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Thread: Large format lens restoration anyone?

  1. #1

    Large format lens restoration anyone?


    My name is Stefan. I am from Austria. I am new to this forum.
    I just bought a beautiful Goerlitz Stella 8x10" studio camera from the 1920s. It came with an interesting lens that unfortunately is in bad condition. It is a Steinheil Muenchen/Munich Triplar-Anastigmat f3,8 with unknown focal length, diameter about 10cm/3,9" x 10cm / 3,9" overall length.
    The front mounting is broken, the mounting flange has a crack, the diaphragm blades are not working, the lenses show lots of dust (maybe fungus?).
    Does it make sense to repair such a lens? If so who repairs such lenses - preferably anyone in Europe?

    Thank you!

    Best regards, Stefan
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_5438.jpg   IMG_5450.jpg   IMG_5448.jpg   IMG_5435.jpg   IMG_5334.jpg  


  2. #2
    Tin Can's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011

    Re: Large format lens restoration anyone?

    What is your goal?

    Use it?

    Sell it?

    Learning curve is steep
    Tin Can

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jan 2009

    Re: Large format lens restoration anyone?

    OK Stefan!

    This is not a common studio lens!
    The best description I found here. https://chambre-photographique.blogs...nastigmat.html
    The damage to the aluminum body is, however, very common as this generation of aluminum alloy seems to become very brittle. Similar, but not quite so devastating, damage is often seen on early Voigtlander Heliars.

    Restoration of lenses becomes very much a DIY activity as even commercial small jobs become more expensive than buying a replacement that is in better condition. There are a few simple sought after lens which justify paid restoration.

    However! There is nothing about your lens that obviously excludes photographic use.

    The flange may be cracked, but will be held firmly in place by the two screws seen the photo.
    The iris may not move now, but is usually fairly easy to loosen. Often it is just the turning ring on the outside of the barrel which has “glued itself” to the barrel.
    Non coated lenses only get loose and non-corrosive fungus which can be cleaned off. Damaged balsam layers (the front lens) can be desolved and replaced. The open hole in the lens with missing thread can be covered when (if) you take photos.

    Performance will be like a Helier.
    The focal length will be 3.8 x about 10 (diameter of entrance pupil). So about 36cm.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    North of Chicago

    Re: Large format lens restoration anyone?

    I have no experience, but there is a craftsman in Taiwan who claims to be able to do repairs on old lenses. Maybe ask him if he can do what you need?


    Richard Wasserman

  5. #5

    Re: Large format lens restoration anyone?

    Thank you all for your feedback and help. Much appreciated!


  6. #6
    Nicholas O. Lindan
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Cleveland, Ohio

    Re: Large format lens restoration anyone?

    The lens barrel may be made from pot metal
    Darkroom Automation / Cleveland Engineering Design, LLC
    f-Stop Timers & Enlarging meters

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Almelo, The Netherlands

    Re: Large format lens restoration anyone?

    It seems to me indeed a lens to restore, only that hole in the barrel is a pity. Other than that, I completely agree with Steven.
    Another option is to have a new shaft made, only with waterhouse stops. This is relatively easy to do since you can measure the spacing of the elements, so you can at least use it quite normally again. You may miss your adjustable aperture, but recreating it is much more difficult/more work.
    Good luck with the restoration of the lens!

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