View Full Version : Caltar Type S 135 mm/5.6

Aender Brepsom
11-Jan-2006, 09:09

can anybody give me some information about a Caltar Type S 135 mm/5.6 lens (serial number: 8 790 xxx)?

Is this a Schneider or a Rodenstock? Is it multicoated? How old could it be?
Any comments on its image quality?

Thany you very much for your help!


Oren Grad
11-Jan-2006, 09:43
I believe it's a Rodenstock Sironar - perhaps '70s vintage, though I'm sure Bob Salomon could tell us exactly from the serial number. No, it's not multicoated.

I tested a 300mm Caltar Type S once. It was a competent lens, certainly quite usable, but not so refined overall as the later generation Rodenstocks. I think Rodenstock took a big step forward with the Sironar-N / Caltar II-N generation - that's when they picked up both multicoating, and also the extra smoothness in the out-of-focus areas that remains characteristic of the Rodenstock plasmats today in the Apo-Sironar-S series. Since the Sironar-N lenses are often available at attractive prices on the used market, I'd pass on a Caltar Type S in favor of one of the later models.

Christopher Perez
11-Jan-2006, 11:42
Your Caltar S is Schneider. Possibly single coated. If it were a Caltar S II, then it would be multi-coated. It's probably a 1970's to early 1980's optic. It should be an outstanding performer.

David Karp
11-Jan-2006, 11:54
Kerry Thalmann wrote an article on the history of Caltar lenses in the May/June 2003 issue of View Camera Magazine. He states that the Caltar S series was (1) available from the early 1970s to 1976, (2) made by Rodenstock, and (3) a private label version of the Sironar series. According to the table in the article, this lens had a 188mm image circle, and a filter size of 58mm. He confirms that the Caltar-S II lenses were made by Schneider and equivalent to the Symmar-S series.

Oren Grad
11-Jan-2006, 11:57
Sorry Chris, but Caltar Type S is not Schneider, although S II is (Symmar-S equivalent). Yes, the names are confusing. (Caltar II-N = Nodenstock?)

Full details on the ins and outs of the Caltars over the years can be found in Kerry Thalmann's excellent article in the May/June 2003 issue of View Camera. Just located that issue on my shelf, to refresh my recollection - Aender, Kerry identifies the Type S as the Rodenstock Sironar, vintage 1970-76. Coverage is indicated as 70 degrees, rather than the 72 degrees of the later Sironar-N / Caltar II-N series, yet another advantage for the later Rodenstock version.

Jim Ewins
11-Jan-2006, 22:46
What may be the origin and years for a Ilex-Calumet Wide Field Caltar No. 27xx 90mm f8 mounted on a Seikosha-SLV shutter?

Aender Brepsom
11-Jan-2006, 23:50
To Oren, Christopher and Dave:

Thank you very much for your precious information and help!


Scott Bacon
12-Jan-2006, 08:01
Aender, FWIW, I've been shooting with a Caltar S 135mm f/5.6 for over 5 years and I've been quite pleased with its performance. It was one of my first LF lenses and is still my most used lens. I've never made a direct comparison with a more modern 135mm lens, but I'm happy with the negs and transparencies made with this lens.