View Full Version : Caltar-S II 5.6 / 135mm

26-Oct-2004, 16:29
Just wondering if anyone has some info they can share about the Caltar-S II 5.6 /135mm lens. I've had trouble finding any info on this particular lens. I believe that it is an older model that was actually made by Schneider rather than Rodenstock. Does anyone know what size image circle it produces, quality of optics, contrast, filter size, market value, etc ?


Kerry L. Thalmann
26-Oct-2004, 16:58

The 135mm Caltar-S II is equivalent to the 135mm Schneider Symmar-S. It was made between 1976 and 1983. The filter size is 49mm. It is a 6/4 plasmat design with 70 degrees of coverage for a 190mm image circle. It may, or my not, be multicoated. If it is, it will be labeled "Multicoating" around the front element. It's a good, modern lens that should be capable of excellent performance. Price will depend on condition and is whatever the market will bear. I'd guess somewhere in the $225 - $275 range for a multicoated sample in excellent+ to mint- condition in a properly working shutter. The price should be lower for a single coated sample, or one in less than excellent+ condition.


Scott Bacon
27-Oct-2004, 07:33
Here's (http://www.schneideroptics.com/info/vintage_lens_data/large_format_lenses/symmar-s/data/1,5,6-135mm.html) Schneider's page with the technical info Kerry listed. I have the
earlier version, not the II, and not MC. Still, I've been very happy with the
results for landscape (that's mostly what I do). I bought mine used in a Copal 0
for $210 on eBay about 5 years ago. One thing that puzzles me though... Mine has
a 58mm filter thread. I share filters with my Rodenstock Grandagon N 75 f/6.8.
Could the 49mm accessory thread listed on the specs page be a spec for the rear

Kerry L. Thalmann
27-Oct-2004, 11:55

Your 135mm f5.6 Caltar S was made by Rodenstock between 1970 and 1976. The image circle is 188mm, and as you state, the filter size is 58mm. This lens is the same as the original Rodenstock Sironar that was sometimes (but not always) sold as a convertible lens. Some of the Rodenstock Sironar lenses came with a dual aperture scale for using the convertible feature. One of the first large format lenses I had was a 210mm Sironar that had the dual scales. The camera I was using at that time (Speed Graphic) did not have enough bellows to use the longer focal length. So, I only used it at 210mm and never tested the longer, converted focal length.

This particular lens line had some weird filter sizes. For some reason the 135mm took 58mm filters, the 150mm jumped up to 67mm, but then the 210mm went back down to 58mm. Strange. Usually filter sizes move up (or at least stay the same) as focal length increases within a given product line.


Scott Bacon
27-Oct-2004, 13:21
Thanks Kerry! That explains it. Mine is not in a shutter with dual scales. But it would be fun to figure out if this is actually a convertible lens. Do you know what the convertible focal length would be? Around 240? And the conversion would be done by removing the front element, correct?