View Full Version : copy photos with a Tominon

25-Mar-2011, 03:54
I prefer to copy old photos and documents with a 4x5 camera mounted to a vertical copy stand but with any lens longer than 105mm, I have to stand on a ladder to look into the ground glass. Is the 105mm Tominon lens an able copy lens for such use? I'm sure there are much sharper lenses such as the Luminars but I don't want to spend that kind of money for something I wouldn't use that often if the Tominon would be adequate.
Denise Libby

25-Mar-2011, 17:58
Yes - provided the copy area isn't too large the Tominon will cover. Lenses will typically cover much more at near focus than at infinity. Run a test with the largest piece of copy you expect to cover and that will show up any problems. The Tominons are actually OK lenses. You may be pleasantly surprised with the results.

Dan Fromm
26-Mar-2011, 06:10
MP-4 Tominons' minimum and recommended magnifications
focal length (min to cover 4x5) recommended magnifications type

135 mm 1:1 - 3x Tessar
105 mm 1:1 - 4x Tessar
75 mm (2x) 2x - 6.5x reversed Tessar
50 mm (2x) 2x - 9.8x 6 group symmetric triplet
35 mm (5x) 5x - 14x reversed Tessar
17 mm (10 x) 10 x - 32x 6 element 4 group

Taken from MP-4 documentation

MP-4 Tominons are made to screw into the front of a #1 shutter, are all set up to be used above 1:1. There's no practical way to reverse them, as would be necessary when working below 1:1A #1 Copal Press with no diaphragm was offered for the MP-4.

Some of these lenses were offered in shutter for a variety of Polaroid cameras (CU-5, DS-34, DS-39, ...) and other makers' oscilloscope cameras. I haven't paid much attention to them, believe that most are in #1 press shutters. #1s are asymmetrical so reversing a lens mounted in one is, practically speaking, impossible.

The 135 will cover 4x5 at infinity. I've had three, all were lousy.

I've had all of the MP-4 Tominons but the 105. They were all usable and very cost-effective but there are better lenses. Scarcer than they used to be and more expensive too.

If you have the time and inclination to try lenses out you might want to look into enlarging lenses. I'm pleased with my 105/4.5 Comparon in #0. #0s are symmetrical so a lens in a #0 can be reversed by swapping the cells front to rear. Same goes for #00. I have, haven't tried, a 75 Comparon in #00 and a 150/5.6 Comparon in barrel (cells fit a #0).

FWIW I use a couple of 100 mm lenses for closeup work, both cover 2x3 from 1:8 up.

26-Mar-2011, 09:41
I've had all of the MP-4 Tominons but the 105. They were all usable and very cost-effective but there are better lenses. Scarcer than they used to be and more expensive too.

We make special price to you, Mr. Fromm! :)


ps: Only an MP-3 lens, but what the heck.

Dan Fromm
26-Mar-2011, 10:01
Charley, thanks for the kind offer. As I said, there are better lenses. I have several fine lenses at that focal length, don't really need more and worse.

The one 100 mm or so lens I still want to get is a CZJ 100/6.3 Tessar in Compound or Compur. I've seen a couple in Compur on #1 Kodak Autographic Specials, all out of my price range. Out of my price range not because of high price but because I don't really need one.

These days I'm still a little interested in acquiring MP-4 Tominons, but only for their rear lens caps. I have a use for the caps. For a while I bought MP-4 Tominons singly or in sets, removed the caps, and resold the lenses. But nowadays people want more for the lenses than I'm willing to hazard.

26-Mar-2011, 12:13

Just funning with ya.

What's special about the rear lenscaps? Odd size?


Dan Fromm
26-Mar-2011, 14:46
Charley, I knew you were twisting my tail. A perfectly straight response seemed better than squealing.

The lenses screw into the front of a #1 shutter. M40x0.75. AFAIK nothing commonly used except front cells that fit a #1 are this size. I have a number of adapters for front-mounting lenses on a #1, each adapter needs a rear cap. I may have caps for all of 'em now.

26-Mar-2011, 15:10

You're not alone. When peddling off these spares (http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?t=73405), I had a couple of people contact me, asking for M36x0.75 Copal 1 rear caps.