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Thread: Lens mount adapter

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    Lens mount adapter

    Recently, I bought three pretty old large format cameras and now, I try to find out, how to use them.

    The smallest one ( 4 3/4 x 6 1/2 inch ) is complete, but on the middle one, the plate holders are missing ( so I don't know the exact format ) and on the largest one ( 10 x 12 inch ), there is no lens. As it might be pretty hard to find plate holders for the middle one, I am more interested in using the biggest and thought about a possibility to mount the lens from the middle camera on it.

    The middle one came with a Carl Zeiss Tessar 21cm F:4.5, which seems to have a 6 cm screw mount. The largest camera has the same mount, but the diameter is 8.5 cm.

    Are there any adapters ? Is the Tessar lens suitable for 10 x 12 inch as well ?

    Here is a picture of the middle sized camera and the Tessar lens mounted. The largest camera does look exactly the same, just bigger.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/3063400...8969/lightbox/

    Any ideas much appreciated,

    Berndt

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    89

    Re: Lens mount adapter

    The normal lens for a format is roughly of focal length equal to the diagonal of the film or plate size.

    Your 21cm tessar would make a good normal lens for the half plate ( 4 3/4 x 6 1/2 inch ) camera. Your 10x12 inch camera would require a normal lens of about 15 inch (36cm) focal length. Anything shorter would be a wide angle and require a design with wide angle coverage that the tessar does not have.

    The 21cm tessar will not cover the full frame of your 10x12 camera at infinity but it may work for you at closer distances.

    These older plate cameras were not built to standard dimensions, so lens boards and film and plate holders are often unique to each camera design. Finding adapters will be near impossible, but if you can make it fit yourself it could work.

  3. #3
    cyberjunkie's Avatar
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    Re: Lens mount adapter

    A 21cm lens is an indication that probably the camera is a 5x7".
    Half-plate cameras had somewhat shorter focals (170/190mm).
    I don't own a camera like your middle one, but i'd bet that's from the UK, or one of the "copies" made in Japan.
    You don't show the back of the camera. It could have a back for wooden plate holders, or even a back for standard cut film holders (quite unlikely, but possible).
    Whatever solution is used, you can find a few compatible holders with some ease.
    Many forum users know a lot more than me about these cameras, and i am sure they could help you with a few good advices.

    If you are just starting with vintage large format cameras, i would choose the middle camera, which looks in very good shape (including bellows). Film is much easier to find, and not so expensive.
    A 10x12" camera needs longer focals, which aren't exactly cheap, and the choice of film is more limited (and would cost a LOT more).
    have fun

    CJ

  4. #4

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    Re: Lens mount adapter

    Quote Originally Posted by cyberjunkie View Post
    If you are just starting with vintage large format cameras, i would choose the middle camera, which looks in very good shape (including bellows).
    The OP has stated that there are no film holders with the middle camera. That will make using this camera difficult. There is no lens with the large camera, so why not try using the small half plate camera that seems complete?

    Half plate film is available here:

    http://www.lumiere-shop.de/index.php...duct&info=1670

  5. #5

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    Dec 2011
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    Re: Lens mount adapter

    Thanks everybody for the kind an helpful comments !!!

    The camera maker is a japanese one, called "Hansa", most likely a precursor of Canon even I couldn't find any evidence yet, that large format cameras have been released using this brand name ... except the fact, that I own three of them.

    I already tried to use the smallest and complete one. Not using film though but photo paper, which performes better than I expected. The good thing is, that here in Japan Fuji sells it in exactly the sizes, I need for these cameras. A pretty cheap solution for playing around with those cameras, at least in B/W. Here my first test shot, using the smallest camera, having a Fujinon 180 mm lens mounted:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/3063400...ream/lightbox/

    The resolution impressed me. There are some details visable even on a super enlargement/crop to one single house at a distance of several km:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/3063400...ream/lightbox/

    As I don't have any plate holders for the middle one, I might experiment a little bit with a scanner on the back. Saw good stuff, using this technology.

  6. #6

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    Dec 2011
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    Re: Lens mount adapter

    Finally got the tessar mounted ( just for a test ) and it works fantastic. It perfectly covers the whole 10x12 inch frame, focus to infinity no problem at all. Brilliant !!!

  7. #7

    Join Date
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    Re: Lens mount adapter

    Quote Originally Posted by Berndt View Post
    Finally got the tessar mounted ( just for a test ) and it works fantastic. It perfectly covers the whole 10x12 inch frame, focus to infinity no problem at all. Brilliant !!!
    "Illuminate" and "cover" are two different things....
    One man's Mede is another man's Persian.

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