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Question(s) about a Cirkut outfit and its lens.

 
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foto_ras



Joined: 27 Oct 2007
Posts: 16
Location: Rome-Italy

PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 9:43 pm    Post subject: Question(s) about a Cirkut outfit and its lens. Reply with quote

I've got a Cirkut Outfit camera, with a Century camera model 46 in front and a Cirkut mechanism (marked inside with #612) in the rear. The lens is a convertible type, marked, in the front cell, Gundlach 7 1/2 in. Anastigmat Ser. II f/6.6; the rear cell is marked only 11". The shutter is a Betax #2. On it, I find different f/ settings for 3 focal lenghts: 14", 11", 7 1/2".
The outfit came with a complete series of gears (25 in total, with number of teeths all different) and 2 "fans".
The outfit seems perfectly working, but I need help to solve some questions.
For example:
1) with both lens cells (front 7 1/2", rear 11"), an object at infinity focuses on the ground glass at a distance of 7.9 inches from the center of the shutter: is it consistent ?
2) vith only the front cell ( marked 7 1/2") the same object focuses at about 14" : again, is it consistent ?
3) if I put the rear cell alone (11") in front of the shutter, the focus is at a little less than 14";
4) and, finally, if I swap the cells (11" in front of the shutter, 7 1/2" behind) the focus is at about 6.3" (distance ground glass -> center of the shutter) .

Surely I'm thickhead, but I'm in a great mess. How should I sort the two cells to have the 3 focal lenghts marked on the shutter ?

Second group of questions.
Is there any formula (in case, available on the web) to determine "ex ante" the type of gear (i.e., the number of theets) to be used, according to the focal lenght, the distance from the the subject and the exposure speed ?
OK, a lot of questions. I'm sorry.

Thanks a lot in advance.
Roberto.
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3208
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 7:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You have one of the best panorama cameras ever made and it is definitely a Graflex product inherited from the Kodak days.
A Google for cirkut camera over here in US A produces many links such as
http://www.cirkut.com/cameras/cirkut.html

The lens is a triple convertible both cells = 7 1/2 inch f6.6; rear cell only 11 inch f?; front cell only 14 inch f?. There are 2 Gundlatch catalogs at
http://www.cameraeccentric.com/info.html but neither cover your lens. The Betax shutter is a very simple, easy to service, reliable shutter from the early 1900's.

Put it to work! (or send it to me and I will). Do not let it sit on a shelf and deteriorate.
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Les



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 2682
Location: Detroit, MI

PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 7:09 pm    Post subject: Re: Question(s) about a Cirkut outfit and its lens. Reply with quote

<quote>
For example:
1) with both lens cells (front 7 1/2", rear 11"), an object at infinity focuses on the ground glass at a distance of 7.9 inches from the center of the shutter: is it consistent ?
2) vith only the front cell ( marked 7 1/2") the same object focuses at about 14" : again, is it consistent ?
3) if I put the rear cell alone (11") in front of the shutter, the focus is at a little less than 14";
4) and, finally, if I swap the cells (11" in front of the shutter, 7 1/2" behind) the focus is at about 6.3" (distance ground glass -> center of the shutter) .
</quote>
The true focal distance is from the ground glass to the rear node of the lens (that point where they light rays cross). with modern lenses, it's more or less in the center of the shutter, but with older lenses and in particular, half of a semetrical lens, that node maybe much farther behind the lens than you think. I once had a 27" protar half that I couldn't focus infinity with on my Dear Deardorff because, with the cell behind the aperture, the focal node was a good 3" behind the front standard.

The part that concerns me is that both the 7.5" cell and the 11" cell focus at about the same distance, but I'm guessing one is in front and the other is in back of the shutter. If the image size is different between these cells, then all is well, If they give the same size image on the ground glass than somebody's been in there and done somethin' with the glass.
It's odd that one cell is engraved for the combination of both cells MOst of the time each cell was engraved with it's focal length and the combined focal length was given on the aperture scale.

Try focusing the 7.5 and 11" lenses on the same side of the shutter and see if that doesn't change the GG to shutter distance.
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
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Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 7:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Cuirkut Camera(s) are covered in Graflex and Graphic Cameras catalog 1916 .

Quote:
The lens is a convertible type, marked, in the front cell, Gundlach 7 1/2 in. Anastigmat Ser. II f/6.6; the rear cell is marked only 11". The shutter is a Betax #2. On it, I find different f/ settings for 3 focal lenghts: 14", 11", 7 1/2".


Now I am with Les on this one. According to the Lens Collectors Vade Mecum the Gundlach Turner-Reich Symmetrical Anastigmat Series II are a 5+5 glass f6.8. The various focal length being (combined-front-rear) are 5 inch (8+12); 6.25 inch (11+14); 7.5 inch (12+18 ) ; 8.5 inch (14+20). There are others up to 15 inch. It is very possible that someone has pieced together a shutter and lens cells for display purposes. The series I was an f7.5. There are possible variants and one is cited as for use on a F&S Cirkut 5x7 camera, 12 inch f7.0. The Vade also states the longer focal length is best used on the front at infinity and the lens should be refocused when stopped down.
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foto_ras



Joined: 27 Oct 2007
Posts: 16
Location: Rome-Italy

PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

45PSS wrote:
You have one of the best panorama cameras ever made and it is definitely a Graflex product inherited from the Kodak days.

I was already sure about that, BEFORE buying it: I had got a lot of documentation in advance, including the pages in the link you kindly gave.


Quote:
The lens is a triple convertible both cells = 7 1/2 inch f6.6; rear cell only 11 inch f?; front cell only 14 inch f?.

No, front marked 7 1/2 (with all the data about the manufacturer), rear marked only 11. It's the shutter front face that gives the 3 values.
Quote:
The Betax shutter is a very simple, easy to service, reliable shutter from the early 1900's.

Agree completely. Easy to dismantle, easy to clean. Just the little spring that closes the shutter leaves needed to be "reinforced", by turning it a little the opposite way. Finally, just a light caress of graphite on the leaves.

Quote:
Put it to work! (or send it to me and I will). Do not let it sit on a shelf and deteriorate

tsk, tsk! It's mine! But I'll wait next summer to make experiments with it, so I'll take advantage of the "fan".
Although I got it with 2 big rolls of film (how old ? nobody could say...), the main problem, as you know, is the film availability; it seems that Aerial Photo Lab, in Daytona Beach, has it; a little far away from Italy, you know. Lucky of you, living in USA, with a so huge source oh "classic" photo materials !


Last edited by foto_ras on Wed Nov 04, 2009 8:43 pm; edited 1 time in total
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foto_ras



Joined: 27 Oct 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 8:39 pm    Post subject: Re: Question(s) about a Cirkut outfit and its lens. Reply with quote

Les wrote:

The part that concerns me is that both the 7.5" cell and the 11" cell focus at about the same distance, but I'm guessing one is in front and the other is in back of the shutter. If the image size is different between these cells, then all is well, If they give the same size image on the ground glass than somebody's been in there and done somethin' with the glass.

Mmmm, I think that a better explanation is a my mistake in not considering the different position of the "nodal point" ...
Quote:
It's odd that one cell is engraved for the combination of both cells MOst of the time each cell was engraved with it's focal length and the combined focal length was given on the aperture scale.

Yes, so it is: the 3 diffrent f/ values are engraved only on the shutter.

Thanks very much, Les !

Roberto
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foto_ras



Joined: 27 Oct 2007
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Location: Rome-Italy

PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

45PSS wrote:
You have one of the best panorama cameras ever made and it is definitely a Graflex product inherited from the Kodak days.
A Google for cirkut camera over here in US A produces many links such as
http://www.cirkut.com/cameras/cirkut.html


A very heavy doubt: in theory, the camera should rotate, I suppose, centered on the "nodal point" of the lens used at the moment. But, instead, in practice, it rotates around an axis that depends solely from the diameter of the gear: I have to move the sliding plate at the bottom backwards and forwards, in order to keep the gear (of different diameter, according to the focal length) in contact with the toothed rack on the tripod. So, the rotation axis is quite randomly determined. Could this affect the photographic results ?

Thanks !
Roberto
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
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Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 8:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Every Cirkut I saw available on the web the price went up like a game bird trying to escape the hunter so I never got my hands on one.
They should rotate on a platform that sits on top of the tripod.
Use this sites search and use Cirkut as the only search word for the most revel ant posts for this type of camera. Your posting in the non graflex section threw me off. I would have chosen other graflex camera section.
A source for aerial film will be the best for film for this camera. Try http://www.kodak.com/eknec/PageQuerier.jhtml?pq-path=2608&pq-locale=en_US&_requestid=3225 . You may have to email them if what you need is not listed.
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foto_ras



Joined: 27 Oct 2007
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Location: Rome-Italy

PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

45PSS wrote:
Your posting in the non graflex section threw me off. I would have chosen other graflex camera section.

You're right. But yhe back of my camera is plainly marked as "Made by Eastman KodaK Co. successor to Century Camera Co.", seemingly far away from the complex sequence of events linking Folmer & Schwing to Kodak.
Quote:
A source for aerial film will be the best for film for this camera. Try http://www.kodak.com/eknec/PageQuerier.jhtml?pq-path=2608&pq-locale=en_US&_requestid=3225 . You may have to email them if what you need is not listed.

Good! I'll contact them, and also Aerial Photo Lab.
Thanks for all !
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Les



Joined: 09 May 2001
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Location: Detroit, MI

PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is one of those cameras that proves that slavish attention to detail will only give you a nervous twitch. I had a 8" Cirkut, so the camera was a 6x8 RB Cycle Graphic.

In practice I would limber up the tripod and mount the camera, grab the dark cloth, open the lens and ground glass cover and focus on the subject matter straight ahead (usually a building, I never got into groups). Then I'd take the back off, put the Cirkut back on, which meant the camera just shifted about an inch and a half!

Now any other camera I ever used would have lost focus if I did that. but not the Cirkut!

I was never able to figure out where I should place the camera in relation to the tripod gear when I was composing. I always ended up shifting the camera and the images always ended up in focus, so I gave up trying to figure out how and just shot.

I I could be very wrong, but I think panning on the nodal point is important when trying to stitch multiple sheets of film together. With the Cirkut it's only a slit, so the distortion is negated.

Les
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45PSS



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 12:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have you read A History of Rodchester Camera and Lens Companies ?
Enjoy
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foto_ras



Joined: 27 Oct 2007
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Location: Rome-Italy

PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Les wrote:
This is one of those cameras that proves that slavish attention to detail will only give you a nervous twitch. .........

We say "experience is not water" .....
See my camera in
http://digilander.libero.it/foto_ras/images/Cirkut_full_left.jpg
http://digilander.libero.it/foto_ras/images/Cirkut_full_right.jpg
http://digilander.libero.it/foto_ras/images/Cirkut_bottom.jpg (with the fan for 1/12 s and gear # 60 for 7.5" lens). No tripod shown, because under re-polishing.
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beautiful !!
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disemjg



Joined: 10 Jan 2002
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2009 3:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you want to see some great traditional work done with Cirkut cameras get a copy of "America by the Yard". It is a beautiful book with multi-leaf foldouts to really show the images at their best; some of them open out to five feet wide. You should be able to get a copy from Amazon.

Another book, a bit more difficult to get, is "The Panoramic Photography of Eugene O. Goldbeck". Goldbeck was the photographer noted for carefully arranged photos of enormous groups of people, typically soldiers, resulting in photos depicting unit insignia or motifs such as the statue of liberty.

I have a very nice number 8 Cirkut Outfit in my collection, but have never used it. I could not find any source of film. If you use aerial film, from bulk, what are you going to use for backing paper?

John
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foto_ras



Joined: 27 Oct 2007
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2009 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

disemjg wrote:
If you use aerial film, from bulk, what are you going to use for backing paper?

John


Well, don't ask me ... I'm a newbie more than you. But, I suppose that, working with a large changing bag (I have one), a piece of those large envelopes used for photo printing paper (out white or black, inside black) can be cut away, in the right dimension, from an empty one and put at least at the start ("620 roll" way ...) .
Bye.
Roberto
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