View Full Version : cheap MF lenses
Hi, what brand provides relatively cost-effective lenses for Medium Format? I don't care about mount, working on a project :) Looking for medium format lenses less than $50. I looked up pentacon 6, but they seem to be $100+ on fleabay.
Nothing cheaper that I know of. I just got a Kiev 6 recently so I've been looking for seriously cheap glass and ~$100 seems as low as it goes.
Maybe some sort of old folder with a damaged bellows ? The shutter and lens unit will be easy to remove neatly with a lens spanner or modified pliers etc., and there is a fair bit of information available on sorting out old shutters too.
If $100 for MF lenses is too high, how about a 4x5 rangefinder with 2 lenses & 5 holders for $100? These deals are around. I got one. One of the lenses, Kodak 127mm Ektar, is a MF lens.
What is the project, or is it safe for you to divulge?
What focal length range are you interested in? How much area must it cover? Does it need a leaf shutter?
Mamiya TLR lenses can be quite cheap, and come in pairs, one with shutter and iris and one without. Removing the lens assemblies from their mount plates looks pretty straightforward, just a lock ring and the wire connecting the flash connection. These cover 6x6 and no focusing mechanism.
Bronica etr series lenses seem pretty cheap too, cover 6x4.5, and have no shutter but do have an iris and focus helix. Similar lenses are available for Bronica's 6x6 and 6x7 lines.
Here's a cheap idea- any old enlarging lens 80mm or longer. Iris yes, but no shutter or focusing mount, and not well optimized outside the 'macro' range.
For an interchangeable MF system, there is only one option for "cheap" glass. The Kiev 60. It is Zeiss Jena glass along with Russian options in every focal length. Lots of info is available on the web. The glass, by the way, is an absolutely outstanding value in MF terms. My "cheapest" buy was the 80mm Zeiss Jena Biometar for around $50, plus another $20 or so to ship. This is the only lens where the technician told me that the results were "sharp". (This is a pro MF lab in my area that's been around for years... He's seen results from every Hassy, Mamiya, and every other MF system lens). The other focal lengths go for $100 to $200 usually. Might seem like a lot, but that's dirt cheap for "system" lenses in MF-ville. Also, most of the Zeiss Jena glass opens to f2.8 - fast glass in MF lenseville.
The camera? A big clunky thing - not without its quirks, but it gets the job done. The cameras cost around $100-ish, and comes quite a nice, perfectly acceptable "starter" 80mm Arsat, which some say is just as good as the Zeiss 80mm.
Google "Kiev 60". Tons of info in it, including how to "flock it"... the first thing you should do.
Ah, I forgot about the kiev. Not a bad idea, will search the fleabay.
We're trying to make a homemade tilt-shift lens for my dribble, instructions from makezine. The other options (old folder or something) may work, will check it out - we need to be able to focus them.
Thanks for the help :)
If you want tilt and shift on a MF camera, you should look at LF lenses for their increased coverage
Not to sound like a broken record, add Kodak Ektar lenses in shutter to your search. The 127mm lens + shutter + lensboard can be had cheap. Worst case, you can make a custom lensboard from aluminum sheet material or thin plywood. The 127mm lens covers 4x5 so you will have a large image circle for full movements on 120 film.
Frank was reading my mind.
Midwest Photo Exchange (http://mpex.com/) GOOGLE knows.
Frank: dribble is my pet name for the canon digital rebel. No need to say that's "35mm", so a MF lens will cover fine with tilt-shift. the LF lens may be an added bonus, and as long as they can focus and set aperture speed, I think I'll be in business :)
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