View Full Version : turner-reich

phil sweeney
26-Nov-2003, 10:11
I just got a 7 x 17 Korona and it came with a 11 x 14 Turner-Reich anast f7.5 series II. Apparently a convertible lens 15", 21", 36" and with all elements it focuses at a 15" bellow draw. I could not find any info on this lens in particular. I would appreciate any feedback on experience with this lens.

Peter Galea
26-Nov-2003, 10:57
I'm green with envy! If I had one, I would love to turn that bad boy on it's side and shoot some strong verticals. With an additional tripod of course. Good luck. Do you have enough draw to use the rear element only? If so a yellow filter is reccommended to correct for sharpness. As well as focussing at working aperature. I have the T-R 12/21?/28 and have used it at all lengths with success. Contrast at times is a little weak.

phil sweeney
26-Nov-2003, 11:40
Pete: unfortunately no, the bed length is 29."

karl french
26-Nov-2003, 15:31
I have had good luck with the 8x10 version of this lens. There are a lot of threads regarding convertible lenses in the archives. The general rule is to use the single elements behind the shutter and if possible use a strong monochromatic filter (green is what i use) to help compensate for the corrections that are lost when only a single focal length is used. Also, keep the longer focal length in front when using the components combined.

The 11x14 version of the Turner Reich convertible is quite rare. I have only seen 2 on Ebay in the last few years. They were expensive when new. In 1932, mounted in a Betax shutter the 11x14 convertible was priced at $170.

Weston famously complained about the image quality of either 19" or 21" component (i can't remember) in his Daybooks. Ansel suggested he replace it with a 19" Zeiss protar.

Enjoy this uncommon lens and your new camera.


26-Nov-2003, 15:58

I have the same lens although mine is marked 15", 24", 36". It's in a Betax. I've used it successfully with the stated 11x14 format. Can't really add any more information than's already been posted. But it's a darn handy lens.


26-Nov-2003, 17:37
I have no personal experience with these lenses but the literature suggests that they vary a lot in performance. They are like the convertible VIIa Protars, which are based on two groups of four cemented elements each, but the Turner-Reich has five elements in two different groups. The issue is that it was apparently very difficult to center five separate elements, thus the quality control issue.

I have used several other convertible lenss, including the Protar VIIa, the Wollensak Raptar 1a and the Schneider Symmar convnertible. All were very good lenses with the two groups but quite marginal when using only one group.

26-Nov-2003, 18:30
I have a 15-24-36 Turner and Reich in an Ilex No.5. It performs very well at 15 for 8X10. Not too bad at 24, ie. bright sun, no wind, low haze, you know days that never happen! But my one experience at 36 was a bit soft and a little windy.

The old large shutters are clunky, funky and heavy. Mine has been calibrated and the fastest it hits is 1/25 (even at 1/50), but the slower speeds are right on. Most of my exposures are in seconds so it isn't critical. There are just a couple of bubbles in the rear elemnet but I can't attribute any loss of clarity to them.

The sequence for conversion is: both elements 15 in, rear only 24 in, move front to rear 36 in. Don't forget to use the proper f scale, there should be three, one for each focal length. It is recommended you use a filter behind the lens when converted, I use a yellow. It is also recommended you focus at the f/stop you will take the picture at with the filter in place (this can be tricky, my arms are not 48 in long) so stopping down as you watch the ground glass may necessitate a helper. In the non converted state it performs like any 5 lb lens would.

I also have the 12-21-28 and it has the same foibles. The T R lenses are not regarded very highly but they were used extensively on all large formats. You see them frequently on circuit cameras and panoramics such as yours. If you are contact printing I don't think you will find a better performer for the money.

I have devised a couple of filter holders that were cheap and easy, if you want to see them I can email you pictures.

26-Nov-2003, 20:21
"...It is recommended you use a filter behind the lens when converted..."

I would like to question this statement.

To me, it seems to make little sense in putting a monochromatic filter behind a converted lens. As I understand the purpose of the filter, it is to cut down on the now less(un)corrected lens abberations. With the filter in front, a monochrome light causes less abberations through the lens. With the filter behind the lens, you get monochrome abberations!

If I am wrong, I'd like to know why?

26-Nov-2003, 21:14
The purpose of a filter is to remove specific wavelengths (colors). The aberrations referred to are chromatic aberrations in which light of different color is focused to different points. In longitudinal chromatic aberration, an uncorrected lens has what amounts to a different focal length for each color. An image focused in one color will be out-of-focus for others. The resulting image is not sharp because an out-of-focus image is formed by the unfocused wavelengths. This is particularly a problem with orthochromatic films which are more responsive to blue light. The eye being more sensitive to the yellow-green portion of the spectrum would have a tendency to focus the image based on those wavelengths. Orthochromatic film being more sensitive to blue records those wavelengths which are not in focus. Panchromatic film records it all. The result in either case is an image which is not critically focused. A filter removes its complement. A light yellow filter is also referred to as a "minus blue" filter for that reason. By removing [at least a portion of] the unfocused spectrum, a sharper image results on the film. Whether the filter is placed before or after the lens is immaterial. The corresponding wavelengths are removed in either case.

Technical gurus please feel free to make corrections if needed!


Ernest Purdum
27-Nov-2003, 09:44
A note regarding Marv's comment mentioning bubbles in the glass. These have no effect on image quality at all. They do block light, but the blockage of even large bubbles is so small as to be totally negligible.

phil sweeney
29-Nov-2003, 06:55
Thanks for all the feedback and information.