Casket sets and plasmats - opinions, please... : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Does anyone have an opinion on casket sets, plasmats or high-quality convertibles like the B&L Zeiss Protars or Hugo Meyer Plasmats? I'm looking to reduce my backpack load and am considering selling off my lens set to invest in a high quality casket set as a replacement for use with my 8x10. (Please don't recommend the Wisner set; I'm not loaded.) Any opinions/recommendations would be appreciated.

-- Chad Jarvis (, March 08, 2000


Chad: The convertable lenses have been around for a hundred years or more, so they aren't exactly a flash in the pan. They are a workable solution to a problem which has faced photographers for many years. Even Saint Ansel settled on a Taylor-Hobson-Cooke 12-19-21 (23?) convertable and used it for many years. "Moonrise, Hernandez" was shot with that lens as well as many others. He also used Kodak Ektars, Dagors, etc. I use an uncoated 7-12-15 inch Wollansack on 4x5 which sharpens up nicely when stopped down and a filter is used with it. It gives a nice image. There are those gurus who will tell you that lens is a piece of dung, but I love it within its capabilities. It sure weighs less than three lenses and shutters. One thing I would suggest if you go the convertable route: get an extra shutter or have a Packard mounted on your lens board. Leave it open except when you want to use it. If you don't have an extra shutter of some type, if your shutter quits your lose the use of all the lenses unless you do the old lens cap trick, which can be done with a bit of practice. There is a learning curve with convertable lenses, but if anyone dumb as me can learn to use them anybody ought to be able to. Just pay attention to what you are doing and you will be o.k. Hope this helps, Doug.

-- Doug Paramore (, March 10, 2000.

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