Vintage never fits the way you think it will.Hannah Bronfman
Another old lens I collected from Sydney Camera Market. Similar vintage to Aldis Brothers Series II No 2. Lens I tried last year, may be older as this one is patented 1897. This lens is likely belong No. 4 Cartridge Kodak camera first version.
No. 4 Cartridge Kodak camera sample
originally use glass plate or no. 104 roll film to produce 4×5 inch photos
The No. 4 Cartridge Kodak camera was manufactured by the Eastman Kodak Company from 1897 to 1907. My sample of the lens may have been a Bausch and Lomb made, and it is missing the pneumatic release valve, the bellow frame and obviously the whole camera box.
Given the Kodak automatic shutter has bulb mode, I am able to open the shutter and it will work on a digital back, and in my case, the Leica SL2 via a set of extension tube. I will need to get a M42 bellow to make use of the full focus range, as my adjustable micro adaptor has a limited travel range.
Rapid Rectilinear was a very popular lens design in the second half of 19th century, introduced by John Henry Dallmeyer in 1866 (Wikipedia source). Its popularity may be second only to Petzval for portraiture back in the day. The Rapid Rectilinear has a symmetric design of 4-element in 2-group as shown below.
The first set of photos I took was with this lens, I may not have setup the in-body stablisation on the SL2, but the result is surely interesting. There is a swirly bokeh.
Like most antique lens, it has lower contrast, especially pointing toward light source. That is a good thing for digital sensors, as it retain more details with a raw file capture, along a wider dynamic range. There is a strong vignetting at the outermost corners, especially at open aperture.
As I have not worked out the actual focal length of the lens, I am getting some motion blur from the not properly compensating the in-body stabilisation. If anyone knows the exact focal length of this lens, please get in touch with me via comments.
Image quality and samples
The is a lighter spot in the centre with this darker shot below. I have cleanup all the surfaces of the lenses where I have access. There may be internal reflection between the elements as there were no lens coating.
Given it has a long focal length with strong frame compression. Somehow it can still shows such three-dimensional look.
Low contrast raw files means it is easier to pull rich deep colours out in lightroom.
Love the richness of the colours it renders and the flaws of the optical aberrations are pretty.
It does not hold high resolution or sharpness, butit is a softness I like.
The texture of the rendering and the bokeh hold its own character. Imperfect and moody.
No matter hard light or soft light at different time, it is a little softer and more gentle.
A few hard surfaces samples
It is quite a challenge to adapt this lens. It has a long travel for focusing, so it is quite hard to get to focus without a proper bellow. I had to focus with my foot and do focus bracketing to nail the focus. My micro adaptor ring lets me focus between 3-8m approximately. I will look for a compatible bellow, determine the exact focal length of the lens and give this a proper workout in the near future. Look forward to more fun with this lens soon.