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Thread: Oscilloscope and copy lenses for Macro?

  1. #1
    Drew Bedo's Avatar
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    Oscilloscope and copy lenses for Macro?

    Are the lenses made for use with the old Polaroid MP-3 and MP-4 copy cameras any good for moderate LF macro imaging? What about the Oscilloscope lenses?

    The O-scope gear is pretty fast wide open at f1/9. Both were used at macro ranges up to nearly 1:1. The o-scope lenses donot cover 4x5 at infinity (only 6x6 or so), but will when extended fr close focus. The Polaroid Taminons will cover at infinity..

    I realize that there are really excellent modern lenses optimized by design for close-up imaging. Yet the cost of an Oscilloscope lens is very low, the Polaroid lenses too.

    So then: How good (or bad) are they for macro imaging?
    Drew Bedo
    http://www.artsyhome.com/author/drew-bedo




    There are only three types of mounting flanges; too big, too small and wrong thread!

  2. #2
    Jon Shiu's Avatar
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    Re: Oscilloscope and copy lenses for Macro?

    I tried an oscillo raptar once and it was horrible, and not in a good way.
    my black and white photos of the Mendocino Coast: www.jonshiu.com

  3. #3

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    Re: Oscilloscope and copy lenses for Macro?

    Drew, I've tested 17, 35, 50, 75 and 135 mm MP-4 Tominons. Never had a 105 so couldn't test. None was outstanding or even very good but the 17, 35 and 50 are very usable and can be quite cost effective. I wouldn't have another 75 or 135, they're lousy and too light to make good paperweights.

    Polaroid's recommendations:

    MP-4 Tominons' recommended magnifications, from MP-4 documentation
    focal length (min magnification to cover 4x5) recommended magnifications type

    135 mm 1x - 3x Tessar
    105 mm 1x - 4x Tessar
    75 mm (2x) 2x - 6.5x reversed Tessar
    50 mm (2x) 2x - 9.8x 6 group symmetric triplet (sic)
    35 mm (5x) 5x - 14x reversed Tessar
    17 mm (10x) 10x - 32x 6 element 4 group

    I've bought a number of o'scope lenses to harvest shutters from, wouldn't bother with them for close-up work. If you can't afford better, by all means try one, otherwise work out a way to use a process lens. These days quite decent Soviet process lenses can be bought for < $50 or so delivered.

  4. #4
    Mark Sawyer's Avatar
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    Re: Oscilloscope and copy lenses for Macro?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Fromm View Post
    These days quite decent Soviet process lenses can be bought for < $50 or so delivered.
    On that topic, Dan, do you (or does anyone) know if the 300mm f/4.5 Industar is a process lens or a general purpose lens? I have one, and it performs quite well close up, but f/4.5 is awfully fast for a process Tessar.
    "I love my Verito lens, but I always have to sharpen everything in Photoshop..."

  5. #5
    IanG's Avatar
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    Re: Oscilloscope and copy lenses for Macro?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Sawyer View Post
    On that topic, Dan, do you (or does anyone) know if the 300mm f/4.5 Industar is a process lens or a general purpose lens? I have one, and it performs quite well close up, but f/4.5 is awfully fast for a process Tessar.
    It's just a general purpose Tessar type lens..

    I have a couple of oscilloscope lenses a 90mm f1.9 Dallmeyer and a 3" (75mm) f1.9 Wollensak, I bought the second for 10 ?$12 purely for the Alphax #3 shutter. They just aren't any practical use for anything other than their original use.

    I also bought a105mm Tominon cheap in mint condition mainly for the shutter, surprisingly it illuminates a 5x4 screw at Infinity but as Dan says I don't expect high quality results.

    Ian

  6. #6
    8x10, 5x7, 4x5, et al Leigh's Avatar
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    Re: Oscilloscope and copy lenses for Macro?

    Oscilloscope displays are usually green, occasionally blue.

    In any case, they're monochromatic, so no need to correct the lenses for chromatic aberrations.

    A copier lens would be different, particularly for a color copier.

    - Leigh
    If you believe you can, or you believe you can't... you're right.

  7. #7

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    Re: Oscilloscope and copy lenses for Macro?

    Quote Originally Posted by IanG View Post

    I also bought a105mm Tominon cheap in mint condition mainly for the shutter, surprisingly it illuminates a 5x4 screw at Infinity but as Dan says I don't expect high quality results.

    Ian
    I had read something online about the 105mm Tominion being a very good lens, so when I restored my 2X3 SG, I had set it up for C/U, wide, and Tele use and had a nice 105 from off an O-scope camera... My example of the 105 produced very sharp/bright/contrasty results at all ranges, so it ended up on my camera as a "normal" lens... I also tried it on a 4X5, but does not cover at inf, but excellent for tabletop C/U sets... Fast and easy to focus...

    I also used the 75mm on 4X5, and it does get very close, and allows tilts & swings up close, and I like that it has a nice blend into OOF areas and OK sharpness shooting 3D objects... (And good DOF stopped down, and easy to focus...) There are sharper lenses, but many ultra sharp lenses up close have a "rough" transition between ultra sharp and OOF areas, so a nice blend there...

    Don't knock these lenses, they have applications... :-)

    Steve K

  8. #8
    IanG's Avatar
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    Re: Oscilloscope and copy lenses for Macro?

    Steve, now I have a 2x3 camera that I can use the Tominon on I'll test it, what I've heard over the years is the quality can be quite variable.

    Ian

  9. #9

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    Re: Oscilloscope and copy lenses for Macro?

    I forgot to mention that the 127/4.7 Tominon supplied with a variety of Polaroid gelcams is a decent lens, head and shoulders above the MP-4 lenses, at near (below 1:1) and great (to infinity) distances. They're not that expensive, so you might want to think about one of them, Drew.

  10. #10
    Drew Bedo's Avatar
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    Re: Oscilloscope and copy lenses for Macro?

    Everyone: Thanks for the input.

    My 75mm Tominon is currently in the FS forum if anyone is interested.
    Drew Bedo
    http://www.artsyhome.com/author/drew-bedo




    There are only three types of mounting flanges; too big, too small and wrong thread!

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