Sunday, July 12, 2009

Why The Hell Did I Ever Sell It?

Here are a couple of shots that I made with the 4X5 view camera back in 1973 at the height of my love-to-tinker phase in life. The camera is a "Baby" Speed Graphic wich has afocal plane shutter so you can use lenses that don't have a built in shutter. I'd tinkered with the spring mounted ground glass back so it could easily be replaced with a 120 roll film holder. The coupled rangefinder was a German Hugo Meyer which was easily (HA!) adjusted to work with various lenses. At least it was easier than a Kalart rangefinder. Ivan Gambrel used to find these oddball lenses, and he gave me this 100mm f/2 Angenieux without any focusing mount. The side grip was something I'd carved myself.

The lens really didn't cover the full 2.25x3.25 inch film sharply. It did give a beautiful dreamy look though. Plus I was still at that age where I could still appreciate the fact that the rig itself looked kind of cool.

One day I was poking through a "junk box" at Brownes Camera and found a focussing mount off of an ancient Leitz enlarger. I had a Pentacon-Six camera and a set of extension tubes for it that I never used, and probably never would. The Angenieux lens got "mounted" in the Leitz focussing mount. In turn that was attached to the male bayonet end of a cut in half extension tube. Three cheers for epoxy!

I think I sold all my Pentacon-Six stuff a year or two later (they weren't very reliable cameras) but kept the lens. Eventually somebody offered me way too much money for the lens. I couldn't turn it down. I think that the Speed Graphic is still kicking around here someplace, waiting to be equipped with a Pentax full frame fish-eye lens, which will give a full circular image on the 120 film. I think my tinkering days have passed though.

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