View Full Version : Kodak 12" f/4.5 Ektar vs. 12" f/6.3 Commercial Ektar

2-Mar-2014, 13:37
Out of curiosity I was wondering what the difference is between a 12" f/4.5 Ektar and a 12" f/6.3 Commerical Ektar other than maximum aperture. From what I've read the CE is better corrected for color and my guess is it also has a larger image circle, but in practical terms when shooting black and white using the same f/stop would there be much difference at all considering they are both Tessar-type designs?

For the record I own a 12" f/4.5 Ektar and really like it, but the 12" CE seems far more common.


2-Mar-2014, 14:06
See post #4: http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?93390-Ektar-12-inch-F4-5

2-Mar-2014, 16:09
And here I thought I was asking a new question!

I am still curious how the "better corrections" are achieved with the CE since both lenses have similar designs.


John Kasaian
2-Mar-2014, 18:31
If you like your f/4.5 then use what you've got. It's the Indian, not the arrow.

2-Mar-2014, 18:42

I'm not looking to switch lenses or anything. I do really like the f/4.5 Ektar. I was just curious what makes one "Commercial" and one not.


Dan Fromm
3-Mar-2014, 05:29
I'm not looking to switch lenses or anything. I do really like the f/4.5 Ektar. I was just curious what makes one "Commercial" and one not.

Kodak did it. That's what did it. Ektar is a trade name, Commercial Ektar is another trade name. f/4.5 Ektars and f/6.3 Commercial Ektars were made to different prescriptions.

Jim Galli
3-Mar-2014, 11:23
Kodak was marketing lenses for their color films. The rumor has flown around for years that the CE's were actually APO. Just guessing now, but that's what we do on the internet, I doubt Kodak could 'get there' with full f4.5. Plus, a 14 f6.3 fits nicely in a no. 5 shutter where a 12 f4.5 has to be sort of crammed into a 5. Honest mfr.s called a 12 in a no. 5 an f4.8 lens.

In practice, I don't care much for the CE's. I gravitate to the f4.5's and shoot them wide open as often as possible.

Drew Wiley
3-Mar-2014, 12:03
Back when my brother was selling em, he claimed there were three "grades" of commercial Ektars. I don't know if this included the 4.5, which is technically not a
commerical Ektar, and not intended for color, though I have seem em used for that without any serious issue. Not as crisp perhaps, but to me sometimes a more interesting rendering. Wouldn't mind owning one.

3-Mar-2014, 12:09
Back when my brother was selling em, he claimed there were three "grades" of commercial Ektars.

Out of curiosity, can you elaborate on the three grades?

3-Mar-2014, 12:13
I'd be interested, also.

Drew Wiley
3-Mar-2014, 12:18
This was a long time ago, but as I recall, he referred to hand-selected examples picked out of the general run, and certified somehow as superior performers, which
warranted a higher price. I have no idea if part of the leftovers were spun off to Calumet private-label, but it wouldn't surprise me. Still, either category would have
a relatively good reputation today for softer color work. These of course would all be 6.3 in this kind of focal length. I'm assuming the third grade would have been the 4.5 portrait series rather than true C.E.'s. He also sold Linhof and Rollei back then, so was accustomed to nitpicky pro customers.

Drew Wiley
3-Mar-2014, 12:32
...OK, I know I'll start a food fight with that comment. But what they thought selling them. Commerical Ektars were considered superior to faster Ektars because
they were officially corrected for color film, and not all big name brand lenses back then were, by any means. Black and white shooters today might have a different

3-Mar-2014, 12:55
Thanks for the memory, Drew.

Andrew Plume
3-Mar-2014, 12:59
I've owned both and still have the f4.5 Ektar

.........but why oh why were these Ilex shutters, No5 in particular not that fast, I don't mind the size, it's their speeds


Jason Greenberg Motamedi
3-Mar-2014, 13:09
The only other option would be a Compound no. 5, which aren't any faster.

3-Mar-2014, 23:19
It's the Indian, not the arrow.

Had not heard this in a long time, long enough to forget the adage, thanks for reminding us [well, me at least] :)

Drew Wiley
4-Mar-2014, 13:42
Every real Indian I knew put a lot of fuss into his arrows. At least the ones which still remembered what arrows and arrowheads were for.