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80mm f/2.8 heligon on crown 23: hasselblad killer?
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vitaly66



Joined: 08 Apr 2009
Posts: 44
Location: tirana

PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 1:25 pm    Post subject: 80mm f/2.8 heligon on crown 23: hasselblad killer? Reply with quote

Last year I got an 80mm f/2.8 Rodenstock Heligon and put it on a Crown Graphic 23. Hmmm, let's see, can it do that arty-farty, handheld, wide-open thing?

#1, a touch of glass...


The Heligon used here originally came mounted for a Graflex XL, probably of a late 1960s vintage, running in a Compur #0 shutter. Historical purists may disapprove that this lens doesn't match the era of the 1952 Crown. But it does have "Graflex" printed on the shutter fascia, mounts readily to fit the front standard, and everything remains nicely "all in the family", Graflex-wise.

The Heligon was offered for the XL as a lower cost alternative to the 80mm Planar. The lens is surprisingly small and compact, especially given its fast maximum aperture. It fits perfectly inside the small Pacemaker with the front closed, even while leaving a 40.5mm collapsible hood attached to the lens -- most convenient!

The 80mm focal length also works out well as a moderate wide angle for the small Graflex. It provides a very useful field of view, without any noticeable light fall-off or wide angle distortion.

Considering its small size, speed, and wide angle, I figured the Heligon could make a great setup for travel with the 2x3 Crown. So I calibrated the Kalart for the lens, and in October 2009 we took off for some wonderful time in northern Italy.

#2, first prosecco...


#3, la crucetta...


#4, ruckenfigur...


#5, campari nation...


#6, la strada...


Okay, just a few photos to get an idea. All handheld, RH-10 6x7 back, Neopan 400. (Clicking on an image will take you to the travel log for it too, if you want.)

Now to the question -- dare we ask it! -- could this kit be a Hasselblad killer?

For me the answer is a very absolutely definitive: yes and no.

"No" because this small Rodenstock just doesn't *quite* have the resolution of the Zeiss glass, especially at larger apertures, no matter how hard it tries. The Heligon really wants to be stopped down to f/8 to get to that razor sharpness.

But in all other ways, the answer is a resounding "Yes!"

To start with, the Heligon has many pleasing attributes that simply aren't matched by the Planar. It has a purity of smoothness in the out of focus areas that is particularly delightful, reminiscent of what I like best in a fine Tessar, and free of that twisty busyness that often afflicts the backgrounds of Planar images.

And getting a full 6x7 image area is a big big plus for the Graflex kit. No matter what the 6x6 crowd asserts, size does matter. The 6x7 simply gives way more image area and compositional flexibility to work with.

As for the kit itself, the Graflex is a joy to use. I guess I never liked traveling with the Swedish brick all that much. It always seemed so noisy and chunky and clunky, too flashy, always snagging in and out of the bag, always taking it on and off the neck, and hunching double over the waist-level finder like some creepy old goober.

The Graflex in comparison feels more compact and fun and easier to work with. When going out and about on our tourist activities, I could even leave the shoulder bag behind in the room and simply carry the folded camera around by its nylon handle strap. There it was always convenient and in hand. Just pop open the bed, slide out the lens, flick open the rubber hood, bang. And all while standing upright like a man, both eyes fully open to the world around.

There is also something about the little wood-bodied Graflex that is just plain friendly. It is immediately recognizable the world over as something classic and quirky and fun -- and acceptable. For example, when going through airport security, they are always going to have a look. But as soon as I pop it open and say "old camera", everyone is all smiles, and calling their friends over to have a look, too.

No one ever smiles with a Hasselblad. The most it usually gets is a frown.

Anyway, this post is all in fun, too. Folks can keep right on using their brand "H" cameras for as long as they want.

But I for one am gonna stick with the Graflex!
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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1439
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the fine photos and the sensible explication of your camera preference. As the owner of a Century, I have to agree with you (especially as I don't own a 'blad!). As for lenses, I'll just have to stick with my Optars.

BTW gang, clicking on any of the photos will take you to Vitaly's site, with many more examples of his work. Nice!

Gotta get out there and do more hand-held....
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OptarJones



Joined: 08 Sep 2010
Posts: 7
Location: Central NJ

PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is great work and it really shows off the small Crown Graphic's abilities as a portable medium format rangefinder travel camera. Especially with that lens - just beautiful!

Of course, an SLR does what an SLR does best...

Then again, it would take real dedication to haul a Super D around Europe!
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Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 1884
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 5:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

2x3 Crown/Century kills 6x6 SLRs? Sometimes.

2x3 vs. 6x6. 2x3 is bigger.

38/4.5 Biogon won't go on an SLR, will go on a 2x3 Crown/Century, and with a 2x3 back will give, if desired, a 24 mm x 80 mm panorama with no vignetting on 2x3. Who needs an XPan, let alone an SWC? Oh, yeah, I have a 38 Biogon, use it on my Century.

35/4.5 Apo Grandagon. Covers 2x3. 'nuff said? Have one of those too, also use it on my Century.

80/2.8 Planar. Why settle for a Heligon? Fits on a 2x3 Graphic. I was given a set of cells a couple of years ago, finally got a #1 for 'em, haven't tried it out yet 'cos I have an 80/6.3 WF Ektar and normally shoot at f/11 or smaller.

Vitaly, there's a whole world of lenses out there that can be used on 2x3 Graphics. But there are some applications for which an SLR is hands down better. Macro, for example.
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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1439
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 8:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Um, yes, Dan, I think we all know that. Check out Vitaly's site, especially the beautiful flower close-ups at http://incidence.copperisle.com/site.cgi?entry=2010.03.11_1 , for example (taken with a Nikkormat FT3) before switching into lecture mode.
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Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 1884
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 10:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Henry, thanks for directing me to Vitaly's site. No surprise that he's very capable.

The big surprise is that he's using a 100/3.5 Ektar ex-Medalist on a 2x3 Crown. This is supposed to be a very difficult adaptation, I hope he'll tell us more about it.
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1banjo



Joined: 16 Nov 2008
Posts: 478
Location: kansas

PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 1:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hey all

as to Dan Fromm ?? about "This is supposed to be a very difficult adaptation, I hope he'll tell us more about it."

you can do it two ways its not all that hard !
on one of my ex-Medalist 100/3.5 Ektar I have taken off a plate that
works as both shutter cocking & shutter release then it needs a handle
put on in its place and a cover on the out side of the shutter .
push up to cock it and down to release /& or use a cable.
Or if you have a Lath you can turn downthe shoulder on the back lens some
and use a shutter off of a Ektar 127mm lens

its not that hard if you have the right tools

Vitaly said that he used a shutter off of a 127mm lens
I have been trying to buy a good ektar 127mm shutter with a bad lens
NO luck so far !!

banjo
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Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 1884
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 10:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the info, Banjo.
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vitaly66



Joined: 08 Apr 2009
Posts: 44
Location: tirana

PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Neither of the modifications that Banjo describes are trivial. Worse, they may result in irreparable harm to otherwise fine equipment.

And in some jurisdictions, undertaking such activities may even be risking criminal prosecution under anti-vintage-camera-terrorism statutes.

Under advice of counsel, I must decline to discuss this matter any further. And my own advice to others would be: don't even think about it! It is simply not possible to properly mount the Medalist Ektar on a Graflex.

Hey Banjo: aren't some of the Rapax shutters threaded like Supermatic #2?
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1banjo



Joined: 16 Nov 2008
Posts: 478
Location: kansas

PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yes some of the Rapax shutters threaded like Supermatic #2 almost the same But
they just don't feel right!! like one is ASE & the other is mm !?!?

banjo
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1banjo



Joined: 16 Nov 2008
Posts: 478
Location: kansas

PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 10:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the best way to put a 100/3.5 Ektar ex-Medalist on a 2x3 Crown
would be have Grimes put it in a #1 Copal as its to big for a #0 Copal

banjo
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Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 1884
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 11:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vitaly, thanks for confirming my fears.

Banjo, since 105/3.7 Ektars in Supermatic are fairly easy to find, I'm not sure that having a 100/3.5 Ektar ex-Medalist put in a Copal will be cost effective.

In '02 Grimes put a 38/4.5 Biogon in Copal for me -- long story -- and has done the same for a number of my customers. The machining charges were $300. Inexpensive #1 shutters are hard to find. I think a 105/3.7 in a CLA'd Supermatic will cost considerably less than a used #1 and the work needed to put a 100/3.5 in it.

On the surface, threaded bushings don't look very expensive. Threaded bushings that are perfectly concentric and exactly the right length are another matter. Steve used to tell me that all of the costs are in setup, Adam gives me the same story. And I believe both of them.

I'm glad that you and Vitaly are happy with your ex-Medalist 100/3.5 Ektars. I've had two 105/3.7s, still have one. I prefer a humble 101/4.5 Ektar to either; the 105s only advantage over it is f/3.7. And these days I prefer a 105/5.6 Saphir BX (a 6/4 plasmat type taking lens sold for enlarging) over the 101.
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1banjo



Joined: 16 Nov 2008
Posts: 478
Location: kansas

PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 11:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

will Dan
you ask how its was done

And you can have it done by a machine shop
here he said that he would or could do it for about $30.
to put it in a Ektar 127mm shutter

banjo
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3210
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2010 4:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
yes some of the Rapax shutters threaded like Supermatic #2 almost the same But
they just don't feel right!! like one is ASE & the other is mm !?!?

Kodak used its own thread count for its lens and shutters. They are ASE but different TPI count from other manufacturers.
sample: http://skgrimes.com/flanges/index.htm In the flanges they also used different barrel size and different threads. Note the threads per inch, 24 on Kodak version 30 on standard production from same manufacturer.
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Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 1884
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2010 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1banjo wrote:
will Dan
you ask how its was done

And you can have it done by a machine shop
here he said that he would or could do it for about $30.
to put it in a Ektar 127mm shutter

banjo
Um, Banjo, if the cells are direct fits, no charge for swapping them. Screw out of one shutter, screw into another. The "new" shutter's aperture scale will have to be replaced, SKGrimes standard charge for that job is $50.

But if any metal has to be cut simply deciding how much to cut and where will cost > $30 of labor time at normal rates.

I'm not sure your guy knows what the job involves.
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