View Full Version : Lines Learing (Film answer to Pixel Peeping)

18-Nov-2005, 17:55
Looking through old photo magazines from before WW2, it was apparent that the standard LF lens was the Zeiss Tessar, 135mm/f:4.5. I have several Press cameras from this area, all of which are fitted with this (uncoated) lens. Wondering how it actually stacks up against our "modern" glass. I speak here of resolution and contrast, not considering the extended coverage of 6 element Symmars, etc. The Thallman/Knoppow test reports don't seem to include any data on it. Also, wonder if anybody has had one of these old timers repolished and coated, and what difference it makes. (Yes, I know that the question is a total waste of time and effort, and doesn't matter to anyone. But I would like to know, anyhow, just out of curiosity.)

Craig Wactor
19-Nov-2005, 22:22
I've got one. It is fairly sharp (not super sharp), but low in contrast (no surprise). My main problem is that the old shutter is inaccurate.

20-Nov-2005, 10:22
Hello, Bill:

It might be good for you to make a direct comparision yourself.

I am thinking, for example, of you aquiring a negative shot with the Planar 135mm F3.5. You could then make a similar shot with one of your Tessars, print/scan or loupe it yourself to see just how much difference there is.

I can rummage around for a spare negative shot with the Planar done at, say, F11 on Efke 25 to snail-mail to you. Others here have the same lens, possibly they would have a spare negative. I could also post a full-frame reduced image and partial sections, but these would be scans and likely suffer from my lowtech scanner.

Kick the idea around and let us know. Okay?

Ole Tjugen
20-Nov-2005, 10:51
I've done that test o something very similar - comparing 120/6.8 Angulon, 135/3.5 Planar, 135/4.5 Euynar, 135/4.5 Skopar, 150/4.5 Heliar, 150/4.5 Apo-Lanthar, 150/5.6 Symmar, 180/4.5 Xenar and 210/4.5 Xenar on 5x7" film (just to see the limits of coverage).

At f:16 there was no real difference except in contrast and coverage. At f:8 the APO-Lanthar and the Planar were about equally (and impressively) sharp, with the Eurynar a close third. The Tessar-clones were just as sharp in the center, but the sharpness fell off gradually towards the edges of 4x5" (not the 180 and the 210; both cover the full 5x7"). The Angulon was slightly softer, but had more even coverage (all the way to 5x7").

I have since got hold of a coated Eurynar, but haven't got around to testing it yet.

20-Nov-2005, 14:04
Thanks, Ole. And good luck with that new casket set.