Konica GR II and other Reprocamera lenses

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by JohnArs, Sep 22, 2005.

  1. JohnArs

    JohnArs Subscriber

    Sep 20, 2002
    Multi Format
    Hi all

    I got from ebay two Konica GRII lenses a while ago and have on booth of them dirt somewhere inside the backelements.
    So I cleaned all outside parts and also between the front and backelement.
    Then I tested the lenses re sharpness and the 260mm performed okay even with the schmutz inside the back element. The 210mm was worser then the 260mm but has lesser dirt in the back element then the 260mm.
    So now I got a G-Glaron 240mm wich has a tiny bit lesser dirt inside the back element but also a small amount of it!
    Is this normal with reprolenses or did I only have no luck with them!
    From what could this dirt be?
    Did you had similar experience with reprolenses?
  2. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

    Mar 23, 2005
    Multi Format
    Armin, I shoot a 210/9 GRII fairly regularly, also use a 6"/9 Cooke Copying, 180/10 Apo Saphir, 10.16"/9 Taylor Hobson Copying, 305/9 Apo Nikkor, 360/10 Apo Saphir, 450/10 Lomo RF-5 (has to go), and 480/9 Apo Nikkor. All of these lenses except the Lomo are quite sharp and at least reasonably contrasty. The Lomo is ok, but not as sharp as the 480 Apo Nikkor.

    I've owned another 210/9 GRII, a 150/9 GRII, three 240/9 G-Clarons, 14"/10 Apo Process Lustrar Ser. II, and nominal 150 and 210 Repromasters. Of them, I've shot both GRIIs, the G-Clarons, and the Wray. The 210 GRII shot about the same as the one I have now. The 150 was sharp but not as contrasty as the 180 Apo Saphir. The three G-Clarons were all equally good. The Wray was very flary and not sharp enough wider than f/22; stopping it down reduced, didn't completely tame, the flare. I never tried the Repromasters.

    Note that I don't use lens hoods. Its too much trouble. I think my 150 GRII and the Wray would have benefitted from one.

    Some of my repro lenses have had internal schmutz, other haven't. I don't think it is safe to generalize about the condition the ones people offer are in.

    Some of mine seem to have been used as enlarging lenses, others in plate-makers; the Taylor Hobsons and Apo Nikkors appeared unused when they arrived. I don't think generalizations are safe, except to say that lenses that look old and dusty in eBay listings probably ARE old and dusty.

    FWIW, my 150/9 GRII was covered with fine brown powder that cleaned off fairly well and was clean inside. My first 210/9 GRII has schmutz inside, looked like evaporated lubricant. The one I use now has the same, but much, much less. I don't think it is safe to generalize about them.

    None of the repro lenses I've tried so far has been a real clinker. The weakest two so far were the Wray and the Lomo, and of them I'd use the Lomo in a pinch but not the Wray.

  3. Mongo

    Mongo Member

    Jan 17, 2004
    Multi Format
    I have a number of process lenses that I use for 4x5 and 8x10 (Eskafot Ultragon 150 f/8, Konica GRII 150mm f/9, JML Process 210 f/9, APO-Nikkor 480 f/9, and a few others that I can't remember right now...), and all have been in excellent shape when I've received them. The Eskafot had a bit of dust on the elements, but was otherwise clean. The rest have all been near-pristine when I got them. They've all been excellent performers, and I'm happy to be shooting LF with such sharp, inexpensive lenses. I believe the condition of the lenses probably has a lot to do with where they spent more of their lives...if they were on a reproduction camera in a dirty environment, or if they were subject to extreme temperature fluctuations, I'd expect the lenses to have either more dirt on the outside (from environmental sources) or on the inside (from lubricants slowly evaporating over time). I think a number of the lenses I've purchased were never put onto any piece of equipment, as they looked absolutely new with no dirt at all, no marks anywhere (not even on the lenscaps), and no sign of mounting (i.e., no paint loss in the screw holes on the mounting rings). This is probably just luck on my part.

    I did once get a long APO Ronar (450mm perhaps?) that looked like the back element had been sandblasted (literally, thousands of punctures in the surface of the glass), but as it was with another lens and the cost of both was less than I thought the other lens was worth, I didn't worry. (The seller had warned that the Ronar had problems with the back element.)

    As to shades, I make it a practice to shield the lens from direct sunlight with the dark slide if the sun's coming in from anywhere near the front of the camera, and have not needed a shade. All of the process lenses that I've used have elements that are very close to the edge of the barrel, so the barrels are not providing any shading on their own. Either buy or build a shade, or find another way to shade the lens...it's a cheap way to get the best from your glass.

    Be well.