Something doesn't add-up about this lens/shutter combo...

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Kino

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One of my many personal defects includes dragging home anything remotely related to photography from estate sales.

Here we have a Kodak Anastigmat 203mm f7.7 lens set in a Compur shutter with an aperture scale that starts at f4.5, mounted on a homemade lens board.

Ah... what gives? No way that aperture scale is accurate, is there? Am I missing something?



Kodak_Compur.jpg
 

AnselMortensen

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Somebody pulled a switcheroo.
You might be able to work out a numerical f-stop conversion, but the best answer is to have SK Grimes engrave a new aperture scale.
Hopefully the cell spacing is correct.
 

Vaughn

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If you took the scale off and flipped it over, I am wondering if it is marked for an 203mm/7.7 lens.
If not, you could mark it yourself by measuring the diameter of the aperture...f stops are a ratio of the lens focal length to the diameter of the entrance pupil (f stop = focal length divided by diameter. There are probably some good how-to videos.
 
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Kino

Kino

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Somebody pulled a switcheroo.
You might be able to work out a numerical f-stop conversion, but the best answer is to have SK Grimes engrave a new aperture scale.
Hopefully the cell spacing is correct.

The lens focus appears to be approximately correct for its stated focal length and the image is sharp; I wonder what the covering power is? Probably for a roll film camera or a 2.25 x 3.25 plate camera.

If you took the scale off and flipped it over, I am wondering if it is marked for an 203mm/7.7 lens.
If not, you could mark it yourself by measuring the diameter of the aperture...f stops are a ratio of the lens focal length to the diameter of the entrance pupil (f stop = focal length divided by diameter. There are probably some good how-to videos.

No luck on the scale having numbers on the reverse, but I will read-up on making a scale myself.


A little research indicated these lenses were made from 1915 to 1960, so it's certainly not a rare lens, but it has to have performed reasonably to be produced for that long.

Thanks to you both for suggestions!

Edit: found this on Camerawiki



Might have been done as part of this program, but you would think Kodak would have replaced the aperture scale...
 

juan

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Pretty clearly someone put the cells into another shutter. Just for fun, close the aperture to f8 and see if the blades are close to the edge. If so, it might be usable as is from f8 up.
 

Dan Fromm

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Oh, come on, folks.

The 203/7.7 KA, uncoated, was made to the same prescription as the later coated 203/7.7 Ektar. Normal lenses for 5x7.

Both were made in the US to fit EKCo shutters and in the UK to fit Compur shutters. I have a 203/7.7 KA, s/n begins EC and it is not threaded to fit a Compur, so made in Rochester. The OP's lens is in a Compur and its s/n doesn't fit the Rochester "camerosity" scheme. This last is normal for UK made Kodak lenses.

Best hypothesis about it is that it was reshuttered in the first shutter ready to hand that it would fit. Happens fairly often, no skulduggery involved.
 
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Kino

Kino

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Oh, come on, folks.

The 203/7.7 KA, uncoated, was made to the same prescription as the later coated 203/7.7 Ektar. Normal lenses for 5x7.

Both were made in the US to fit EKCo shutters and in the UK to fit Compur shutters. I have a 203/7.7 KA, s/n begins EC and it is not threaded to fit a Compur, so made in Rochester. The OP's lens is in a Compur and its s/n doesn't fit the Rochester "camerosity" scheme. This last is normal for UK made Kodak lenses.

Best hypothesis about it is that it was reshuttered in the first shutter ready to hand that it would fit. Happens fairly often, no skulduggery involved.

Yeah, that's what I come on Photrio for, is a condescending answer.
 

BrianShaw

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Yeah, that's what I come on Photrio for, is a condescending answer.

I must admit to also being taken a bit aback when reading the first sentence, but Dan needs to be acknowledged and thanked for the most detailed and knowledgeable insight thus far.

That lens has a long history and went through various iterations, with name changes along the way. Once you get the aperture scale worked out you’ll likely find it a very useful lens. The uncoated numbered Kodak Anastigmats are among my favorite LF lenses.
 

Don_ih

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With no movements, you can coax 8x10 coverage from that lens. Or at least I do.
 
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The easiest thing to do is find an image online of the lens in the shutter you have, then use Photoshop to transcribe the aperture scale. I did exactly that years ago when I bought the cells for an APO Ronar and put them in a Deckle Compur shutter, the same shutter as yours. I found an image online, did a couple minutes of magic, printed it out, laminated it with packing tape then attached it to the shutter. It has been going fine for about 12 years now. Otherwise, measuring the aperture is a real PITA and takes a long time. Ask me how I know....
 
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Kino

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The easiest thing to do is find an image online of the lens in the shutter you have, then use Photoshop to transcribe the aperture scale. I did exactly that years ago when I bought the cells for an APO Ronar and put them in a Deckle Compur shutter, the same shutter as yours. I found an image online, did a couple minutes of magic, printed it out, laminated it with packing tape then attached it to the shutter. It has been going fine for about 12 years now. Otherwise, measuring the aperture is a real PITA and takes a long time. Ask me how I know....

A very practical idea; it should be close enough. I will look into this.

Thank you.
 

Jim Jones

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If you took the scale off and flipped it over, I am wondering if it is marked for an 203mm/7.7 lens.
If not, you could mark it yourself by measuring the diameter of the aperture...f stops are a ratio of the lens focal length to the diameter of the entrance pupil (f stop = focal length divided by diameter. There are probably some good how-to videos.

Measure the aperture while looking through the front lens, not by directly measuring it.
 

Ian Grant

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Oh, come on, folks.

The 203/7.7 KA, uncoated, was made to the same prescription as the later coated 203/7.7 Ektar. Normal lenses for 5x7.

Both were made in the US to fit EKCo shutters and in the UK to fit Compur shutters. I have a 203/7.7 KA, s/n begins EC and it is not threaded to fit a Compur, so made in Rochester. The OP's lens is in a Compur and its s/n doesn't fit the Rochester "camerosity" scheme. This last is normal for UK made Kodak lenses.

Best hypothesis about it is that it was reshuttered in the first shutter ready to hand that it would fit. Happens fairly often, no skulduggery involved.

I'm not sure when Kodak Ltd began making lenses, before and during WW1 they mostly used Rochester made lenses, and after WW1 they used Cooke, Ross, and Dallmeyerv, lenses for their British made LF cameras, CZJ & Schneider for smaller format cameras. The 203mm f7.7 Anastigmat is not in their 1940 Professional catalogue, or earlier BJPA adverts.

It's likely Kodak began making these lens during WWII, Cooke & Dallmeyer were producing lenses & optics sub-contracted through Ross for military use. Prior to the war Kodak Ltd only made lenses for their budget cameras. Kodak Ltd distributed Cooke & Ross lenses in Australia & New Zealand, while Eastman Kodak distributed their lenses in the US.

Ian
 

Sirius Glass

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Somebody pulled a switcheroo.
You might be able to work out a numerical f-stop conversion, but the best answer is to have SK Grimes engrave a new aperture scale.
Hopefully the cell spacing is correct.

Would that be cost effective? Would it be better to just find another lenses? Check the costs first.
 

ic-racer

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I have used a label maker for aperture sales. A little trial and error I was able to get the numbers to be in the correct place (after already determining the 'correct place for the numbers' by the usual means).

p-touch (adjusted).jpg
 

Dan Fromm

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The easiest thing to do is find an image online of the lens in the shutter you have, then use Photoshop to transcribe the aperture scale. I did exactly that years ago when I bought the cells for an APO Ronar and put them in a Deckle Compur shutter, the same shutter as yours. I found an image online, did a couple minutes of magic, printed it out, laminated it with packing tape then attached it to the shutter. It has been going fine for about 12 years now. Otherwise, measuring the aperture is a real PITA and takes a long time. Ask me how I know....
There may be a simpler way. Remember that regardless of the numbers engraved on the aperture scale, moving the pointer one full stop, e.g., from 5.6 to 8, changes the aperture by one full stop regardless of the maximum aperture of the lens mounted in the shutter.

You can take advantage of this to find the scale marking that corresponds to the lens' maximum aperture, if the lens isn't too fast, by locking the shutter open ("T" or "B" with a locking cable release, use the blade arrestor if the shutter has one), setting the diaphragm to the smallest aperture, and then slowly opening the diaphragm until the diaphragm leaves disappear. Fiddle a little with it to be sure you've found that opening, and then you'll know where on the scale the lens' maximum aperture is. Then, when you want a smaller aperture, say n stops below wide open, move the pointer n stops from "where the lens' maximum aperture is."

Old trick, still works. And don't worry about high precision. Exposure latitude, even with reversal films, will save you. Don't ask how I know this.
 

OAPOli

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I've reshuttered a few lenses. What you can try is copy the scale that's currently on the shutter, from 5.6 and smaller. Disregard the numbers but keep the distances between them. That'll give you full stops on any lens on that shutter. Then open up the lens on T and close the diaphragm until the blades just disappear from from view, that will be f/7.7. That might as well be f/8 (0.1 EV difference). Then use the scale you transferred, with the sequence starting at f/8. You can double-check smaller f/stops by eyeballing the diameter of the pupil with calipers. It will reduce by half every two f/stops. Not ultra precise but it works well.

Edit. @Dan Fromm beat me to it
 
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Yeah, that's what I come on Photrio for, is a condescending answer.
Kino,

Dan Fromm is the resident lens expert here. I'm sure he wasn't being condescending; just dismayed that such a well-known lens was being misrepresented in previous posts (not yours). If you want authoritative answers, his are.

Best,

Doremus
 

jimgalli

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Dan's always a little condescending, that's why we love him. Years ago there was a lens testing page where a couple of guys made a hobby of testing lots of large format lenses for lp/mm res. And the pre wwII 203 Kodak's were amazing. It is a dialyt design that barely covers 50 degrees, so saying it can cover 8X10 is utter nonsense. It probably darkens corners on 5X7 but works wonderfully on 4X5. Your uncoated version will lose approximately 30% of the light that goes in to non image forming, or what we call flare. Not the end of the world. They're better for interior details where flare isn't a big deal. Sometimes it actually works for you by bringing zone II up a bit, almost like what pre-exposure would do. Move the aperture lever until you "just" see the blades entering. Now you know where f7.7 is. Make an educated guess on the rest. One thing Dan and I always agree on, this isn't rocket science. Go burn some film with it and you'll learn far more than the chatter here. Best option, if someone has one of these in a pre-war rimset compur, take the aperture off and scan it for the poor guy. I have a NOS one around here somewhere in the OB, but it was in an early Prontor 0, so not a match.
 
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Kodak's info on the Ektar 203 f/7.7 says it was designed to cover 5x7, so I imagine it does. That said, mine gets significantly unsharp toward the edges of the image circle, so I make sure to pay attention to that when using lots of movements. The lens is really wonderful on 4x5. And really small and portable.

Doremus
 
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