Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 18

Thread: Kodak Ektar lenses: Tessar Vs. Double Gauss with respect to their rendering of images

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    136

    Kodak Ektar lenses: Tessar Vs. Double Gauss with respect to their rendering of images

    Besides coverage, does anyone have experiences of how the signature differs between Commercial Ektar lenses (Tessar) and the Wide Field Ektar (double gauss) lenses? Especially in similar or equivalent focal lengths covering 5x7 and 8x10. Maximum aperture differences aside, do they render images discernibly differently from each other? Sharpness, quality of out of focus areas, contrast, "atmosphere" etc. Do they have different signature "looks" ...and how would you describe it?

    Again, I am not interested in talking about coverage. Just how they compare regarding their rendering signatures.

    Thank you.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    now in Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    2,262

    Re: Kodak Ektar lenses: Tessar Vs. Double Gauss with respect to their rendering of im

    Those lenses were all designed to satisfy a demanding professional clientele, and it shows, even after seventy years. I've used many different Ektars; f/6.3 Commercial Ektars, f/4.5, f/4.7, and f.7.7 (plain) Ektars, and f.6.3 Wide Field Ektars. (A couple of f/11 Copying Ektanons too, here and there.)
    To answer your first question in short- no. They are all quite sharp, and if they have a signature 'look', it's merely that they have lower contrast than modern multicoated designs. If you're shooting transparency film in the studio for commercial reproduction (as few of us do any more), this may be an issue. If you're shooting negative film to print optically or scan and print digitally, then it's a non-issue. I've happily used modern Nikkors next to Kodak lenses for decades and never thought that the Ektars were inferior (except shooting straight into the light, which I rarely do). I've never cared about the out-of-focus rendering (I try not to have significant OOF areas in my pictures) so can't speak to that.

    In short- quite sharp, pleasing tone rendition, lower contrast than a multi-coated lens. Perfectly usable in all normal circumstances.

    (Disclaimer: I worked as an industrial photographer for Kodak and then ITT for 25 years, and was based in the building where those lenses had been made- so I am both experienced and biased.)

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    136

    Re: Kodak Ektar lenses: Tessar Vs. Double Gauss with respect to their rendering of im

    Thank you, Mark. I appreciate your detailed answer regarding your first-hand Ektar experiences.
    Anyone else out there who would like to chime in?

    I currently have a 14" Commercial Ektar that I am very happy with. I am wondering if the 250mm Wide Field Ektar, will give me similar rendering. Again, it's a Tessar vs. the Double Gauss design.


    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Sampson View Post
    Those lenses were all designed to satisfy a demanding professional clientele, and it shows, even after seventy years. I've used many different Ektars; f/6.3 Commercial Ektars, f/4.5, f/4.7, and f.7.7 (plain) Ektars, and f.6.3 Wide Field Ektars. (A couple of f/11 Copying Ektanons too, here and there.)
    To answer your first question in short- no. They are all quite sharp, and if they have a signature 'look', it's merely that they have lower contrast than modern multicoated designs. If you're shooting transparency film in the studio for commercial reproduction (as few of us do any more), this may be an issue. If you're shooting negative film to print optically or scan and print digitally, then it's a non-issue. I've happily used modern Nikkors next to Kodak lenses for decades and never thought that the Ektars were inferior (except shooting straight into the light, which I rarely do). I've never cared about the out-of-focus rendering (I try not to have significant OOF areas in my pictures) so can't speak to that.

    In short- quite sharp, pleasing tone rendition, lower contrast than a multi-coated lens. Perfectly usable in all normal circumstances.

    (Disclaimer: I worked as an industrial photographer for Kodak and then ITT for 25 years, and was based in the building where those lenses had been made- so I am both experienced and biased.)
    Last edited by Dustyman; 18-Oct-2017 at 10:55.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    St. Louis, Mo.
    Posts
    2,698

    Re: Kodak Ektar lenses: Tessar Vs. Double Gauss with respect to their rendering of im

    PM John Kasaian. He owns both and thinks highly of each.

    http://www.largeformatphotography.in...o=newpm&u=2586

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    now in Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    2,262

    Re: Kodak Ektar lenses: Tessar Vs. Double Gauss with respect to their rendering of im

    Well, not to step on Mr. Kasaian's toes, or anyone else's, but here goes again. When I was last shooting 8x10 for myself, in 2010/2011, I used both a 14"/6.3 Commercial Ektar and a 10"/6.3 Wide Field Ektar. Of the work I did then, I doubt that you could tell which lens made which picture, unless you have a very good eye for perspective. (For the record I was shooting Kodak Tri-X Pan 4164, developed in PMK Pyro, and contact printed.)
    They are both fine lenses; circumstances required that I sell my 8x10 kit and I'm sorry that I had to.
    I think that you should try the 10" WFE; a season's shooting with the lens will answer your question better than I can. I'm boldly predicting that you will like and keep it.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    136

    Re: Kodak Ektar lenses: Tessar Vs. Double Gauss with respect to their rendering of im

    Ok Mark, I went ahead and bought the 250mm WFE. Whatever happens, it's your fault : )
    I attach a recent shot with the 14". Easy to fall in love with this lens.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	allie008C.jpg 
Views:	91 
Size:	59.8 KB 
ID:	170811


    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Sampson View Post
    Well, not to step on Mr. Kasaian's toes, or anyone else's, but here goes again. When I was last shooting 8x10 for myself, in 2010/2011, I used both a 14"/6.3 Commercial Ektar and a 10"/6.3 Wide Field Ektar. Of the work I did then, I doubt that you could tell which lens made which picture, unless you have a very good eye for perspective. (For the record I was shooting Kodak Tri-X Pan 4164, developed in PMK Pyro, and contact printed.)
    They are both fine lenses; circumstances required that I sell my 8x10 kit and I'm sorry that I had to.
    I think that you should try the 10" WFE; a season's shooting with the lens will answer your question better than I can. I'm boldly predicting that you will like and keep it.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    SooooCal/LA USA
    Posts
    998

    Re: Kodak Ektar lenses: Tessar Vs. Double Gauss with respect to their rendering of im

    Lenses in general were made traditionally to look as good as possible (within cost restraints, etc) for the general or specialized applications they were designed for, so in that context, there are no "bad" lenses, only better or worst than other offerings for specific applications and price points... (Not meaning all lenses are great, though...)

    The WF Ektar was for those who needed the extra coverage, at some expense to the speed, or as wides... So very slightly dimmer on the GG while focusing, but Kodak pro lenses tend to have a consistent "family" look as pros expected, for their commercial uses... (But no big jumps in "look" than their others, just another in their "family")...
    And lenses were produced to match the materials + style of the period they were produced...

    I think the biggest difference was the postwar period, as pro lenses tended to be made very sharp/hard/contrasty as some types of pro subjects (like in product photography) needed lenses that would produce the sharpest images under most conditions, where some items being shot could look mushy or even OOF due to the materials of the product being shot (some materials like ceramics, plastics, fabrics, finishes etc, high/low contrast conditions will never photograph too sharp), so studio lenses were made to be brutally sharp under these conditions... Later lenses most tend to be made to produce that look, but can be a little severe on subjects that have more "delicate" features... So there is also a choice of lenses of an era, for the desired look..

    I shoot with the WF and Comm Ektars, and like them both a lot!!! Good Choice!!!

    Have Fun!!!

    Steve K

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    136

    Re: Kodak Ektar lenses: Tessar Vs. Double Gauss with respect to their rendering of im

    I received the 250mm WFE, but was heartbroken to see the rear element had a large mass of fine micro scratches dead center, about the size of a half dollar. See attached picture. I contacted Focal Point (who polishes and re-coats if the scratches aren't deep) at the suggestion of Adam Das of SK Grimes. John at Focal Point was hesitant to offer a quote without seeing the lens, but said it would likely be around $250 plus shipping both ways. Anyone ever use this service?

    Anyhow, I am going to return the lens, sadly. My search for a 250mm WFE continues.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	250-ektar7.jpg 
Views:	52 
Size:	28.9 KB 
ID:	171047

  9. #9
    Will Whitaker's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    North Carolina, for now...
    Posts
    1,008

    Re: Kodak Ektar lenses: Tessar Vs. Double Gauss with respect to their rendering of im

    Fwiw, the book Cape Light by Joel Meyerowitz was shot entirely with a 250 WFE lens according to the author's notes. I would suggest you find a copy of that book as a start to learning about that lens. I would also suggest you find a copy simply because his photographs are beautiful and capture so well the feel of Cape Cod.
    Last edited by Will Whitaker; 20-Oct-2017 at 07:04.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    Forest Grove, Ore.
    Posts
    3,330

    Re: Kodak Ektar lenses: Tessar Vs. Double Gauss with respect to their rendering of im

    You might try them with E6 transparency film. Professional level Ektar lenses were optimized for Kodak Ektachorme films that were available at the time.

Similar Threads

  1. Kodak Ektar 127mm f4.7 Supermatic images gallery
    By Professional in forum Image Sharing (LF) & Discussion
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 8-Dec-2013, 12:57
  2. +Kodak Ektar 203 F-7.7 Lenses
    By seawolf66 in forum Lenses & Lens Accessories
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: 25-Mar-2009, 14:11
  3. Clairification of Kodak Ektar lenses for 4x5
    By Michael Krause in forum Lenses & Lens Accessories
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 5-Oct-2001, 22:47

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
  •