View Full Version : B&L 40" 1016 f5.6 telephoto

24-May-2010, 14:11
Dear knowledgeable people

A friend of mine just moved to another town and, as a gift for me, left behind a B&L 40" 1016 mm focal length telephoto lens with "VA 8611" on the outer ring around the lens. I'm an amateur astronomer, not a photographer per se, and have no idea what this lens is. I have seen references in these posts to someone mounting one on a "Big Bertha" Graflex SLR vintage camera.

So can anyone tell me what I've got?



Walter Calahan
24-May-2010, 14:42
A big lens.

Now you need a camera to go with it. Of course you could always give it to me since I have a Tele-Graflex camera.

A gift that keeps on gifting. HA!

24-May-2010, 19:40
Thanks for your post. I'm an astronomer and I just sunk a load of do-re-mi into that, so I'd be for selling the B&L 40". Is it worth much?

Dr Klaus Schmitt
28-May-2010, 17:59
made in 1944 as per B&L code system

Dan Fromm
29-May-2010, 05:24
Klaus, to put a fine point on it your date codes are wildly inconsistent with many B&L lenses that can be dated by other means. I think your source for the data was having you on. Keeping the lists on line is, in my opinion, irresponsible.

31-May-2010, 23:21
This is an aerial camera lens, possibly of WWII vintage or 1950s. It was designed to cover 9x9 in. or possibly 9x18 in. It is probably optimized for use with a red or yellow filter. If you were to use it as a telescope with an eyepiece on-axis performance would only be so-so. Might make an OK astro-camera if you scare up some fast 8x10 plates :-))

John Jarosz
1-Jun-2010, 06:51
How big and how much does this weigh? If it covers 9x18 then it probably covers 8x20. If it's a true telephoto then infinity focus would be artound 20". That could be a fun lens for some mountain photography. or for wide open spaces of any type. Do you have a photo of it? I could be interested........ :-o


CP Goerz
2-Jun-2010, 10:12
I had one of those a few years ago, sold it on Ebay...$150 was the highest bid. The one I sold had a mount for 35mm.

James E Galvin
2-Jun-2010, 11:03
I have one of those, but the f/8 version. Got an "elbow" telescope surplus, the kind with a nearly 2" eyepiece, cut its objective off and connected it to the 40" lens with some PVC pipe. Makes a very nice spotting scope of about 18-20 power. This not a high resolution lens, supposidly made for contact printing of perhaps 18X18, so it won't make a very high power telescope.