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Thread: Do you get sentimental about your lenses?

  1. #1

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    Do you get sentimental about your lenses?

    I mean they are only tools. Replaceable. And none of mine are especially expensive. Performance-wise modern glass could probably put them to shame maybe or maybe not What I do know is that I've had some of them for so long and have gotten so used to using them that for me they've become necessary and I find myself taking extra special care of them. A 10" WF Ektar and a 19" Red Dot Artar come to mind although there are others. What's funny is that I have a well loved 240 G Claron that is everything the 10" WF Ektar isn't---it's compact, lightweight in a modern Copal but unless a lot of hiking is involved, I'll reach for the WF Ektar every time.
    Don't get me wrong, the G Claron is no slouch, but negs from the WF Ektar have a quality I thoroughly enjoy.
    "I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority"---EB White

  2. #2
    Foamer
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    South Dakota
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    Re: Do you get sentimental about your lenses?

    I don't have any emotional attachment to my modern lenses, but definitely do with my 19th C. lenses. I feel like I'm only the current caretaker for my 1843 Horne & Thornewaite, 1854 Wood, 1845 Ross, 1847 Voightlander etc. I often wonder who owned them before and what they saw.


    Kent in SD
    In contento ed allegria
    Notte e di vogliam passar!

  3. #3

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    Re: Do you get sentimental about your lenses?

    I did not realize how attached I am to my 120 f/8 Super Angulon MC for 5x7...and am glad that I've hung onto it despite having "upgraded" to a 110XL. Same goes for my older 210mm f/5.6 Sironar-N - which I've likewise "upgraded" to the 210 Apo Sironar-S, and added a 150 Apo Symmar-L to "replace" my trusty 150 G-Claron (which doubles as a great enlarging lens). Good that I've kept all the trusty older lenses, and I'm pretty sure at this point that I'd keep those over the newer ones if it came to that.

    But what I'm really sentimental for right now is the wonderful Hasselblad system (501CM, three CFI lenses, and other goodies) which I'd let go for a song to help finance those "latest, greatest" LF lenses. Would reverse that decision in heartbeat if I could...but, as always, live and learn

  4. #4
    Sean Mac's Avatar
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    Re: Do you get sentimental about your lenses?

    I have two 1950's Kodak lenses I use with my 1940's Technika.

    A 100mm Wide Field Ektar and a 8+1/2 inch Commercial Ektar.

    They make lovely pictures if I get things right.

    There's definitely a pleasure I feel using them that I don't feel about the more modern Rodenstocks I use with my Sinar Norma.


  5. #5
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Do you get sentimental about your lenses?

    I like my 10"Cooke Knuckler the most, the 141/2 is way too heavy

    Light enough, long enough for 5X7, adjustable

    I like odd people and odd things

    I get more eccentric by the day, as today I got my 12 year old wheelchair ready, but not needed yet...

    Been audio reading a lot of old civilization's history
    Tin Can

  6. #6
    (Shrek)
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    Montreal
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    Re: Do you get sentimental about your lenses?

    Not sure if sentimental is the right word. I have from time to time sold lenses I use regularly because someone paid my asking price, and then regretted not having the lens when its replacement didn't live up to my expectations. For example I sold my SA 90/8 to replace with a 90/5.6, and I very much regret it because the 90/8 I had was a fine lens that I could afford filters for and could carry in a backpack. I've been trying to find another at a bargain price and so far no luck.

  7. #7

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    Jul 2017
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    46

    Re: Do you get sentimental about your lenses?

    Most definitely, They are not always easily replaced, in some cases it can take many years if ever. I find it comforting to have a duplicate in the wings (same thing with my favorite cameras). Usually expensive and sometimes hard to do since you may go through several of the same lens to find one with similar character.
    When there is a hurricane coming, the lenses get packed first.

  8. #8

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    NJ
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    Re: Do you get sentimental about your lenses?

    Sentimental? About a few, absolutely, but not because of the lenses themselves. Because of the personal relationships behind them.

    After reading the VM carefully, I decided that I wanted a 4"/2.0 TTH Anastigmat as fitted to early Vinten F.95 and Williamson/A.G.I. F.134 and F.139 aerial cameras for my dinky little 2x3 Speed Graphic. Google search found a small ad for two F.95s with 100/2.0 lenses on a UK 8mm cinema site run by the late Warton Parfitt. The ad had a phone number but no e-mail address, so I sent Mr. Parfitt an e-mail asking for the advertiser's e-mail address. The reply? "Call Clive." So I did. The seller, Clive Bruce, and I discussed what he had. I bought the better lens without the large bulky expensive-to-ship camera, for which I had no use. Clive and I exchanged e-mail addresses and corresponded. A friendship developed. It lasted until Clive's widow informed that he'd died. The lens will probably bring several thousand dollars. I'm never going to use it again but keep it because I treasure the memory of the friendship.

    Now that I think of it, I'm attached to the 38/4.5 Biogon that Steve Grimes put in shutter for me. Partly because of Steve, partly because after it came back from Woonsocket I was so taken with what it did that for several months I couldn't bring myself to use any other. A visit to California broke the spell. I used the Biogon to shoot the Mono Lake basin from the scenic overlook on 95 just north of the basin. Scenic vistas don't go well with extreme wide angle lenses. All foreground, no main subject. The lens, though, is another treasure to be kept forever, whether I use it or not. I used a scene shot with it to help me sell 18 of the 20 38/4.5 Biogons I'd bought from a surplus shop in Aachen. Some of the messages from buyers were touching. And shortly after Steve died I hand carried one buyer's lens up to Woonsocket, partly as a favor, partly because I wanted to discuss a small project, and partly to let Adam Dau know that skgrimes was a treasure to be supported. Adam is still a friend.
    Last edited by Dan Fromm; 27-Aug-2022 at 15:57.

  9. #9
    Mark Sawyer's Avatar
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    Stuck inside of Tucson with the Neverland Blues again...
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    Re: Do you get sentimental about your lenses?

    Sometimes I put them on the camera and take advantage of them... Does that count?
    "I love my Verito lens, but I always have to sharpen everything in Photoshop..."

  10. #10
    Small town, South Carolina, US
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    Re: Do you get sentimental about your lenses?

    My most appreciated/loved lens is a Rodenstock 135/5.6 Sironar-N. I have used it on several 4x5 cameras that I own or have owned. When using the 4x5 format I never "leave home without it." Actually, I now have two to them.

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