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Thread: A Lens For 8X10, Cost Less Than $100, That You Use Regularly?

  1. #1

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    Jun 2010
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    A Lens For 8X10, Cost Less Than $100, That You Use Regularly?

    This was inspired by the thread, "If you could only have one".

    Mainly because, if you could get a few lenses for less than $100 each, or equivalent in other currency, you wouldn't have to limit yourself to just one.

    In the past year, I've managed to buy several lenses on Ebay for less than $100 each, and have enjoyed cleaning them up, getting the shutters to work well enough to be usable, and trying them out. They give images entirely satisfactory for my needs, though for some them only in certain situations.

    The lens I've used the most recently is a Wollensak series I Velostigmat in a single lever pneumatic shutter.

    So if you are using a lens fairly regularly that you paid very little for, tell us about it if you're not ashamed to.

    This might give me ideas on what to look for on my next Ebay bottom trawling expedition.

  2. #2
    (Shrek)
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    Mar 2011
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    Montreal
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    Re: A Lens For 8X10, Cost Less Than $100, That You Use Regularly?

    9-1/2" German Dagor in non-working shutter, about $45 - my main go-to lens
    240mm Rodenstock Apo-Gerogon, about $40 -process lens, but razor-sharp and a great wide angle for when I need movements
    6" Darlot lever-stop wide angle, about $75

    I've never paid more than $100 for a LF lens, with one exception (my SA 90/8).

  3. #3

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    Oct 2010
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    Re: A Lens For 8X10, Cost Less Than $100, That You Use Regularly?

    One of my favorite lenses for 8x10 is a Bausch & Lomb 9" Cinephor projection Petzval. Paid about $25, I think. This week I bought an 11" R&J Beck whole plate rapid rectilinear for $40. We'll see how that one does.

    I wish I'd known years ago how affordable getting into 8x10 on the low end can be. My camera (Kodak 2D) cost me $150, most of my lenses less than $50 per, and my sheets cut from rolls of old aerial film work out to pennies each. It is cheaper for me to shoot 8x10 than 4x5 these days!

    Jonathan

  4. #4

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    Sep 2004
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    La Quinta, CA
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    Re: A Lens For 8X10, Cost Less Than $100, That You Use Regularly?

    My Ilex Projection Petzval I got from Jim Galli for about $65. I use only the front half as a meniscus type of lens and love it for portrait work.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    229

    Re: A Lens For 8X10, Cost Less Than $100, That You Use Regularly?

    Very cool! I thought I was pretty good at scrounging, but I see I've been beat by a mile. I was happy to get my lenses for less than $100, but there were no dagors or Rodenstocks. They were Wallys and off brands.

    About the whole plate RR, I got a whole plate Wally RR in an early 2 blade shutter Regno for less than $20 because some of the shutter parts were in a separate bag. Somebody had broken the shaft off the cocking lever but I was able to make a replacement out of a piece of thick mild steel wire. After getting the shutter back together and getting it working, I mounted it on the 8X10 Seneca. The glass was in great shape, and it illuminated the whole GG just fine. But as might be expected, image quality at the edges and corners wasn't the greatest because the lens just wasn't designed to be a wide angle. At f64 the edges didn't look too awful bad, and I intend to shoot with it to see what a print looks like.

    I should have bought some expired Aero film when it was available. But X-ray film is pretty cheap. If I can find any more aero film at a good price, I may buy some.

  6. #6

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    Re: A Lens For 8X10, Cost Less Than $100, That You Use Regularly?

    Yeah, my Beck RR gets mushy in the corners wide open, but that isn't always a bad thing, especially for portraits.

    The old aerial film is hit or miss. Some of it is meant for producing direct positives and doesn't work well with regular chemistry, and most of the stuff I use is painfully slow (EI 1.5.) and is blue-sensitive. But, like x-ray film, it is cheap and fun to experiment with. I save my "real," four-bucks-a-shot Kodak and Ilford film for those times when I need full tonality and faster speeds.

    Jonathan

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jun 2002
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    Re: A Lens For 8X10, Cost Less Than $100, That You Use Regularly?

    A better question would be which ones in a working, usable shutter are under $100? And which of the old, oddball shutters are good bets for functionality?

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    159

    Re: A Lens For 8X10, Cost Less Than $100, That You Use Regularly?

    I bought a 240mm g-claron in barrel for around 40€ and a compur 1 for the same value and i just tranfered the cells for the shutter, cheap and high quality!

  9. #9

    Join Date
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    3,114

    Re: A Lens For 8X10, Cost Less Than $100, That You Use Regularly?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jody_S View Post
    9-1/2" German Dagor in non-working shutter, about $45 - my main go-to lens
    240mm Rodenstock Apo-Gerogon, about $40 -process lens, but razor-sharp and a great wide angle for when I need movements
    6" Darlot lever-stop wide angle, about $75

    I've never paid more than $100 for a LF lens, with one exception (my SA 90/8).
    If your Dagor is marked "9 1/2" " it isn't German.

    I got a 9 1/2" Goerz New York Dagor at a camera show, it was marked $49 but I traded a Nikkor 35mm lens for it. With flange, in an early Compound. The only problem was a 5/16" gouge right in the center of the rear glass, I filled that with india ink, and it performs the same as a 240mm CPG Berlin Dagor (in barrel) of the same vintage
    One man's Mede is another man's Persian.

  10. #10

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    Re: A Lens For 8X10, Cost Less Than $100, That You Use Regularly?

    A Rapid Rectilinear for $40, which I took apart and can't get back together--I lost three of the itty bitty screws
    Then there is the 15" B&L pretzel which cost me all of $20.
    The 240mm G Claron in barrel was just under $100 but the cost of putting it in a Copal shutter put it over the the top.
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

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