View Full Version : Bokeh, and Tessar type lenses

Hening Bettermann
4-May-2005, 14:11
Tessar type lenses have a reputation of having a very abrupt (steep) transition from sharp to unsharp. This sounds undesirable for landscape - but is it a fact or more of a myth? Or maybe it is more true of some tessar type lenses than of others?

The background for my question: I am looking for a lightweight, high quality 210 mm lens for 6x9. I have avoided the M-Nikkor 8.0/200 because of this Tessar type myth. The 6-element G-Claron still weighs 295 gr and has a coverage that exceeds my needs. Right now, there is a Voigtl?nder Apo Skopar 9.0/210 in a barrel for sale on eBay. So I thought I had found the solution. But Tim from lensn2shutter.com, whom I asked concerning the mounting into a shutter, corrected my belief that this was an Artar/Ronar type lens, he says it is a Tessar type. So my appetite for this lens dropped as steep as the sharpness in a Tessar. What do you think?

By the way, hunting for this lightweight 210, I made some strange "discoveries":
1- While the Internet abounds with quotes of the Apo Lanthar, I found almost no information about the Apo Skopar.
2- The Schneider web site, at www.schneider-kreuznach.de/archiv/archiv.htm, has 2 brochures of Apo Artars, and (only) the one of them, ar_apo_kompl.pdf, lists an Apo Artar 9.0/210 - so this may be the one for me to hunt. (Since there is no Apo Ronar 210, to my knowledge). However - how much weight would I actually save (compared to the G-Claron), since this 210 mm Artar probably would need a #1 shutter. Or would it??
3- On the same part of the Schneider web site, there is a brochure on Repro Clarons, in which to my amazement I found that a Repro Claron 9.0/210 in its time was offered in a # 0 (!) shutter, in which it weighed only 190 gr! So this would be a 210 mm for 190 gr, like the M-Nikkor, but without (?) the Tessar lack of bokeh.

Good light! Hening.

Gem Singer
4-May-2005, 14:24
Hello Henning,

The Nikkor f8 200M would be an excellent lens to use for landscape photography with the 6X9 (or even the 4X5) format. You can forget about the, so called, "Tessar myth" with that lens.

Jason Greenberg Motamedi
4-May-2005, 14:33
The Apo-Skopar, like the Apo-Lanthar, is a Heliar, not a Tessar.

Jason Greenberg Motamedi
4-May-2005, 15:30

4-May-2005, 15:47
The Leica Elmar is a Tessar, and bokker don't get no betterthan that, me lad.

Arne Croell
4-May-2005, 16:29
As Jason said: Whereas the regular (non-Apo) Skopar was a Tessar-type, the Apo-Skopar was a Heliar type. Actually, Voigtländer recommended the Apo-Skopar for landscapes.

Will Strain
4-May-2005, 16:47
as mentioned in another thread... the komura (old caltar pro) 210 6.3 is pretty nice... I use mine on my vhr for 6x9 or up to 4x5 easily (it's coverage should go up to 5x7 with room)

Topcon also marketed a super-horseman 210 that was pretty nice, and lightweight.

Ernest Purdum
4-May-2005, 18:22
Though seven silly litle milimeters short of your specification, it sounds like you might like the 203mm lenses, f7.7 Ektars and f7.5 Optars. Some 203mm Kodak lenses are uncoated, though, so look for the "L" in a circle amongst the lens markings. Coating is very important since these lenses have eight air to glass surfaces.

These are dialytes, like the Artar, Repro-Claron and Ronar, but just a little bit faster. They have way more coverage than you need, but so do most of the other lenses you express interest in. Besides, some day you might want to explore the advantages of getting more use from your lenses by use of multiple formats. I just weighed one on my crude postal scale and got a 200 gram reading.

Eric Rose
5-May-2005, 07:53
I used a Rodenstock 210 Geronar, Tessar type lens, for several years. I found it very sharp, contrasty, and great to the edges. Mind you I generally stop down to at least f22 and usually f32. For those rare shots where I wanted to shoot wide open to reduce DOF I found the Tessar gave a very nice 3D effect. Something I don't get with my newer design lenses.

David A. Goldfarb
5-May-2005, 08:49
I think there's a fair amount of variety among Tessars with regard to the rendering of out of focus areas, but most of the ones I have are pretty good. I've probably tried and sold off a few that weren't. Just checking to see what I have conveniently scanned on my website:

Here's a landscape on 6x6 with an 80/3.5 Color-Skopar (Voigtlander Perkeo II)--


This portrait is on 6x6 with a 135/3.5 Nikkor-Q (Bronica S2A), which is a Tessar-type. Notice a bit of double line bokeh in the upper left hand corner, which might suggest that the Nikkor-Q is corrected to a greater degree for spherical abberation than the older Color-Skopar, not that these two examples are really comparable, but in general from using them both, I'd say it's likely--


This portrait is on 5x7" with a B&L 5x8" Tessar (around 240mm)--


Dan Fromm
5-May-2005, 11:59
Um, Eric, isn't the Geronar a triplet?

Hening Bettermann
5-May-2005, 17:27
Many thanks to all of you for valuable information! I had prepared a little round-up from this thread and other sources and thought of posting it, but the Formatting Help and Formatting Quick Reference links don't seem to work today, and without proper line breaks, it's all a mess.
Good light! - Hening.

Hening Bettermann
6-May-2005, 18:39
Replacing line breaks with paragraphs, here is my own little round-up on high-end, light weight 210 mm lenses for 6x9 with some room for movements. It might be useful to other LF newcomers as well.

-M-Nikkor 8.0/200, shutter size #0 (!), Tessar type, 180 gr in Copal #0, no problem with bokeh

-Optar 7.5/203, Dialyt type 200 gr in shutter (or did this weight refer to the Ektar?)

-Ektar 7.7/203, Dialyt type

7.7 Ektar (serious lens but that thin Kodak coating is often damaged) (Tim Sharkey from LensN2Shutter.com)

Some 203mm Kodak lenses are uncoated, though, so look for the "L" in a circle amongst the lens markings. Coating is very important since these lenses have eight air to glass surfaces. (Ernest Purdum)

-Geronar 210, Triplet

-Dagor 210

info from Ben Weiner:

Dagor - two cemented triplets, symmetrical, f/6.8 or 7.7 usually.
Wide field, supposed to cover 70 deg at f/16 or so, 75-80 deg when
stopped down further. Spherical aberration when wide open, watch for
focus shifts.

-Komura (Caltar Pro) 6.3/210

-Super Horseman 210

-Apo Skopar 9.0/210, #3 (!) Heliar type

The Alphax #3 shutter is the physical size of a Copal #1, look here for a side-by-side comparison of an Alphax #3 and a Copal #3
(Tim Sharkey)

-Apo Artar 9.0/210, Dialyt type

the Artars do not screw right into shutter (Tim)

-Repro Claron 9.0/ 210 #0 (!) Dialyt type, 190gr in Synchro Compur #0 (Schneider Archive)

Usually mounts direct into shutter (Tim)

-G-Claron 9.0/210 #1, 295 gr in Copal #1, mounts direct into Copal #1.

-Wollensack 210 WF Graphic Raptar (Blue Dot Copy)

--- --- ---

Good light! - Hening.

CP Goerz
7-May-2005, 01:57
Actually 'bokeh' is a sound that comes from the back of my throat while I'm being sick, have others experienced this too????? ;-)

CP Goerz.