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Thread: Building Lenses

  1. #1
    LarryH
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    44

    Building Lenses

    I am interested in exploring the process of building or adapting lenses for my Toyo 45 or my Hasselblad. Can anyone recommend a group here or Facebook or websites? Thanks!


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  2. #2

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    7,952

    Re: Building Lenses

    What do you mean by adapting? And which lenses or types of lenses are you thinking about adapting?

    I asked the first question because I've hung unlikely lenses in front of press and view cameras. Most mounted up in the usual way. The ones that didn't either had to be put in shutter, which can involve machining, or wouldn't pass through the camera's front standard.

    I asked the second question because hanging lenses in front of a press/field/technical/view camera isn't a big deal. Hanging lenses in front of a 'blad can be somewhat more involved.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    1,792

    Re: Building Lenses

    I think the idea of building a lens from scratch works better in the soft focus realm. In your basement you probably will not be able to reach even the level of sophistication of a commercial maker in the 1880s for building a sharp, flat-field lens. But if you are into SF, there are tons of interesting possibilities. The best place to start will definitely be 4x5, unless you have some extra Hasselblad lenses you are OK with gutting just to get the shutter, which would be necessary for any kind of real functionality on a Blad body. Then once you have the shutter, there's the problem of closely matching the focal length the shutter was designed for, if you want the result to focus.

    There used to be a lens designer hanging around the APUG forum, talking about lens building and offering up some designs, but I haven't been there in a while, so he may be gone.
    Thanks, but I'd rather just watch:
    Large format: http://flickr.com/michaeldarnton
    Mostly 35mm: http://flickr.com/mdarnton
    You want digital, color, etc?: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stradofear

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    St Paul Mn
    Posts
    81

    Re: Building Lenses

    I am interested in any forms or groups on lens building as well. I have been working on this and have had some success. I run a kiln department for an architectural glass studio for the day job so I have access to a bit more than the average garage.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    7,952

    Re: Building Lenses

    Brook, I don't think there are any forms or groups. Amateur astronomers make concave mirrors, sometimes lenses. Look for astronomy forums.

    But there is a book. https://www.amazon.com/Primitive-Pho.../dp/0240804619

  6. #6
    LarryH
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    44

    Re: Building Lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Fromm View Post
    What do you mean by adapting? And which lenses or types of lenses are you thinking about adapting?

    I asked the first question because I've hung unlikely lenses in front of press and view cameras. Most mounted up in the usual way. The ones that didn't either had to be put in shutter, which can involve machining, or wouldn't pass through the camera's front standard.

    I asked the second question because hanging lenses in front of a press/field/technical/view camera isn't a big deal. Hanging lenses in front of a 'blad can be somewhat more involved.
    Dan, thanks for reply. By adapting I mean using projector lenses and such. My Hasselblad is a 201f so it has a focal plane shutter. I was thinking I could use a short extension tube for a mount and go from there. I am interested in soft focus lenses. Thanks


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  7. #7
    LarryH
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    44

    Re: Building Lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by mdarnton View Post
    I think the idea of building a lens from scratch works better in the soft focus realm. In your basement you probably will not be able to reach even the level of sophistication of a commercial maker in the 1880s for building a sharp, flat-field lens. But if you are into SF, there are tons of interesting possibilities. The best place to start will definitely be 4x5, unless you have some extra Hasselblad lenses you are OK with gutting just to get the shutter, which would be necessary for any kind of real functionality on a Blad body. Then once you have the shutter, there's the problem of closely matching the focal length the shutter was designed for, if you want the result to focus.

    There used to be a lens designer hanging around the APUG forum, talking about lens building and offering up some designs, but I haven't been there in a while, so he may be gone.
    Thanks for the reply. My Hasselblad is a 201f with a focal plane shutter. I was thinking of using an extension tube as a mount because it would be pretty cheap.


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  8. #8
    LarryH
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    44

    Re: Building Lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Fromm View Post
    Brook, I don't think there are any forms or groups. Amateur astronomers make concave mirrors, sometimes lenses. Look for astronomy forums.

    But there is a book. https://www.amazon.com/Primitive-Pho.../dp/0240804619
    Thanks Dan, I will check out this book.


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  9. #9

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    7,952

    Re: Building Lenses

    Projector lenses? Oy!

    Oy for two reasons. Projector lenses for 35 mm projectors cover 4x5 only very close up. Projector lenses for larger formats, such as lenses from opaque projectors/epidiascopes, run large to gigantic.

    All are in barrel without diaphragm. Putting them in shutter can be problematic because they're typically not lenses in cells that screw into barrels, instead they're lenses in tubes. I hope you see the difference.

    Shutters? Large leaf shutters, e.g., Packards, Luc and such, or roller blind shutters such as Thornton-Pickard, behind or in front of the lens. I don't know whether y'r Toyo 45 can mount a Packard or Sinar-Copal behind the standard.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    1,792

    Re: Building Lenses

    If you can get a lens on the board, you can mount a Packard in front. I'm using a cheap barndoor set (setscrew type, doors removed, Packard taped where the doors were--http://www.adorama.com/ltbbd.html?gc..._12BoC3h_w_wcB) to mount a Packard to the front of my Verito and other lenses of similar size. For the Blad, you might find a bellows to be the most functional for mounting various lenses, rather than tubes.
    Thanks, but I'd rather just watch:
    Large format: http://flickr.com/michaeldarnton
    Mostly 35mm: http://flickr.com/mdarnton
    You want digital, color, etc?: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stradofear

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