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Thread: Graflex 3A - lenses advise

  1. #1

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    Graflex 3A - lenses advise

    Hello,
    I would like some advice on choosing a lens for a Graflex 3A modified in 6x14.
    The lens need to cover the 3,1/4 x 5,1/2 inches format (or 5"x7") diagonal of image will be about 151mm
    I would like a lens rather wide angle to photograph landscapes.

    According to the different catalogs, The Graflex 3A was supplied with these choice of lenses.

    - Kodak Anastigmat N.33 f/4.5 (190mm)

    - Bausch & Lomb Kodak Anastigmat N.4 f/6.3 (175mm)

    - 5x7 Bausch & Lomb Zeiss Tessar Series Ic N.15a f/4.5 (190mm)

    - Zeiss Kodak Anastigmat N.4 f/6.3 (not sure the focal length)

    surely many other lenses can cover the 3,1/4 x 5,1/2 inches format of the camera.

    what do you suggest, I am looking for a lens with "character/signature", especially in the bokeh.

  2. #2
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    Re: Graflex 3A - lenses advise

    If you are doing landscapes, then I think you are going to stop down past any wide-open bokeh or character. The 180-190 focal length is a short portrait focal length, but a moderate wide angle would be for example an Angulon 120 6.8 (not the Super Angulon), and if so, maybe an older non-coated version.
    "Be still and allow the mud to settle."

  3. #3

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    Re: Graflex 3A - lenses advise

    Laurent, the #4 f/6.3 ZKA was sold in focal lengths from 6.75 - 7.25 inches.

    Before you start thinking about w/a lenses for a Graflex, measure to find out the shortest back focus that will clear the mirror. Back focus (tirage mechanique) is usually measured from the rear vertex of the rear cell, but for your application you should measure from the rearmost point of the lens. This will probably be the edge of the barrel. When you know that you can start looking for lenses that will cover 4x5 whose back focus is long enough to clear the mirror.

    Jimi's suggestion of a 120/6.8 Angulon is inappropriate because the lens won't clear the mirror when focused to infinity.

  4. #4

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    Re: Graflex 3A - lenses advise

    I said that I wanted to shoot landscape, but I also like to make closer shots, (inside forest for example) and take pictures at full aperture, so with a interesting (swirling) bokeh (a bit like the aero Ektar).

    The list of lenses that I have indicated are compatible with the Graflex 3A (information comes from the old Graflex catalogs)

  5. #5
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    Re: Graflex 3A - lenses advise

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Fromm View Post
    Jimi's suggestion of a 120/6.8 Angulon is inappropriate because the lens won't clear the mirror when focused to infinity.
    Just goes to show that if one does not know, one should keep quiet! I thought the Angulon was small enough to fit in. Now back to the regular show, gentlemen.
    "Be still and allow the mud to settle."

  6. #6

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    Re: Graflex 3A - lenses advise

    Jimi, SLRs are killers.

  7. #7

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    Re: Graflex 3A - lenses advise

    An 178mm AE won't work at infinity due to the extended rear element as mentioned above, as well as the weight and size of the lens...

    Another fast lens wide open will work and give that effect if it fits on the camera...

    The listed lenses for the camera are sometimes the only lenses that will work because when the bellows are extended, there can be light cut-off on an edge inside the camera, even when using longer FL lenses...

    Wide angle or shorter normal lenses are not usable due to the mentioned shorter lens to film distances and the swinging mirror in the way...

    The happy place for these cameras is shorter portrait lens FL's, so think of the subjects that use slightly longer than normal FL's...

  8. #8

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    Re: Graflex 3A - lenses advise

    I also found Graflex 3A with others lenses :
    so the choice will be:


    • 5x7 Bausch & Lomb Zeiss Tessar Series Ic n15a f/4.5 190mm
    • Cooke Anastigmat Series IV f/5.6 N8 200mm
    • Cooke Anastigmat Series IIA f/3.5 N164 7.1/2 190mm
    • Kodak Anastigmat n33 f/4.5 190mm
    • Bausch & Lomb-Zeiss Protar Series VII 6 3/8in. f/6.3
    • Bausch & Lomb Kodak Anastigmat n4 f/6.3 175mm
    • Zeiss Kodak Anastigmat No. 4 f/6.3
    • Ilex Paragon Anastigmat f/4.5 7,1/2 inches 190mm


    which of these lenses would you recommend, in terms of bokeh/character

  9. #9

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    Re: Graflex 3A - lenses advise

    Look for a 150 - 165mm f3.5 Heliar.
    He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep..to gain that which he cannot lose. Jim Elliot, 1949

  10. #10

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    Re: Graflex 3A - lenses advise

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Galli View Post
    Look for a 150 - 165mm f3.5 Heliar.
    Probably too short FL for inf, due to mirror...

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