Discussion in 'Large Format' started by ellis_vener_photography, Feb 9, 2000.
Just curious: Has any company ever made a zoom lens for a large format camera?
I once mounted wheels on my tripod and tried zooming about.
Didn't Schneider make a lens called the "zoomar" or somethhing for
enlargers? No, seriously I am not making this up.
Sean is correct, but I can't remember if it was a Schnieder or
something else. I remember photographers mounting that lens in a
shutter and using it as a camera lens.
If there was one made specifically for large format cameras it was
Wouldn't it be neat to have a small, lightweight zoom of 90mm to
300mm with great resolution and costing about $300. However, a zoom
that size would be about the size of a bus and probably cost more.
It's nice to dream.
Voightlander made a lens called the "zoomar". Could that be what Sean
refers to (it had a horrible reputation, IIRC).
When you consider the price of a 25-250 Angenieux for motion picture
cameras being well beyond my yearly income, I dont even want to think
about what one that would cover 8x10 from 150mm to 600mm would run. I
dont think I could lift it even if I could afford it.
What I had in mind was something like a 120 to 250 mm.
Voigtlander's "Zoomar" lens was the first zoom for 35mm camera, not LF;
35-70mm or something like that. Incidentally, I think it was not even
made by Voigtander but by an American optical firm.
So i take it the answer is....NO.
I swear I saw Photogrphic systems in New Mexico or was it Midwest
Photo in Ohio selling one in their darkroom section.....
please, I don't wanna dig throught all the back issues of View Camera
to find it...
Tamron 155-195mm/8. Maybe no diagrahm, no shutter. I saw one on Ebay.
If you can find (or afford) it, take a look at R. Kingslake's History of the
Photographic Lens (1989, Academic Press), especially chapter 11, "Varifocal
and Zoom lenses". While most of the lenses he describes are Movie or Video
lenses, he does mention a few varifocal lenses for LF, such as one made by
Dallmeyer in the 1890s. It also seems that a number of the early portrait
lenses were varifocal. Of course, none of these lenses would be terribly high
quality, compared to a modern plasmat, or even a cheap 35mm zoom.
As I recall, somewhere on SK Grimes's webpage he shows the front mounting
of some sort of LF zoom lens.
In any case, if interested, the Kingslake book makes a great read! I just
After reexamining Kingslakes' book, I would like to note that Zeiss produced
the wonderfully named 'Tele-Tubus' in 1896 (Kingslake 1989:136), a varifocal
lens which is perhaps related to the teletubbies that my son is so
(unfortunately) fond of.
sorry to keep popping up... SK Grimes has a 500 - 1000mm Plaubel Tele -
Peconar, what ever that is, listed on/at http://www.skgrimes.com/fits/index.htm.
Dallmeyer made a lens called the Adon, which was originally
designed to be used as a supplementary lens (add-on) to be
used in front of another lens to increase the focal length, but they
found that the lens provided a decent image by itself (by pre
1890 astigmatic standards, at any rate) and was then marketed
as a variable focal length lens. You varied the bellows length to
vary the focus and varied the distance between the elements to
focus. Interesting in its own way....
I have a similar Plaubel Tele Peconar to the one at skgrimes.com but haven't front mounted it to a shutter. I can't find much information on this lens but it seems to be of variable focal length. I am in the process of making a webpage on this lens because of my fascination with it. I use it on a Speed Graphic but I don't have enough bellows to use it at all settings. I don't know if it could be considered a zoom but it's very versatile. When I have more info on this I'll post it. This photo is of the same lens at skgrimes. Mine has numbers from 3 to 8.
And multi focal length lenses for enlargers are not rare. The current one from
Rodenstock is the Vario Rodago for 35mm and APS film.
I still don't think the Tele Peconar is a zoom but a variable focal length telephoto. If it could be focused and the focus followed the change in focal length it could be considered a zoom. From my initial tests I've determined that the approximate focal length when set to "3" is 9-5/8 inches and when set to "8" it is about 55 inches!! Needless to say, my Speed Graphic doesn't have the bellows draw to fully use this but I will find a way. The most I've been able to use it is at setting "5". What is interesting is the design in which the barrel extends. At setting "3" the front elements are further apart than the rear. At setting "8" the front elements are closer to the rear.
I've since gotten a Dallmeyer Adon but haven't used it much yet. It came with a great old book "Telephotography" 1947 reprint. I've also put a page together on the Tele Peconar with some example photos.
Joe Photo's Guide to the Tele Peconar
Hi I just bought a Tele-Tubus on ebay UK it can still be viewed put a search for Tele-Tubus the lens hood is not part of it and I am still trying to find more info
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