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Thread: ? use of Oscilloscope lenses in LF?

  1. #11

    Join Date
    May 2015
    SooooCal/LA USA

    Re: ? use of Oscilloscope lenses in LF?

    What I have done when needing a focusing mount is to find junk metal 35mm faster normal lenses (with your camera mount) and strip them down... Harvest the optics for experimental lenses or loupes, remove iris assy and anything else in the way...

    Front group usually has a front shroud with a set screw or 3, and will unscrew... Group has a set screw, then it will unscrew... Rear group will unscrew, but maybe some thread lok acetone will loosen... F ring might have a set screw on bottom, then all iris stuff out... Might have light baffle stuff, so remove...

    But first see how high the (lens) mount is and if the new lens might slide into it (hope you can focus to infinity)... Many o-scope lenses are 75mm (3"), so that should be around the extension lens to "film" plane...

    But if there's a big fat rear element on your new lens/shutter, it won't fit into the mount... And you will have to jury rig a way to hold lens to mount, but rubber or plumbing stuff might do the trick...

    Try not to damage any of the mount ' s threads, as you might later like the lens enough to have a machinist make permanent metal parts for long term use...

    Have fun!!!

    Steve K

  2. #12

    Join Date
    Jan 2019

    Re: ? use of Oscilloscope lenses in LF?

    You can buy focusing mounts now for relatively little money. Look on ebay for "focusing helicoid." They come with a variety of threads like M42 or M58 - probably easy to find adapters for a micro 4/3 camera to M42, use step rings to get to M58? Some of the market for these appears to be people adapting M42 lenses to small format digital, and I'm not sure what the application is for the M58 mount (maybe some Russian or Pentacon thing uses M58?) Anyway, these seem to be much easier to get than previously. I haven't bought one yet, but became aware of them from Dirk Fletcher's panoramic rollfilm camera build at

    IMO the application for these oscilloscope lenses might be to get an oscilloscope. Make oscilloscope art, and document it.

  3. #13
    Jan Becket's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Honolulu, Hawai'i

    Re: ? use of Oscilloscope lenses in LF?

    Dan was more correct than he realized in commenting that these lenses are "poisoned." I was given one and happened to measure it with a Berkeley Nucleonics rad meter, a fairly good one. The background radiation where I lived at that time (Hawaiʻi) was 40 CPM, more or less. Thatʻs normal. Within 12 inches, the lens measured 1300 CPM (counts per minute). Thatʻs definitely not normal. You would not want to sleep with one of these under your pilow. I ended up giving mine to the Hawaiʻi State Dept. of Health office that deals with radiation issues - they wanted it for demonstrations. Not sure, but that level of radiation might technically kick the lens into the hazardous waste zone.

  4. #14

    Join Date
    Oct 2019

    Re: ? use of Oscilloscope lenses in LF?

    Mid September I tried to use a Steinheil Quinon 56mm f/1.9
    This is an eight element lens, similar to the 75mm f/1.9 Oscillo Quinon
    Both lenses have the best quality at around 1:1. Thatīs what I read in the Steinheil catalouge.

    I made some 4x5" shots with the 56mm lens and I donīt find it very bad.
    The high speed makes it easier to focus.
    At infinity this lenses are not usable, I mounted the 56mm at my Sony Alpha 7A and the results are scrap, only something for flower photographers who like a little bit sharpness in the middle and all soft around with gruesome colours.
    For macro use it is a very well working lens, why should Steinheil use 8 elements for a lens that should only produce photos of less quality?
    For this kind of optical works a special lens design were necessary to produce a 100% sharp image of the tube pictures, sharp as possible, because the resolution of this tubes were not realy high but this makes it important that you donīt cut this low resolutions again with a bad lens.
    Lenses made for the old Vidicon tubes were made in the same way, this tubes have had a resolution of 240x180 DPI, I think, but the lenses for it are high level products, like the Zeiss Jena Tevidon oder Cooke Vidital lenses.
    So it is not true that you can use a simple lens for to taking pictures of a low resolution source, it is much more complicated than the most of us can imagine.

    The X-ray lenses are only good for a loupe or for the flower photograhers with the digital system cameras. These guys pay a lot of money for it.
    I find the flange register of, sometimes, less of a millimeter makes it not realy practical for use.
    But here also, this lenses are absolute high end products but the band of usage is very small.

    Now hereīs a sample I made with the Steinheil "Quinon" 56mm f/1.6 @f/16 Mounted in a Compur shutter
    Film is the Fomapan 400 @ISO200, Sinar F1, ratio is ~ 3:1

    Last edited by arri; 6-Oct-2019 at 01:03.

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