So, I went to a hamfest (electronics fleamarket centered around Ham Radio), and came across a few optical finds. Some (like a Fuji ST102 and a couple M42 lenses) are headed right for ebay, but others (like a 70mm f/1 projection lens) are destined for projects.
The highlight, though, is a Plaubel Roll-op II that I snagged for $15. Initial google-fu showed two listed on ebay buy-it-now, one listed for $550, the other listed for $950. More research showed that it originally sold for $82 in 1938, and has recently sold anywhere from $200-$500 based on condition and options.
It’s 120 film with 4×6 image size, and so far everything seems to be in good working order. The only concern is that at slow speeds, the shutter seems to be twice as fast as indicated. Without a laser beam and a strip-chart recorder (in storage), there’s no way to tell if that holds true at the high end, too. Fortunately, the compur shutters have adjustable calibration once I get my gear back.
Edit to Add:
I didn’t really have the time or money to snag it, but I had to walk away from a rather interesting find. There was one fellow who had a 24″ parabolic mirror with a 12″ focal length. I was immediately consumed by the thoughts of 300mm f/0.5 for larger deep-space object photography like andromeda and the orion nebula. Even though the guy was willing to come down to $60 from $100, I just couldn’t do it. I’ll probably be kicking myself over that one for a long time.
BTW, the coma on that mirror would make it just this side of useless for imaging. Coma correctors are available, but I’ve never seen one for anything faster than f4. Still though, that’s just begging for a project.
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