View Full Version : Opinion or review of lenses Help!!

21-Sep-2005, 04:48
Hi all,

I am a newbie. I have an oppurtunity to buy a 4x5 camera along with these lenses. I have no idea about these lenses. From research using google regarding the shutters, it looks like there are very old.

Here is the list of lenses :

1. Ilex optical paragon anastigmat f4.5 7.5 inch in Ilex No. 3 Acme shutter

2. Jos. Schneider & Co. Krueznach Xenar f4.5 13.5cm in prontor press shutter

3. Wollensak series IIIa Ex W.A. f 12.5 3.5" in Alphax shutter

Is it even worth it to buy these lenses+shutters? how much would you pay for it?


PS: BTW, this is my first photo here. Please let me know if i need to use different category.

Ralph Barker
21-Sep-2005, 06:41
Buying lenses of that vintage is something of a roll of the dice, so to speak. While none of the lenses listed would be considered "great" by most folks, if the glass is in good condition, and the shutters still work reasonably well, they might be just fine to start. One thing to be aware of - make sure that the lenses include the retaining rings that hold the shutter to the lens board. Many of the older lenses are absent the rings, and getting replacements that fit can be problematic, as well as expensive.

As to prices, check thecompleted auctions on eBay as a guide.

Neal Wydra
21-Sep-2005, 07:40
Dear Javaman,

I second checking ebay for current value.

I bought a #1 as a display piece for $60 because of the look of the shutter (it only works on bulb). I've actually used it a couple of times though. If you're coming from 35mm, the final prints will impress you.

#2 just barely covers 4x5. Very little movement available. It was commonly shipped on Crown Graphics. A very nice lens. If the camera is a Crown Graphic, make sure it comes with the matching cam for the rangefinder. It's great fun to use it handheld.

#3 No experience.

Paul Cocklin
21-Sep-2005, 08:02
I just sold#3 on ebay for around $80, and I was quite happy at that price. A nice lens (good contrast and detail, covers 4x5 adequately) whose glass was still good, but whose shutter was a little sticky at around the 1/10th and 1/2 sec. speeds. So, $80 for a lens with a problem ain't bad...

ronald lamarsh
21-Sep-2005, 09:53
I would look over the specs on the xenar very closely: I think you will find that its coverage is barely adequate for 4x5 and like I've read about tessars you want a somewhat longer than normal lens to insure sharpness out to the corners. I have a 150mm 4.5 xenar that I am quite happy with. The other 2 I cannot comment on.