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Old lenses to PL mount


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#1 Christophe Collette

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Posted 28 June 2007 - 11:50 AM

Hi everyone, I was wondering if any of you have ever heard of modifying old and moldy uncoated lenses to fit a PL mount camera??? Maybe photo lenses, whatever...I love Sally Mann's photography and that's the look I am after. Vignettes, mold... soft spots... Weird colors... Any leads appreciated! And where would I be able to purchase such lenses???

Thanks a lot!!!!

Christophe
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#2 Bill Totolo

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Posted 28 June 2007 - 12:54 PM

Does it resemble the images from a Holga?
Does that get you close?
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#3 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 28 June 2007 - 01:31 PM

Avoid ones thatat are actually moldy. The mold/fungus can be contagious and spread to other lenses.
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#4 Christophe Collette

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Posted 28 June 2007 - 04:15 PM

Yeah, I know, it happened to me before... But stills, I like the mold!
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#5 Christophe Collette

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Posted 28 June 2007 - 04:19 PM

It does resemble the image produced by a Holga. There is this guy, www.holgamods.com, who modifies Holgas, he could probably PL mount the lens for me. The thing with Holgas is that they are f5.6 to f8, locked... I want to be able to adjust the aperture.
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#6 Robert Glenn

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Posted 28 June 2007 - 08:45 PM

have you considered getting a clear filter and just putting stuff on it?
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#7 Nate Downes

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Posted 29 June 2007 - 06:11 AM

I've modified holgas before to add more f-stop control to them. It's not hard to do once you have them opened up.
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#8 Dan Salzmann

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Posted 29 June 2007 - 09:32 AM

All the Sally Mann photographs that I have seen were done using large format 4x5 or 8x10 cameras.
They were quite sharp in a very un-cruel way. Probably Goerz Red Dot Lenses on Deardorff's.
I don't think that Holga lenses have anywhere near that level of sharpness and contrast.
Robert Glenn's suggestion of experimenting with clear filters is a good and far less costly solution.
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#9 Nick G Smith

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Posted 29 June 2007 - 03:38 PM

Hi Christope,

There are a lot of old arri standard mount lens around in bad condition - schneiders/ cooke pancros and kinetals/ zeiss standards etc. that you can mount with a PL adaptor. You should be able to pick up the ones in bad condition cheaply and experiment with various acidic substances to take off any coatings - you could smear the lens with agar and grow your own mould (bodily fluids are always a good start).

There was a BBC documentary on Sally Mann sometime last year when she was photographing decomposing corpses, I think, onto glass plates. Looking at the reproductions in her recent book I was wondering how much of the abberations were coming from the camera and how much came from the process of the glass plate.

I had some glass plates my grandfather took around 1910 which had been attacked by mould as they had been stored in a damp room - I contact printed them all up - they were pictures of patients in a TB sanitorium - faces appearing through streaks of mould - reminded me of a german experimental film I saw about 20 years ago when they buried the neg in the ground for a year, dug it up and contact printed it. Maybe Stan Brackage did the same?

Nick
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#10 Christophe Collette

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Posted 30 June 2007 - 10:03 AM

Thanks for the input guys, I think Sally Mann photographs mostly with a 8x10 Deardoff with old brass lenses, the crappiest she could find. The one that she uses most is a Darlot that is over a hundred years of age that she found in an abandoned photo studio... The clear filter is not a bad idea, I actually tested it two months ago, the thing is I want that stuff in the lens itself, not in front of the lens. There is a big difference in look between the two. If you check out my website, in the photo section, the fist portfolio's images were shot with a Pentax 67 II using a clear filter covered in dirt and paint. I tried both, the older lenses on a large format camera, and the clear filter with stuff on, and I can assure from experience that they are two different things.

The results of the tests I did were interesting, but let me wondering if the deterioration I want and seek should be on the negative rather than on this non-moving blurry layer of whatever... I don't think my video budget would allow for a print to be trashed though!!! But still, I'd be interested in hearing your experiences with trashing your negatives! I'm thinking color negs here... bleach it, wash it with a mix of dirt and ajax! Whatever you have tried or heard about!

Also, where could I buy old beat-up standard mount lenses, non-coated, shitty?

Thanks!

Christophe
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