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Thread: Zeiss Protar 8.5cm f18 Bill Brandt lens

  1. #1

    Zeiss Protar 8.5cm f18 Bill Brandt lens

    Hello
    I have a question about Protar 8.5cm f18 lens that Bill Brandt used for his work. I came across his work and I was amazed that the lens he used seems like has no distortion at all ( the feeling that image was taken with a pinhole camera). The lens is a super wide angle lens. I looked at ebay but seems it is a rare lens and not for sale. Does anyone knows of any similar super wide angle lens ( equivalent of 15mm fish eye in 35mm) that has no distortion and can be used on 4x5 camera such as Chamonix 45. It is OK if it is a barrel lens

  2. #2
    Nicholas O. Lindan
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    Re: Zeiss Protar 8.5cm f18 Bill Brandt lens

    8.5cm = 85mm; a 90mm on a 4x5 camera is considered to be equivalent to a 35mm focal length lens on a 35mm camera.

    The widest 'common' affordable wide angle lens for 4x5 is 65mm. There are 45mm lenses available from Schneider & Rodenstock. And there are probably wider out their somewhere.
    Darkroom Automation / Cleveland Engineering Design, LLC
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  3. #3

    Re: Zeiss Protar 8.5cm f18 Bill Brandt lens

    Thank you for your answer I guess my question was incorrect. From what I understand Protar is an Anastigmat lens. Because it is Anastigmat it has no distortion. Does anyone knows of any old anastigmat lens made for 4x5 or 9x12cm camera that is super wide angle
    I have never had any 45mm modern lenses but I believe that that due to its construction it will distort. ( but I may be mistaken so correct me if I am wrong )

  4. #4
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Re: Zeiss Protar 8.5cm f18 Bill Brandt lens

    Image distortion in just about any large format lens, used at it's intended subject distance, is nearly undetectable.
    Specifically the 47mm Super Angulon has essentially no distortion detectable in an image.

  5. #5
    Nicholas O. Lindan
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    Re: Zeiss Protar 8.5cm f18 Bill Brandt lens

    A anastigmat lens is not, necessarily, a distortion-less lens.

    If you are truly looking for a distortion-less lens you want a symmetrical lens - many process lenses fulfill this criteria and some even perform well outside of the usual 1:1 -> 1:3 reproduction ratios. If you want an old-style distortion-less lens try a Rapid Rectilinear - but these suffer from astigmatism and are not wide-angle.

    The Protar name is applied to a wide variety of lens designs. Some are symmetrical, some not.

    As Mr. Racer has pointed out, distortion in any modern lens will be undetectable. Distortion in even a 120 year old Protar will be undetectable for any practical purpose.

    If you want a ~85mm old-style symmetric general purpose WA lens you might look for a 90mm f6.8 Angulon (non-super). It will just cover 4x5 when stopped down to f22. Dagors also fall into this catagory.

    If, however, you are looking for distortion then it is hard to beat an old 60's zoom.
    Darkroom Automation / Cleveland Engineering Design, LLC
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  6. #6

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    Re: Zeiss Protar 8.5cm f18 Bill Brandt lens

    I got a Bausch & Lomb 4x5 Protar V 3 1/2 IN f/18 for the purpose of experimenting in the style of Bill Brandt

    Think he used 5x7 film in his old detective camera though - which would take in more of the room than 4x5.

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    Re: Zeiss Protar 8.5cm f18 Bill Brandt lens

    There is an ugly one on eBay for under $100 - worth the experiment!

  8. #8

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    Re: Zeiss Protar 8.5cm f18 Bill Brandt lens

    Quote Originally Posted by holms1975 View Post
    Hello
    I have a question about Protar 8.5cm f18 lens that Bill Brandt used for his work. I came across his work and I was amazed that the lens he used seems like has no distortion at all ( the feeling that image was taken with a pinhole camera). The lens is a super wide angle lens. I looked at ebay but seems it is a rare lens and not for sale. Does anyone knows of any similar super wide angle lens ( equivalent of 15mm fish eye in 35mm) that has no distortion and can be used on 4x5 camera such as Chamonix 45. It is OK if it is a barrel lens
    90/14 Berthiot Perigraphe Ser. VIa. Covers at least 105 degrees, 234 mm on 4x5. This lens wasn't sold in shutter. The lens in barrel can be stuffed into the front of an Ilex #3 shutter, but to get full coverage on 4x5 you may have to truncate the shutter's rear tube.

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    Re: Zeiss Protar 8.5cm f18 Bill Brandt lens

    The "distortion" all ultrawides suffer is the (for example) room will look stretched deeper than reality...

    Maybe not an issue for most, and can "enhance" a scene...

    Steve K

  10. #10
    Nicholas O. Lindan
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    Re: Zeiss Protar 8.5cm f18 Bill Brandt lens

    Quote Originally Posted by LabRat View Post
    The "distortion" all ultrawides suffer is the (for example) room will look stretched deeper than reality...
    Ultrawides can decidedly make things look unnatural. It's not really a distortion, though. Hold a print from an ultrawide shot really close to your eye and suddenly everything looks natural. If the lens captures a 100 degree view you should view the print at a distance where it subtends 100 degrees of your vision. It helps to be really nearsighted, or for the print to be really big.
    Darkroom Automation / Cleveland Engineering Design, LLC
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