View Full Version : Info on Gundlach Anastigmat lens...

Robbie Bedell
18-Jan-2017, 14:09
I recently got this Gundlach 6 1/2 inch f6.3 lens from a member of another forum. I have done a fair bit of searching around and have found very little info about it. I have learned that it is a four element lens. When I first inspected it I could not figure out the four elements because the rear cell is a single cell. I thought it might really be a triplet. Then I looked more carefully and saw that the front has three elements. I looked around more and could not figure just what design of lens it really is. Then I came across a diagram of an early Sonar that had a single element in the back. It was an Ernostar lens. Does anyone know anything about this lens, other than it is for 4x5. I saw an identical one for 8x10. The image it makes looks great on my ground glass...but I have not shot anything with it as yet. Any info you be greatly appreciated! Robbie

Louis Pacilla
18-Jan-2017, 14:27
This was Gundlach's economy anastigmat lens and it's a good lens. I'm going to call it their version of the Tessar IIb f6.3 so around 64 degrees of coverage @ smaller stop and should be a decent little lens. Not rare or expensive but will make a nice shape image if your technique is solid and you don't ask more from the lens it will produce. So don't use the last few degrees of the coverage if you want super sharp edges on your/from your negative.

Go down to page 11 in this Gundlach catalog (I'll provide a link for you below) & you can read up on the lens.

Robbie Bedell
18-Jan-2017, 14:33
Thank you very much Louis! Yes, I was able to find that catalogue earlier...but thank you for the link. I suppose the Radar was a step above this lens. This is my second lens with the old Gammax shutter and they are both working fine. I very much appreciate you info!!

Jim Galli
18-Jan-2017, 15:16
Robbie, I'm going to dis-agree slightly with Louis, which is rare. I believe this lens is 4 elements in 4 groups making it a dialyt formula. Good and bad. You lose somewhere around 4% of image forming light into reflection on every separate surface, and that means 8 surfaces with this lens. So in worst case situations 30% of the light is turning into flare.

That's the bad, the good is, it's an effective tool in your toolbox. Sometimes flare is actually welcome. Do some shots with it inside a workshop area, an old garage with tools on the wall, or who knows what else, and you'll get those sharp flat type pictures that graced the pages of old timey instruction manuals. They are very sharp, you just have to learn to make the flare work for you. It might suck doing the coast, looking in the general direction of the sun.

Louis Pacilla
18-Jan-2017, 15:18
Never mind. Thanks for the correction Jim.

Louis Pacilla
18-Jan-2017, 15:23
Hey Brother Jim Long time since we chatted here. Good to do so!:)

I went with Tessar IIb as they make no mention of convertibility when Gundlach speaks of it. That seems strange to me. But having never owned this one I'll certainly differ to you.

Robbie Bedell
18-Jan-2017, 15:56
Thank you Jim. The dialyte kind of occurred to me. I have two 203 Ektars and I was going to make a comparison. I did notice some flare when I pointed the lens toward a large window. But I am happy to hear you recommendation about the inside work. One of the reasons I got this lens is that I feel I am entering a 'Josef Sudek' phase and I am planning on a number of still lives. This should be perfect. I will pair it with an old Bausch & Lomb Centar II rapid rectilinear I have and step back a century or so. Thank you Jim!!

Robbie Bedell
27-Jan-2017, 12:41
I am so sorry. I have, in my first assessment, counted wrong. I used a single bulb and was more careful the second time. The front has four elements and the rear has two. Here are some photos:

Robbie Bedell
27-Jan-2017, 16:42
OK, I learned from another forum that this really is a Tessar clone with four elements, two in front and two in back...I was able to unscrew the front and clean out the dust. It's now like new. Thank you to all!!