Heidecke's Monster

Started Sep 30, 2022 | Discussions thread
fferreres Veteran Member • Posts: 8,560
Re: Heidecke's Monster

Bosun Higgs wrote:

My latest lens buy is a bit unusual, so I thought I would post my findings here. For a start, it's an f4, which is pretty slow for a projection lens, but then it is a 400mm! Not only that, but it was also made to cover 6x7cm.

The Nuts and Bolts

A smaller Monster after a visit to Mr.Hacksaw

This is a Franke and Heidecke 400mm f4 projection lens (aka "The Monster") intended for use with F&H and Rollei branded medium format projectors such as the P11 and P66.

The lens is very light, this is due the aluminium alloy construction and the fact that it is a Petzval. I found this optical formula surprising, given the FL and coverage, I was expecting a Double Gauss derivative.

This is his "smaller" brother, from the same manufacturer:

300mm f4.

I covers 4x5" and the 400mm one should probably cover 5x7" (a guess) - all wide open. You are using a 35mm size sensor, which is 16 times smaller in area than the image the lens produces, so you will not be able to see the field curvature, the slight swirl nor the real separation that it can produce until you can shoot with a much larger sensor.

400mm f4 is 400mm f4, but it's not the same as a 400mm f4 with a smaller image circle. If we had larger sensors, you'd see something like 100mm f1.4. or 85mm f1.2 lens and 16x to 24x the level of detail.

Given it was used for medium format projection, chances are the tube may be in part to mask out the complete circle it can produce, as any other light would be a reflection, so you may have to consider that if you ever adapt it for a larger format.

I am not aware of many 400mm f4 lenses that have very reasonable contrast in 4x5 like you show here wide open. These lenses are not the uber cream, but they are well done and work well. The bokeh is a matter of taste. I like what this lens produces in terms of bokeh - if maybe a little modern.

Here's a shot, aiming at 4x5" ground glass (it's a bit less than that in my setup). It also shows a bit of the character of the Leitz Summaron used to take the shot.

300mm f4

Do you see the swirl and how the separation works a bit different here? Mhh, I should invert the X axis now that I pay attention.

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