Barrel Lens use

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Sinarfar

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I am wondering how useful barrel lenses are for general landscape, and still life shots. How accurate is exposure? Is camera shake and issue? Does the 'hat' or black card shutter spill light onto the film?

Any folks who use barrel lenses outside process controlled enviroments want to offer suggections? It would seem to me, using a ND filter and/or very slow film (iso25 or 50) is the best choice to get exposures long enough to time with a stop watch. Is this realistic for sunny landscapes?

Sorry for all the questions. I am new and just trying to figure out if I should pick up a 'cheap' barrel lens.
 

Nick Zentena

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1st of all barrel lenses often aren't that cheap. The cheaper ones are shorter ones with limited coverage. But you can get lenses in a shutter for not much more money and sometimes less money. The more interesting ones tend to be expensive. The real cheap ones are the undiscovered ones with names people won't gamble on. So you need to make sure what you're buying really is good value.

The best way to use barrel lenses is likely with a packard shutter. I've got one on a lensboard. It's easy to attach the barrel lens in front of the lensboard. I'm using nothing more then magnets to hold the board the barrel lens is on to the metal lensboard that holds the packard shutter.

ND filters been there done that. Once you've bought the right filters [you'll likely need a few] you've spent about the money a packard shutter might have cost. It works but you have to be carefull to take into account recpircoity failure [spelling unknown]. You'll have to focus without it on the lens then put the filter on.


What format are you using? With 4x5 it's possible. With bigger formats it gets easier since you'll want to use smaller F/stops. With a 25 ISO film at F/22 you're already down to 1/12.5 without any filters. Stick an orange filter [#21] on that and you get pretty close to 1/3 of a second. Stop down to F/32 add in reciprocity and you might be looking at 2 seconds. Full sun and no ND filters.

If the lens is small you can sometimes get shutters from other things. I've got a couple designed for some sort of school projector. They fit on the front of my smallest lenses. That's fine for 4x5 because any vingnetting isn't an issue with those lenses but the front mount does cut off some of the image circle.

The best process lenses to get are the ones that screw directly into a shutter. Then when you find a cheap shutter you can combine the two. The problem is these all tend to be the most expensive.

Have I rambled enough? Basically it depends on the lens and the format. You can get lenses in shutters for 4x5 at reasonable prices.
 

smieglitz

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Sinarfar said:
... Does the 'hat' or black card shutter spill light onto the film?
...It would seem to me, using a ND filter and/or very slow film (iso25 or 50) is the best choice to get exposures long enough to time with a stop watch...

I picked up a black felt beret at the local army surplus and put an additional felt lining in it to totally block light. I've used it over the lens in full sun with no problems and when I'm done with the exposure and the darkslide is replaced, I put the beret on my head and feel very artistic.

I've also used Packard Shutters with success as well as neutral density filters. I have several old Verito portrait lenses (in faulty Studio Shutters so I just keep them at "T" where they essentially become barrel lenses) that I want to use at about f/4.5 outdoors in order to get the diffused effect. With modern films, this requires the use of neutral density filters. Coupled with the Packard Shutters, I am able to adjust the exposure to a degree where I can use the bulb function and filters to regulate the exposures within a reasonable tolerance. I'm using 2.0 and 3.0 ND filters to get into the proper range both outdoors and in the studio. It all works.

Joe
 

bobfowler

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I have to agree with Nick, GOOD barrel lenses aren't always "cheap". A lot of my lenses are in barrel - a 305mm f/9 Apo Nikkor, 14" R.D. Artar, 12" Artar, 9" Ilex Copy Paragon - all work very well with a Packard shutter.

I also use #6 packard shutters when I need flash sync on older lenses. My B&L Rapid Rectilinear (great portrait lens) is in an old pneumatic Century shutter. I put a Packard behind it for when I need to use studio flash. Likewise, I have a Packard w/sync that I use in front of my Wollensak Triple Convertible when I need to use flash.
 
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I think that lenses in shutters are much easier to use, the thing about barrel lenses is that they are often types that were never offered in shutters and have interesting qualities to them. I personally have two Ross rapid rectilinear lenses (5 and 8 inch) from the 1890s which are in good shape and which I plan to use for a project. These cost $25 and $50 respectively. I also recently bought an unidentified 14 inch f5.6 lens which I believe is a Cooke Aviar - this cost $50, it is away being cleaned at the moment.

Over in the UK we do not see too many Packard shutters, I have a "Day" shutter which fits onto the front of lenses via a big iris-type mount and has three modes, open all the time, press bulb to open and release to close, and press bulb faster or slower to get different speeds (up to about 1/50). The thing about a separate shutter is you only need one and you can play with all the oddball lenses in the world (if this is what you want to do!). Moreover, my Day shutter at least is flash-synced, which few shutters were pre World War II.

Many Victorian photogs made their own shutters - some of the first commercial shutters were very weird. I have a guillotine shutter from around the 1870s which plunges in and out of the middle of the lens through the slot you would normally put a Waterhouse stop into - this is strictly display only!

Regards,

David

PS: In case you want to see just how weird the shutter is that I mentioned:

Dead Link Removed
 
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jimgalli

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Since you mentioned that you are somewhat new to LF I advise you to get a modern lens in Copal shutter to begin with. Yes, there are some true bargains out there "in barrel" and yes, they can be very useable. ISO 25 film would be a good way to start. You can easily get up in the 2-3 second range. I usually just use a fitted lens cap. Loosen the cap and let it "hover" for a second in front of the lens, just close but not touching. When everything is settled again, move it for the exposure. I also have an accessory packard for the Deardorff. That works great too.
 

mark

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I had a shutter freeze open in the field once and was forced to improvise. It is a good thing I use slow film. My hand worked fine for a lens covering. Small aperatures and and slow film made for slow shutter speeds. The exposures were a tad dense but nothing terrible. In fact I was rather impressed. I would say they are not a bad thing. It was kind of fun. The experience opened up new opporunities in lens choices.

I agree with Jim, about getting a modern lens in a shutter to begin with. I would not want to go through the initial learning phase of LF without a working shutter. Lets face it everyday with a LF camera is a learning experience.
 

JG Motamedi

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I frequently use huge barrel lenses which are just too big to fit into a shutter; primarily large portrait lenses. In place of shutters I have used packard, studio-shutters, hats, and lens caps, but I always return to using the lenscap in the way that Jim Galli suggests, pull it off, let it hover a second just in front of the lens, move, count, return. Packards and studio shutters (when they work) in my experience often shake the camera.

What I really like to use however are leather/velvet lens caps. Much nicer than even the best plastic ones. If made properly, they smoothly slide on and off without disturbing the camera. Grimes's plastic caps are nice, but don't slide so smoothly.
 
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Sinarfar

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I really love this forum. It is great access to so much knowledge and experience. I have only been doing LF for less than 1 yr. I have a Sinar F2 with three Schneider lenses, all mounted in copal shutters. I wanted to explore some off-beat lenses for a different look, and some fun too. I got my answer, quite nicely. Thanks to all that replied.

(I was even thinking of toying around with some of my many enlarger lenses, just for fun.)

Thanks all.
 
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JG Motamedi said:
Packards and studio shutters (when they work) in my experience often shake the camera.
QUOTE]
The Day shutter I mentioned has been serviced and is actually very smooth (it has no gear train, it is all-pneumatic). On the other hand, it does have a certain weight, and the barrel lenses of course do as well, so I tend to use my Sinar Norma for experiments with these lenses in the interests of stability.
 

bobfowler

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JG Motamedi said:
...Packards and studio shutters (when they work) in my experience often shake the camera...

I haven't had a problem with Packard shutters causing camera shake. I would suspect if you've had that problem that you may have used too short a length of tubing, or that the shutter wasn't mounted properly. A properly maintained Packard operates very smoothly, but a dirty air piston could cause sticky operation.
 

j.green

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It would probably be nice having my G-claron mounted in a copal #1 shutter, but as it turns out using it in barrel really gives a nice feeling of primitivism when exposing the film. Retired shutters may turn lenses into 'barrels' but I don't know why that should be so undesirable. Use it as an opportunity to enhance control over your experience of time, and the exposures can deliver nice as well as disastrous surprises. Adds a little bit of excitement. I have seven or eight lenses without working shutters, and I have never thought of it as a problem. On the other hand, the sound of a smooth spinning shutter is...

Gr.
 

isaacc7

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Sinar Shutters!

I have one of the mechanical Sinar shutters on my Horseman monorail and it works great! I had to take the apature scale off the thing so it would fit. My lenses for 5x7 on that camera are all barrell lenses. I have a f4.5 (!) Tessar, a slower Tessar, and a Wray Lustrar. All three lenses cost me about $150 total, and I think I paid a bit on the high side. The shutter really helps, using the 4.5 would be impossible without it.

Isaac
 

AndrewL

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Another vote for the Sinar Copal shutter

I use the Copal shutter, on a Sinar 5x4 F, for my barrel lenses and I think it works terrifically well. There are some really great bargains to be had with barrel lenses if you have something like a Copal shutter.

I was lucky enought to pick up a coated 360mm f4.5 Heliar for a really low price. The lens is huge and it only just fits on a Sinar panel. However, thanks to the Copal shutter I think I've got a pretty nifty portrait lens.

Once you have a reliable shutter like the Copal your choice of lenses is greatly widened.
 
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