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Thread: Petzval Lens Use

  1. #1
    ARS KC2UU
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Morristown, NJ USA
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    740

    Petzval Lens Use

    Greetings everyone. I recently purchased a nice Petzval type lens and, having no experience with these, I thought I would ask for some basic advice on how they are typically used.

    Mine is mounted in a magic lantern housing. Very nice and clean and the worm gear focusing mechanism functions nicely.

    It doesn't have a mounting ring but the flange threads are fine and I forsee no difficulty in getting it mounted to an appropriate lensboard.

    After that though, my thoughts about actually using the lens for photos without a shutter has me wondering a bit.

    I suspect many use these lenses with collodion plates which require long exposures. Which is easily done with a lens cap, taking it on and off for the required number of seconds, and I have used this technique over the years with a few LF lenses where the bulb setting wasn't working properly. So I'm wondering if this is the basic exposure technique most use.

    Or preferrably, does anyone know of some type of shutter mechanism that could be adapted to work with the lens. If so this would be an interesting solution since one of my thoughts for possible use of the lens would be with one of my favorite fast films.

    Suggestions and thoughts to help me learn a bit about these lenses and their use would be welcome. Cheers. Bob G.
    All natural images are analog. But the retina converts them to digital on their way to the brain.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Saratoga Springs, NY, USA
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    804

    Re: Petzval Lens Use

    Bob,

    I can't help, but I can say I'm in the same boat. Just bought the same general kind of lens from someone here, and will take possession in a week or so. I was wondering about the same questions. In the beginning, I was going to try lower lighting and the slowest film I can find! And something like a lens cap.

    It will be interesting to see how/what you do with it, and I'll report back here when there is something to tell...
    David Aimone Photography
    Critiques always welcome...

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Denmark
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    5,972

    Re: Petzval Lens Use

    There is a lot on this subject in past posts - quite recently, too. Choice of a solution depends on how many lenses (sizes) you are likely to buy and the size of your lens board.

    Key words are:
    Copal Sinar shutters.
    Jim Galli's double darkslide trick.
    ND filters.
    Thornton-Pickard shutters.
    Packard shutters.
    Guillotine shutters (antique or new).

  4. #4
    loujon
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Western, PA.
    Posts
    1,551

    Re: Petzval Lens Use

    Hey Fellows

    Add to your list of necessary gear, a full set of Neutral Density filters. No matter what speed film you use you will find w/ out the ND filters, Believe it or not you won't get by w/ contrast filter & slow film alone. It's nearly impossible to shoot in most exterior light wide open. You'll wind up giving up & going home. That's my experience anyhow.

    you may or may not want to hunt down l a LUC shutter. Mounts on the front of lens can reach a speed of near 50th sec & of course time & bulb. You may be able to front mount a modern shutter if front opening is small enough.

    I added a couple of snaps of a luc front mount & a tiny little packard on a #2 Darlot Hemispherical (Rapid Rec)

    The a LUC shutter,Sinar shutter Packard shutter none will get the job done w/out ND filters ((( Most of the time)))

    I can't stress enough how you will need ND filters to shoot film wide open w/ any shutter I have mentioned

  5. #5
    ARS KC2UU
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    Jan 2009
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    Morristown, NJ USA
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    740

    Re: Petzval Lens Use

    Louis: Thanks so much for your suggestions. Well of course I have many ND filters in my 25+ year collection so not much of a problem there. I'm actually thinking to try the lens first with B&W infrared film which has become a recent favorite of mine. And the Tiffen 87 filter is very slow... the B&W 092 quite a bit faster but should put the full-sun open-lens time in the right ballpark. Several seconds or so.

    But also would like to find a way to use it with another favorite ASA 400 film. Which I'm guessing would be a real bother. Would need a shutter speed around 1/500 or so with the lens wide open to make things reasonable. And no way to do that without some kind of shutter and ND filters combined. Assuming of course the ND filters actually do the job.

    Thanks again for the shutter suggestions and I'll keep my eyes open for others. Another poster above suggested a double darkslide technique. The concept sounds interesting and I'll have to check that one out. Cheers. BG
    All natural images are analog. But the retina converts them to digital on their way to the brain.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Tonopah, Nevada, USA
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    6,338

    Re: Petzval Lens Use

    I use an old Kodak 2D 8X10 that has a Packard shutter mounted inside just behind the lens board. Some pics of the installation and other good info is here.

    There probably is no cake and eat it too, but using 100 or 125 asa film and working in full shade or indoors, the packard can usually get the job done. I do venture out in full sun sometimes but my modus operandi then is to pull pull pull in the development. PyroCat HD can cover a multitude of sins. Even so, typically those negs done that way are no good for platinum that needs a fine full range.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    229

    Re: Petzval Lens Use

    I'm planning some future demented experiments with a Petzval in broad daylight using APHS litho film and an orange filter behind the lens. The litho film is very slow as it is, and an orange filter should slow it down quite a bit more.

    I think I can get exposures long enough to use a lens cap.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    New Jersey, USA
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    418

    Re: Petzval Lens Use

    You don't mention the size film you'll be working with. If you're planning on using your petzvals with 4x5, you could pick up a speed graphic.

    Dan

  9. #9
    Lachlan 717
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    2,366

    Re: Petzval Lens Use

    Get a new Shen Hao XPO and a Sinar shutter!!
    Lachlan.

    You miss 100% of the shots you never take. -- Wayne Gretzky

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Midwest US
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    Re: Petzval Lens Use

    If the lens has a Waterhouse slot, what about sticking the ND filters in there?

    Blumine

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