Speed Graphic and Lensbaby...compatible?

Discussion in 'Large Format' started by john_forney, Feb 17, 2008.

  1. Got and odd project I'm considering. Wondering if anyone knows if a speed
    graphic and lensbaby are compatible? Does the lensbaby even come close to
    covering 4x5? Thanks!
  2. The generic lensbaby has a 50mm focal length -- the real challenge is focusing it to infinity on a Speed Graphic. There's now a medium format one with 80mm focal length, more hope, but still a focusing challenge.

    Coverage isn't what the lensbaby is about...
  3. better solution....make your own. The lensbaby is a single element lens I believe. Lens elements in a wide variety of diameters and focal lengths are cheap at www.anchoroptics.com. A little PVC pipe, foamcore, and black paint and you've got a lens. Get a copy of Alan Greene's book Primative Photography from amazon or from a library and he has a easy process to make simple lenses. I made one (two element landscape lens at about 250mm) for an 8x10 that works well.
  4. Thanks for the responses. I have the Primitive Photography book due to arrive some time this week. I am looking to get some very soft focused images with glowing highlights, I thought might only be possible with old lenses. Even a little of a holga meets tilt/shift combo. I have an aero ektar and i recently got a darlot paris. both of these are awesome in their own right, but i'm looking to get even more distortion. see susanburnstine.com for example...from what i know, most of her stuff is from homemade cameras/lenses.

  5. pvp


    No way a lensboobie is going to cover 4x5.
  6. it


    You've seen Mark Tucker's Plungercam?

  7. yes, i have seen the plungercam. i would love to use my hassy 503, which unlike Mark Tuckers hassy, does not have a focal plane shutter. If i could figure out a good work around I'd do it since i'd prefer to shoot from the hip and forgo the tripod. maybe i'll go find the cheapest 80mm lens with a shutter and mount it on a plunger/bellows. got > two weeks before i head to belize with whatever contraption i can put together.
  8. The book is really interesting. If inspried me to make the lightest, functional 8x10 that takes holders and has a ground glass. it is about 2 lbs with a plex ground glass. You can look at my flickr page (fotofish) if you are curious. It also has a couple of contact prints.
    The lens I built offered exerthing you want. You're best off designing a lens with a focal length slightly wide 135-ish? I also recently bought a beat up speed to do exactly what I'm describing.
  9. Soft glowing images...Maybe try a very old very cheap no-name barrel lens off of ebay and mess around with removing elements. Check out the pix of Linda Connor. Read about her techniques in the book "Darkroom" by Lustrum Press.

    Your hand will end up blocking the field of view of the lens baby, the bed will appear in the pic, you won't be able to get it back far enough, it won't cover 4x5...etc. No reason not to try it, but realize what you will have to overcome a lot of obstacles, and you are probably better off trying it with a monorail camera if at all.

  10. you can make your own LB camera fairly easy.

    Unscrew the two thumbhuts that hold the front standard and remove the rails if possible and just use the lensboard handheld with any LF lens. that is basicaly the principle behind the LB.

    normally you use those lb in a slr but if you are zen enough to use a LB thru ground glass and have the patience to play like that any lens which covers the format can be used as a LB.

    I was using a 40mm med format on a 35mm camera using a rubber shifting bellow from an old truck back in the early 8os cause of the retrofocus factor i had the room for movement but in LF you basically dont have to do a darn thing except free the front .
  11. basic cheap tilt-shift camera using just a body. good idea.

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