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View Full Version : Desperately Seeking Classic 135-165mm Wide Angles



Kerry L. Thalmann
26-Mar-2006, 20:45
Time for another unusual request...

I am working on a multi-part article on "semi-wide" angle lenses - that is, lenses that cover 80 - 100 degrees. I have several such lenses in my possession in the 150mm (+/- 10%) range, but would like to include a few more classic wide angle lenses to make the article as complete as possible.

The lenses I am seeking are:

135mm f6.3 Kodak Wide Field Ektar in Supermatic Shutter

159mm f9.5 Wollensak Wide Angle Raptar in Rapax (or Alphax) Shutter

160mm f5.6 Wollensak Pro Raptar in Rapax Shutter

6" (165mm) f8 Goerz Wide Angle Dagor in Compur, Rapax, or ?? Shutter

I wish to borrow clean samples of these lenses in functional shutters for a week or two over the next couple months. I know it is a lot to ask, but if anyone is willing to loan me their precious lenses I will, of course, treat them with the utmost care and respect and pay insured shipping both ways and make sure you get a sample copy of the magazine featuring your lens.

Please contact me via email if you have any of the lenses listed above and would be willing to loan them to me for the purpose described. I know it seems like an unusual request, and a lot to ask, but I'd really like to include these lenses in my article and just can't afford to buy every lens under the sun.

Thanks in advance,
Kerry

Michael Kadillak
26-Mar-2006, 21:40
I have a 135 Wide Field Ektar in Supermatic shutter.

Just let me know if I can be of assistance.

Cheers!

Jeremy Moore
26-Mar-2006, 23:44
Sent an email that I can help out with a 6.5" WA Dagor in an unnamed in your post Ilex #3

Ernest Purdum
27-Mar-2006, 16:59
I can loan you a 159mm f9.5 Wollensak. It is a postwar coated item.

Wayne Crider
27-Mar-2006, 17:29
Well not that they are classic lenses, but weren't the 135mm Optar and 127mm Ektar put on about-a million cameras? Why not a mention of these two that most newbee 4x5 shooters wind up owning with their first camera? I'm sure their responsible for more pictures then most others.

John D Gerndt
27-Mar-2006, 19:41
Just to put the idea out there a B&L Protar V would be a reasonable fit into your scheme. My own is in barrel and uncoated but I'd bet there is a single coat in shutter avaiable for testing.

Cheers

Kerry L. Thalmann
27-Mar-2006, 22:06
Wayne - Well not that they are classic lenses, but weren't the 135mm Optar and 127mm Ektar put on about-a million cameras? Why not a mention of these two that most newbee 4x5 shooters wind up owning with their first camera? I'm sure their responsible for more pictures then most others.

Wayne,

Nothing against the 135mm Optar and 127mm Ektar (my first ever LF lens), but the focus of the article is lenses that cover 5x7 (or greater) with at least 80 degrees of actual coverage. That excludes the 135mm Optar and 127mm Ektar, which are both Tessar-types and barely cover 4x5 at infinity.

Kerry

Kerry L. Thalmann
27-Mar-2006, 22:15
John - Just to put the idea out there a B&L Protar V would be a reasonable fit into your scheme. My own is in barrel and uncoated but I'd bet there is a single coat in shutter avaiable for testing.

John,

I have decided to limit the article to post-WWII, coated lenses that either came in a factory shutters, or are a direct fit in a standard No. 1 or No. 0 shutter. Even with these limits, the field is quite large.

While I have owned, at one time, post-war, coated B&L Series V Protars in the 113mm and 183mm focal lengths - both in factory shutters (Compur and Supermatic, respectively), I have never seen a post-war, coated sample of the 141mm focal length. I used to own one of these in a shutter as well, but it was a pre-war, uncoated sample in a Volute shutter. As this focal length was originally intended for the 6 x 8 format, I suspect they ceased production once that format fell out of favor - well before WWII.

As my original target 150mm lenses, I don't want to stray too far from that focal length for the article. So, no 120mm or 180mm lenses.

Kerry

Kerry L. Thalmann
27-Mar-2006, 22:17
Thanks to all who have responded by email. I am sorting through the requests and will contact everyone offline as soon as possible.

Kerry

Kerry L. Thalmann
28-Mar-2006, 19:43
Thanks again to all who have responded. I have a 135mm WF Ektar on the way, and possibly a 159mm f9.5 Wollensak.

I still need a 160mm f5.6 Wollensak Pro Raptar. I have been offered a 6" f8 Wide Angle in an Ilex shutter, but if possible would prefer one in a Compur or Rapax shutter as I already have lens boards that will accept these shutters.

Kerry

tim atherton
28-Mar-2006, 19:52
you have a 159 12.5 wolly don't you?

Kerry L. Thalmann
28-Mar-2006, 19:53
you have a 159 12.5 wolly don't you?

Yes.

William Mortensen
28-Mar-2006, 23:08
If you have an interest in weird old optics, I have an old f/16 125mm (more-or-less) "U. Nehring 8x10 Wide Angle Anastigmat" and an equally old f/16 160mm (more ore less) "Compute Lens 8x10 Wide Angle", both in brass barrels with wheel stops.

Oh, and a 165mm (more ore less) "Ideal Series H 8x10 Burke & James" in a defunct Ilex Universal shutter.

And a couple more 159mm f/12.5 Wollensaks...

And a 150mm Metrogon 9x9 lens in a barrel...

And a C.P. Goerz Planigon f/6.3 151.2mm 9x9 Aerial Mapping lens also in a barrel...

And a 150mm Konica GR-II that just nips the corners of an 8x10 at infinity...

And a pretty wide 150mm Eskofot Ultragon...

Kerry, you need to start reviewing the under-$100 lenses...

Kerry L. Thalmann
29-Mar-2006, 15:29
Mark,

That's quite the collection you have there. For practical reasons, I decided to limit the lenses in my article to post-WWII coated lenses that either came in factory supplied shutters, or have cells that directly fit standard No. 0 or No. 1 shutters.

By "practical reasons", I mean "lenses that I already have or can likely get on short notice". While I'm sure many of your lenses are quite wonderful, to be honest there are a couple on your list I have never even heard of. Sorry, I had to draw the line somewhere, and even with the limits I imposed, I'm still looking at about 15 or 16 lenses and a LOT of shooting, processing, scanning and interpretting of negatives.

Kerry

P.S. I'm still in need of a 160mm f5.6 Wollensak Pro Raptar and looking for a 6" f8 WA Dagor in a Compur or Rapax shutter.

William Mortensen
29-Mar-2006, 17:10
Kerry- I didn't really think you'd be interested, but it was fun poking through the old lensews just bto see what was there. The only ones I use with any regularity are the 159 Wollensaks and the Nehring. The others are odd little cheapies I couldn't help but accumulate through the years. I suspect we all have our collections.

I look forward to reading how your 159mm Wollensaks do in the tests, though I wish you were pushing them to 8x10. Oh, and don't forget the 165mm Angulon...

Kerry L. Thalmann
29-Mar-2006, 17:32
Mark - I look forward to reading how your 159mm Wollensaks do in the tests, though I wish you were pushing them to 8x10. Oh, and don't forget the 165mm Angulon...

Mark,

All the lenses will be shot on 8x10. Most of them won't cover 8x10. For those that do, I may also shoot them with two or three inches of front rise (although that would require getting a bag bellows with lenses this short on my 8x10).

I do have a 165mm Angulon - a fairly late (1960s) Linhof select sample. I also have one from 1978! that fits in a Compur/Copal No. 3 shutter and takes 67mm filters. It was part of a special production run (I believe 104 were produced, I'd have to check my notes to be sure).

Kerry

William Mortensen
29-Mar-2006, 19:29
"All the lenses will be shot on 8x10... I do have a 165mm Angulon - a fairly late (1960s) Linhof select sample. I also have one from 1978!" -Kerry

Excellent! I've always enjoyed your VC articles, and will especially look forward to this one!

Ernest Purdum
2-Apr-2006, 08:30
Kerry, are you going to want to borrow my 159mm f9.5 Raptar?

I'm going out of town and won't be receiving email for a
week so please reply via the forum. I'll have the lens with me, though.

Kerry L. Thalmann
2-Apr-2006, 10:52
Ernest,

Thanks for the offer, but I have a 159mm f9.5 Wolly on the way from another forum member. In fact, thanks to the generous spirit of the large format community, I will have all four lenses I sought in my possession soon. I picked up the WA Dagor in person yesterday morning from a local photographer (and had a very nice chat with him, turns out we have a few mutual friends and some common photographic interests). The 135mm WF Ektar arrived in the mail yesterday, and the 159mm Wolly and 160mm Pro Raptar are on their way.

A big thanks to all who are trusting me with their lenses and all who offered to help. This really is an amazing community.

Kerry

Ole Tjugen
3-Apr-2006, 13:22
Kerry,

I'll be away from home for another week, but I just remembered I have an old Busch Wide-Angle Aplanat f:16 Ser.C No.2 at home. It's a great little antique - brass barrel, rotating stop and all. It covers my 9.5x12" plate camera easily. Focal length happens to be 150mm.

If you want a "real historic lens" for comparison, I'll lend it to you.

I can't send mail from here...

Kerry L. Thalmann
3-Apr-2006, 14:04
Ole,

Thanks for the offer, but for practical reasons I had to limit the article to post-WWII coated lenses that either came in a factory supplied shutter or directly fit into a standard No. 0 or No. 1 shutter.

Kerry

William Mortensen
3-Apr-2006, 19:52
Kerry- There are enough 6" Metrogons floating around that you might consider including one of those. Quite an interesting design, produced to very high specs (for a very high price) for the military, now available cheap. I wonder how they'd fare against the other lenses...

Kerry L. Thalmann
3-Apr-2006, 23:13
Mark,

Thanks for the suggestion. And while the 6" Metrogons are cheap and fairly plentiful on the surplus market, they are very bulky and heavy in their stock mounts. Mounting them in a "normal" shutter requires expensive custom machine work. While I'm not saying they are unusable, in their standard configuration they're not exactly a good general purpose lens. Especially when there are so many other choices. Sorry, I had to draw the line somewhere - which is why I'm sticking with post-WWII, coated lenses that either came in "normal" shutters or directly fit standard No. 0 or No. 1 shutters. I feel lenses matching this description are the most usable for general large format photography and therefore likely to be of interest to most photographers.

Kerry