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Thread: Dallmeyer 3B

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2018
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    Question Dallmeyer 3B

    Hello everyone

    I must say I know nothing about large format photography. I do have some vintage primes and came by a no-description antique lens (seller said 1800s) from regional Queensland solely because it looked cool (lots of glass and brass). My hunch was that it might have been from a large maritime telescope, but I've since discovered its a Dallmeyer 3B patent. And the engraved serial number matches up with the online lens books (March 1879)!

    I didn't care to check if all parts were there at the time (bought on decorative value alone), but the dreamy photos I have seen from large format portrait lenses really make me want to try to use this!

    More immediate concerns are that it seems to be missing the iris adjustment knob, the iris mechanism and the rear flange (visually comparing against pictures on the net) - but the front and rear element seem intact and undamaged. Are these missing parts easy to source or recreate to make it usable (3D print even)? Can it capture an image without these parts (wide open perhaps)?

    Sorry for the basic questions around this but really have no background on this type of optics and possibilities/constraints.... should I give it a good clean to leave it on the mantle, or hope to pull an image?

    regards

    Satyan

  2. #2

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    Re: Dallmeyer 3B

    Find yourself a camera that will support it and shoot! It's a great lens. Just recently picked up one myself. It produces a lovely image. Film or wet plate. The Patent Portrait 3B was intended for 'cabinet' size portraits. 5x7 inch is the easiest and closest equivalent. It's great for whole plate (6.5 x 8.5) but it can be a challenge to find film and holders, though cameras seem to be pretty common. Many people push it's limits for use on 8x10.

    Does it actually have an iris aperture or just a slot for Waterhouse stops? I would suspect Waterhouse stops would be more likely. Dallmeyer did make lenses with the early style barrel with an iris aperture inside. The little tab that controls the aperture often breaks off. It shoots just fine wide open. Actually Petzvals were originally intended to be shot at full aperture. Some people do, some don't. I generally shoot at a slightly smaller stop just to get a bit more depth of field.

  3. #3

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    Re: Dallmeyer 3B

    Quote Originally Posted by satyanc View Post
    Hello everyone

    I must say I know nothing about large format photography....

    More immediate concerns are that it seems to be missing the iris adjustment knob, the iris mechanism and the rear flange (visually comparing against pictures on the net) - but the front and rear element seem intact and undamaged. Are these missing parts easy to source or recreate to make it usable (3D print even)? Can it capture an image without these parts (wide open perhaps)?

    Sorry for the basic questions around this but really have no background on this type of optics and possibilities/constraints.... should I give it a good clean to leave it on the mantle, or hope to pull an image?

    regards

    Satyan
    A Dallmeyer from the late 70's would have equipped with a Waterhouse slot and a set of Waterhouse stops in a dinky little ( well, not so little, actually!) fancy leather pouch!
    This is very satisfactory aperture system and very few have been adapted to take an iris system or central shutter.
    A photo would help?
    Many large portrait lenses have lost their flanges, but there are ways of mounting them - remember that the camera must be capable of carrying 2 kilos worth of lens on the lens board.

    Remember not to ask about value or you will get zapped away!!

  4. #4
    Foamer
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    Oct 2010
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    Re: Dallmeyer 3B

    I would look for a used 5x7 camera on ebay. A local machinist could make a flange out of either aluminum or brass. You can make the aperture stops out of heavy black paper. You will need the lowest ISO film you can find, probably ISO 100 for 5x7.


    Kent in SD
    Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris,
    miserere nobis.

  5. #5

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    Sep 2007
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    Re: Dallmeyer 3B

    I agree, you should try it out on 5x7. Get a box of film and shoot it wide open. Use your meter to get lighting where the F3.6 (they claim F3 but they're not that fast) speed will allow you between a 1/4 and a 3 second exposure. Just use a piece of black cardboard, hold it over the lens. When ready, pull it up and then back over the lens as you count in your head. With black and white film, you'll be close enough. Develop, and enjoy!

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Sep 2018
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    5

    Re: Dallmeyer 3B

    Hi Karl so I'm slowly educating myself here! It does indeed have a slot - so it must have used Waterhouse stops like you suggested. I assumed there would be an aperture control because of the highlight portion of the image - seems like that's where other copies have a knob. I am definitely going to look for a camera that will support and try a films. Or I might check if there are any LF groups locally to see if I can have someone with more experience put it through its paces first!Click image for larger version. 

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  7. #7

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    Re: Dallmeyer 3B

    thanks goamules - will do!

  8. #8

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    Re: Dallmeyer 3B

    Quote Originally Posted by Two23 View Post
    I would look for a used 5x7 camera on ebay. A local machinist could make a flange out of either aluminum or brass. You can make the aperture stops out of heavy black paper. You will need the lowest ISO film you can find, probably ISO 100 for 5x7.


    Kent in SD
    I'm all for DIY! So would one focus by screwing/unscrewing the lens elements? The lens elements were partially unscrewed when I received this so I'm not sure how that tends to be calibrated.

  9. #9

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    Sep 2018
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    Re: Dallmeyer 3B

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Tribe View Post
    A Dallmeyer from the late 70's would have equipped with a Waterhouse slot and a set of Waterhouse stops in a dinky little ( well, not so little, actually!) fancy leather pouch!
    This is very satisfactory aperture system and very few have been adapted to take an iris system or central shutter.
    A photo would help?
    Many large portrait lenses have lost their flanges, but there are ways of mounting them - remember that the camera must be capable of carrying 2 kilos worth of lens on the lens board.

    Remember not to ask about value or you will get zapped away!!
    Hi Steven

    Thanks for the warning - not looking to sell just use! I posted one pic in another reply but here are more (take by the seller - I might do some more in good light over the weekend). Click image for larger version. 

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  10. #10
    Foamer
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    Re: Dallmeyer 3B

    Quote Originally Posted by satyanc View Post
    I'm all for DIY! So would one focus by screwing/unscrewing the lens elements? The lens elements were partially unscrewed when I received this so I'm not sure how that tends to be calibrated.
    No. The elements need to be screwed firmly together. You focus by moving the bellows, i.e. the whole lens moves.


    Kent in SD
    Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris,
    miserere nobis.

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