View Full Version : Lens/Shutter/Unknown stuff I need

Kendrick Kirk
3-Jan-2011, 15:42
I bought a Sinar Alpina (the rails, bellows, both standards, a couple of film holders, ground glass thingy, and a board with a hole in it) for $40. Sounded like a deal. Everything is in immaculate condition except for some of the foam in the case.

Originally, I had planned to borrow one from someone just to see if I liked the LF. I shoot motorsport in SM digital (obviously), but more and more of my portraiture work is becoming film based MF. After spending a lot of time studying Dan Winters' work, I decided that LF would be something I'd like to investigate. However, there was no one in 200 mile radius who would lend one to me. Now I'm stuck with half a camera, and I don't really know what else I need.

The skinny on what I want to do (well, let's just show you, instead of trying to say it):




So I need a lens, a shutter, and some way to fire my strobes. I use Pocket Wizards and Radio Poppers, which on my Canon and Mamiya cameras, I fire with the hotshoe remotes.

I'm thinking I am going for a 210 to 240 5.6. I read the Lens Primer on this site, so I'm comfortable with that choice (I think), but since this is a project to see if I like the format, I don't want to spend $500 getting the camera operational.

So someone in the know, please help me! Is there anything else I need?

Steven Tribe
3-Jan-2011, 16:07
You need about a month! Then you can post in the sell/buy thread and get a lot of offers of suitable lenses with shutters that will not steal you wallet/empty your paypal account. But not quite as good a deal as your original purchase!
If you go the way of portraits then it get expensive in the end, though. Think of it as an investment.

Mark Woods
3-Jan-2011, 16:12
Nicely done. A lot of lenses stopped down to around the middle of their range are quite nice. I have some very inexpensive lenses that when stopped down give very acceptable images. I also have some very expensive lenses that I don't often use. It's all a matter of taste.

John Koehrer
3-Jan-2011, 17:33
Tripod, focusing cloth, focusing loupe, cable release. Your lens board has a hole so you can buy a lens/shutter of the appropriate diameter.
Current shutters are 0,1 & 3. I don't remember if 00 or 3s are still around.
If you get a current lens 1970-current the shutter will have a PC socket. There's your flash connection. Fujinon lenses are regarded pretty well & won't break the bank. Between $200-300 will get a good example Fuji, some Nikkors,Schneider or Rodenstocks.
One limiting factor in lens choice will be bellows length though. The examples you're using aren't especially close so modest bellows length should get you by.
The lens board you have can be drilled larger if the lens you buy needs it. You can make your own boards if you're the least bit handy(hobby shop plywood). Hell, drill a hole & tape it in place if you need.

3-Jan-2011, 18:10
Check the auction site for Caltar lenses as well. They are re-branded Schneider and Rodenstock and an exceptional value. I got my 150 f/5.6 for $75 from a camera shop. Most shops have LF stuff laying around that they are too lazy to put on feebay or think it isn't worth it. LF can be less expensive than you'd think.

Kendrick Kirk
3-Jan-2011, 20:45
Oh heck! I didn't think there would be THIS much help out there. Thank you! Now I'm stoked to get rolling on this. I'm sure there will be many more questions for you guys. Calthar lenses might be the way to go right now. Now maybe to check KEH for the cable release and cloth - could I not just use a black towel or whatever? Also, I have a Hoodman Loupe that I use on my digital cameras - good enough as a focusing loupe?

Frank Petronio
3-Jan-2011, 21:01
Measure the diameter of the hole on the lensboard. You are probably dealing with one with a hole for either a Copal 1 or a Copal 0 shutter. The Copal 0 is for smaller lenses and is about 32mm or 1-inch, the Copal 1 is about 41mm or 1-3/8".

You probably want a Fuji-Nikkor-Schneider-Rodenstock 210mm f/5.6 Plasmat lens. These usually come in Copal 1 shutters. So either you have the right board or you need to get another board or drill the hole larger....

Those lenses are all good, about $200-$250 if you shop patiently, buy based on condition from a good reliable seller. Look for something post-1980.... A Caltar is just a rebranded Rodenstock from Calumet.

Cable release - $5, $10, no biggee, maybe get a spare.

A female PC to Pocket Wizard cord. The shutters all have male PC outlets.

Darkcloth = t-shirt or towel or jacket

Loupe = Hoodman

A darkroom (a bathroom w light blocked by tinfoil, towels, Duct tape, foamcore...) or the upscale Harrison Pup Tent changing tent for ~ $175.

Film and a way to process it, scanner like an Epson 750 or 4990 or ? etc.

Kendrick Kirk
3-Jan-2011, 21:27
Thanks Frank! After reading the Lens Primer, it seemed that I want to go with a smaller Copal lens. When I find lenses like this (http://www.keh.com/camera/Large-Format-Fixed-Focal-Length-Lenses/1/sku-LF069990015830?r=FE) on KEH, it says "Copal bulb." What does that mean? Is it similar to bulb on the smaller formats?

3-Jan-2011, 21:41
The 42 Mount means that it is a Copal 1

Frank Petronio
3-Jan-2011, 22:34
Bulb just means the shutter stays open while you hold the cable release down.

Some older shutters only had B or T but nowadays the modern Copals have both.

I think the look of the portrait examples you posted are using 150-210mm -- "normal" lenses.

4-Jan-2011, 06:38
210mm plasmats are thick on the ground. I bought a Sinaron-S (rebranded Rodenstock APO-Sironar-N) on this forum for a hair over $200, and that was not all that unusual even for this high-quality lens.

When you see "Copal", you are seeing the brand of the shutter. All large-format lenses made since the middle 70's are mostly mounted in a Copal or a Compur shutter, with Copal being more common after that date. There are a few exceptions--sometimes Fuji lenses are mounted in a Seikosha shutter, and for a while Prontor was offering large-format shutters. But most will be in a Copal, with Compur a little less common for post-1980 lenses, and the others much less common. If running well, they are all good. For all lenses of the type you are considering, the shutters have standard threads and the lens manufacturers might have offered their lenses in any of them (or all of them).

I just looked at KEH's site, and found a pile of lenses in the 180-210mm focal length range priced under $200. The f/5.6 lenses are usually the modern plasmats, but you can also tell by sticking with Nikkor-W, Fujinon-W, Sironar-N (or Sinaron-S, or Caltar-IIS), or Symmar-S. These are the models available in the late 70's through the 90's, and they are all excellent.

Rick "it's a good time to be buying large-format kit" Denney

4-Jan-2011, 13:50
You should be able to find a cheap 210 easily. I paid a little over $100 for a Fujinon a few months ago at KEH. Obviously if you are in a hurry you may not find such a deal. Hit ebay too. As others have said, it is impossible to go wrong with a modern lens. Good luck.