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Trioptar Variations

 
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JohnF



Joined: 23 May 2010
Posts: 15
Location: So. California

PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2010 9:27 pm    Post subject: Trioptar Variations Reply with quote

As the newest of newbies I would like to bid all of my fellow Graflex lovers a fond hello,

I recently acquired a Century Graphic lens and was looking up the info and discovered the lens I have is not exactly described here. It is a Graflex Trioptar yes, but it is 103mm and has the T and B settings. Is this a later variation on the original 101mm? It also appears to be coated which spured my original curiosity.

Thanks.
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Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 1892
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2010 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've had two, both in Century shutter, both 103/4.5 and both coated. They should all be coated. The one I tried out is surprisingly good.

Are you sure you're thinking of a 101 Trioptar?
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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1446
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2010 11:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the Trioptar is the Graftar by another name. Three element, rather than four as with the Optar 101. Not to be confused with the GrafLAR, presumably a lesser lens; I have one of these on my Century, a 103/f4.5 in Century shutter by Wollensak. The Graflar is a pretty good little everyday shooter without much range of movements, IOW, ideal for hand-held shooting, especially if you have the Kalart properly adjusted for it.
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JohnF



Joined: 23 May 2010
Posts: 15
Location: So. California

PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 12:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My research led me to this site and the Century model history info at: http://graflex.org/speed-graphic/century-graphic.html . It does not list the 103mm Troptar but rather the 101mm and does not ref the T and B as a features as it does others. I recognized the coating which made me wonder. Maybe it's just a typo on the page.

This is a very pristine specimen and I happened on it by accident. I'm considering getting a lensless Century with as many accessories as possible:

I've found a source with a NM edition of the body with Graphloc back, kalart rangefinder, flash bracket, Graflite Jr. and a few 2x3 holders. I figure the bulbs will be really hard to find and I'll probably have to cut my own sheets. I know the roll film back is an option but there's just something sweetly nostalgic about using film holders. How much would be a fair price?
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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1446
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I need to correct something: I have the 103 f4.5 GrafTAR (not GrafLAR as I stated previously) lens; evaluation remarks are the same. The Century shutter does indeed have T and B settings, and also it's self-cocking. As for value of an outfit such as you describe, prices I've seen are pretty much all over the map. I regularly check uBuy for listings just out of curiosity and am constantly astonished by some of the prices I see there; some sellers have an inflated idea of value, I think. About 15 years ago I bought my Century (#523xxx, m'f'd 1954, in red/gray) complete w/Kalart and Graftar 103, plus five 2x3 film holders, for $285 at a local camera store. That price may have been on the high side back then, but the camera and lens were in absolutely pristine condition. I briefly tried using cut film, but gave it up as a tedious job and acquired an RH10, the first of several, and after experiencing the convenience, affordability, and great results using roll film, I never looked back. I later acquired several more lenses (Optar 101, 65, 203, 135), an optical finder, a Graflite Jr., GE DW-68 light meter, Toyo loupe, and a complete set of series 6 filters with appropriate slip rings, etc., etc., so my total investment in this system has been on the order of around $800-1000 if I add up everything beyond the 35mm equipment I already owned that I could use with the Century (mainly the Bogen tripod w/Manfrotto geared head). That includes the expense of some overhaul work to the lenses.

So it adds up. I'd say this: if I hadn't already owned 93 no. 5/5B bulbs, I most probably would not have gone looking for the Graflite; the optical finder is darn near useless; most of the filters I'll never use (but who knew? they aren't making them anymore, so I snatch 'em up whenever I see 'em); and I probably have too many roll film holders (3 RH10, an RH20, an RH8---never use those last two), but hey---what are hobbies for, anyway?

As to what that outfit you describe is worth, I'll take a stab and say $300-350 (he ducks for cover as the missiles fly....).


Last edited by Henry on Thu May 27, 2010 2:47 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 1892
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 3:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

John, the Century Graphic has an integral Graflok back. It wasn't offered with Graphic or Graflex back.
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JohnF



Joined: 23 May 2010
Posts: 15
Location: So. California

PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LOL Henry,

Itís good to know we film purist havenít lost our sense of humor in the digital age. At the risk of taking a few missiles myself, this little lens and shutter is so nice I wanted to give it a good home but Iím struggling to justify a camera that I probably would use only for eye candy and bragging rights.

My medium format is a Mamiya RB67 system, purchased shortly after it was introduced in 1974. I have a lot invested in the backs, lenses and viewfinders. It has been a trusted companion all these years. The Century + accessories would have to come in under $150. I rather doubt that I can get that good of a deal. Iíll keep you posted if I get lucky.

Sorry Dan, my spelling was off. I did mean Graflo(k).
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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1446
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

John, I'd say if you can get that outfit for ~$150 then you will have scored a very good deal and can count yourself a fortunate man! Good luck!

The Mamiya RB67 is a nice looking rig and I'm sure it gives you a lot of great results. I needed a medium format camera with some movements or I might also have looked into the RB67 instead of the Century. Of course, with Photoshop you can do perspective correction, and since I scan my negs now, camera movements aren't that important to me anymore. But it's still fun to use the vertical rise and pretend that I'm handling a real field camera.

I'm looking forward to taking the Century to the next Reading (PA) Air Show and enjoying the comments it draws from the crowd. Might even attach the Graflite and pop off a few flash shots inside the hangar; maybe I can peddle the spent bulbs as souvenirs!
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JohnF



Joined: 23 May 2010
Posts: 15
Location: So. California

PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like fun. Link us to the pics when you get done.

PS. Don't forget your black felt fedora : )
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tsgrimm



Joined: 04 Apr 2004
Posts: 158
Location: SE Michigan

PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

John F,

2x3 monochrome film is available from bhphotovideo and others. However, its small dimension is too small to fit a standard Epson scanner film holder meaning a custom built holder or "modifing" the Epson one. As I understand it, 2.5mm above the glass is the Epson standard. Developing can be done in a Yankee tank (still available new) or a Nikor insert for a 120/220 tank. You will probably need a two reel Nikor tank for the chemicals to cover the long dimension of the film. Of course, there is tray development, too.

A couple of 120 6x9 (RH-8 for the lever wind and 23 Graphic for the knob wind) backs are ideal because of the varity of 120 emulsions available and the backs are not really expensive. A lot has been said about the advantage of the lever wind back vs the knob wind back (thicker film in that day). I'll let find all the arguments on this web site and make up your own mind.

If you have read a lot of the posts here, you will know that you will have to stop down a Trioptar or Optar quite a bit. Therefore, the the high speed 120 emulsions are best for hand holding.

I certainly hope that you enjoy your Graflex. I own a 2x3 press and a 2x3 reflex both with standard lenses and 120 6x9 roll film backs and enjoy them all the time.
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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1446
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tsgrimm wrote:
John F,

2x3 monochrome film is available from bhphotovideo and others. However, its small dimension is too small to fit a standard Epson scanner film holder meaning a custom built holder or "modifing" the Epson one. As I understand it, 2.5mm above the glass is the Epson standard.....

If you have read a lot of the posts here, you will know that you will have to stop down a Trioptar or Optar quite a bit. Therefore, the the high speed 120 emulsions are best for hand holding.


I lay the negs right on the glass of my flatbed Epson Expression 1600 scanner. The Epson driver has two user-selected focus positions, 2.5mm and 0.0mm, and in any case there is enough depth of focus that this has not been a problem for me. I've scanned lots of "odd" sizes of old negs w/o any hassles on the Epson. OTOH, 120 roll film fits the supplied neg holders; just be sure to tell your processor (or yourself, if applicable!) not to cut the negs, or you'll not have fun handling those separate film frames! IIRC, the Epson 120 neg carrier will accommodate three adjacent images on one strip of film.

I've always had excellent results from my Optar 101, 135, and 203 w/o any special attention to stopping down; I usually shoot ~f11, give or take. (Now the 65 is another matter entirely; I'll leave that for another thread.)
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tsgrimm



Joined: 04 Apr 2004
Posts: 158
Location: SE Michigan

PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Henry,
You are indeed fortunate to own a scanner like that. I don't.
As far as stopping down goes, no two lenses or photographers expectations are the same.
Tom
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JohnF



Joined: 23 May 2010
Posts: 15
Location: So. California

PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 11:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My offer hasnít been accepted Ö yet : )

I have the Epson Perfection 4990 and I love it. It will scan 4x5s higher than my computer can handle. There is a newer model; the Perfection V700. It looks like it would serve well. The 120 size negative holder I have will also hold strips of 2 ľ and has no cross bars to interfere with my 6x7s. I would presume the 6x9s would fit just as well. Single frames donít bother me much except at 35mm. Hummm, where did I put that Nikon F, lol.

Lens stop is really not an option for the best image. I consider the lens aberration vs. dispersion first. As a rule of thumb a lens commonly functions at itsí optimum 2 stops up from the max down. Higher and lower stops are there to provide an exposure window to accommodate hand held or tripod vs. light condition. I typically shoot aperture preferred and if I canít hold at the required speed Iíll mount to a tripod. I consider depth of field as an artistic choice. Otherwise I would want to maximize focus depth by using the smallest aperture I can get away with. Of course all of the above is predicated on a controlled subject.
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JohnF



Joined: 23 May 2010
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Location: So. California

PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2010 4:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh well,

My offer on the Century set and my subsequent counter to counter didn't go through. I thought my 275.00 was a fair offer but I think there was another buyer that beat me out. I suppose this pretty little gem will have to go on the auction block.
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