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Thread: What was once old, is now new....

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    Senior Member JimCollum's Avatar
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    What was once old, is now new....

    I started a thread in the Large Format forum about a lens i just picked up... an old Hayden, Booth &Holmes Petzval lens from 1860. I've been playing around with it and the Betterlight scanning back (since it doesn't require a shutter to use).

    But a 30 second scan time is doable for portraits (that's a typical exposure time for when the lens was used .. just not very convenient.

    So i jury rigged my view camera, sliding back, the lens, a shutter and gaffers tape to get it working with the Leaf 75s

    the Frankencamera..




    the first test shot (my barely willing neighbor)




    and a test shot (pano from the sliding back) from this morning's walk




    100% crops




    Last edited by JimCollum; 1st October 2009 at 17:17.

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    Subscriber Member TRSmith's Avatar
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    Re: What was once old, is now new....

    Totally worth the effort. That portrait has a lot of really nice things going on with it. Stuff you can't fake in post. I think the gaffers tape adds a certain something (I can't speak/write French but phonetically it would be: jen a say kwa ) to that beautiful camera too.

    Is the flat contrast an attribute of the back or your chosen processing?

  3. #3
    Senior Member JimCollum's Avatar
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    Re: What was once old, is now new....

    Quote Originally Posted by TRSmith View Post
    Totally worth the effort. That portrait has a lot of really nice things going on with it. Stuff you can't fake in post. I think the gaffers tape adds a certain something (I can't speak/write French but phonetically it would be: jen a say kwa ) to that beautiful camera too.

    Is the flat contrast an attribute of the back or your chosen processing?
    The lens in general renders with very low contrast (without the lens hood, it pretty much flares in *any* light )

    So far i'm playing around with it's original 'look'. As i get a better feel for the lens, i may play around with that some more

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    Workshop Member MikeScecina's Avatar
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    Re: What was once old, is now new....

    Fantastic! You have a real time machine there, Jim. It's amazing that how a lens drew in the mid 19th century effects our vision of that era.

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    Subscriber Member TRSmith's Avatar
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    Re: What was once old, is now new....

    Your lens clearly has a pedigree. But it reminded me of one that I have that bears a resemblance. It's been kicking around my various dwellings as a shelf object for so long I forget where it came from. However there are enough similarities to yours to make me look at it a little differently!

    Sorry for quality of this shot, just propped it up under my desk lamp.

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    Super Moderator Cindy Flood's Avatar
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    Re: What was once old, is now new....

    The portrait is beautiful. Yes, low contrast, but it has a nice depth to it. I bet you could take some breathtaking flower/still life shots with that setup.

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    Senior Member JimCollum's Avatar
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    Re: What was once old, is now new....

    Quote Originally Posted by TRSmith View Post
    Your lens clearly has a pedigree. But it reminded me of one that I have that bears a resemblance. It's been kicking around my various dwellings as a shelf object for so long I forget where it came from. However there are enough similarities to yours to make me look at it a little differently!

    Sorry for quality of this shot, just propped it up under my desk lamp.
    it's a Bausch and Lomb Petzval. Jim Galli (who i think has cornered the market on soft focus lenses .. http://tonopahpictures.0catch.com/ has a few of them and says they're excellent performers.

    Let's see what you can do with it!

    jim

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    Re: What was once old, is now new....

    Quote Originally Posted by TRSmith View Post
    Totally worth the effort. That portrait has a lot of really nice things going on with it. Stuff you can't fake in post. I think the gaffers tape adds a certain something (I can't speak/write French but phonetically it would be: jen a say kwa ) to that beautiful camera too.

    Is the flat contrast an attribute of the back or your chosen processing?
    Je ne c'est quoi

    'I don't know ...'

    E&OE of course...

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    Subscriber Member TRSmith's Avatar
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    Re: What was once old, is now new....

    Thanks for the link. I did a short google excursion and have come to realize that there are a lot of people making some great images using old lenses like this. I love the look of the finished product and the effort involved certainly seems worth it.

    Now that I've seen examples, yours and others, I will keep the idea of finding a way to use mine somewhere on my long to-do list. As of right this minute, I've nothing to mount the monster on.

    I have to say though, I'm completely jealous of your set up. That digital back on the view camera is a very cool thing.

  10. #10
    selsoe
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    Re: What was once old, is now new....

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnH View Post
    Je ne c'est quoi

    'I don't know ...'

    E&OE of course...
    Je ne sais quoi

    c'est means "it is", sais means "know"

    Enough of the French lesson. Those are really beautiful shots! I really digged the portrait, but scrolling down, I fell more in love with the landscape one. Congratulations!

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    Subscriber Member TRSmith's Avatar
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    Re: What was once old, is now new....

    Thanks to JohnH and selsoe for the French lesson. I've learned a lot from this little thread!

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    Re: What was once old, is now new....

    Wonderful Jim, I am in awe!

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    Senior Member PSon's Avatar
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    Re: What was once old, is now new....

    Fascinating images and wonderful original idea. The landscape is my favorite; the overall old glowing the image display is unique. I also just mounted the copal shutter in front of my enlarging and duplicating lens. The image circle I get is very large (4x5) and yet the resolution is very high.

    btw is that Mr. Noodle?

    -Son

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    Senior Member Steve Hendrix's Avatar
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    Re: What was once old, is now new....

    Well done Jim.

    As you know, we've developed numerous exclusive custom products for our customers. We're considering offering a FrankenCamera sku. The bonus is you just never know what you're going to get when you open the box. We're looking for a supplier.

    Interested?


    Steve Hendrix
    Steve Hendrix, Sales Manager, www.captureintegration.com (e-mail Me)
    Digital Cam: Phase One | Leaf | Leica | Sinar Authorized Reseller
    TechCam: Alpa | Cambo | Arca Swiss | Sinar Authorized Reseller

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: What was once old, is now new....

    Way cool Jim!

    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Re: What was once old, is now new....

    A technical question.

    Is there a particular reason to mount the Copal shutter in front of the barrel lens? Supposing the lens was simply connected to the back, and an exposure made, what would happen? The barrel lens would be open, of course.

    Kumar

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    Super Duper
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    Re: What was once old, is now new....

    Jim, you continue to amaze.

    Last time I did something like this was with an old wood 1890s 8X10 view camera and some giant brass lenses of dubious origin using an 8X10 polaroid back ... the shutter was the lens cap. Big PITA to get right, but fab results when you did.

    Do more ... can't get enough of stuff like this.

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    Re: What was once old, is now new....

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnH View Post
    Je ne c'est quoi

    'I don't know ...'

    E&OE of course...
    " ...Je ne sais quoi..." is the right spelling.

    In fact a great portrait, as a result of the wedding of an high end digital back and an old lens ; incredible what love can do !

    Stephane
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    http://stef974.tumblr.com/
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    Re: What was once old, is now new....

    What struck me right away - was the ( daer I say it?) ...it has a film look to me..

    great images- especially the landscape..
    you got me thinking..

    Pete

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    Re: What was once old, is now new....

    Jim,
    Thanks for sharing this... your passion for all things photographic is inspiring.

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    Re: What was once old, is now new....

    Quote Originally Posted by TRSmith View Post
    Thanks to JohnH and selsoe for the French lesson. I've learned a lot from this little thread!
    Me too. But now for the english side..........I believe the past tense for dig is dug, not digged! LOL

    Woody

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    Re: What was once old, is now new....

    ...and the correct spelling is English, not english
    Carsten - Website

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    Re: What was once old, is now new....

    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    ...and the correct spelling is English, not english
    Whoa Let's stop this right now before we get into things like dangling participles.

    Absolutely beautiful renderings with that lens.

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    Senior Member JimCollum's Avatar
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    Re: What was once old, is now new....

    Quote Originally Posted by FromJapan View Post
    A technical question.

    Is there a particular reason to mount the Copal shutter in front of the barrel lens? Supposing the lens was simply connected to the back, and an exposure made, what would happen? The barrel lens would be open, of course.

    Kumar
    the front is the easiest place to mount the shutter, since i already have the barrel lens mounted (it has it's own flange that bolts onto a lensboard). I could take it out of that flange, mount the copal shutter in another lensboard, then try it. the front of the lens just happens to 'pressure fit' into the back of a Copal 3, with some tape wrapped around it. A more fitting solution would be to sent the lens off to SK Grimes and have them mount it properly into a shutter.

    In the setup i'm using.. it's very easy to take the shutter off of the front, and use the lens on the Betterlight

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    Re: What was once old, is now new....

    Thanks for the explanation, Jim.

    Kumar

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