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Thread: First Look Through the Surplus Shed "Metrogon"

  1. #1

    First Look Through the Surplus Shed "Metrogon"

    What the heck, for $45 how could I resist? It arrived yesterday, complete with front and back lens covers (made of light clear plastic, but they are there) with the impressive center filter (permanently installed?) bringing the front diameter to 5 3/8 inches. I cut out and glued a board (6 inch square) for it last night to fit my Century Universal. This morning I drilled the board for the flange (70mm) which is a slip fit split ring with hex head locking screw and 3 screw hole mounting, and painted it. I decided to put the flange on the back of the board to give me maximum clearance from the standard to the focal plane and less compression of the bellows. The rear of the lens housing is straight sided and about 60mm diameter with its protruding hemispherical rear element. I mounted it on the camera and took it out back for evaluation. After getting it centered and squared up and pulling the bellows forward to the last hook, I focused on some reeds at about 50 feet. The standard was fully on the focusing rail and the rail was advanced more than a half inch. The lens is apparently 150mm in focal length (as advertised) and the fixed aperture appears to be about f/11. The image was very crisp and bright even though I was not using a dark cloth. The illumination was even from side to side and corner to corner. A close scrutiny through the cut corners of the GG showed that only at the very corners was there any less than full view of the aperture. Nothing weird about the image appeared to be going on in the corners. I checked the angle of view and I'm going to estimate it at 75 degrees available on the GG. I'm anxious to get some film behind it!

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Ottawa, Canada

    Re: First Look Through the Surplus Shed "Metrogon"

    I was looking forward to a picture through it!

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Baton Rouge, LA

    Re: First Look Through the Surplus Shed "Metrogon"

    All Right!! I was hoping someone would try one.


  4. #4

    Re: First Look Through the Surplus Shed "Metrogon"

    I thought I should check to see how much light the center filter was eating before I tried any film with the lens so I got my 159mm Wollensak out and a spotmeter and compared the readings for some grass in the center of the view. The Wolly at f/12.5 read 1/3 stop brighter so the effective f stop exposure wise for the Metrogon I'm going to call 11 and 2/3. Interestingly, the Wolly, even though 9mm longer, had to be set back on the rail a good half inch to get the same focus, so the way I mounted the Metrogon was effective in getting me more breathing room behind the standard. Also, centered up and as far forward on the rail as possible, the rail does not intrude into a horizontal view for either lens on my camera.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Sydney, Australia

    Re: First Look Through the Surplus Shed "Metrogon"

    Any film results yet?

    How does it stand up?

  6. #6
    8x20 8x10 John Jarosz's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Fairfax Iowa

    Re: First Look Through the Surplus Shed "Metrogon"

    Nice conversion. I have the 12" (300mm) version that I use on my 8x20. It's an awesome lens design. If you rummage around the net, you may find the diameters for waterhouse stops for that lens. That's what I built for mine. You have to stop it down to F11 or so to get rid of some aberrations.
    Link to Metrogon page

    My 12" is quite heavy, but it gives fine images.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    May 2006

    Re: First Look Through the Surplus Shed "Metrogon"

    Here is mine. I had it mounted in an aphax shutter by tim at lens-to-shutter. figure about $600.00 at the end. Waterfall is about 20 ft away.

  8. #8

    Re: First Look Through the Surplus Shed "Metrogon"

    I shot the Metrogon against the 159 Wolly and I see no improvement over the Wolly (especially since the Wolly is so much smaller and has a shutter and stops.) That said, the Metrogon is very impressive looking on the camera.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Sep 2009

    Re: First Look Through the Surplus Shed "Metrogon"

    I was trying to get one of these about two months ago. Although, I was looking for the 12" version. I need to find one to build what I hope will be an anamorphic fisheye. My intent is to separate the elements and mount the front one ahead of my anamorphic lens. I don't know how much trouble this will be. But I want to take the chance on getting it to work.

    Are there anymore of these lenses left where you got yours?

    Xavian-Anderson Macpherson

  10. #10
    Brisbane, Australia
    Join Date
    Sep 2008

    Re: First Look Through the Surplus Shed "Metrogon"

    They're still listed Shingoshi, but not at the October special price.

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