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Thread: Unusual and off the wall lens choices

  1. #1

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    Apr 2013
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    Millom, Cumbria, England
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    Unusual and off the wall lens choices

    Hi folks

    In the small format & digital spheres I've done a fair bit of playing around with unusual lenses that were never intended for pictorial work - projector lenses, wierd lenses ripped out of arcane industrial machines, all sorts of things.

    So I'm wondering, what unusual lenses have people adapted to large format use?

  2. #2

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    Re: Unusual and off the wall lens choices

    There is a long previous thread which includes cheap magnifying glasses (Wal-mart?).
    Projection lenses (both triplets and Petzvals) are sold - often fraudently - everyday for LF use.
    Personally, I have had my biggest thrills with the use of pre-photographic optics - George III (well known by our American friends!) front achromats from telescopes. Now these telescopes are often at a bargain price compared with early photographic optics, especialy if they have received ill treatment!

  3. #3
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Unusual and off the wall lens choices

    The only 'odd' lens I have used is a cheap magnifying lens. Speed Graphic and Type 55 film...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails AlexLastGame2009.jpg   AlexAtBat.jpg  

  4. #4

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    Re: Unusual and off the wall lens choices

    Whatever fits and can be shuttered (with the proverbial hat, if comes to that) and covers the intended format can be tried. Coverage is somewhat a killer, eliminates many lenses made for small formats. People will, however, insist that some macro lenses for 4x5, e.g., the dread 75/4.5 Tominon in its several forms, are wide angle lenses for 4x5. Scan eBay for a while if you haven't seen the claims yet.

  5. #5

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    Re: Unusual and off the wall lens choices

    the oddest lens I tried was a wollensak 90mm 4.5 enlarging lens.

  6. #6

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    Re: Unusual and off the wall lens choices

    i have a 75mm wollensak 4.5 that covers 4x5 "the most" out of the other 75/80's I have but not as well as does the 90mm which covers with mush
    not too bad if needed a trashy cheap lens or something and especially if don't mind/want an oval frame

  7. #7
    uphereinmytree's Avatar
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    Re: Unusual and off the wall lens choices

    I use a transformed velostigmat series III 8x10 f9.5. It is missing both front and back inner elements and makes a lovely f4 90mm for 4x5. Diffuse glow with nice sharpness underneath wide open and stopped down it's wicked sharp. I guess it's just 2 meniscus lenses now. Decent 4x5 coverage

  8. #8

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    Re: Unusual and off the wall lens choices

    I'm getting ready to try the front element if a 360mm Repro Claron combined with the rear of a no-name 11" convertible. The resulting FL is 11" and the image looks fairly sharp on the ground glass. The unit is in a compound shutter.

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