Doctor lens/LensHoods/Groundglass Protector/Sratched lens : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I am considering purchasing a 240mm f9 Doctor Germinar lens (I am told the optical quality is as good as the Rodenstock equivalent at half the cost)I would appreciate any comments from readers familiar with this optic.

Are lenshoods a good idea to use with large-format lenses...I never seem to hear or see large format photographers using them!And if so,what are good brands to look out for?

How practical are Groundglass Protectors;I carry my 5x4 in a billingham,would it still make good sense to invest in one or are they just a gadget for me to part with my money.

I recently dropped my 210mm Schneider during a shoot.The front element has a deep mark.I am told that because it is

on the front element I should not worry,and because Schneider lenses are multi coated.Is this true? I have used the lens in question since without any difference in image quality.

-- Kevin Walker (, October 02, 1997


Lenshoods: in the lf world people tend to use compendium shades instead. they consist of a belows and offer more adjustment possibilities than the rigid hoods. calumet makes several models, but you have to find a way to attach them to your camera. if you are lucky the manufacturer of your camera has a fitted compendium shade.

i find the ground glass protector useful. i throw my camera in a backpack. the only part to worry about is the ground glass.

-- Quang-Tuan Luong (, October 15, 1997.

The Lee filter company makes an adjustable, bellows-like lens shade that works well and is available from B&H for about $110. There are two versions, one of which is designed to accept a single filter and the other of which is designed to accept multiple filters (primarily for color photographers). Obviously, you don't have to attach a filter and can use the shade strictly as a lens shade. It attaches to the front of the lens by use of an adapter ring. You need one adapter ring for each different front lens size that you use (e.g. 67mm, 72mm, 77mm, etc.) or you can buy one adapter ring in the largest size lens that you own and then attach your other lenses by using step-up rings. This saves a little money because the adapter rings are about $30 each, whereas step-up rings usually run only about $5 each.

I like using a ground glass protector. I don't think it's a gimmick. If the manufactuer of your camera doesn't make a protector designed for your camera, or if it costs too much money (e.g. Wisner makes a very attractive ground glass protector for Wisner cameras but it costs $60 or so) there are at least two sources for "generic" protectors. Calumet sells one for about $15. It does the job but it is made out of some sort of fairly hideous looking plastic. Canham makes a plexiglass protector that I find more attractive than the Calumet one and it sells for about $30. It is available from Del's Cameras in Santa Barbara, Cal. and perhaps other places as well.

-- Brian Ellis (, December 02, 1997.

In the real, real world, compendum lenshoods are not always practical. And besides, they're expensive. I simply use the dark slide to 'gobo' the lens, i.e., shade the lens from either direct sunlight or skylight. I made a groundglass protector for my 8x10 Deardorff after breaking the groundglass just before an important shoot. Find a plexiglass scrap and glue 4 pieces of Velcro to the corners. Then do the same to the camera back. I would also suggest carrying a spare groundglass, just in case. In general, I find that I have to make a lot of stuff for large format. Don't give the pricey gadget people your money if you don't have to. Sometimes spit and chewing gum is best.

-- Peter Hughes (, December 06, 1997.

The Apo-Germinars are as good as the Apo-Ronars; I have tested the 300mm Apo-Germinar and Apo-Ronar side by side, and the Apo-Germinar was at least as good. Here in Germany, it was not half the price, though, about 20% less than the Rodenstock. Try to get the newer version Apo-Germinar with a little brass spacer ring called the "trim ring". It is mounted between shutter and front cell. Without the ring, the lens correction is optimized for magnifications between 1:5 and 5:1, with the ring for all the other ones , e.g. for larger distances.

-- Arne Croell (, December 10, 1997.

On lens shades, I agree with Peter Hughes. Even though I own one for my Cambo 4X5, I most often use pieces of black matte board attached with to the lensboard with sticky velcro. Bend the board outward from the velcro on the corner of a table before using the first time and size it as needed. The price is right and both hands are free! Just watch out for vignetting with wide angle lenses.

-- Jim Blecha (, December 30, 1997.

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