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View Full Version : Kodak Wide Field Eltar 190mm(7.5in) F6.3, how good is it?



diversey
13-Oct-2015, 20:25
I got a Kodak wide field ektar 190mm(7.5in) F6.3 lens and I am wondering how good it is? I shot several 5x7 pictures with this lens, but I am not quite satisfied with it.
What was this lens for, 5x7 or 8x10? Is it as good as Kodak commercial lenses?
Thanks.

Tin Can
13-Oct-2015, 20:36
I got a Kodak wide field ektar 190mm(7.5in) F6.3 lens and I am wondering how good it is? I shot several 5x7 pictures with this lens, but I am not quite satisfied with it.
What was this lens for, 5x7 or 8x10? Is it as good as Kodak commercial lenses?
Thanks.

I don't know but we could compare, as I have 8-1/2" Commercial in #3 Acme shutter. We could swap them, shoot in same camera, use same DDS holder.

What shutter are you using? I can also mount to Korona 5X7 with internal Packard.



LMK

John Kasaian
13-Oct-2015, 20:52
Not a lot of wiggle room on an 8x10, so IMHO far more useful on a 5x7. The WF is a Double Gauss, rather than the Commercial Ektars, which are Tessars. There have been a lot of posts here on the Kodak Wide Fields as well as write ups linked in the Large Format Home Page, so do some searching---your reward awaits you!
What exactly aren't you satisfied with? These are old lenses so it might be possible someone along the way messed up the spacing of the cells, but WFs have enjoyed very good reputations in all the focal lengths they were produced.

Doremus Scudder
14-Oct-2015, 03:35
Wide Field Ektars in good condition are very sharp and have more coverage than more modern Plasmat designs in the same focal length.

If you're not getting sharp results, something is wrong. Check the coating for cloudiness and/or scratches; the softer coating on these older lenses often gets damaged. And, as John mentions, check to see if the lens is in the original shutter. If not, lens spacing may be an issue.

FWIW, my WF Ektars are a bit soft at the edges when focusing, but sharpen up just fine when stopped down to taking aperture, which for me is usually f/22 or smaller.

Best,

Doremus

diversey
14-Oct-2015, 11:58
The shutter is No4 ACME Synchro. I believe this lens was designed for 5x7. When can we compare these two lenses?



I don't know but we could compare, as I have 8-1/2" Commercial in #3 Acme shutter. We could swap them, shoot in same camera, use same DDS holder.

What shutter are you using? I can also mount to Korona 5X7 with internal Packard.



LMK

diversey
14-Oct-2015, 12:02
The photos were flat and low contrast, resolution was no good either. I have to do some PS to increase contrast and sharpening.



Not a lot of wiggle room on an 8x10, so IMHO far more useful on a 5x7. The WF is a Double Gauss, rather than the Commercial Ektars, which are Tessars. There have been a lot of posts here on the Kodak Wide Fields as well as write ups linked in the Large Format Home Page, so do some searching---your reward awaits you!
What exactly aren't you satisfied with? These are old lenses so it might be possible someone along the way messed up the spacing of the cells, but WFs have enjoyed very good reputations in all the focal lengths they were produced.

diversey
14-Oct-2015, 12:04
The lens is clean in general, but there are some hairlines due to cleaning. Is the No4 ACME Synchro shutter original one? It was Ilex ACME Synchro #3 from Kodak Date Book 1948 I saw online after searching.



Wide Field Ektars in good condition are very sharp and have more coverage than more modern Plasmat designs in the same focal length.

If you're not getting sharp results, something is wrong. Check the coating for cloudiness and/or scratches; the softer coating on these older lenses often gets damaged. And, as John mentions, check to see if the lens is in the original shutter. If not, lens spacing may be an issue.

FWIW, my WF Ektars are a bit soft at the edges when focusing, but sharpen up just fine when stopped down to taking aperture, which for me is usually f/22 or smaller.

Best,

Doremus

diversey
14-Oct-2015, 12:12
KODAK WIDE FIELD
EKTAR LENSES 
80mm, f /6.3; 100mm, f /6.3;
135mm, f /6.3 ; 190mm, f /6.3; 250mm, f /6.3
Covering more than twice the area of good definition obtainable with lenses of conventional design, Kodak Wide Field Ektar Lenses, f /6.3, are especially useful for press photography, architectural photography and similar work in which wider than normal coverage is desirable. They are not, however, "special purpose" lenses, since their versatile performance makes them suitable for all types of photography. As a result of careful design and precision manufacture, Kodak Wide Field Ektar Lenses, f /6.3, show no distortion; preserve flatness of field, even at 1 to 1 magnification; and have no significant shift in focus with change in aperture. In a addition, lateral color has been completely eliminated, making possible the perfect registration of color-separation negatives made with these lenses. Kodak Wide Field Ektar Lenses are Lumenized and are supplied in flash shutters. At very short subject distances, it is advisable to use the lens at reduced openings when the work to be done is of an exacting nature. Best definition is obtained at f /11 or smaller diaphragm openings.
Kodak Professional Data Book/Camera Technique for Professional Photographers 1952

f/6.3 190mm
Wide Field Ektar Ilex Acme Synchro #3
1 - 1/150 Double Gauss
Builtin adapter ring, Ser VIII.
Magnesium fluoride coated-'Lumenized'
Angle of view at Inf 56 x 68;
(80 - 230mm circle)

recommended for 5 x 7 w/swings;
8 x 10 w/o

Circle of good definition @ f /16 with object at Inf: 312.5mm
Mounting hole: 2 1/8 in; 53.7mm
Back Focus: 167.5mm; Flange Focus: 179.4mm
Coverage: 318

Jim Noel
14-Oct-2015, 13:49
Since it is in an Acme #4 instead of a #3, it has probably been re-shuttered and the cell spacing could be off.

David Lindquist
14-Oct-2015, 15:28
KODAK WIDE FIELD
EKTAR LENSES 
80mm, f /6.3; 100mm, f /6.3;
135mm, f /6.3 ; 190mm, f /6.3; 250mm, f /6.3
Covering more than twice the area of good definition obtainable with lenses of conventional design, Kodak Wide Field Ektar Lenses, f /6.3, are especially useful for press photography, architectural photography and similar work in which wider than normal coverage is desirable. They are not, however, "special purpose" lenses, since their versatile performance makes them suitable for all types of photography. As a result of careful design and precision manufacture, Kodak Wide Field Ektar Lenses, f /6.3, show no distortion; preserve flatness of field, even at 1 to 1 magnification; and have no significant shift in focus with change in aperture. In a addition, lateral color has been completely eliminated, making possible the perfect registration of color-separation negatives made with these lenses. Kodak Wide Field Ektar Lenses are Lumenized and are supplied in flash shutters. At very short subject distances, it is advisable to use the lens at reduced openings when the work to be done is of an exacting nature. Best definition is obtained at f /11 or smaller diaphragm openings.
Kodak Professional Data Book/Camera Technique for Professional Photographers 1952

f/6.3 190mm
Wide Field Ektar Ilex Acme Synchro #3
1 - 1/150 Double Gauss
Builtin adapter ring, Ser VIII.
Magnesium fluoride coated-'Lumenized'
Angle of view at Inf 56 x 68;
(80 - 230mm circle)

recommended for 5 x 7 w/swings;
8 x 10 w/o

Circle of good definition @ f /16 with object at Inf: 312.5mm
Mounting hole: 2 1/8 in; 53.7mm
Back Focus: 167.5mm; Flange Focus: 179.4mm
Coverage: 318

Could you please re-check what your reference says? I'm sitting here looking at my 1962 edition of Eastman Kodak's _Camera Technique for Professional Photographers_ and it states that the 190 mm Wide Field Ektar was mounted in a No. 4 Ilex Acme Synchro shutter. Just looked on eBay which currently has two 190 mm Wide Field Ektars, one from 1947 and one from 1955, both in No. 4 Acmes.
David

diversey
14-Oct-2015, 17:19
This puzzled me too. I got the information from "bnphoto.org". The shutter might be changed later.



Could you please re-check what your reference says? I'm sitting here looking at my 1962 edition of Eastman Kodak's _Camera Technique for Professional Photographers_ and it states that the 190 mm Wide Field Ektar was mounted in a No. 4 Ilex Acme Synchro shutter. Just looked on eBay which currently has two 190 mm Wide Field Ektars, one from 1947 and one from 1955, both in No. 4 Acmes.
David

Mark Sampson
15-Oct-2015, 19:13
An interesting question. The first thing is to remember that the lens in question is anywhere from 50-70 years old, and who knows what may have been done to it? (You can determine your lens' build date by using the CAMEROSITY code on the serial number.) The 190mm seems to be rather a rare bird; I've used a 135mm happily for decades and used to have, and enjoy using, a 10"WF. Even being from Rochester and working for EK all those years, I've only seen one 190, and never yet the 80mm. IDK whether Kodak offered 190's in #4 or #3 shutters, or both at different times. (My 135 is in a #2 Flash Supermatic, made in 1948, and the 10" lenses I've seen have all been in pie-plate sized #5 Ilexes.) But as others have said, WF Ektars have a good reputation; I would re-run your test, also do a comparison with Randy Moe's 8-1/2 CE, and only then decide. Years of engineering photography taught me to test things more than once, especially when the results look odd...

diversey
15-Oct-2015, 20:16
Mine is ES, indicating the lens was made in 1947 according to camerosity. Thanks!

Tin Can
15-Oct-2015, 20:43
Mine is ES, indicating the lens was made in 1947 according to camerosity. Thanks!

My CE is 1948 and very nice. Let's go to email and find a common lens board to use, on one camera.

diversey
15-Oct-2015, 21:04
Ok, yes!

Keith Pitman
16-Oct-2015, 05:36
This puzzled me too. I got the information from "bnphoto.org". The shutter might be changed later.

The website you cite has a photo of a 190 in an Acme #4. I think the text is incorrect. My 190 is in an Acme #4. It's a good and sharp lens. As someone else said, try retesting, or just make some photos.