View Full Version : 14 inch eastman ektar

15-Nov-2006, 16:47
Got a good looking one...haven't used it yet. Any experiences with this lens? Good? Mediocre? Bad? I got it because I love the way my 127 ektar renders so much, I wanted to shoot with ektars exclusively. Shooting b/w excluisively, 4x5, 5x7 and 8x10.

Glenn Thoreson
15-Nov-2006, 20:44
I'm curious, is it the Commercial Ektar? Just Ektar? Either way, I think you will find it to be a fine lens. I have a 14 inch Commercial Ektar on my 8X10. The Commercial Ektar is very highly corrected for lateral color. Very nearly APO. My usual advice - the only way you'll know is to get out and shoot some film with it. I don't think you'll be disappointed.

John Kasaian
15-Nov-2006, 21:03
I think Ektars rock! The 14 inchers are IMHO too large for the 4x5s I've seen but should work well on the beefier 5x7s and 8x10s. The #5 Universal shutters are pretty large. The difference between the regular 14" Ektar and the 14" Commercial Ektars I've been told is the coating---the coating on the Commercials being more durable. My 14" Commercial Ektar is one of my faves on 8x10. A wonderful lens with lots of coverage and not does a good job with landscapes, but when taking portraits it makes everyone look either pretty or handsome ;)

Mark Sampson
16-Nov-2006, 06:02
I believe the "Eastman Ektar" had its name changed to the "Kodak Commercial Ektar" early in production. Fine lenses either way. Check the 'camerosity' in the serial# for its date of manufacture. I've seen a few uncoated Eastman Ektars from 1940.

Jim Galli
16-Nov-2006, 07:35
The Eastman Ektar's I've seen were all f4.5 tessar's that bear a marked resemblance to Bausch & Lomb Tessar's. I've always been curious if there was a pre-war link.

I've had several of the Commercial Ektar's come and go at my house. My biggest complaint is no f64. Were they trying to save me from myself because of diffraction loss? If so I'd rather they left the choice to me. Too many times I need f64+ to get a complex near-far subject focused, and the diffraction doesn't hurt me for contact prints. Then the Ilex 5's are big and clunky compared to Copal 3's. For studio / commercial work in the 1950's though, there really was almost nothing better.

Scott Davis
16-Nov-2006, 07:49
After the transition from Eastman Ektar to Kodak Ektar, they still made the F4.5 Ektar (at least in a 12"). I don't know if there actually was a difference in the coatings or not - I have a 14" f6.3Comm. Ektar and a 12" f4.5 Ektar, and I think both have the Circle-L "Lumenized" mark on them. Either way, they're both fantastic optics.

Simon Benton
16-Nov-2006, 10:36
I have been using Ektars for many years and have always been pleased with their performance. I have used both the coated and uncoated versions for both colour and B&W on 4X5 and 8X10 with consistent results. Lenses I have currently are the 100mm and 135mm wide field, 203mm f7.7 and the 8 1/2 inch and 12 inch Commercial Ektars. I have the front and back elements of a 14inch Commercial Ektar but have not been able to find an Ilex 5 I can afford. Maybe one day.

Mark Sampson
16-Nov-2006, 11:19
There's a lot of information about these lenses in the "articles" section of this site as well.