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Thread: Ilex Paragon 10" (254mm), Set In Ilex #3 Shutter

  1. #1
    pendennis's Avatar
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    Ilex Paragon 10" (254mm), Set In Ilex #3 Shutter

    Considering buying this lens for a slightly longer view than my Caltar 210mm f5.6. Using on either my Super Graphic 4x5 or Cambo SC 4x5. Seems the specs show minimal coverage for 8x10. Probably why I'm looking at it. Not a modern coated lens, but seems interesting.

    Price is right, lens is spotless, shutter fires properly. I've searched this, and other forums, but not a lot of info on this Ilex. I did see some references to a Caltar in the early 60's, but this seems to predate that one.

    Any reason not to buy this one?
    Best,
    Dennis

  2. #2

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    Re: Ilex Paragon 10" (254mm), Set In Ilex #3 Shutter

    If you want it for 8 x 10 I'd get a 12 inch Dagor instead if you have enough bellows. If not, or for 45 or 57 I'd get the Caltar. Remember that most lenses are better than most photographers!

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    Re: Ilex Paragon 10" (254mm), Set In Ilex #3 Shutter

    It's a Tessar design; a competitor for the Kodak Ektar in its time, and underrated today. It will barely cover 8x10 (probably designed for whole-plate format), and its view will be not much different than your 210. if it's uncoated it will have less contrast than your modern Caltar. Still a good sharp lens... but Luis-F-S is probably right. (Although you haven't mentioned the ask for this lens, and a 12" Dagor will be very spendy.)
    Last edited by Mark Sampson; 28-Jul-2018 at 11:01.

  4. #4
    loujon
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    Re: Ilex Paragon 10" (254mm), Set In Ilex #3 Shutter

    Hey Dennis

    Whats the maximum aperture?

    "IF" the max aperture is f4.5 & it's tagged "Paragon Series S" it will be a Tessar design. The 10" Ic wont give great covering of 8x10 at infinity but would work ok for portraits. It will have decent 5x7 coverage and fairly good coverage on 4x5. Ilex had two Series prefixes for their Tessar Ic design "Series A" Paragon or the "Series S" Paragon.

    The Series A Paragon was earlier and could/can be found with a soft focus feature 0-5. Its just like the Velostigmat Series II from the same time period. Also if you remove the limit pegs in side the front pair SF feature you can dial a load of very nice diffusion. available in focal lengths up to a 19" (for a period). never factory coated

    The Series S Paragon was later after Ilex started coating lenses post WWII and was not offed in as many focal lengths or w/ the soft focus feature. Available in less focal lengths & only ever up to 12" and mostly found w/ factory signal coating.

    It could be that Ilex used the Paragon name for other designs but mostly it was used for their Tessar/Ic design for many years.

    BTW there was a Type S f4.8 10" Ilex in shutter but it may be a fast plasmat design & there was also a Ilex Caltar copy of a Tessar IIb/Commercial Ektar f6.3 but none of these had the "Paragon" tag. At least as far as I could discern .

  5. #5

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    Re: Ilex Paragon 10" (254mm), Set In Ilex #3 Shutter

    That's a perfect portrait length for 4x5. I have a 12" one I use on 5x7, and consider it the best lens I own, in terms of creamy rendering. You don't say if it's an f/4.5 or f/6.3, but they are both good lenses.

    Click through for a big view where you can really get an idea of the quality:


    Eric
    by Michael Darnton, on Flickr
    Thanks, but I'd rather just watch:
    Large format: http://flickr.com/michaeldarnton
    Mostly 35mm: http://flickr.com/mdarnton
    You want digital, color, etc?: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stradofear

  6. #6
    pendennis's Avatar
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    Re: Ilex Paragon 10" (254mm), Set In Ilex #3 Shutter

    Quote Originally Posted by Louis Pacilla View Post
    Hey Dennis

    Whats the maximum aperture?

    "IF" the max aperture is f4.5 & it's tagged "Paragon Series S" it will be a Tessar design. The 10" Ic wont give great covering of 8x10 at infinity but would work ok for portraits. It will have decent 5x7 coverage and fairly good coverage on 4x5. Ilex had two Series prefixes for their Tessar Ic design "Series A" Paragon or the "Series S" Paragon.

    The Series A Paragon was earlier and could/can be found with a soft focus feature 0-5. Its just like the Velostigmat Series II from the same time period. Also if you remove the limit pegs in side the front pair SF feature you can dial a load of very nice diffusion. available in focal lengths up to a 19" (for a period). never factory coated

    The Series S Paragon was later after Ilex started coating lenses post WWII and was not offed in as many focal lengths or w/ the soft focus feature. Available in less focal lengths & only ever up to 12" and mostly found w/ factory signal coating.

    It could be that Ilex used the Paragon name for other designs but mostly it was used for their Tessar/Ic design for many years.

    BTW there was a Type S f4.8 10" Ilex in shutter but it may be a fast plasmat design & there was also a Ilex Caltar copy of a Tessar IIb/Commercial Ektar f6.3 but none of these had the "Paragon" tag. At least as far as I could discern .
    Max aperture is f/6.3. Should have posted that first.
    Best,
    Dennis

  7. #7

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    Re: Ilex Paragon 10" (254mm), Set In Ilex #3 Shutter

    Quote Originally Posted by pendennis View Post
    Max aperture is f/6.3. Should have posted that first.
    This forum has resources. Of interest to you, http://www.largeformatphotography.in...mainly)-lenses has a link to an article on Ilex lenses that has links to catalogs. Look at it, follow the links.

  8. #8
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: Ilex Paragon 10" (254mm), Set In Ilex #3 Shutter

    Get it! It’s one of my favorite lenses.
    “You often feel tired, not because you've done too much, but because you've done too little of what sparks a light in you.”
    ― Alexander Den Heijer

  9. #9
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    Re: Ilex Paragon 10" (254mm), Set In Ilex #3 Shutter

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter De Smidt View Post
    Get it! It’s one of my favorite lenses.
    Done, and done! Pick up on Monday!
    Best,
    Dennis

  10. #10
    pendennis's Avatar
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    Re: Ilex Paragon 10" (254mm), Set In Ilex #3 Shutter

    Picked the lens up from the dealer yesterday, and it's just beautiful. Not a mark on it; no separation, fungus, etc. Just a slight bit of internal dust, but not enough to affect anything.

    Now to the mounting - The shutter is an Ilex Universal f/6.3-45. My personal preference is for a different type, but this one works perfectly, so my "need" is down the road. This lens board looks like a Graphic View can be adapted.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Best,
    Dennis

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