Wray on MPP

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Does anyone have practical experience of the Wray 89mm lens, is it coated or not? Also am I right in thinking I can get away with using a standard flat lens panel on an MPP, given that I use the lens for hotogtaphing things which are not at infinity (i.e. not landscapes). Finally, where in the UK actually has a cone panel for this lens in stock NOW, as I'd like to use it for landscapes. (Probaby some nice B+W's from Glencoe or Fife).


-- David Kirk (David_J_Kirk@hotmail.com), March 21, 2000


Sorry to say, but I've never heard anything good about a Wray lens.

-- Chad Jarvis (cjarvis@nas.edu), March 21, 2000.

IMHO the Wray is inferior even to the 90mm f/6.8 Angulon (note: not Super-Angulon), and you'd be better off looking for one of those. They sometimes turn up in sunken MPP panels, but beware, the later MPPs (MK VIII onwards) take a smaller panel than earlier models. Both the Wray and Angulon are useable on a flat panel. I don't think you'll find stocks of MPP panels easily, I had to butcher a MK8 panel to remove the cone and fix it to a MK7(ish) panel.

TIP: Pull the camera back all the way out, and you don't have to pull the sledge out of the camera body to use it, just drop the baseboard. I've used a 90mm Grandagon this way, before I made up my cone panel; v. limited movements of course.

-- Pete Andrews (p.l.andrews@bham.ac.uk), March 21, 2000.

David: I can't help much on the Wray lenses. Have seen them mentioned in publications from time to time, but don't know about coating or when they were made. I use an MPP MK VII a lot and like it. A tip for using wide angle lenses of 90 mm or so: unlatch the extension rails (inside the front focusing rails) and slide that rail to the back. It gives the front assembly more rail to grab onto. It should work with your 89mm lens with no trouble. You can drop the bed and tilt the lens standard back to verticle and then raise the lens to recenter it on the film. This prevents you from taking a picture of the front of the bed. If you use lens rise, as I do for many of my shots, it won't be necessary to drop the bed. There is an MPP club in Great Britain which has a web site and discription of most of the MPP stuff. It is a good site and you may be able to contact the members about your lens and a recessed board. I do not use the recessed board because it is a pain in the behind to set the shutter and aperature. You really don't need it if you slide the rails back as I suggested. Hope this helps, Doug.

-- Doug Paramore (dougmary@alanet.com), March 21, 2000.

One thing else I forgot to ask, how about the Anglon 90mm f6.8, is it any good or is it almost as bad as the Wray, please note I can only afford to spend maybe #100 (the Wray is about #75 and an Anglon was advertised #85 'as seen').

-- David Kirk (David_J_Kirk@hotmail.com), March 21, 2000.

David, I think the 90mm Angulon has gotten an undeserved bad press. Use it stopped down past f:11, and don't try to make it cover too much, and it is an absolutely terrific lens, especially for the price. For landscape I prefer it to the W.A.Dagor or the f:8 Super Angulon. Warning, if you buy one get return privileges as they made a lot of these and there are a few stinkers out there.

-- Bill Mitchell (bmitch@home.com), March 21, 2000.

It was a long time ago when I used one of the Wray lenses, but the Angulon definitely has the edge in terms of image clarity. I'm pretty sure that Wray coated all their lenses after about 1950, but not very effectively. Just to confuse your choice further though, the Wray lens is supposed to have a coverage angle of 100 degrees, as opposed to the 75 or so degree coverage from the Angulon. It's recommended that the maximum aperture of both lenses is used for focussing only, i.e. stop 'em well down. I suppose your choice comes down to a reasonable lens with little or no movements (the Angulon) or wide coverage with mediocre quality all over (the Wray).

-- Pete Andrews (p.l.andrews@bham.ac.uk), March 22, 2000.

David, May I suggest you take a look at the MPP User's Club website at www.mppusers.freeuk.com. They have details of MPP panels which can be ordered through the club. I'm sure there's been an article or two on Wray lenses in the (paper) club newsletters. Regards, Dave

-- Dave Glenn (Dave@dglenn.fsnet.co.uk), March 22, 2000.

A further update - i have already contacted the MPP users club, and my dilemma is being forwarded to Dr Neill Wright, the clubs resident expert on lenses. so ope fully I will get some empirical evidence of the performance of this lens, besides I probably will be shoothing B+W or IR, and so colour shifts that may affect tranny film SHOULD not be a major problem. Also I would like to thank everyone who has responded so far. However I still have a slight dilemma, I am in the unfortunate position of having to buy things through mailorder as the shops I have looked at up here in Scotland seem to have few LF bits s/h, luckily with places like Mr Cad - www.mrcad.co.uk - Ican buy them in the safe knowledge that if I am unhappy I can send it back for a refund or perhaps a trade-in.

-- David Kirk (David_J_Kirk@hotmail.com), March 23, 2000.

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