Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 15

Thread: Graflex optar 4.7

  1. #1

    Graflex optar 4.7

    Hey guys, I'm new to large format photography but I have been doing medium format for some time. I'm testing out a camera I'm thinking about buying but I'm a little iffy on the lens. It says it is a 4.7 on the ring but the scale only goes to 7.5 any insight?

  2. #2
    Jon Shiu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Elk, California
    Posts
    1,254

    Re: Graflex optar 4.7

    The shutter was switched at some point from another lens. The f-stops will not be accurate, so I would pass.

    Jon
    my black and white photos of the Mendocino Coast: www.jonshiu.com

  3. #3

    Re: Graflex optar 4.7

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Shiu View Post
    The shutter was switched at some point from another lens. The f-stops will not be accurate, so I would pass.

    Jon
    Thanks Jon, I appreciate it.

  4. #4
    Jim Jones's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Chillicothe Missouri USA
    Posts
    2,369

    Re: Graflex optar 4.7

    If the spacing between the lens cells is correct and if the diaphragm is correctly positioned between the cells, it might work well enough. You can either add a correct scale (they aren't difficult to improvise) or just mentally correct to the right aperture number. However, the Optar doesn't permit extensive front movements on a 4x5 camera, and they are readily available in good condition with the correct scale. Most people would pass it up.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Carmel Valley, CA
    Posts
    1,043

    Re: Graflex optar 4.7

    The numbers you've thrown out there suggests that you've got a Tessar lens mated to the right shutter but the wrong scale. Say it's a Wollensak-built Raptar or Optar 135mm f/4.7, one of the most common ones. The shutters (Rapax or Graphex) were made in quantities of the millions as original equipment on Graflex Speed and Crown Graphics and the correct aperture scale should not be difficult to find, at all.

    Tessar press lenses are much deprecated and underrated on most forums nowadays for their lack of excess coverage, which restricts large front standard camera moves. This really isn't such a problem for many kinds of photography, like portraiture or event-type coverage. Not the best choice for architecture, true. But should the camera you're looking at happen to have rear standard movements, this small image circle will not be quite as big of a handicap.

    If you happen to like the camera well enough to buy it by itself, go for it. You may end up buying several lenses anyway if you stick with LF. You may also, in the end, being surprised at the image quality from an old "press" or Tessar lens, as just about every lens ever made for LF will be truly breathtakingly good at a typical working aperture of f/16 or f/22, particularly if you're coming from smaller formats. At these apertures, Tessars are nothing short of fabulous.

    Hopefully the rest of the lens/shutter is in good condition--shutter fires reasonably close to indicated speeds, and doesn't hang up at 1 second setting, for instance--and assuming the lens elements are not separated or decentered from high heat, the glass not etched by fungus, or badly abused. The resulting images may be rather indistinguishable from those taken with more modern designs.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    4,426

    Re: Graflex optar 4.7

    A picture would help understand what you have.

  7. #7

    Re: Graflex optar 4.7

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianShaw View Post
    A picture would help understand what you have.
    Sorry guys, I guess i should have posted a picture at first. But here it is, I really appreciate every ones input Click image for larger version. 

Name:	graflex.jpg 
Views:	69 
Size:	83.7 KB 
ID:	95322

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    3,116

    Re: Graflex optar 4.7

    Looks like that shutter originally contained the Wollensak version of the 203 Ektar, and some heretic screwed the Optar cells in.
    One man's Mede is another man's Persian.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    1,175

    Re: Graflex optar 4.7

    Super-Graphic....GOOD!
    Real cameras are measured in inches...
    Not pixels.

    www.photocollective.org

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    4,426

    Re: Graflex optar 4.7

    Replacing the lens/shutter with a 135 Optar in the correct shutter is very easy and affordable. Don't let that hold you back if that's the only issue with the camera.

Similar Threads

  1. Graflex Tele-Optar 380mm f5.6 for Graflex R. B. Auto Graflex 4x5
    By kenklark in forum Lenses & Lens Accessories
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 18-Aug-2011, 12:04

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •