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Wide angle lenses for 6x9
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 6:33 pm    Post subject: Wide angle lenses for 6x9 Reply with quote

Hi folks

I've got a beautiful Century Graphic with a Linhof Schneider Xenar 4.5/105. I want a wide angle lens for it too, without spending too much money. 65-80mm range, preferably 65mm.

Just wondering what the options are, I suppose an Angulon or a Dagor, but what else is there? Old and esoteric is fine.

PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 6:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What about Mamiya lenses for the TLRs, will they cover 6x9 or just 6x6? What about the Press lenses, can they be simply removed from the helicoid for remounting on a Graphic lens board?

Or what about enlarger lenses? I believe some schneiders can have the cells unscrewed from the barrel and mounted in a shutter. What is the shortest that covers 6x9?

PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 6:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you´re thinking about mamiya C line 6x6 lenses, I am afraid the shorter focal length ones won´t cover 6x9. Also I think you need to think of length of rail, so the wideangle is not limited by it.

Take a look here for the list:


PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, that's very useful.

I'm thinking of other makers than the big four, in order to find the cheap options.

PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mamiya Press cover 6x9.


PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 7:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Schnider and Rodenstock are the usual options.
The 47mm Schnider SA (non XL) is a very good tiny lens for 6x9. The newer f5.6 one is better and it covers 6x9 with some movements.
The 53mm Zeiss Biogon is very nice, high resolution, but very heavy (and expensive).
A Biogon copy is the Koni-Omega Hexanon 58mm (marked 60mm on some lenses). It covers 6x9 and it can be easily remounted in a Copal/Compur #0 shutter. I have both the Biogon and the remounted Hexanon and prefer the Hexanon.
An interesting lens is the TT&H Series VII-b 82mm lens. It is tiny, it covers 4X5 inches and it can be easily mounted in front of a compur#1 shutter. Is a very good lens for landscape but it can only be used from f/11 to f/45. Wide opened is only for focusing on the ground glass.

PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks guys. Dan that is great info, the Biogon types intrigue me, I believe the Mamiya 6.3/50 and the two Hexanons would be the ones I want, but my bidget is very limited so things like that tiny TT&H are more my thing atm. I have some Wray Supars and the cells unscrew to go in a shutter, but I have no idea what their coverage is.

PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another interesting lens in your focal range is the Noritar 80mm f/2.8.
It is not the Noritar from the Norita 6x6 cameras but a lens Norita made for the Grafles XL cameras. It comes mounted in a Copal #0 shutter and can be get for 150-250$ on eBay (I've payed 200$ for mine). Considering the shutter's cost, the lens is not expensive.
This is a lens with a strong character, just like the Noritar 80mm f/2 of the Norita 6X6 camera. Very nice all-around wide-normal lens.

PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's your one-stop shop for all the info you need regarding this matter:


I recently purchased a Rodenstock Apo-Grandagon 35mm F4.5 for my Century Graphic after a thorough read (and a conversation with Dan Fromm):

Grand Bleu by Dr. RawheaD, on Flickr

PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 10:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rawhead wrote:
Here's your one-stop shop for all the info you need regarding this matter:


I recently purchased a Rodenstock Apo-Grandagon 35mm F4.5 for my Century Graphic after a thorough read (and a conversation with Dan Fromm):

Grand Bleu by Dr. RawheaD, on Flickr

OOOOHHHH...... that is stunning. "Grand Bleu" is the perfect title. Cool

PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 3:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ian, Rawhead suggested that you read my lens diary. Read it.

You asked about enlarging lenses. Forget it. Coverage issues, also performance issues. They're not optimized for infinity. Also forget the Tominon macro lenses.

I haven't had all of the possible w/a lenses for 2x3. Ones you might consider include:

65 mm: 65/6.8 Angulon, Raptar, and Optar (Raptar with Graflex Inc's name on it). All just cover 2x3, are functionally equivalent. There's also a 65/6.8 Leitmyer and a 65/6.8 Hamburg (sold by Spiratone, I understand) that may be identical. Much less common than 65 Angulon and Raptar/Optar.

65/8 Super Angulon and Ilex (sold under a variety of names). Both cover 4x5, are more expensive than the 65/6.8ers

I don't recommend the 64/6.5 TTH because it is somewhat of a cult lens. Hard to find, usually on an Envoy camera, and quite expensive.

Meyer made a 2.5"/6.3 Weitwinkel Aristostigmat. Scarce, so scarce that I have no idea of prices.

There's a 62/18 Protar and a 60/14 Perigraphe, both with wheel stops. I have a 60 Perigraphe, hang it in front of an Ilex #3. Both lenses are in barrel, can't be put in shutter, need a shutter and front mounting. The Protar is a cult lens, the Perigraphe isn't. Both out of your price range because of the cost of making them usable.

I can't recommend the 60/5.6 or 58/5.6 Koni Omega lenses either. The problem with them is that they have to be reshuttered to be used. Lens plus a cock-and-shoot #0 (the lenses are not usable on #0 Press) shutter will cost more I believe you want to spend. This isn't true of the Mamiya Press lenses, which aren't cocked or fired by the body, but the 50/6.3 is far out of your price range.

The 58/5.6 Grandagon/Technikon was offered in mounts for Graflex XL and some 6x9 Technika or other. I have the Graflex one, its #00 shutter has no "T" speed or press focus (that's a modern #00 for you) and no cable release socket. Has to be reshuttered to be usable. Many, if not most, examples of this lens have separations, as do many other Rodenstock lenses of the same vintage.

Likewise short Dagors. f/9er W/A Dagors are cult lenses, rare and pricey. 60 mm or so f/6.8ers won't cover 2x3.

Around 80 mm the likely choices are 80/6.3 Kodak Widefield Ektar, 80/6.3 (or so) lenses from Dallmeyer, Wray, TTH, Meyer.

About Biogons. The 38/4.5 Biogon mounts easily on a Century, doesn't come close to covering 2x3. Expensive. The 45/4.5 is very rare, very dear, doesn't cover 2x3. The 53/4.5 is dear, covers 2x3, probably can't be mounted on a Century; same goes for the 53/4 Super Angulon. The problem is that the rear cells can't be wrangled through the gate. I don't know this for a fact, but it was certainly came up in a discussion of the French LF board about using a 53/4.5 Biogon on a Century Graphic. The man who bought the lens expressed considerable chagrin 'cos he couldn't get it on his camera.

Two 80/2.8 double Gauss types were offered for the Graflex XL, Planar and Noritar. Neither covers 2x3, they're for 6x6.

berraneck suggested that you worry about "length of rail." Nope, not so. When dropped the bed is out of the 35/4.5 Apo Grandagon's field of view, will be out of shorter lenses' fields of view. The bed, undropped, is not in my 80 WF Ektar's field of view.

People in the forum use the word Biogon very loosely. The only lenses mentioned in this discussion that conform to Bertele's post-WW II Biogon patent are Zeiss' f/4.5 Biogons. The Koni Omega lenses are in the Super Angulon family, not in the Biogon family. SA's are in no sense Biogons, they're much more nearly symmetrical.

Ian, by all means be alert for, um, pricing anomalies. They happen, just not always when wanted. Also continue putting away your small monetary units so that you'll eventually be able to buy a good grade of w/a lens for your Century. Don't swallow the "enlarging lens" and "tessar stripped from a folder" snake oil.

PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Dan, I was hoping you'd be along, I know you've already walked this path more than a few times. Smile

Your lens diary is great, I've read it a few times and re-read it yesterday.

I think I'll just have to save my pennies until I can afford an old 65mm such as an Angulan, Raptar, Acugon/Caltar.

I have been doing some research (The LVM is proving useful) and the cheaper lenses I might come across are around 80mm, if I see one cheap, I might try it, but it's the 65mm range I really want.

Some possibilities I have read about that you may be able to comment on:

Dallmeyer Wide Angle Anastigmat - covers 100degrees at f11, needs to be shot at f22 for best definition, the 6.5/3.25" (82.5mm) covers 1/4 plate

6.3/80 Kodak Wide Field Ektar

4.5/89 Tessar

6.3/85 Tessar - 6.3 Tessars cover 70 degrees stopped down apparently

I have given up on enlarger lenses, as you say, they don't have the right corrections and a lot are just Tessars (Dallmeyers for instance) so don't offer any advantage over a Tessar/Skopar/Xenar from an old 6x9 folder.

I have shot several 6x9 folders so am familiar with the Skopar/Tessar and Radionar/Voigtar etc triplets, I'm not interested in any of them, as good as they may be because my Century already has a Linhof Schneider Xenar 3.5/105 with perfect glass and I won't gain anything by replacing that lens with anything from a folder. That said, there are one or two folder lenses I would like to try, just for curiosity sakes, primarily the Ross Xpress 3.8/105 (a national pride thing) and the Kodak Anastigmat Special 4.5/105 that can be found on the Monitor and Visitor 620s, it has insanely high resolution figures for a Tessar type and comes in a nice Supermatic shutter with 1/400 top speed, I've seen quite a few cameras with this lens go for peanuts but never bothered to grab one as I was happy with my Bessa with Skopar for 6x9.

My Century Graphic:

My Speed Graphic:

I'm thinking of selling the Speed, it's in mint condition, has no signs of wear anywhere, basically a new camera. I bought it because I liked the idea of using barrel lenses, but my mistake was to pick one with the old spring back so I can only shoot cut sheets unless I find one of those unusual Adapt-a-roll thingies. The Century has a better lens and the Graflok back so I can shoot 120 and sheets and also 70mm as I have a Mamiya 70mm back, so the Century is actually a more versatile camera vis-a-vis film types, and I happen to have large quantities of both 70mm and 6.5x9 sheets, mostly in intriguing emulsions like ORWO NP15 and Panatomic-X.

PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ian, as I understand it, there are a number of roughly 80 mm roughly f/6.5 4/4 double Gauss types, among them the Dallmeyer you mentioned. All but the 80/6.3 WF Ektar claim enormous (at least 100 degrees) coverage, all but the WF Ektar are intended to be focused wide open and shot well stopped down. I've been told that the TTH Ser. VIIb is the best of the lot. For 2x3, the WF Ektar is fine, just fine so I'm not going to replace it with one of the others. But if I didn't have an 80 (or so) I'd be very open to getting any of the others, including the Dallmeyer.

If you come across an affordable 75/14 Perigraphe while you're looking, grab it. It can be stuffed into an Ilex 3 (has the same barrel as my 60) and I think that it will cover 2x3 without requiring surgery on the shutter. Ilex Universal (press shutter) #3s were sold for Graphlex Speed-io-scopes, can be found, with patience, for very little money. Beware, Speed-io-scopes also used Alphax #3s, and that shutter won't do for a Perigraphe. Learn how to tell an Ilex from an Alphax before you try to buy ...

85/6.3 Tessar? I have three, an 84/6.3 Krauss in barrel and two 85/6.3s in Compound made by B&L. They all cover 2x3. The Krauss is ok, one of the B&Ls is poor, the other is quite good. In my experience they're a little hard to find. You might want to look for an 85/6.8 Beryl in shutter, http://ocphot.chez-alice.fr/ocphot.htm may have one in Compur for 100 Euros. Dagor in all but name. I have one in barrel, its ok. IMO 85 is a little close to normal, 89 is even worse. But if you want something around 90, EKCo sold #1 FPKs with a 90/4.5 B&L Tessar Ic. One of the fellows in the Graflex club had one, said it covered and that he liked it.

About y'r Speed. If the shutter is good and you don't need the key Pacemaker Graphic feature -- folding infinity stops -- consider keeping it and waiting for an affordable 2x3 Graflok back to surface. After the Graflok was introduced Graflex offered correct (with flash terminal at the upper left hand corner of the back) Grafloks for the Mini Speed, but Pacemaker backs will fit too.

Good luck, have fun,


PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Dan, that's great info to know.

I Think it's an Ilex #3 I need for my Ross Wide Angle Xpress f4 5inch, I have two with perfect glass, so if you happen to see any shutters, please feel free to throw a hint my way Smile

PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ian, its best that you look for Speed-i-o-scope shutters yourself. They're not something I regularly look for. Some oscilloscope cameras hold Ilex 3s, be very cautious about them, most of the ones that hold 75/1.9 OscilloParagons have restricted apertures.

On a related topic, viz., medium format wide angle lenses, someone got a good deal: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Goerz-Aerogor-Biogon-Ultra-Wide-Angle-Large-Format-1-1-2-38mm-F4-5-Lens-Digital-/370734577379 I have no idea which camera held that strange mount, but if the seller is right the cells can, with some machining and possibly custom threaded bushings, be put in a #0. Back when I had Steve Grimes remount an echt Zeiss 38/4.5 Biogon, ex-AGI F135, for me. Machining and a new shutter cost $500. Much less expensive than a used SW. But the lens doesn't come close to covering 2x3. It is an easy fit on a Century, puts a 24x82 image on 120 film. Who needs an XPan?



PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Dan. I rarely see any oscilloscope cameras for sale, I am always keeping an eye open for anything with a shutter that might be useful.

That's an interesting Biogon. I found a flickr thread where a guy made his own budget SWC beater out of a Mamiya Press 6x9 back and a Hexanon 58mm from a Koni Omega, remounted in a Copal.

The X-Pan used to interest me then I saw some results from a member here who has one and it kind of put me off because they were pretty bad, but maybe it was the shooter. Either way, I'll never be able to afford an Xpan.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ian, I don't know about the 58/5.6 Hexanon being a Biogon beater. Good lens, to be sure. When my 38 Biogon came back from Grimes, I fell in love with it and didn't use any other lens on 2x3 for a couple of months. Then I realized that shooting some broad vistas with a w/a lens made no sense, and the spell was broken.

If you're interested in getting a 58 K-O lens, there are a couple on ebay.com at quite low BIN prices. As I said, these lenses have to be reshuttered before they can be used on a Century. The K-O shutter is a funny Copal 0 with the release at the rear. The wind lever sticks out from the side of the barrel, connects with a linkage from the body.

Re "I'll never be able to afford an X," that's my song. Funny thing is, most of the "Xs" I've wanted have eventually turned up a reasonable prices. If not reasonable, at least affordable. I still cringe when I think of how much I paid for my 35 Apo Grandy, had to sell another lens to be able to pay the bill.



PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There was also a 65mm/6.8 Wollensak Raptar I believe. Similar to the more common 90mm/6.8.
As per the spec it was made to cover 3 1/4 x 4 1/4, so would be pretty interesting for you as it would give a bit of movement.
Not very common, I haven't managed to grab one yet. Advantage of these is they seem to have been made into the 1950's so they should be coated.

I have seen the Leitmyer 65's around on US ebay. These seem to have been imported into the US by Burke and James, so its worth checking that name also.

A very uncommon one, which I have, is a 6.5cm Perle, probably by Boyer though there is no makers name. It comes on an Ernemann Cronos shutter which is an odd choice - its also a very badly made shutter IMHO. It covers 6x9, just. I think the Cronos shutters were used by some other makers into the 1930's after Ernemann merged into Zeiss Ikon, but I'm just guessing.

So look for Perle.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Luis, we've discussed your 65/6.8 Perle before. See http://forum.mflenses.com/viewtopic.php?t=39147&start=15

It wasn't made by Boyer. Boyer's Perle is a Topogon type, maximum aperture f/9, its outer elements are nearly hemispheres, and never coated. Its hard to prove nonexistence but none of the Boyer catalogs I've seen mentions a 65/6.8 Perle. 60/9, claimed to cover 9x12 wide open, yes, 65/6.8, no. Yours is engraved "Perle Wide Angle," not Boyer's style at all.

That said, since it covers 2x3 Ian should certainly be alert for one.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No problem, that Perle is what it is, a mystery so far. If it doesnt look like a Boyer then it isn't. Curious that someone stole one of Boyers trademarks though.

Strangest thing about it is the Ernemann Cronos shutter. These should have been gone by the time someone thought to make interchangeable wide angles for 6x9. I have actually found several loose Ernemann's of this tiny size, with the same markings. They are uniformly awful. Trying to make one of them work properly.

BTW, Ian, fitting a Graflex roll film back on the Mini-Speed is no problem at all, if all thats wanted is to use the rangefinder. Unscrew the spring screws and the groundglass panel and spring assembly just comes off. This leaves a cavity where the roll holders fit like a glove. Just make something to hold the back in place. I use brass tabs that I screw in to the spring screw holes.

Not a good solution if you want to use a groundglass though.

From a bit of experience its a pain to use a roll holder with a Graflok back, swapping the groundglass and the film. The Adaptaroll as a slide-in unit works much more like a regular film back.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whoa, that Aerogon winner got a great deal; I've been looking for one of those cheap for a while!

"I'll never be able to afford an X"

That's what I've been thinking about the Noctilux for a while; this year I've made it my resolution to purchase one (sacrificing a crap ton of gear on hand, though Smile

Allow me some camera porn.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Regarding the Pacemaker, if the Graphic back is the only thing setting you back, then why not just swap the back with your Century?

PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rawhead, you may be thinking of the 2x3 Crown Graphic. The Century Graphic's back is integral, is part of the body molding. Can't be removed without sawing ... The Crown's back comes right off, IIRC its held on by four screws. Haven't thought that thought for a while so haven't looked at mine with back removal in mind.

You stinker, your Century is prettier than mine. Mine's an early one, has a painted steel front standard, not a spiffy stainless one like yours.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm, some more options and great info to mull over, thanks guys.

Perle and Perigraphie, I'll keep an eye out for those.

If anyone has a 65mm or similar going spare, I'd be interested, or maybe a trade.

PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 12:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ian, I've seen something like five 60/14 Perigraphes offered in the last three years, not all on eBay. All were in barrel. Catalogs of various vintages (~ 1912 through ~ 1950) give no indication that they were ever offered in shutter.

The lens' front and rear cells sit very close together and they are mounted in large slightly dished discs. To give you an idea of what they look like, here http://www.leboncoin.fr/image_son/406143420.htm?ca=12_s is a 90/14. It is in the same mount as the 60/14, and by the way my 60 is figured in my lens diary.

The 60 can't be put in shutter. It has to be front mounted. You can read about the gymnastics (= $$) involved in my lens diary.

I don't want to discourage you, but (a) decent wide angle lenses for 2x3 and larger formats are expensive and (b) making a lens in barrel usable on cameras that don't have focal plane shutters can cost as much as, sometimes more than, an equivalent lens in leaf shutter. Re (b), I've found economies 'cos I have so damned many barrel lenses with the same mounting threads. If you're not in that situation you should be very thoughtful when chasing lenses in barrel.
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