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Dallmeyer Dallon 14" f/5.6
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 10:11 pm    Post subject: Dallmeyer Dallon 14" f/5.6 Reply with quote

I've been searching for sample photos taken with the Dallmeyer 14" without luck. Has anyone used this on 4X5 before? A local camera shop has one and I'm interested, but they have no sample photos. I'd like an idea of how it performs before I plunk down some money.

Thank you!


PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good to see you again David!


PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 10:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What's the serial number? I ask because Dallmeyer made 14"/5.6 Dallons for many years. The VM isn't as clear as I'd like but I think there were design changes. The VM is especially unclear about coverage, gives the impression that early 14"/5.6ers won't cover 4x5.

With respect to everyone, early LF telephotos weren't that wonderful. The first respectable one is probably Schneider's TeleArton. If you need a long lens with shortish flange-to-film distance that covers 4x5 you'd do well to look for a modern tele.


PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 11:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have an early Dallon, I forget what length, and on a digital camera, it's really awful, lowest contrast I have ever seen (uncoated of course) and what surprises me is that it has low resolution, just isn't sharp in the slightest.


PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 4:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Good to see you again David!"

It's great o have been missed! I pop in and out from time to time, usually to lurk or research. I'm swamped with work, my YT channel, and I've been building a camera resale business in the evenings to save up for a house down payment. Very Happy

"What's the serial number? I ask because Dallmeyer made 14"/5.6 Dallons for many years. The VM isn't as clear as I'd like but I think there were design changes. The VM is especially unclear about coverage, gives the impression that early 14"/5.6ers won't cover 4x5. "

I don't have the SN, but it's a number 3, series 6. Dallmeyer's own marketing material conflicts as to if it covers 8X10, 5X7, or 4X5. The shop indicates it can cover 8X10 and that on my Anniversary Graphic 4X5 it would have full shift capabilities, but I admit to being somewhat skeptical about that. And I'm concerned about the weight. I have a lot of skin in the Anniversary Graphic game having rebuilt the shutter timing system and installed a new (BRIGHT RED, IT LOOKS AWESOME) bellows. So I don't want to mount this thing on the front and tweak the standard.

"I have an early Dallon, I forget what length, and on a digital camera, it's really awful, lowest contrast I have ever seen (uncoated of course) and what surprises me is that it has low resolution, just isn't sharp in the slightest."
Oh, digital is out for sure. I'd be using this exclusively on my Anniversary Graphic and Super D (I modified it to use 4X4 lens boards since it didn't have a lens when I got it anyway.)

I think this one is older. It does not have the rack and pinion focusing and looks, in terms of body style, like the Dallmeyer Air Ministry WWII 14" 5.6 lenses. So I suspect it's 1940s to mid-or-late 1950s.

I did end up finding TWO sample photos with a similarly-aged 14" 5.6 on the LF forum (with a LOT of digging into the archived threads). One was really soft and glowy and the other was sharp and fairly clinical in execution (from a lens performance perspective.) Both were taken with the same lens wide-open. So I'm really on the fence since I was hoping for an interesting lens character with this camera. The lens design varied from a modified Petzval early on to latter models being a Tessar or Heliar type, but this lens' internal reflections don't clearly indicate Tessar or Heliar. The front elements, with the aperture shut, have three strong reflections to a point source. In the rear, it's one strong-ish and two weak.

Right now for the Anniversary Graphic I have an Elgeet Navitar 8" f/4.5 that is super sharp and fantastic for portraits (this is my favorite 4X5 lens and it covers 8X10 without too much difficulty, apparently), a Rank copy lens that's around 6 inches and goes from 4.5 to 16 and has some interesting character, a BL copy lens that's also a 4.5 to 16, but I haven't used it to know the character. The FL is a bit longer than the rank since the lens is about 6mm greater in diameter. And an Industar N-51 210mm f/4.5 aerical camera lens. So they're all around the same FL and aperture. I'm hoping to find some affordable-ish interesting lenses, too, like the Dallmeyer or a Magic Lantern lens I picked up this week. My goal is to make this a portrait-oriented camera system with three, tops, different and interesting lens options that I can share with the Super D.


PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, my. Apples and bananas.

According to the VM the Dallon is a fixed separation telephoto anastigmat. Not a Petzval, Tessar or Heliar. TELEPHOTO.

I've had one 14"/5.6 Air Ministry lens. It was an Aviar, made by TTH. I've seen equivalent Dallmeyer lenses, counted reflections on one of them. Tessar type. Both very heavy. The Dallon should be much lighter.

About using heavy lenses on a Graphic. The longest lens I'm aware of that's comfortable on a 2x3 Pacemaker Graphic (should be fine on a 2x3 Miniature Speed Graphic too, but I have a Pacemaker, sold my Mini decades ago) is the 12"/4 TTH telephoto made for the Vinten F.95, Williamson F.134 and AGI F.139 cameras. Heavy lens, not as heavy as the 14"/5.6 monstrosities. I put a support between the lens and the moving part of the outer bed. If you get a lens that you thing might strain your Anny's front standard, think hard about making a crutch.


PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a 12" f/4 TTH but I always thought it is to big and heavy for my 6x9 Linhof. And my Linhof doesn't have a focal plane shutter, as does your Pacemaker Graphic...

Do you have any photos with the 12"/4 TTH mounted on your 2x3 Pacemaker Graphic? Wasn't the diaphragm ring diameter too large to allow centering the lens on the camera? The front diameter is, if I remember well, ~100mm and the diaphragm ring diameter is even larger. I'm sure it was a challenging adaptation and it would be interesting to see it.


PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dan_, sorry, no digitized images taken with it.

The adaptation was easy but not obvious. The rear of the barrel is threaded internally. I had skgrimes make an externally threaded bushing with a flange at one end. It screws into the barrel, the lens board is clamped between the flange and the end of the barrel. The diaphragm ring doesn't interfere with the bed.

You can see the rig here: https://1drv.ms/i/s!AggQfcczvHGNh10etmk2wHeRewl0 You can see the crutch. The diaphragm ring fits between the bed rails, clears them. The out-of-focus man in the background isn't naked. Canoist putting in.


PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It looks impressive! Thanks for sharing!


PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dan_, pardon my ignorance. I don't know whether you're aware of my lens diary, which discusses a number of adaptations. It is at http://www.galerie-photo.com/telechargement/dan-fromm-6x9-lenses-v2-2011-03-29.pdf


PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

danfromm wrote:
dan_, pardon my ignorance. I don't know whether you're aware of my lens diary, which discusses a number of adaptations. It is at http://www.galerie-photo.com/telechargement/dan-fromm-6x9-lenses-v2-2011-03-29.pdf

I didn't know it. Thanks for sharing!
I think it would be useful for all the forum members if you post this link in the Library section, too.


PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dan_, thanks for the suggestion. Perhaps I should add a link to my lens diary to my list of useful links, which is posted as a sticky on the US large forum site.

Here's a link to the list: http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?138978-Where-to-look-for-information-on-LF-(mainly)-lenses