View Full Version : Projection Lenses

19-Jun-2012, 13:12
At my local antique store there is a 2"x2" slide projector with a 5in American Lens Co. lens for $25. Is this worth buying? Will it probably cover 4x5? Will the conversion be enormously difficult? The lens looks spotless as far as I can tell and Is easily detachable. Has anyone else done this with a similar lens? I'd love some examples if you could, please.

Thanks in advance, Miles. (Should this maybe be in LF DIY?)

19-Jun-2012, 13:33
Conversion to what? Are you thinking of using this as a taking lens on a 4x5 camera?

No way, Jose. This lens probably wouldn't even cover a 35mm frame at infinity.

Add to that the fact that there's no shutter and no diaphragm, and there's only one cell, so no way to mount a shutter.

The lens is probably very poor quality to start with.

I could go on, but my fingers are getting tired.

- Leigh

Dan Dozer
19-Jun-2012, 16:27
So - I got a petzval type projector lens from Jim Galli a couple of years ago (Ilex Projection) - probably made in the 40's or so. The focal length was something like 4" and the image size of the full lens was only about 3 - 4 inches. However, when just the front or rear elements are used, the focal length becomes 8 - 9 inches and it easily covers 8 x 10. It has become one of my favorite lenses - soft focus in the center and get's blurry quickly towards the outside.

See if you can unscrew the front element from the rear and check the focal length as well as the image size. Point the lens at the outside window where it's bright and focus the image on a sheet of paper in the other hand to check.

Here are 2 shots with just the front element.

19-Jun-2012, 17:36
I was thinking it was possible, but yeah, probably not.

19-Jun-2012, 17:40
Good use of that lens Dan, shows just what's possible with the addition of a little vision.
Especially like that second one-

Jim Jones
19-Jun-2012, 18:45
Slide projectors aren't worth much any more, although I have paid up to $10 for a Kodak outfit in recent years. $25 sounds like an optimistic antique store price.

20-Jun-2012, 00:06
Alright. Thank you all for the advice.