View Full Version : Caltar 375 f 6.3 in an Ilex No. 5 for 4x5?

14-Aug-2004, 17:33
I bought this lens and have to figure out how to mount it on my old Orbit monorail (basically same as Calumet C400). Anyone have any pointers for me? It seems to me I've got to mount the lens about 1/2 inch in front of the plane of the lens board. I'll probably do it with some wood spacers.

Does anyone have any experience with this lens? Lens and shutter weigh a ton, and I'm trying to figure out why I want to put this in my pack and carry it around with me. I have a much lighter Calter 210 convertible which becomes a 14" lens if I remove one of the elements, but won't the 375 be much sharper?

Peter C. McDonough
14-Aug-2004, 20:04
Hi Michael, I have owned this lens for a number of years and am quite pleased with it. Like yours mine is mounted in a #5 shutter. I use it on my 8x10 camera as that focal length pretty much corresponds to a 50mm on a 35mm camera. I have found the lens to be an excellent performer. From what I can gather, it is a Tessar formula and closely resembles the Kodak Ektar in performance. The lens is very sharp and exhibits very nice contrast. Hope this helps. Peter

15-Aug-2004, 08:11
You've got a 4" lensboard and that shutter needs a 3 3/8" mounting hole? A tophat style lensboard would be my choice. Sort of a reversed recessed board. How big is the flange? How long are your bellows? You might need that extended lensboard if you need to focus close.

Ernest Purdum
15-Aug-2004, 13:12
You are right in thinking that this lens would provide better images than one cell of a convertible lens. I suppose that you would be using it mostly or entirely at long distances, so you wouldn't need the extra long extension piece that would permit close focusing. Even so, however, you would be putting quite a load on the front standard. I think you will find that the front tilt tends to be self-tilting with this sort of setup. One answer might be to add a tilt clamping arrangement to the left as well as he right side. Another might be to see if you can trade up slightly to the CC-401 which has a longer rail and bellows ands was made for use with either longer lenses or very close focusing. On eBay, the two models seem to sell for close to the same price.

Michael S. Briggs
15-Aug-2004, 18:23
Unless you are considering acquiring a larger format camera, you might consider selling this lens and buying a smaller / light lens. This is really an 8x10 lens is on the heavy side for most 4x5 cameras.

A different lens would help with the question "Lens and shutter weigh a ton, and I'm trying to figure out why I want to put this in my pack and carry it around with me", A somewhat shorter focal length would allow you to focus without a special extended lensboard. If you do have to put it on an extended lensboard, the resulting leverage will increase the stress on the front standard.

Jon Wilson
15-Aug-2004, 19:04
You might be able to make a 4x4 lens board from Radio Shack blank copper plated plastic comupter boards. I made one for my 5x7 Korona (4.5 x 4.5) board and installed a smaller piece of 1/8" or 1/4" 4x4 square hobby board on the back for added support for the large flange and it works nicely on my 375mm Calumet Caltar.

James E Galvin
17-Aug-2004, 14:46
I use a 14 inch Commercial Ektar in Ilex #5 on my CC400. Can't focus closer than about 12 feet. Works better on my CC401 (2?) with the longer rail. I mounted the retainer ring on the front of the board with screws through the holes in the flange. Turned the flange so the flat part faced the lens. Then used black silicone caulk between the flange and board to seal the dark in. This spaces the lens forward enough for the sliding clips to work. Spacing the lens further forward lets you get closer, but may well make the front tilt automatic! This is a heavy lens. For the CC400, a 14" is too long for portraiture (can't focus close enough), I use a 12".

18-Aug-2004, 08:39
Thanks for all the input. The solution was pretty easy, similar to what Jim Galvin did.

I made a lensboard out of woodboard and screwed the flange into the lensboard, which allowed me to reverse the flange. The arrangement seems pretty stable.

The camera itself is a BJ Orbit. I also have a Calumet but I don't know which model. The rail on both is 16''. This allows me to focus to about 8' with the 375.