View Full Version : Long process lenses for 8x10

John O'Connell
23-Jan-2004, 10:50
I've shot my last frame with the rear element of my 355 G-Claron and yellow filter: the quality's just not there, even for contact printing. Contrast is too low.

Does anyone have any idea how usable some of the various 600mm process lenses are? The 24" Artar is f/11, so it should be fairly manageable hanging off the front of a camera; the 610mm Apo Nikkor looks huge; I believe there was a 600mm f/9 Apo Ronar; and there are various other lenses hanging around, like the 600mm Apo Tessar that one occasionally sees for sale.

How heavy are these suckers? And can the big Packards be fitted to them?

Or are any of the convertibles out there with ~24" cells any good?

John Kasaian
23-Jan-2004, 11:19

FWIW, I was just comparing two 19" Artars, one in a brass barrel, the other in aluminum---the aluminum one is unbelievably light! I have a 24" brass Artar that is about as big and heavy as I'd feel comfortable with on the old 'dorff These can be front mounted on a single No.5 Universal with adapters for each lens.

Packard shutters are certainly a cost effective option. You'd need a big one and if your lensboard is less than 6" on the side, you'll probably have to mount it on the front of your lens---a very workable, but kind of dorky looking solution---not that it matters.

At one time I had an ektanon, I think it was 20", now that was one heavy sucker! Too much for my old camera, but an excellent performer. I don't recall that it was a "convertible" though.

For a triple convertible, you might want to look for a Wollensak, they are often found in Betax shutters and are usually quite reasonable.

Good Luck!

23-Jan-2004, 11:28
I have a 19" Brown. Allegedly a dagor built for the Brown process company. It's F/11 and weighs a solid 6lbs!. If your lensboard is big enough you can stick a packard on the back.

Arne Croell
23-Jan-2004, 12:03
Yes, the Apo-Ronar exists in 600mm f/9, as well as longer versions. Once there was even a version in a size 5 Compound shutter available. Also 600, 750 and 1000mm Apo-Germinars from Zeiss Jena and later Docter Optic. The latter were also available in a Copal 3 between 1992 and 1995. Then there is the Fujinon 600mm C in a regular Copal 3, available new.

Ralph Barker
23-Jan-2004, 13:10
The APO Nikkor 610mm f/9 in barrel is, in deed, a monster. The front of the barrel is about 110mm in diameter (105mm filters, perhaps?), and the total length of the lens is about 95mm, most of which would be in front of the lensboard, and the weight is about 3 1/3 pounds. The rear of the barrel would require a lensboard hole of about 108mm. From the image on S. K. Grimes' site, however, it looks like it trims down a bit when mounted in a #5 Ilex.

Dan Fromm
23-Jan-2004, 13:22
I have a 600/9 Apo-Ronar. It weighs 3.3 kg. Haven't measured the diameter, the rear fits in a nominal 4" PVC sewer pipe with about 3/16" clearance all the way around. Please don't ask. Huge is an understatement.



Arne Croell
23-Jan-2004, 13:49

3.3.kg?? My barrel version is about 2.2 kg, mostly brass mounts. The shuttered version, including the no. 5 shutter, is 1.65 kg (more aluminum in the mount). Do you have a version with 4 or 6 lens elements?

Steve Hamley
23-Jan-2004, 14:21

The quick and easy solution is the 600mm f/11.5 Fuji C. Very light for a lens of this length. You should be able to find one in mint used condition for around a kilobuck, or a new one for $1,200 - $1,300.

Compared to remounting a process lens, having filter adapters made, and replacing the perpetually missing lenscaps, then dealing with a cranky worn Ilex, it's a pretty good deal.



Kerry L. Thalmann
23-Jan-2004, 15:25
I second Steve's recommendation for the 600mm Fujinon C. This is a modern, multicoated lens that comes in a reliable Copal No. 3 shutter and is optimized for general purpose photography. At 575g in the shutter, it weighs 1/4 - 1/6 as much as many of the process lenses in barrels. By the time you include a huge Ilex No.5 shutter, you're talking 5.5 - 7.5 lbs. vs. 1.25 lb. for the Fuji. Do you really want to hang that much weight off your front standard (or carry it around all day)? I have a 600mm Fuji that I picked up used for about the same price I would have paid for a 30 - 40 year old single-coated process lens in barrel, plus an equally old No. 5 Ilex shutter, plus mounting charges.

In general, barrel lenses make the most sense if you can share one shutter for several lenses - AND you get them cheap, AND they aren't too big and heavy, OR no shutter mounted alternative is available. In this particular focal length, the 600mm Fujinon is a sensible off-the-shelf alternative. It also happens to be an outstanding performer, with generous coverage that takes standard 67mm filters.


23-Jan-2004, 19:55
So far the only lens I have is a 21 1/4" (537.3mm) Wollensak Apochromatic Raptar. It's a good lens, not too large/heavy at all. Mine is in an f/10-f/45 barrel, but it actually opens up a bit beyond f/10.

The lens isn't that heavy at all, compared to normal lenses. I'd say that it's about the weight of your average 300-360mm taking lens. (I don't have the exact weight). As to shuttering, it's not on Grimes' list of lenses he's shuttered, but I'm sure that the elements would fit in a modern-type shutter. I don't have measurements, but once again, if I had to eyeball it, I'd say it could probably be made to fit a Coapl 3 or slightly larger shutter.

Dan Fromm
24-Jan-2004, 10:06
Arne, to answer your question, the weight I posted (3.3 kg) was given to me by the vendor when we were discussing how best to ship it. According to my wife's highly inaccurate kitchen scale, the lens, with flange, weighs 3.1 kg.

It is a four element lens engraved: Klimsch Apo-Ronar 1:9 f=600mm/24in., s/n 6339834. There's a lot of black-enamelled brass, no visible aluminum. A monster.