Now that I have the RB in working order, having done a couple dozen successful test shots, I’m in the process of testing which of my many barrel lenses can be mounted on it and what they can do. I can use both the original lens board, which is suitable for lenses in the 7-9″/180mm-230mm range (came with a 210mm lens) or the outer lens board arrangement which requires at least 10″/254mm to be able to focus to infinity. This is all a function of bellows draw and mirror clearance. For the original lens board setup, I’ve slightly widened the board that came with it, have one with a 56mm hole being made for me, and will make another one with a larger hole myself. For the outer board, the Ansco + Speed Graphic board piggyback setup allows for maybe 8-10 other lenses, for many with focal length limits. So, before I get carried away with making more boards and running around shooting like crazy, I want to catalog what I have at the moment and what they can do.
Inner mount, with original lens board:
1) 210mm Laack Rathenow Normal Polynar (stock lens) f-6.8. 18″ to infinity.
2) Emil Busch Rathenow Rapid Aplanet No. 2 f-8. 20″ to infinity.
3) Unnamed meniscus named “Remi”, f-6.8 wide open, f-16 normal. 24″ to infinity.
4) 210mm Schneider-Kreuznach symmar f-5.6. 27″ to infinity.
5) 5-3/4″ Cooke Luxor f-4.5 (only). About 11″ to about 45″. For portraits, still life, close-ups.
Inner mount, with 56mm lens board (note: some of these will work on outer mount):
1) De Mélier et Cie RR, f-8. About 5-1/2′ to infinity.
2) Lancaster & Sons meniscus, f-10. 27″ to infinity.
3) “Hémi” the half of a Darlot Hémispherique No. 2. About 25″ to infinity.
4) 7-1/2″ (190mm) Kodak Ektanon Enlarging Lens, f-4.5. 20″ to infinity (barely).
5) Bausch & Lomb 5×7 Tessar, f-4.5. 20″ to infinity (barely).
6) 7.75″ Aldis Oxys f-5.65. About 20″ to infinity.
1) 254mm Heliar, f-4.5. to infinity.
2) 10″ Wollensak Teleoptar, f-4.5. Almost to infinity.
3) 15″ Wollensak Teleoptar, f-5.6. Need to measure.
4) 209mm Wollensak Raptar Copy Lens. Need to measure.
5) E & H. T. Anthony & Co. Single 2 Achromatic. To infinity.
6) 7″ Kodak Aero-Ektar, f-2.5. Limited to close ups, headshot portraits.
7) ” Pentac, f-2.9. Limited to close-ups, portraits.
1) H.A. Hyatt 6-1/2 x 8-1/2 Wide Angle. Need to measure.
2) 8-1/4″ Series II Wollensak Velostigmat, f-4.5. Need to figure out mount and measure.
There might be a couple more, but this is the main group. There are several good candidates for flexible standard lenses if I use the inner mount, notably the Emil Busch Aplanat, Remi, the Mélier, the Schneider, the Lancaster, the Aldis Oxys, and the B&L 5×7. Remi wide open, Hémi, and the Luxor will make good portrait lenses. For the outer mount, the Heliar, the 10″ Wolly, and the Single 2 Achromatic are intriguing. The Heliar is especially exciting as it covers the range and is a great portrait lens. Its only drawback is a hard to turn aperture ring, so it might be staying at f-4.5.Using the Pentac and Aero-Ektar on it is a bit difficult but doable and does yield great bokeh for portraits.
So, it looks like I have a lot of flexibility and if I could mount the Heliar and maybe the 209mm Wolly Raptar on an inner mount, then I could dispense with the awkward outer mount 90% of the time, although I couldn’t focus the Heliar to infinity on the inner mount.
All in all, things are shaping up quite nicely. I obtained four more film holders and I’m working on getting four more. I think the Speedy G might see some competition from its cousin in the go-to 4×5 category….
Musings & Experiments
- Collodion Bastards and the Indian Connection
- R.B. Graflex Series D Lens Catalog
- The R.B. Graflex Series D Restoration Project
- Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day 2012
- It’s Official: I’m a Large Format Whore
- A New “Book” Project?
- No Longer a Kodak Shareholder
- Kodak Restructures and Brings My Shares Back to Break Even
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