View Full Version : Ilex Paragon Anastigmats

10-Nov-2017, 01:09
If anyone can help, I would like to know if there is any difference in the optical design of f/4.5 "Paragon Anastigmat" and "Paragon Anastigmat Series S" lenses. I am thinking specifically in the 5-8 inch focal length range.
VM lumps them together under a combined category as a Q15 (Tessar) type. Are they one design? I cannot find a reference anywhere. There are some Ilex Catalogues on < http://cameraeccentric.com/html/info/ > but they are rather early, with one referencing a Series S" as a symmetrical which would not be Q15.
Another oddity I have found while looking on eBay is that there are non Series S lenses with low serial numbers (4 digit) that are coated, and Series S lenses with serial numbers in the 40k's which are not coated. Coatings are usually a post war feature so I would think that the non Series S lenses post date the Series S.
Is that a reasonable assumption?


Dan Fromm
10-Nov-2017, 06:19
This sticky http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?138978-Where-to-look-for-information-on-LF-(mainly)-lenses contains a link to http://www.galerie-photo.com/ilex-lenses.html

If you don't look, you won't find.

10-Nov-2017, 09:42
If you don't look, you won't find.

The links are a plus but don't help.

There is a "Series S" mentioned. I had already found that. It is not an f/4.5 Tessar but an f/8 Symmetrical as I indicated in the OP.
"I have looked and haven't found" that is why I am asking here.
Does anyone have any personal knowledge or data that actually answers my questions.

Dan Fromm
10-Nov-2017, 10:27
Try this google search: https://www.google.com/search?as_q=ilex&as_epq=+Series+S&as_oq=Paragon+Anastigmat&as_eq=&as_nlo=&as_nhi=&lr=&cr=&as_qdr=all&as_sitesearch=&as_occt=any&safe=active&as_filetype=&as_rights=

Louis Pacilla
10-Nov-2017, 10:50
The Series S was Ilex's later copy of the Tessar Ic and the Series A was Ilex's ealier copy of the Tessar Ic that could be had w/ the diffusion front w/ 0-5 setting and longer FL much the same as Wollensak's Velostigmat II w/ diffusion. As far as I know the later Series S Tessar Ic was not available w/ diffusion and topped out at 12" FL. I have had a few of both Series A & S over time and each where fine examples of a Tessar Ic copy.

BTW-This is not to say that Ilex did not use the "S" Series for another Type of lens in their long history.

10-Nov-2017, 21:39
Thanks for that Louis. I have been looking through the eBay adds to see if I could get some other info and I have noticed that there are coated versions of the non Series S and Series S lenses with both 5 digit and 4 digit serial numbers. This looks to be due to Ilex making lenses for Calumet in the 60s and using another serial block for that. The 4 digit serial lenses appear to have been sold by Ilex alongside their 5 digit serials and independently by Calumet as Ilex Calumet-Caltar .
As both the non Series S and Series S lenses are sold throughout this period, I think it is safe to assume that there is a slight difference in design even though they are both Tessar based.

Dan Fromm
11-Nov-2017, 06:14
Mike, I have Ilex catalogs from the '60s. They list no Type-S lenses. At that time Ilex offered two series of tessar types, both engraved Commercial Paragon. Old f/4.5 designs and new f/6.3s.

Ilex also offered plasmat types in a handful of focal lengths. They were initially offered as "Commercial Paragon Lenses: f/4.8 Series" and as "Semi-Wide Field Paragon Lenses - Convertible", were later sold as Acuton. Calumet sold these lenses rebadged as "Ilex Calumet Caltar Series S." F/4.8; versions sold as Acu Symmetrical by BBOI were f/5.6.

To add to the confusion, Calumet also sold f/6.3 Commercial Paragons rebadged as "Ilex-Calumet Caltar" and as "Caltar."

13-Nov-2017, 04:00
Thanks for that Dan. Yes I had noted the somewhat confusing marketing names. The reason I asked the original question is that I wanted to purchase a Tessar formula Paragon and not get something else by mistake.

13-Nov-2017, 04:31
I think you are safe buying anything named Paragon Anastigmat, f/4.5 or f/6.3. Not anything f/5.6 or f/4.8, which are the plasmat speeds. I have several of the Tessar/Anastigmats, and they are excellent lenses when used appropriately.