View Full Version : Which Copal?

23-Apr-2012, 20:39
I've noticed I have a growing pile of Petzval lenses sitting on my desk. OK, my wife noticed it. "What are you going to do with all those old lenses?" was the way she put it. Good question! Here's what I'm thinking. I'm looking specifically at an 1855-ish Grubb and an 1870s-ish BF & C. Darlot. The Grubb has a rear thread diameter of 2.33 in. and a rear lens diameter of 1.8 in. The Darlot is very small, and is cuter than a bug's ear! Take my word for it--even my wife likes it. Rear threads are 1.9 in., and rear element is 1.37 in. I have thoughts of having SK Grimes making a NIkon F mount for this so I can shoot it on my Nikon! It's smaller than my Nikon 85mm f1.8D lens so I think it would work, somehow.

Anyway, to the point. I'm thinking I would get more use out of one of these two Petzvals if I had an adapter made for Copal shutter. I did that with an 1890s-ish E&HT Anthony RR lens and it worked out well! Which would you mount to a Copal, and which shutter should I be looking for? I would like a flash sync connection (PC). What does that sort of thing cost? I paid about $125 from my local precision machine shop for the RR to Copal 1 adapter. And finally, what do you guess it would cost to have an F-mount made for my cute little Darlot? FFL is right at 4.5 inches on that one. (FFL on the Grubb is 6 in.) I think it would be cool to have a Darlot on my Nikon!

Kent in SD

23-Apr-2012, 20:46
The flange focal length on a Nikon F mount is 46.5mm.

Your 4.5" (~114mm) Darlot is going to stick out a fur piece. :D

- Leigh

23-Apr-2012, 20:57
Yeah, I know. I saw this on the SK Grimes website and got excited!


Don't know why it couldn't be done for Nikon too. Not sure where I'd find a classic looking Petzval with FFL of less than an inch though. Maybe mounting the Darlot to the Nikon is a fantasy. What about mounting to a regular LF shutter such as Copal?

Kent in SD

23-Apr-2012, 20:59
The Darlot FFL is certainly appropriate for a regular Copal shutter on an LF camera.

I have no idea about the thread specs. That could be a real problem.

As to price, I would certainly expect at least $150 for a job like that,
possibly more depending on threads and exact dimensions.

- Leigh

Dan Fromm
24-Apr-2012, 04:57
Kent, I have a heap of lenses in barrel that I hang in front of a Copal #1. I also hang them in front of a Nikon on an F-mount bellows so that I can focus them.

Lens mounts in a cup-shaped adapter threaded female at the front to accept the lens and male M40x0.75 at the rear to go into the front of a #1. I use another cup-shaped adapter, threaded female M40x0.75 at the front and male M42x0.75 at the rear to go into a T-mount adapter. Female T-to-male Nikon F adapters are inexpensive and easily found.

I also have a female T-to-male Leica thread adapter that's useful for, e.g., attaching to a light Soviet made bellows in LTM that I got very cheaply; a Novoflex NIKLEI adapter attaches to the rear of the bellows, a Nikon to that. NIKLEIs are scarce and expensive. There are T-mount bellows -- I've had a Vivitar one -- but they're hard to find.

I get adapters from SKGrimes. They price by size. I don't have their current price list, but for a little lens like a 4.5" Petzval the cost should be < $70. If you want to hang it in front of a Nikon and not stuff it into a #1, you might want only a female whatever it is-to-male T adapter.

Which Copal #1? The least expensive is the Polaroid MP-4 (so badged). This is a Copal #1 Press shutter with no diaphragm made for use on the Polaroid MP-4. All of the lenses sold for the MP-4 screw into it. Don't get any other Copal Press shutter made for Polaroid cameras, too many of them have restricted openings. The MP-4 shutter gives the full 30 mm, many of the others don't.

Read my lens diary http://www.galerie-photo.com/telechargement/dan-fromm-6x9-lenses-v2-2011-03-29.pdf for details on front-mounting.

24-Apr-2012, 05:42
Thornton Pickard made roller blind shutters that can be used easily with these lenses, there's two variations the original which fits on the end of the lens and the Between Lens which fits between the lens & lens board. These usually give speeds of 1/15th to 1/90th with T for Time exposures or focussing.