View Full Version : Tell me About Artars

Kevin Klazek
8-Dec-2006, 08:07
I have done a bit of net research on Artars and it all sounds good. A few questions for 8x10 use.

1) I am considering a 16 1/2 in or a 19 in. for use on an 8x10 Deardorff. Useage will be mainly landscape and some portraits, all in black and white. Any advice/comments?

2) I understand the red dot is coated and somewhat changed optically from the "plain" APO version? Is there any real world difference in performance between them? I realize the difference coatings can make with flare control and contrast, but is it a meaningfull difference?

3) Is there a real world difference between an Artar and a more modern lens such as a g-claron, Fuji or Nikon of similar size? Can you see any difference in the prints?

Thanks for your help.

John Kasaian
8-Dec-2006, 08:51
1) Great choice for landscape. For portraits they'll certainly work, but they aren't "soft" like a more traditional portrait lens. Wrinkles and blemishes will be noticeable (of course you could use a bit of Momma's nylon stocking stretched over the front element, or a smear of vaseline around the edges to soften things up a bit)

2) All the Red Dots I've seen are single coated, some APOs are coated too, but they are quite rare. A lot of great photos have been taken with the plain APOs so I certainly wouldn't pass one up---just avoid shooting into direct light and consider a lens shade of some kind(I use my hat)
It has been posted here that APOs were optimized for 1:1 and the Red Dots 1:3 or so. Realistically, I can't tell the difference.

3) There aren't any 16-1/2" or 19" G Clarons that I'm aware of, but both the Artars and the G-Clarons are very sharp. In shorter focal lengths, a 240mm G Claron will perform nicely on an 8x10 while an equivalent Artar won't cover that format.
I haven't used Fujis so I can't comment on them and my experience with Nikkors is limited to the tessar types. The 450 "M" could be considered as a modern alternative to a long Artar.

FWIW my 19" Red Dot Artar is my favorite long lens on the 8x10 and my 14" APO Artar performs like a champ on the 5x7.

8-Dec-2006, 10:55
I own both - non-red dot, although the 16 1/2 may be coated... Fantastic lenses for the money. Very nice contrast, no issues here, but I am careful not to shoot into the sun and use a lens shade or shade the lens somehow. Great coverage. I use the 16 1/2 on my 7 x 17 for example. For asthetic reasons, I would prefer a softer lens for portrait, but ymmv.

I have not paid more than $275 including shutter and lens board, if you are patient.