Using shutterless barrel lenses

andrewch59
Posts: 90
Joined: 08 Sep 2013, 12:56
Location: Stanthorpe, QLD

Using shutterless barrel lenses

Postby andrewch59 » 07 May 2017, 07:59

Many moons ago I started my love affair with large format in 8x10 and larger, but found with my old brass barrel lenses such as derogy, jamin, darlot and the like, I was restricted to indoors. The xray film I use I normally rate at about 80 to 100 ISO, which is fine under artificial lighting and exposure times of a second or more. All of my old cameras are 10x12 or larger, so exposure times are sometimes multiples of 4 with bellows factor, depending on subject distances when doing studio portraits or table top, so a lens cap was adequate.
Crossing that line into landscape became a challenge, I used a Vageeswari 10x12 camera normally with a Ross 16 inch petzval lens. I couldn't rely on bellows factor to slow the exposure down to lens cap speed, as most shots were at infinity and there was no bellows factor.
My favourite studio camera was a Deardorff 11x14, so I had made all of my lens boards to fit the deardorff, any camera I had purchased after, I adapted the lens board holder to fit the big deardorff lens boards.
I bought an old graflex 4x5 with a working focal plane shutter, which of course has shutter speeds up to 1000th of a second. I cut the box in half saving just what I needed to keep the shutter mechanism intact, and adapted the shutter end to fit on the front of my cameras. I then adapted the front, minus bellows, to accept a deardorff lens board.
So now I can confidently take my wonderful lenses out into the sunshine and shoot 8x10 and larger at whatever speed is required.

There are alternatives without having to resort to Packard shutters.

Barry Kirsten
Posts: 158
Joined: 27 Feb 2015, 11:13
Location: N-E Victoria

Re: Using shutterless barrel lenses

Postby Barry Kirsten » 07 May 2017, 16:20

Great work, Andrew. I love hearing how people solve photographic hardware issues. I have a few barrel lenses and have tried the lens cap approach outdoors without success. I've also tried the two darkslide approach favoured by Jim Galli, but didn't find it all that great. Since my budget won't allow a Sinar shutter - by far my preferred approach - or even a used Packard shutter, I intend to make a guillotine shutter with different width apertures to give a range of speeds. After I move house, of course. Bloody moving... everything has to wait until after the move :| .

andrewch59
Posts: 90
Joined: 08 Sep 2013, 12:56
Location: Stanthorpe, QLD

Re: Using shutterless barrel lenses

Postby andrewch59 » 08 May 2017, 05:13

Hi again Barry, yep! I tried the "Galli shutter for a while, with the "big" lenses it is too hard to cover the end of the barrel hood with the darkslides, and not let light in, or too heavy to flick fast. I have half a dozen packards, not much chop, they stick! and speed is quite hard to judge.
I was lucky enough to get a graflex speed graphic really cheap. I have since acquired two more, but I'm restoring them to use with my baby petzvals, and the like, on 4x5

andrewch59
Posts: 90
Joined: 08 Sep 2013, 12:56
Location: Stanthorpe, QLD

Re: Using shutterless barrel lenses

Postby andrewch59 » 08 May 2017, 11:44

What size Packard would you need Barry??

Barry Kirsten
Posts: 158
Joined: 27 Feb 2015, 11:13
Location: N-E Victoria

Re: Using shutterless barrel lenses

Postby Barry Kirsten » 08 May 2017, 17:21

Hi Andrew, the max. diameter of the three lenses I have is 6cm. If I had a Packard I'd be tempted to build it into the large lensboard of the Linhof monorail I use and mount the lenses in front of the shutter on smaller panels. Do you have a small Packard you want to sell?

andrewch59
Posts: 90
Joined: 08 Sep 2013, 12:56
Location: Stanthorpe, QLD

Re: Using shutterless barrel lenses

Postby andrewch59 » 08 May 2017, 18:14

Barry I'll check tomorrow after my trip to Tenterfield. I'm going to shoot my Hunter Penrose from the back of the van with 13x16 inch xray, with no shutter on a 36 inch Cooke VB series lens, gulp!
When I get back I will check the sizes and get back to you.
Last edited by andrewch59 on 09 May 2017, 05:23, edited 1 time in total.

Barry Kirsten
Posts: 158
Joined: 27 Feb 2015, 11:13
Location: N-E Victoria

Re: Using shutterless barrel lenses

Postby Barry Kirsten » 08 May 2017, 20:05

Wow! Epic project. Good luck!

andrewch59
Posts: 90
Joined: 08 Sep 2013, 12:56
Location: Stanthorpe, QLD

Re: Using shutterless barrel lenses

Postby andrewch59 » 09 May 2017, 16:43

Barry, I found two one of which is 63mm, which sounds perfect for you. It had one shutter leaf floating and not working, so I have pulled it apart to check it and luckily the shutter leaf is still in good condition, just the pin with which they both pivot has come out.
Now if you want it quickly I can send it to you detached for you to put back together, or I can do it but it may take a few days as I am busy at present. Choice is yours. I was shocked to see what they re worth on ebay, but as I cant see myself ever needing it you can have it.
Just pm me with your postal details.

Walter Glover
Posts: 880
Joined: 31 Jul 2012, 22:31
Location: Leichhardt, NSW

Re: Using shutterless barrel lenses

Postby Walter Glover » 09 May 2017, 21:36

Bravo!! What a great bit of mateship right there, Andrew. Thanks for showing that there are still some human qualities in existence.
Walter Glover

"Photography was not a bastard left by science on the doorstep of art, but a legitimate child of the Western pictorial tradition." —Robert Galassi

Barry Kirsten
Posts: 158
Joined: 27 Feb 2015, 11:13
Location: N-E Victoria

Re: Using shutterless barrel lenses

Postby Barry Kirsten » 09 May 2017, 23:09

You're not alone, Walter.


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