How to set f-stop with lenses in barrels? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

This may be a dumb question, but here goes!

I'm looking into a lens for an 8x10 camera. I notice that some of the best photos ever taken were with lenses in barrels, not shutters. I'm not too familiar with them, but can you adjust the f-stop on lenses in barrels? Obviously, there's no shutter timer to adjust.

Also, is anyone familiar with good lens focal range for table top still life photography for 8x10 cameras?

Thanks for your help.

Ron Whitaker

-- Ron Whitaker (, March 22, 2000


"but can you adjust the f-stop on lenses in barrels? "

Yes. There are aperture rings on the vast majority of barrel lenses. If not, they use waterhouse stops -

For a shutter (low cost) try here -

If ya got more ca$h, try here -

And for a TRUE JOY, try this!!! -


-- sheldon hambrick (, March 22, 2000.

Yep, most of the barrel lenses you'll find do have an iris diaphram, so that aspect of using them is easy. I found barrel lenses a bit difficult to use consistently outdoors and of the two I own, one was mounted in a shutter by Steve Grimes (great, but $$). The other is now part of a quite nice small telescope.

For 8x10 tabletop work at large magnification, .5x to 1.0x, you'll probably be happiest with something in the 240 - 300mm range. What's that, 9.5 - 12 inches? Many of the 300mm process lenses just cover 8x10 at infinity, but have plenty of coverage close up. There's the usual balance between how much bellows extension you can, or want to, deal with, and how much movement you need or want.

-- mike rosenlof (, March 23, 2000.

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