View Full Version : mpp and lenses

colin smith
16-Mar-2004, 11:58
i have recently bought an mpp micro press camera. it has a schneider Xenar compur f4.7 135mm lens which is in poor condition - fungus and rear element marks. I'm assuming it will be cheaper to replace rather than to rejuvinate. being new to this i'm only vaguely aware of the differences between this and newer types of lenses. do i need/want to simply replace like for like with the lens ? does a 150mm give better coverage ? and most importantly does anyone know if these cameras are capable of using newer lenses (eg, apo symmar ?) ? or were they designed to be used with small light weight lenses ? any advice would be appreciated colin smith

Ernest Purdum
16-Mar-2004, 13:08
Because your MPP has movements available, replacing your present lens with a type having greater coverage would be very sensible. Yes, a 150mm of the same construction would give more coverage, but there are many other possibilities. One factor to be considered would be how important it is to you to be able to close the camera with the lens in place. Some lenses which would otherwise be good choices would not permit this. Another consideration is how close do you want to be able to focus. If you don't want to be able to come closer than say six feet, your selection will be wider than if you want to be able to focus really close. Regarding the size of lenses, if you are unconcerned about being able to close the camera with the lens in place, I don't think any lens which would fit on the lensboard would cause a problem.

Until you have had a chance to use the camera for awhile and to find out what you like and what seems to be limiting, I would think a less expensive used lens that you could sell later on, if you decide it isn't quite what you want, would be appropriate. A 150mm Symmar-S or a near equivalent might be a good choice. It's longer than your Xenar but takes the same size shutter and when stopped down permits a very usable range of movements.

Colin Carron
17-Mar-2004, 05:15

I use a MPP Microtechnical Mk 7 which has some components in common with your Micropress. There is no problem using lenses of any age on the MPP. The main restrictions are that the MPP will not take lenses with a rear element diameter greater than about 70mm so the faster Super Angulons and Grandagons will be too big tho the slower ones are ok. Also you will be restricted to lenses with a focal length less than the bellows extension unless you use tele lenses. But anything else is fine.

It sounds as though you should replace your 135mm lens. The Xenar is a nice, light, sharp lens but has an image circle of 161mm compared with a diagonal for 5x4 film sheet of 154mm. So not much movements. Compare the Symmar with a 190mm image circle and you can see there is a fair amount more movements available. I suggest either a 135 or 150mm Symmar convertible,Symmar-S or Apo-Symmar will give you ample movements given that the micropress does not have back movements. I have a single coated Symmar 150mm convertible of about 1970 which works fine as well as a multicoated Rodenstock Sironar 150mm. These are all fine lenses but the convertible ones are cheaper!

You can find out the image circles of Schneider lenses from :

www.schneideroptics.com (vintage lenses section)

For more on MPP cameras see

www.mppusers.freeuk.com (the MPP Users Club website)

good luck


colin smith
17-Mar-2004, 11:08
Thank you both. Again, pardon my ignorance, but, when you say 'most' lenses are usable with the mpp, does this mean there is a generic hole size where most any lens will automatically fit the mpp lens board ? i have been trying to do some research but so far have found it slightly confusing. Also, do terms like apo-symmar or compur etc have any generic technical meaning, or are they simply words that differentiate between different manufacturers lenses ?

Mark Sampson
17-Mar-2004, 13:31
It's like this: some lenses, especially fast wide-angles, are likely to be physically too large to fit inside your camera. Some will be so short that your bellows won't compress enough to let you focus at infinity. Conversely, the longest focal length lenses you can use are slightly shorter than your maximum bellows extension. "Compur", like "Copal" and "Ilex" are brand names of different shutters lenses are mounted in. Their sizes (and thus the size of the mounting hole in the lensboard) are measured in numbers: a Compur #00 is the smallest, an Ilex #5 is probably the largest. "Xenar", "Apo-Symmar", etc. are names for different optical designs. So to describe a lens, you might say that it is a "180mm Schneider Symmar-S in a Copal #1 shutter". When you buy a lensboard to fit that lens on your MPP, you need to specify one drilled for the Copal #1 shutter.

Colin Carron
17-Mar-2004, 14:26
Your Xenar 135/4.7 is in a size #0 shutter. You will see that the Schneider web site gives the shutter size for each type of Schneider lens. The MPP Users Club website gives details of the MPP Micropress lensboards including an article on making your own. It is likely that you will be able to reuse your existing lensboard with its #0 size hole for 135mm lenses but 150mm lenses may be either #0 or #1 shutter size depending on the make. My Schneider Symmar 150mm is a size #1 but the 150mm Sironar is a size #0.

colin smith
18-Mar-2004, 12:10
thank you all. i now don't feel quite so in the dark (excuse the pun).