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Thread: What a whopper!

  1. #1

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    What a whopper!

    A bit of fun, hopefully also with a purpose. When I started off in LF I just had 'normal', in-shutter lenses, a Fujinon 125mm, the diminuitive Ektar 203mm, a couple of Nikons... you get the picture.

    Then I bought a secondhand Linhof monorail and it came with a 480mm APO-Ronar in barrel. 'Wow! What a weight!' I thought. Having read a lot more on these pages I realise now that there are a lot of big, heavy (and often old) chunks of metal and glass out there.

    So show us your whoppers!

    In shutter or barrel. In a similar fashion to the Cooke serial number thread (and others) I will use a public Google Sheet to record the results, and sort them by weight as it is updated.

    It could be helpful to know if a lens will fit on a particular lens board / camera system, so if you can please also give the mount hole size and the distance the lens projects backwards from the mount. (The small print: Readers should assume that all of measurements of weight and size are approximate and they should satisfy themselves that a particular lens will fit on a particular camera).

    Weights and dimensions can be given in metric (g, kg, mm, cm) or imperial (pounds, ounces, or decimal pounds :-), I will have columns for both in the spreadsheet and will convert the entries as required. Weighing attached to a lensboard is okay, the additional weight should be negligable for anything with some heft to it.

    Preferably no real oddities like lens from lighthouses etc (although it might be fun to categorise anything odd separately :-) Only lenses which are (or have been) in your possession. Apocryphal or otherwise interesting stories or images are most welcome but won't make it into the spreadsheet.

    Okay, my tiddly little entries to kick off...

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    Cooke Series II 10.5" f4.5
    2.56 lbs (1.164 kg) on Sinar top hat board
    2.75" (70 mm) flange hole
    0.50" (12 mm) projection backwards

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    Wollensak Velostigmat II 12" f4.5
    2.95 lbs (1.341 kg) on Sinar top hat board
    3.25" (82 mm) L section flange
    0.75" (18mm) projection backwards

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    Rodenstck APO-Ronar L 480mm f9
    3.89 lbs (1.768 kg) on what was a Sinar funny aperture thingee board
    2.83" (72 mm) mount hole
    0.55" (14mm) projection backwards


    The Google sheet which will record the results is here.

  2. #2

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    Re: What a whopper!

    I don't have the specs anymore, but my heaviest, so far, were a 200/2 S.F.O.M. that weighed ~ 7 kg and a 36"/Bell & Howell Telephoto that weighed ~ 20 pounds.

    My 900/10 Apo-Saphir is a relative dwarf at 4.1 kg. A 600/9 Klimsch Apo-Ronar mounted in brass and sold long ago weighed only 3.3 kg. A 6"/1.9 Dallmeyer Super Six, also sold long ago, weighed only 3.3 pounds.

    Here's a link to a site that shows many quite large lenses: http://alag3.mfa.kfki.hu/astro/giantlenses/index.htm

  3. #3
    Moderator
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    Re: What a whopper!

    Peter, if you're trying to compile information that will help prospective users determine whether a given lens will fit on their cameras, maximum diameter of the rear cell, for those lenses that have one, is also a critical specification.

    For example, the rear cell of the 210mm Super-Angulon (at least the late-production version - don't have data on the earlier ones handy at the moment) flares to 125mm.

  4. #4

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    Re: What a whopper!

    Quote Originally Posted by peter brooks View Post
    A bit of fun....................].
    Perhaps this has some entertainment value in the Lounge section, but the call for listing seems a bit unclear.
    We do have a number of these type of "Guiness Record Book entry" threads already. I maintain a couple of "historical/serial number" threads supported by others who provide information - of some use for a small minority. But I can't see any usefulness in your suggestion.

  5. #5

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    Re: What a whopper!

    Dan - many thanks for the info (now added), and for the link to the 'giantlenses' website. Incredible! Presumably some of these will be one-offs so would they have been hand-made? Makes me think of the aproned men at the Dallmeyer archives. Hard to conceive these days that lenses were once made by hand.

    Oren - a very good point, the assembled lens still has to go through the opening provided for the lens board! Appropriate columns now added to the spreadsheet. Folks - if the rear cell is larger than the mount hole then please give this dimension as well.

    Steven - when I saw you had replied I thought you might have supplied some special data on esoteric lenses... Oh well, it's obviously not your cup of tea. Or maybe you thought I was comparing this thread with the various (and very useful) serial number / historical threads in this section of the site? Not at all, the only similarity is that I am collating the responses to a publically accessible spreadsheet. Thanks for commenting anyway - although if can bring yourself to impart any information on historic lenses that would be great, and, I'm sure, of use to beginners like me. I have no idea how big and heavy the various models of Dallmeyers, Cookes, specialist soft focus, or even Suters, Lerebours etc. are

  6. #6
    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Re: What a whopper!

    Quote Originally Posted by peter brooks View Post
    [...]Presumably some of these will be one-offs so would they have been hand-made? Makes me think of the aproned men at the Dallmeyer archives. Hard to conceive these days that lenses were once made by hand.
    The hand-made puts sample variations into human experience. Thanks for the link, Peter.

  7. #7

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    Re: What a whopper!

    I like your cooke lens! Do you have some photos taken with the cooke lens? Thanks!

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Cooke Series II 10.5" f4.5
    2.56 lbs (1.164 kg) on Sinar top hat board
    2.75" (70 mm) flange hole
    0.50" (12 mm) projection backwards

  8. #8
    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Re: What a whopper!

    The physically largest I own is here. It is not heavy. Most of the weight is the glass. The brass is lightweight. It is a #7 Voightlander Euryscop. I am not particularly impressed by its performance which was admirable in its time to produce sharp images, which it did, but enthusiasts pursuing soft focus, swirly OOF will likely be disappointed.

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    Very Best,
    Jac

    Aside: I did not have the brass machine polished. I found the lens among estate goods waxed, wrapped in linen as if it had never been used. Being stupid, I passed on a beaten Petzval in the same lot.

    Also special thanks to Steven Tribe who put me on the path to understand this lens several years ago.

  9. #9

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    Re: What a whopper!

    Not a real beast, but it is the longest/heaviest lens I own. 35" Artar in Ilex 5 & board weighs 3# 11.5 oz.

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    Dwarfs the 30" and 24" in Copal 3 next to it.

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    Last edited by Luis-F-S; 30-Sep-2018 at 21:18.

  10. #10
    Foamer
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    Re: What a whopper!

    I am currently trying to fit large lenses to a 5x7 Gundlach Korona. (I'll write more about that later.) For me, the most important measurement has been flange diameter. I'v just purchased a voigtlander Petzval with a 5.5 in. flange that I need to figure out how to get it onto a 4.5 x 4.5 lens board. Second figure of importance is diameter of a lens, to see if it will fit through the front standard as I don't want to try haning a really heavy lens on the Korona's front standard (would like lens to straddle it.) Third measurement would be focal length, of course. I have about 39 inches of rail.


    Kent in SD
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