I am a newbie to large format photography. As my first lens, I purchased a Calu met/Ilex Caltar S lens. It has a focal length of 8-1/2" (215mm), and is convert ible (Not sure if that was an original design intention of this lens) to 14" (36 0mm). (At 14", it is telephoto - it focuses at infinity with about 240mm of bel lows draw.) It is f/5.6 and came in a Copal #1 shutter with engraved markings for both focal lengths. It is not the latest all-black shutter, but perhaps the previous desi gn - some chrome - it is synced.
The seller said this lens was intended for 5x7, but knew little else. I have cr anked a LOT of rise into the camera and have had no vignetting problems. My pho tos are extremely crisp and detailed as well as i can tell...but like I said, I am new to this and have nothing against which to compare.
Anyway, I'd like more information on this lens, and can't find any. What is its design? Number of groups/elements? What is its published circle of coverage? Are there MTF graphs or other test results for it? Is this lens coated?
I e-mailed Calumet. They weren't much help. The answer I got was, "Since it's an 'S', it was probably made by Schneider." Fine answer, except that it says, " ILEX" on it!
Another question - anybody know anything about the history of Ilex?