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Thread: Bausch and Lomb 305mm: Looking for information.

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Feb 2004
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    76

    Bausch and Lomb 305mm: Looking for information.

    So, I went out on a limb and bought a Bausch and Lomb 305mm lens mounted in a Betax 5.

    Hey, it was cheap and I figured it would be lighter than my 300 Symmar -S II copy. For the record, I was so very, very wrong. I'm now convinced there are no light 8x10 lenses, but that's another story for another thread.

    Anyways, there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of information out there, so I'm hoping someone can shed some light on this.

    The lens says "Tessar Ic 305mm E.F. f/4.5," and has what I'd describe as a yellow dot, although maybe someone else would say gold -shrug-, over by the manufacturer's name.

    Anyone have any insight to coverage, the significance of the dot (its not coating, the lens itself is uncoated), or other information (ie, I know that Kodak produced a Portrait Ektar tessar in 305mm/4.5, this isn't the same lens with a different name, is it?). Mostly trying to get a feel for the coverage of this guy.

    Also, a suggested price for this guy, again in Betax 5, in very good condition would be nice. Mainly to see if I made a mistake or got lucky, as I'm always paranoid about buying a total, useless dog.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Feb 2004
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    76

    Bausch and Lomb 305mm: Looking for information.

    Because I like to reply to my own messages, the lens also has "TF2662" printed on it, as well. Perhaps the serial number?

  3. #3

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    Bausch and Lomb 305mm: Looking for information.

    The Kodak Portrait lens is not a Tessar/Ektar formula. The conventional wisdom is that a Tessar-type lens can be excellent quality- the design is still made as the 300mm f/9 Nikkor-M. (Which by the way is a lightweight lens that covers 8x10). Give your lens a try- but avoid backlight or huge camera movements.

  4. #4

    Bausch and Lomb 305mm: Looking for information.

    "Tessar" is a lens design. At least originally, the name was a trademark of Zeiss. The design was invented by Paul Rodolph in 1902. Because your lens has the tessar name on it, it may have been made under license from Zeiss.

    The design has been used in very many lenses by many lens manufacturers. In current or recent LF lenses, tessars include the Nikkor-Ms and the Schneider Xenars. The design is a simple one, four glass elements in three groups -- the rear cell contains two elements cemented together. You can read about it in the book "A History of the Photographic Lens" by Rudolf Kingslake.

    The design is capable of fine image quality, but not of wide coverage. Nikon specifies the coverage of the 300 mm f9 Nikkor-M as 57 degrees / 325 mm. In a brochure on Xenars that I have, Schneider specifies 62 degrees for most. So your lens should cover 8x10, but won't support large front movements with that format.

    Many Kodak LF Ektars were tessar designs, such as the famous Commercial Ektars. The 305 Portrait Ektars were simple two-element achromat lenses.

    "TF2662" is probably the serial number.

  5. #5

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    Bausch and Lomb 305mm: Looking for information.

    As suggested by earlier replies, there are smaller, lighter, 8X10 lenses, but not with f4.5 aperture. For example, the later 305mm G-Clarons come in a size 1 shutter and weigh 460 to 500 grams, only a little over one pound. The aperture is only f9, however. They also provide a 64 degree amgle of coverage - a little wider than Tessar types.



    305mm is the closest round number equivalent to 12", which may account for the fact that this focal length has been chosen by several manufacturers.



    Other makers have also placed yellow dots amongst their lens markings, I have seen suggestions as to their meaning but have never seen a manufacturer's own explanation. If anyone has, it would be a good contribution to this thread.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Feb 2004
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    Bausch and Lomb 305mm: Looking for information.

    Well, I figured everything else wasn't anything, but I'm still curious about the dot.

    Which seems to be a mystery to just about everyone.

  7. #7

    Bausch and Lomb 305mm: Looking for information.

    I actually have a lens identical to the one in question, although I have not mounted it in a lens board yet, and don't have any comments about performance or coverage. I did however get it from the well known large format eBay seller dagor77, and he seemed to know quite a bit about it. You might want to contact him for further information. And you're right, this lens is certainly no lightweight. But hey, I need the exercise.

    Mike

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