View Full Version : any petzval or soft focus lenses designed strictly for 4x5 use?

19-Apr-2012, 04:28
Are there any petzval or soft focus lenses designed strictly for 4x5 use?
Seems to me most are for larger than 4x5 usage.
Any designed specifically for 4x5 format?

Larry H-L
19-Apr-2012, 04:43
There are quite a few 6 or 7 inch Petzvals out there, fine on 4x5.

Congo made 150mm and 210mm SF lenses.

19-Apr-2012, 05:48
If you look at the old catalogs like here: http://www.antiquecameras.net/1890lenscatalogue.html you'll see manufacturers made their lenses in a range of sizes, from very small to very large. The 1-4 size means quarterplate, basically 4x5.

Here is a picture of one of my Petzvals from the 1860s, next to a normal size for scale. The small one is a gem lens, about as big around as a 35mm film cartridge.


19-Apr-2012, 06:54
Thank you very much for this information.
I am trying to learn all this.

19-Apr-2012, 07:55
Cooke PS945. It's even in the name!
945 = 9" focal length, 4x5 format.
I'm guessing the PS is for "Pinkham Smith", from which the lens design is inspired by (or copied from?).

You can browse cameraeccentric.com or antiquecameras.net and look at manufacturer documentation to find many lenses, and which are intended for use with the 4x5 (or others) format. Even if designed for use with larger formats, they will still work with 4x5 if you have enough bellows and a large enough lensboard to support them.

Louis Pacilla
19-Apr-2012, 08:27
Just about all Soft focus lenses where made in sizes to fit formats of at least 4x5 and up.

Here are just a few examples

19-Apr-2012, 08:49

Spencer port-land and struss pictorials were built for 4x5 as well. Soft focus lenses were sometimes made for 4x5 graflex SLRs, which were common among advanced photographers in it's day. If you have enough bellows for a 300mm lens, the kodak 305 is a nice choice as it's available with shutter. The Reinhold wollaston 190mm is great for 4x5 for cheap.

19-Apr-2012, 09:11
Thanks to everyone for this information.

In case anyone is wondering, the reason I asked specifically about 4x5 is:
- I have a 4x5 Sinar f2
- I was thinking, that the "effects" from these type lenses would work better on a 4x5 system,
rather than using a lens that is for 8x10.
I am mistaken on this?

Louis Pacilla
19-Apr-2012, 09:12
Here ya go

From The 1914 Spencer lens Co of Buffalo NY Catalog. Page 87. The Spencer Portland lens.

20-Apr-2012, 06:39
Another lens to consider is the 250mm Imagon.

Kent in SD

Jim Noel
20-Apr-2012, 06:43
There were Darlots which barely covered 4x5.

20-Apr-2012, 07:06
buy this one:


20-Apr-2012, 07:23
I wish that I could...

buy this one: