View Full Version : Polexar Lens

Ernest Purdum
3-Oct-2006, 09:40
While on eBay, I accidentally woulnd up in the darkroom category. Oh well, sometimes something interesting shows up there, so I enered "lens". In many times searching there, I have never failed to find at least one taking lens. (Occasionally, even a lens in shutter shows up as an "enlarging" lens.) This time there several, including one weirdo. This was listed as a "Polexar" Hypergon Topogon copy. Well. it couldn't be both, but it does look like an extreme wide angle, with a protruding rear element.

Further details are that it is an f9 210mm made by "PZO". The Lens Collector's Vade Mecum gives the maker's name in full as Polskie Zaklady Optyczne but has nothing to say about this lens. As is regrettably usual, it has no flange. There is a front lenscap, but no rear lenscap, which in this case would be more important. It apparently has a diaphragm, because one photograph shows markings from 9 to 22.

Not being either wealthy or an ULF person, I am not going to bid (starting at $199) to satisfy my curiosity about this item, but am hoping that someone on the Forum will have some knowledge of what must surely be one of the most obscure lenses.

Dan Fromm
3-Oct-2006, 10:06
Ernest, you have to buy the thing in the interests of science. Otherwise you'll never know.

The name engraved on the lens is Poloxer, makes me wonder if it isn't a copy machine lens. FWIW, my 260/10 Nikkor-Q that looks like a Process Nikkor is similarly bulbous at both ends.

Google found a 210/4.5 and one 210/9 on a polish auction site, opening bid 20 Zloty. There's one question about the 210/4.5 on usenet. In polish, which I don't understand, but I think the reply says its a process lens.



Ernest Purdum
3-Oct-2006, 18:52
Thanks Dan, but science is beyond my budget.

Arne Croell
4-Oct-2006, 11:47
Ernest and Dan, here is some background based on research I did for a future article and the 210/f9 and 210mm/f4.5 Poloxers I own:
A forerunner of the PZO company can be traced back to 1899, when the engineer Henryk Kolberg founded an optical shop in Warsaw. After a bankruptcy following the 1st World War, the present company was founded in 1921/22 as “Company for Optical and Precision Products H. Kolberg”. After some changes in ownership during the depression years the name changed to PZO, standing for Polskie Zaklady Optyczne (PZO), Polish Optical Works. After WWII, PZO became a nationalized company. They were and still are located in Warsaw, and military optics were a large part of the company product range from the beginning. Their best known civilian products during the communist years were microscopes and the “Krokus” brand enlargers. The only LF/process lens name I have encountered so far is the “Poloxer” name. The f/4.5 210mm and 250mm Poloxer, and maybe other focal lengths with an f/4.5 maximum opening, are Tessar type constructions. The other 210mm Poloxer Ernest asks about, with a maximum opening of f/9, is a symmetric wide angle process lens of double Gauss construction similar to Schneiders G-Claron WA, or the Process Nikkors from Nikon. At present, this is the only process lens of this type made in the Eastern Block that I am aware of. PZO also made enlarging lenses (trade names Amar, Mikar, Janpol), but so far I’ve only seen 35mm and medium format versions. PZO is in existence today, but does not produce LF-related equipment. The Hypergon comparison in the ad is obviously wrong, and the angle of coverage is probably about 90° given its construction and use. Since its a process lens, its usefulness for infinity maybe doubtful, given the reports about G-Claron WA's.

Dan Fromm
4-Oct-2006, 12:11
Arne, thanks very much for the information.

FYI, the 450/10 Lomo RF-5 is also a 4/4 double Gauss type. I took mine completely apart for cleaning, the inner elements are shallow menisci concave to the diaphragm, not biconcave, just like the outer elements. Since I have only little cameras and no manufacturer's claims for it I can't report on its coverage. I believe that the RF-3 and RF-4 are similar. I doubt any of them is particularly wide angle, the curves are all shallow.

Also FYI, I have a 260/10 Nikkor-Q (=, I think, Process Nikkor). Akiyan's data (see http://homepage2.nifty.com/akiyanroom/redbook-e/apo/pro210.html) make it a 75 degree lens at f/22. Wide for a process lens but ... I've tried it at distance, one sequence of shots came out just fine, a second didn't. Smells of operator error (that's me), probably is good at infinity.

Sellers' claims are often hogwash. Especially claims about coverage.



Arne Croell
4-Oct-2006, 14:11
Dan, thanks. All of the "RF" process lenses, including the RF-1 (I'ver never seen a 2, but 1,3,4 and 5) are double Gauss. I have taken them apart, too. I should have been more specific - with the "only process lens of this type in the Eastern Block" for the f/9 Poloxer I meant the WA double Gauss type showing the steep curves, based on the Topogon. The RF's are not wide angles, they have coverage similar to dialytes, around 45°.

Ernest Purdum
4-Oct-2006, 18:24
Dan and Arne, thank you. Your contributions are just what I was hoping for.