Barrel Lens?

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photomc

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Ok, new to LF, and have read about barrel lens for years, but have never really understood WHAT a barrel lens is (seems like they come from offset print cameras, etc) and how they are adapted to use on LF cameras.

Can someone enlighten me?
 

David A. Goldfarb

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A barrel lens is simply a LF lens without a shutter. They might be designed for cameras with focal plane shutters like the Graflex reflex cameras or Speed Graphic, or for process cameras where exposure is usually controlled by turning the lights on and off and/or with a simple Packard shutter behind the lens.
 

Ole

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... or they might just be so old that the shutters weren't invented yet. Or have strange glass configurations which would make it very difficult to fit shutter blades in the available space. Or they might be brand new, many Sinar users like their lenses barrel-mounted since they are cheaper and Sinar has a good behind-the-lens shutter anyway.
 

rbarker

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To augment the comments already made, some barrel lenses can be adapted to modern, or no-so-modern leaf shutters and used in the conventional manner on LF cameras. S.K. Grimes offers such adaptations, for example, but it's not an inexpensive process as considerable machine work is often required. As such, the attraction of the originally inexpensive lens is often offset by the additional cost.

For many LF applications, where exposure times are long (several seconds or longer), "lens-cap" or "hat" shutters are used, as in times of yore. (pull the dark slide, remove the lens cap, count the seconds, replace the lens cap)

Just be cautious of lenses from the bottom of the barrel. :wink:
 
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