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Old Lenses/Shutters

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The lens/shutter I first fitted to the
4x5" homemade camera was a 127mm Kodak Anastigmat in a Compur shutter. This was taken from an old folding camera and was an ideal first choice for this camera.

Kodak camera from which lens/shutter were taken

Close up of Kodak lens in Compur Shutter

However old lenses/shutters are quite easy to come by at car boot sales where we are - and I hope to try out several more - both on this camera and other home made ones.

Selection of lenses/shutters

This is a selection of lenses/shutters bought as a job lot recently at a car boot sale. Only the brass coloured one on the left is suitable for large format use (see below) - the others are mainly for medium format.

Beck Symetrical lens in the remains of a shutter

This one is a Beck Symmetrical lens in the remains of a Bausch & Lomb shutter. It dates to about 100 years ago (1900-1910) and is an F8 Rapid Rectilinear type of unknown focal length. The minimum focal length is likely to be 5" (127mm) and should easily cover a 4x5" plate/sheet.

It is a shame the shutter is incomplete - though the aperture iris is still working. By using a lens cap it should be capable of taking pictures using paper negatives as the exposure time for them is normally several seconds.

Beck Symetrical lens on an Ensign camera

Of course most old lens/shutters are still attached to their original cameras. This is another Beck Symmetrical lens (Aluminium rather than brass mounted) on an Ensign camera of about 1908. The camera is in a poor state - but the lens/shutter are an ideal candidate for the 4x5" Homemade camera - and the shutter will allow the use of real film - rather than just paper negatives.

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