LF GAS

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scott
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LF GAS

Post by scott » Wed Dec 01, 2021 4:07 pm

Well, I haven't bought anything photo-related for quite a while. Saw a post on a FB LF group today about a 180mm Xenar. Got to thinking that I didn't have a 180 for 4x5, and I like Tessars, and it would be a good focal length for portraits, and vintage signature, and, and...

So, KEH comes through again. On eBay. Found an UGLY rated lens, 180/4.5 in barrel, for $37. Shipped. Figure I can't go wrong. Listed as wear and haze, NOT fungus or scratches. We'll see. Figure I should be able to clean the haze, hopefully, and I think it was knocked on the rating partially due to the mismatched flange. Hoping anyway. Will be here early next week. Should be time for any cleaning I need to do, mounting on my last 4x5 lensboard, making a mounting board for the Packard, and ready for the kids being home for Christmas.

Love buying LF gear!

[EDIT]
Here's the lens:
Image

alexvaras
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Re: LF GAS

Post by alexvaras » Thu Dec 02, 2021 1:39 am

I have one Xenar 21cm f/4.5 with Compound shutter with both Technika and Graflex lens boards, I have tried to sell it but it seems no one is interested.
Yours if you pay the postman, I no longer have large format gear and I only keep two beloved lenses in case one day I come back.

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Re: LF GAS

Post by Brazile » Thu Dec 02, 2021 7:27 am

Alex, if Scott doesn't want it, I'll take it.

Robert

scott
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Re: LF GAS

Post by scott » Thu Dec 02, 2021 8:55 am

Thanks Alex! Yeah, I’ll take that off your hands, I’ll send you a pm.

Robert, if it doesn’t jive with me I’ll pass it along to you for the same deal.

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Re: LF GAS

Post by Brazile » Thu Dec 02, 2021 11:59 am

No problem, Scott, have fun with it!

Robert

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Re: LF GAS

Post by scott » Tue Dec 07, 2021 10:34 am

Well, the 180/4.5 arrived yesterday. Was in Philly all day; package sat out in the rain for hours, but the lens itself was wrapped well, so it was okay. Just brought it in from the garage, so it's still very very cold. Glass isn't bad - some haze, may come off. Looks to be some visible cleaning marks, but those might just be in the haze on the glass. If so, should clean up fine. If they're in the glass, I don't think it will be bad enough to do anything but maybe reduce contrast a bit. If this lens pans out for the portraiture I'm considering, should be fine. The aperture is pretty well stuck at 4.5. It moves VERY slowly - might be because it's so cold right now, might not. I don't have the right spanner to take that part of the barrel apart - will shoot it wide open and see if that's a right now problem or not. Lens came with a Burke and James mounting ring - not original, but the thread pitch is right. I almost never get mounting flanges with these old lenses, so I'm happy with that.

Overall, pretty good for under 40 bucks.

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Re: LF GAS

Post by Brazile » Wed Dec 08, 2021 7:39 am

Look forward to seeing some test shots!

Robert

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Re: LF GAS

Post by scott » Wed Dec 08, 2021 10:31 am

Brazile wrote:
Wed Dec 08, 2021 7:39 am
Look forward to seeing some test shots!

Robert
Thanks Robert - will post what I get.

Okay, so the lens cleaned up pretty nicely, so far. There was haze/grime/crud on the surfaces of the glass that came off with not much effort. Maybe some light cleaning marks in the front element, but nothing to write home about. There is haze between the front two pieces of glass. I need a rubber stopper to remove the retaining ring on that group - it isn't cut for a spanner. I'll have to get an appropriate sized one, and drill it out to clear the glass. Later problem, the glass isn't that hazy.

The aperture is a weird one. Doesn't work, or at least, works very begrudgingly. But then I took the lens apart. With the barrel disassembled (front group unscrewed from the barrel, rear part of the barrel removed from the flange), the aperture works wonderfully. Start replacing the front glass, still works, get it close to seated, and the aperture freezes up. It's the damnedest thing. It's almost as if the rear section of the barrel is slightly out of round, but if it is, I can't see it. It's robust, so I doubt it would be that easily tweaked. Going to take some ciphering.

Will probable set the aperture to fully open, or just shy of it, and do some test shots with it to see if it's worth worrying about. My guess is it will be. Nice little lens. I have an old lensboard blank of really nice walnut, and one cherry one left. Not sure which this will go onto, but will get it mounted hopefully in short order (jinxing myself, to be sure).

Stay tuned.

[EDIT]
After disassembly and reassembly several times, the completed lens is now working correctly. I must've inadvertently done something right. Not sure how long it will last, but the aperture adjustment is smooth and easy.

Found the two lensboard blanks. Think I'm going to put this on the walnut board, which will need further milling. That'll be fun.

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Re: LF GAS

Post by Brazile » Fri Dec 10, 2021 7:16 am

Clean and seated properly often seems to go a long way toward getting these things working properly again. Glad it worked for you!

Robert

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