Needle in a haystack ? Petzval Lens Hunt

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by SteveH, Jul 10, 2006.

  1. SteveH

    SteveH Member

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    All,
    For the last couple of months I've been keeping my eye open for some old lenses to experiment with; perhaps even the famed petzval lenses. I haven't had much luck on sleezebay, etc. I did find one through the APUG classifieds, but it was around 140mm in focal length. Did they ever make a petzval designed lens in a 200-280 focal length ? Or were they all usually shorter ?

    Thanks !
     
  2. JG Motamedi

    JG Motamedi Member

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    There were tens of thousands (maybe more) of quarter or half plate lenses made from the 1840s to the 1930s. These lenses run from 8"-11", and will do fine for 4x5. An 8" model will illuminate 4x5 with some fall off, I prefer an 11" lens, but these might not fit on your lensboard. Keep on looking, they aren't hard to find, however they are a bit pricey at this particular moment in time.
     
  3. tdeming

    tdeming Subscriber

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    keep an eye out for unmarked brass lenses. You might be able to get a steal and it will likely be a petzval or rapid rectilinear, both of which should be fun to use. I picked up an approx. 12" Darlot Petzval this way --it wasn't marked on the barrel, but the glass was marked on the inside. The price was significantly less than what Darlot's usually go for.

    cheers

    Tim
     
  4. OP
    OP
    SteveH

    SteveH Member

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    Thanks for the help.
    As far as what to look for goes, say I find a lens...'x'. How would I be able to tell what construction it is ? Is there a resource for such things ?
     
  5. tdeming

    tdeming Subscriber

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    If you are going by a picture, unless the description states the type of lens, you'll have to go by either looking up the specific lens (in the vademecum, for example -available on e-bay), or by taking the lens apart or counting reflections in the glass. There are a lot of discussions here on the construction (numbers of elements and groupings) of the different lens types, and can be searched pretty easily.

    cheers

    Tim