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Thread: why are there no "modern" super fast LF lenses?

  1. #21

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    Re: why are there no "modern" super fast LF lenses?

    Quote Originally Posted by Old-N-Feeble View Post
    Dan, one of THOSE dropped on one's foot is better than dropped on concrete. Bones heal... rare glass does not.
    There was a time that I would have agreed with you.

    However the second bone I ever broke was a toe. That was in 1992. It still often bothers me, when going for hikes and walks. I will often have to end a hike early just because of it.

    I have also broken a collar bone (4 years earlier) plus my back in 2 places, several left ribs plus my sternum all at once in an accident in 2003.
    These old injuries very rarely, if ever bother me.

    So these days if I have a choice between a rare broken lens and another broken toe guess which one I will take.

  2. #22
    IanG's Avatar
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    Re: why are there no "modern" super fast LF lenses?

    Aside from military fast lenses most fast LF lenses were designed for press cameras where the end results didn't usually require the highest definition but getting an image in poor/low light was important.

    My 1/4 plate Dallmeyer Press reflex (actually a very light re-badged Houghton Ensign) has a 6" f3.5 Dallmeyer Press lens, I've a 13.5 cm (135mm) f3.5 Tessar) on a Ihagee camera (dual shutters so you can switch between the FP shutter of the Compur). I've nearly bought a 165mm f2.8 Tessar twice now once in a Compur the other in a Barrel but most of the fast per-WWWII lenses Ive seen looked a touch cloudy and low contrast. I was offered an f2.9 Dallmeyer Pentac a few months ago but felt it was poor, one on Ebay at the moment looks even worse. Most of the fast lenses (for reflex cameras) don't stop down past f16.

    The best post WWII choice is the coated Xenotars but they fetch premium prices. I'm quite happy with the f3.5 lenses I have but it's interesting what Zeiss Jena say about the various Tessars they offered. The best for critical performance were the f6.3's, best all round compromise and most common the f4.5's, best for low light levels the f3.5's and the later f2.8's, coverage decreasing with the faster lenses. It's not a coincidence that Schneiders last 150mm f5.6 Xenar was the best they made.

    Ian

  3. #23

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    Re: why are there no "modern" super fast LF lenses?

    Quote Originally Posted by Corran View Post
    Did you sell it for 5 figures? I don't know who would actually buy this, and why:
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/311152774528
    No, back then they brought low 4 figures.

  4. #24

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    Re: why are there no "modern" super fast LF lenses?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Salomon - HP Marketing View Post
    Wish I could follow the reasoning.
    There is no reasoning. Just emotional blindness.

  5. #25

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    Re: why are there no "modern" super fast LF lenses?

    Military lenses (stuff like 6" f/2.8) were made as late as the late 80s/early 90s, are still fairly easy to find. Most are semi-reasonable in size, but shutters are usually difficult - speed graphic or other focal plane shutter being the easiest choice I think. The longer lenses get bigger fast, e.g. 12" f/2.5. 300mm f/4 is still pretty reasonable, size-wise. I have one that is no bigger than an aero ektar overall, 6 element plasmat-ish design. Look at military and/or aerial stuff on ebay. There's also a couple of 150mm f/4 enlarging lenses that might work as taking lenses.

    It would be cool if Schneider would resurrect the Xenotar. I bet they could make a killing on it, given what old ones go for. I have the 135 and 150 xenotars, and they definitely are nice lenses, probably the best overall combination of speed/size/ability-to-be-in-shutter.

  6. #26

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    Re: why are there no "modern" super fast LF lenses?

    Ed, re 6"/2.8 lenses for aerial cameras, see http://archive.org/details/USAF_lens_datasheets. I had one of the small (for 6x6) 150/2.8 Elcans, back focus 1.6". Unusable except on a 4x5 Speed Graphic, if you want to use a 4x5 Speed to shoot 6x6. The large 150/2.8 Elcan (for 4.5" x 4.5") has a much larger back focus, might be usable on a Speed.

    Re 300/4, I have a very nice 12"/4 TTH tele that's supposed to cover 4x5. Very short back focus, but not impossible, ~ 85 mm. It was designed by the legendary Gordon Henry Cook. To see one on a 2x3 Pacemaker Speed Graphic http://1drv.ms/1q8erQb. The apparently naked man in the out of focus background isn't, he's a canoeist putting in.

  7. #27
    Green Hand pierre506's Avatar
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    Re: why are there no "modern" super fast LF lenses?

    Just got a 340mm F2.4 lens from a movie equipment.
    The barrel size and weight made me a headache.
    The diameter is 190mm.
    Sometimes love just ain't enough.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/pierre506/sets/

  8. #28
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: why are there no "modern" super fast LF lenses?

    Just look at what still sells quickly at a good price these days - mostly ultralight portable field camera lenses for outdoorsy types like me. Ergonomics is almost the
    mantra of the day in many types of equipment, not just camera gear. Yeah, there are a few overpriced monster "cult" lenses hypothetically for sale on the auction site, but most of these kinds of offerings seem to stay there for a long long time. There are cheaper places to buy bookends. And making anything new and big with modern glass would be obscenely expensive, even if shutter could still be provided. And really desirable fast studio lenses seem to be kept until a career is actually over.

  9. #29
    Nodda Duma's Avatar
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    Re: why are there no "modern" super fast LF lenses?

    The demand does not justify the cost.

    High-resolution needs are no longer met by making the film larger. They are met by making pixels smaller and having a lot of then in a manageable format. A 25mm f/1.4 is much cheaper to make than a 250mm f/1.4...especially if you can get the same resolution.

    Although if you want something fast and large, and you have the money to pay for it, then it can be done.
    Newly made large format dry plates available! Look:
    https://www.pictoriographica.com

  10. #30

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    Re: why are there no "modern" super fast LF lenses?

    I agree with you, there are LOTS of super fast small format lenses. But they were made in the 1950s until today. Currently I shoot a Kern 25mm/1.4, and I've had a 25mm/0.95 Angenieux. I shoot a Canon 35mm/1.8 and a Olympus Pen-F 38/1.8 all from the 1950s except the Olympus Zukio. Today, Fuji makes outstanding 23mm/1.4 and 35/1.4 lenses. In 50mm, the fast ones I like are the Sonnars, at F1.4 of 1.5. I have the Canon F1.2 also. All 1950s. But there are modern, fast 50mm lenses too.

    Really, there weren't a lot of LF super fast lenses, other than the petzvals, because we use tripods, not hand held. Also film obviated the need to "stop sitter motion blur" common in wetplate. That's why there are no modern F3 LF lenses - no one needs them.

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