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Historic dhows in front of the Doha, Qatar, skyine, December 13, 2012.
This was shot using the lens from a 1920s plate camera that my son gave to me a few years ago, when I first got interested in antique cameras.
The 105mm Anastigmat lens from a British-branded Zodellar camera is designed to work with 2x3 inch glass plates. The image circle of the old lens cannot cover the larger negative in my Graflex Crown Graphic press camera, leading to vignetting of the corners, which creates and odd optical illusion as if the photograph were not really rectangular.
The image quality falls off quite sharply towards the edge and although only mediocre at the central portion - which the glass plate would have captured - would be good enough to give a really excellent 10x8 inch print in the old days.
When I received the old camera I had no thought of using it, though the Compur shutter seemed to be in excellent condition, but when I got my Crown Graphic 4x5 camera the "what if" question naturally occured to me. A 105mm lens is, after all, a very strong wide-angle for a large format camera, and the widest "proper" lens I have for it is 135mm.
December 16th, 2012
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