View Full Version : Performance of old 101mm Ektar lens

Gene Crumpler
19-Jun-2000, 12:31
I recently picked up a 2 1/4 x 3 1/4 camera with an early 50's kodak ektar lens . I got around to testing the lens yesterday and found that the best the lens co uld do is about 35 lp/mm at any stop. This does not compare at all to the more modern lenses I have tested. Any comments? ( I know, I know, I only paid $120 for the camera, but I was under the impression that the ektar lenses were pretty good)

19-Jun-2000, 14:26
Gene, I just got a 2x3 Crown with the 105mm f:3.7 Ektar, reputed to be copied from the Voigtlander Heliar. Serial number indicates it was made in 1947. I have not (and will not) tested for LPM, but my first test roll of Velvia is absolutely wonderful; quite sharp and uniform from corner to corner, with a beautiful plasticity so characteristic of Heliar lenses. All shot at f:8-11. Mitch

David A. Goldfarb
19-Jun-2000, 14:42
The 100mm/3.5, which I have adapted for 35mm, and the 105mm/3.7 are Heliar types, but the 101, I think, is a Tessar. I have a friend who has the 101, and he says he's found it to be quite sharp around f:8.

Did you test the Ektar on the same body as the modern lenses? There may be other factors like film flatness, accuracy of the focusing system, etc., at play.

Gene Crumpler
19-Jun-2000, 16:02
No-I have no other lenses for this camera. What I am comparing this lens with are new p67 lenses, a mamyia c330 lenses and top of the line nikkors. Perhaps an unfair comparison.

I used my usual testing method of a darken room (new light tight darkroom), the shutter open and exposure by electronic flash(Zeiss standard method). Focusing was on the GG with a 7X loupe. Best F-stops were F11-16.

David A. Goldfarb
19-Jun-2000, 18:25
It could be the lens, but it could also be the groundglass/film plane registration.

Roger Rouch
19-Jun-2000, 21:30
Gene, I don't have any experience with the lens, but Chris Perez has some data on his web site that makes it sound quite good - 50's to 80's lp/mm. Might want to check it out. You'll need to scroll down some to get to it. http://www.hevanet.com/cperez/MF_testing.html


Gene Crumpler
20-Jun-2000, 09:01
I just checked Chris's site and his ektar performs quite well starting a f-8. He has also tested two other lenses that I have tested, 105mm pentax 67 lens and a mamiya C-series 80mm. My results track closely with his results with both of these lenses. I'll fiddle arround some more and see if I can get better results with my 101. Or maybe I just have a +/- 2 sigma assembled on Monday Morning !

Thanks for the responses!


Ron Shaw
20-Jun-2000, 11:46
Your example may also have an unknown history. Possible damage or missassembly.

30-Jun-2001, 02:56
Your 101 ektar should be a very good lens. I have one with coating marks on my graphic and it gives me a distinct look with it.Lets call it an American look if you will. I REALLY like it!My first photos with it of of small electric trains in b+w really knocked me out. Just a great lens. I compared it to a 180 schneider that also came with the outfit and in color they were close with the 180 slightly more saturated. But it has a certain look in controlled b+w that I like.... not cold like the german 180.I must admit that now I'm partial to a schneider 80mm 2.8 xenar on a linhof.But the 101 ektar is no slouch!