tony

Dan Fromm
6-Feb-2010, 12:15
Front mounting? Hanging a lens in barrel in front of a shutter, usually a leaf shutter although some curtain (not focal plane) shutters, e.g., Thornton Pickard, are also used for front-mounting. Often requires an adapter.

Anthony, if you want to sell it, take a look at completed auctions on eBay to see how much others sold for. You might not find any, but looking is cheap. Offer it on eBay, and then you'll find out. Condition is very important.

anthony marsh
6-Feb-2010, 12:37
Thanks again Dan,I don't want to sell it I wanted to know if it is worthwhile to use it,also how to use it.What kind of camera can it be used with?Tony

Oren Grad
6-Feb-2010, 12:51
Tony - if it's clean, it's definitely usable. The easiest way is with a camera like a Graflex or a Speed Graphic that comes with its own focal plane shutter. Other possibilities include using it as a barrel lens for long exposures that you control by just uncapping and capping the lens, or mounting it to a shutter.

For the latter, a number of different arrangements are possible; they vary in the parts cost and the level of shop skill (and/or money to pay somebody else to do it) required. The expense and hassle may be such that it's not worth the trouble for a relatively inexpensive and common lens type like this one, unless there's something about its character that you especially value.

Glenn Thoreson
7-Feb-2010, 13:07
Not only is it usable, it's quite good, too. I have a couple of #33 Kodak Anastigmats that cover 5X7 nicely. The #34 will probably do quite well on whole plate. It's well worth using. :D

Craig Roberts
10-Feb-2010, 17:17
I have a number 31 (140mm) in a Compur shutter that I use on 4x5. I am very pleased with the results. Craig

Glenn Thoreson
10-Feb-2010, 18:56
One thing important o remember with these is always use a good lens hood. Your lens probably has 8 air/glass surfaces bouncing light around in there. Count the reflections from a light bulb. If there are 7 or eight it's a double Gauss design (I think. Dan?). Those are kind of heavy. :D

Dan Fromm
10-Feb-2010, 23:36
Tessar, Glenn. The 203/7.7 dialyte type is a #70. Kodak Anastigmats #31 - #36 are all Tessar types. See http://www.bnphoto.org/bnphoto/KA_KASDocPro.htm

AFAIK, none of the f/4.5 Kodak Anastigmats was a double Gauss type.

Glenn Thoreson
11-Feb-2010, 17:01
Dan, I have two that are definitely not Tessars. Most were Tessars, but not all. The published specs on these is quetionable. Mine are #33 and show 7 reflections and are quite heavy. Lots of glass in these. Others have confirmed that some of these numbered f/4.5 Anastigmats are 4 element, all air spaced design. I have a #31 that is indeed a Tessar. There are a few small Anastigmat f/4.5 lenses used on folders that were actually triplets. I have one of those, too. Quite uncommon. I was very surprised to find that one. I think it was some kind of conspiracy to confuse the elderly. :D

Dan Fromm
11-Feb-2010, 17:12
Glenn, as Les Newcomer tells us both from time to time, Rochester obeyed no rules.

I knew that some of the small camera KAs were triplets, also that some of the f/6.3 KAs used in larger small cameras were dialytes.

I wonder what your #33s could be. Come to think of it, 7 reflections, of which 6 are strong and 1 weak matches a tessar.



Glenn Thoreson
11-Feb-2010, 20:22
I dunno, Dan. The Tessars I have show 5 reflections in the light I use to look at them. I had one of those #34 thingies on a 5X7 Speed Graphic that I sold and it was totally different from the ones I kept. Reflections on that one showed it to be a Tessar. Like I said, it's a bloody conspiracy. I give up. :D
(Come to think of it, the KA f/6.3 was supposed to be the sharpest of the whole lot)

anthony marsh
13-Feb-2010, 19:18
Dan and Glenn,my no.34 shows 5 reflections at f 4.5,4 at f32,why the differences.Do 5 reflections indicate TESSAR?,Tony

Dan Fromm
15-Feb-2010, 17:58
Tony, unscrew one cell. I find it almost impossible to count reflections from a complete lens, much easier to look at front and rear cell separately.

If it is a tessar type you will see four strong reflections and no weak ones from the front cell and two strong, one weak, from the rear cell. The strong reflections are from a glass-air interface. The weak reflection (from a glass-cement-glass interface) is often hard to see.

A tessar contains two singlets in front of the diaphragm and a cemented doublet behind it. Think a little and you'll see why the reflection count has to be what I've told you.



anthony marsh
15-Feb-2010, 18:03
Dan,according to your description it is a TESSAR,thanks,Tony