View Full Version : Eskofot Ultragon Lenses

Colin Myers
11-Jun-2004, 11:29
Can any forum member help. I recently acquired an old Kodak Copy camera to try and cannibalise the vacuum easel. As part of the deal, I inherited 2 lenses mounted on a panel. Both are Eskofot Ultragon's, one is 210mm/f9 the other is 305mm/f9, both have disengageable click stops. Do these have any value as large format taking lenses and why are there so many process lens of 305mm focal length? Colin Myers

Michael Veit
11-Jun-2004, 11:36
I have the 210mm and it covers 8x10 @ f22. It's a super sharp lens, but uncoated and obviously without shutter. I've seen these things fetch $30 as a "process lens" on ebay and, within a week, $100 when advertised as a wide for 8x10. A fine lens.

Arne Croell
11-Jun-2004, 11:39
Both are plasmat type process lenses like the Schneider G-Clarons or Rodenstock Gerogons; the Ultragons are made by Staeble near Munich (Eskofot was a process camera manufacturer I think). They were also sold as Staeble Ultragon and Agfa Repromaster (Agfa owns Staeble). Unfortunately they are not a direct fit for a shutter like the G-Clarons are. Can't answer your focal length question, I can just assume that for a vertical process camera 305mm equated to a popular size for printing plates. Note that there is no relation to the Voigtländer Ultragon wide angle lens sold in the 1950's.

Arne Croell
11-Jun-2004, 11:49
I am not sure its uncoated; the single coating of process lenses often does not have the distinctive bluish-magenta color of "normal"coatings - just look at a G-Claron. I assume that is due to the fact that they are optimized for a different part of the spectrum (UV-blue?).

Ernest Purdum
11-Jun-2004, 11:55
Eskofot is a Danish printing equipment house. The lenses are marked "Made in Germany". I have seen several reports indicating that these lenses were made by the Staeble company which was taken over by AGFA.

All the comments I have seen from people using these lenses in normal photographic work have been favorable. This isn't particularly surprising since several types of symmetrical process lenses are known to be quite tolerant of variations in distance relationships. Try it, you'll probably like it.

305mm is not only a length frequently used for process lenses, but general-purpose lenses also. I suppose the fact that it is the closest metric equivalent to 12" could have something to do with it.

You are fortunate that your combination is 210 and 305mm. A 150 and 210mm combination is found more often.

David F. Stein
12-Jun-2004, 21:54
Also keep an eye out for JML lenses, some beautiful wide-angle ones pop up on eBay from time to time. Let's see: original cost: as much as $thousand; now, less than $60. WOW.