New Voigtlander Camera

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New Voigtlander Camera

Postby Murray Foote on Fri Dec 28, 2012 4:06 am

Gary asked for people who had acquired equipment at Xmas to post so here is my new Voigtlander camera:

Image

It's a 1930 Voigtlander Bessar with an f3.5 135mm lens. Available apertures are f6.3, f11 and f22. Available shutter speeds are 1/25, 1/50, 1/100, B and T. Some friends of mine gave it to me as a decorative curio for a bookshelf but it appears to be in working order. Film format is 6.5x11cm which is larger than 120. In the back was one original spool and a 120 spool gerry-rigged on a small metal rod. This was loose but a friend of mine who collects cameras was able to supply a second correct spool(!). So what I need to do is to unwind 120 film in a dark bag and wind it onto one of the large spools (easier said than done but possible).

The format would have been intended to provide small prints by contact printing rather than enlargement. Also there is no pressure plate at the back for the film so the fim plane will probably not be precise. So it may not be super sharp but I'll have to try and find out. Maybe it will have a desirable feel even if not very sharp. First there's a small hole in the bellows to plug.

I took the image with an older camera and lens that I've had for a week or two. That's a D800 plus a 24mm f3.5 PC-E. Take some D800 images, add some layers in Photoshop and save as TIFFs and they want to become larger than Tony Abbott's ego so I'm contemplating measures to save space as discussed in the byte off more than you can choo thread. The 24mm PC-E is an interesting lens not suitable for the casual user. The centre is devastatingly sharp at f5.6 but the far corners are soft. Notwithstanding diffraction, at f16 central sharpness is not quite as sharp but still excellent and the far corners are very good. Shift is straightforward but tilt is not easy to get right, not nearly as easy as 5x4 because the electronic equivalent of the focusing glass is much smaller. I may need to get out the dark cloth again. Perfect panoramas are possible using the shift, shifting the back rather than the lens though I haven't tried that yet. It is of course manual focus and it focuses surprisingly close. Modifying the lens to have tilts and shifts in the same plane is desirable and I had expected between $100 and $200 but a Nikon Repair rep suggests something like $600. DIY is not possible for that on this lens.
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Re: New Voigtlander Camera

Postby aim54x on Fri Dec 28, 2012 9:18 am

Congrats on the new bits of kit. That 24 is a nice lens but not being able to align the tilt and shift is a pain. From memory they need to replace one of the ribbon cables hence the extortionate price
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Re: New Voigtlander Camera

Postby PiroStitch on Fri Dec 28, 2012 10:33 am

Enjoy the new camera.

The 24mm PC-E is a beautiful lens. Still have mine and love it!
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Re: New Voigtlander Camera

Postby Murray Foote on Fri Dec 28, 2012 1:29 pm

aim54x wrote:Congrats on the new bits of kit. That 24 is a nice lens but not being able to align the tilt and shift is a pain. From memory they need to replace one of the ribbon cables hence the extortionate price

Thanks Cameron. I'd read that there was just a special gasket they needed. Even with a ribbon cable as well you'd think the material costs wouldn't be that high. And you'd also think it wouldn't take a huge amount of time @ $100 an hour. Maybe the ribbon cable is expensive but even so. You'd think they'd have designed the lens to make the change easy. I expect I'll still get it done.
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Re: New Voigtlander Camera

Postby Murray Foote on Fri Dec 28, 2012 1:37 pm

PiroStitch wrote:Enjoy the new camera.

The 24mm PC-E is a beautiful lens. Still have mine and love it!


Thanks very much Pirostitch. It's going to take a bit of testing to fully understand the capabilities and technique even though I've used 5x4. I found a very useful review that shows very well centre and edge resolution and an overview of technique that will be useful to me even though I have a book on movements with view cameras.

I like how it will force me to slow down and operate more like with a view camera.
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Re: New Voigtlander Camera

Postby aim54x on Fri Dec 28, 2012 5:30 pm

Murray Foote wrote:
aim54x wrote:Congrats on the new bits of kit. That 24 is a nice lens but not being able to align the tilt and shift is a pain. From memory they need to replace one of the ribbon cables hence the extortionate price

Thanks Cameron. I'd read that there was just a special gasket they needed. Even with a ribbon cable as well you'd think the material costs wouldn't be that high. And you'd also think it wouldn't take a huge amount of time @ $100 an hour. Maybe the ribbon cable is expensive but even so. You'd think they'd have designed the lens to make the change easy. I expect I'll still get it done.


Actually I would have expected them to do what Canon did and design the lens to you can freely align the tilt and shift whenever you wish :twisted:
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Re: New Voigtlander Camera

Postby Murray Foote on Fri Dec 28, 2012 6:17 pm

I didn't realise Canon's lens did that. That would certainly be optimal. However, Canon's lens is an older design and I understand that at this stage the Nikon 24mm is the better lens.
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Re: New Voigtlander Camera

Postby surenj on Fri Dec 28, 2012 7:23 pm

Murray this thing doesn't look light tight! Let us know how you go.
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Re: New Voigtlander Camera

Postby aim54x on Fri Dec 28, 2012 8:13 pm

Murray Foote wrote:I didn't realise Canon's lens did that. That would certainly be optimal. However, Canon's lens is an older design and I understand that at this stage the Nikon 24mm is the better lens.


The TS-24 is not an old lens it got updated recently http://www.dpreview.com/lensreviews/canon_24_3p5_tse_c10 and I would imagine that it would be the better of the two lenses based on functionality, as for metrically (as straight 24mm lenses) there is probably some difference.
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Re: New Voigtlander Camera

Postby Murray Foote on Fri Dec 28, 2012 9:03 pm

surenj wrote:Murray this thing doesn't look light tight! Let us know how you go.

There is I think just one pin-prick hole in the bellows.
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Re: New Voigtlander Camera

Postby Murray Foote on Fri Dec 28, 2012 9:08 pm

aim54x wrote:
Murray Foote wrote:I didn't realise Canon's lens did that. That would certainly be optimal. However, Canon's lens is an older design and I understand that at this stage the Nikon 24mm is the better lens.


The TS-24 is not an old lens it got updated recently http://www.dpreview.com/lensreviews/canon_24_3p5_tse_c10 and I would imagine that it would be the better of the two lenses based on functionality, as for metrically (as straight 24mm lenses) there is probably some difference.

Canon also has the 17mm which would be very tempting if available from Nikon.
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