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Handle your end of the job correctly and THE IMAGES YOU CREATE WILL BE SPECTACULAR. A full frame image made with the camera is illustrated, along with a closeup of a small section of the image. There are 100's of feet of depth in the image from foreground to background, all of which are in acceptable focus, but it is the lighthouse itself that I focused upon, so that is what I show you. What more could you ask of such a lens? You say you want to cook an egg with the lens? It will do that too if used as a solar magnifier.


AMERICAN OPTICAL COMPANY HIGH RESOLUTION AERIAL SURVEILANCE AND MAPPING LENS. SERIAL NUMBER 2. COATED LENS. HIGHEST QUALITY. Maybe Gary Powers had serial number 1 in his U-2 spy plane that was shot down over Russian Territory. I bought the lens new from a military surplus dealer. The lens is mounted in a barrel with an F45 diaphragm. At F45 it is easy enough to uncap and cap the lens for exposures in bright sun. At F45, it covers 8X20 with very high resolution out to the corners. I have noticed no diffraction problems. There is no separation of elements. There is no fungus on the lens. There are no scratches on the lens. The glass is perfect. American Optical Company was the maker of such classic lenses as the God Dot Dagor, The Red Dot Artar, etc. This lens was made near the end of the lifespan of American Optical Company, when they had decades of experience in making lenses. The lens was made to US Government specifications.......very demanding specifications. But these are just words: see the images made with the camera and lens and judge for yourself. The original center-weighted Red and Yellow filters that came with the lens are included. The original front and rear metal lens caps are included. You also get an extra custom made lenscap.


VIEW CAMERA WITH MOVEMENTS or BOX camera. Designed for ease of operation. If you want to take photos from scenic lookout vantage points of distant subjects you do not even have to use any camera movements. Align the rear viewfinder frame with the front viewfinder frame to see the subject that will be imaged. The rear viewfinder is height adjustable to accommodate the lens rise (30mm maximum) and fall (25mm maximum). The rear viewfinder is removable and may be used as a scouting viewfinder. If you want to get everything in focus from near to far you can do that too. A set of 12 spacers allow you to adjust the camera back focus without even looking at the ground glass. An experienced view camera user should be able to use the camera movements without even needing a ground glass, but of course it would be wise to experiment using the ground glass to gain familiarity with the camera before exposing film. A sliding 8X10 ground glass is included.

SUBSTANTIALLY BUILT. It is designed to be robust, yet lightweight. It has a sturdy framework, extra thick and sturdy top and bottom mounting plates, with thin and light weight panels whose main purpose is to keep light out. The bottom mounting plate has 3/8-16TPI and 1/4-20TPI steel camera sockets. The top plate is equally robust to allow you to carry the camera by the front viewfinder, which doubles as a carrying handle. Both viewfinders are made of black anodized Aluminum. The viewfinders will be removed for shipping, so some reassembly will be required. The film back springs provide plenty of spring tension to hold the filmholder tight against the camera. The bellows were made by Western Bellows, America's best bellows manufacturer. The bellows are well protected by the camera design and are like new.

FILMHOLDERS: None are included. The camera accepts American National Standard Institute (ANSI) filmholders. It is illustrated with an ANSI (Great Western brand) filmholder installed, but NO FILMHOLDER IS INCLUDED.


The film used was 8X20 Tri-X. I focused on the lighthouse. I used some rise. Although I do not remember, I probably used one of the color filters. The copy photos of the original negative were made with a digital camera with a 55mm Micro Nikkor lens mounted on a copy stand with the negative lying on a light box. The edges of the film were curling up a little bit. There are some digital artifacts evident: stuck pixels, dust, and color artifacts. This camera has been sold. I can build another for you. I have more such lenses available. I also have an 8X20 Sinar camera and/or format change kit available. See my SINAR CAMERAS or my VIEW CAMERAS web pages.

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