View Full Version : Optar 135mm 4.7 in Graphex questions

15-Jul-2007, 18:12
(1) Is this tessar good optically when stopped down?
(2) Anyone know off-hand what size the shutter is?

15-Jul-2007, 20:14
1. Yes. I even like the len's performance at smaller apertures
2. No. 0, I believe. I seem to recall fitting a Graphex with 135 Optar into a Cambo lensboard that was drilled for Copal 0 shutter. My memory is a bit vague on this so hopefully someone can say for certain.

p.s. I like my Optar's performance even more now that I have a lens hood for it, but I used it without hood for about 25 years.

Edit: Maybe a No 1. See this:

Gene McCluney
16-Jul-2007, 00:32
Late model 135mm Graflex Optars were made by Rodenstock, and should say so on the front. These are excellent lenses. I like mine as well as any lens I have for 4x5. (and I have lots)

22-Jul-2007, 13:41
I've ended up with a lot of similar lenses in this range...not what I thought would happen in LF land.

22-Jul-2007, 18:51
For some unknown reason [and I really didn't try to aquire just one brand] I have ended up with a significant collection of both older and "less older" Wollensak lenses. With my lens collection I also have Rodenstock, Schneider and Wollensak and all lenses perform beautifully. I like the Tessar and the Dialyte designs of the Wollensaks I have with a preference for these over the more modern Plasmats I have.

Just by good luck I have recently managed to aquire a 241 Wolly in an Alphax #4 shutter and soon after a set of 305mm [Dialyte] and 254mm Tessar elements that fit straight into the Alphax #4.

A friend has a 200 and 300mm Nikon for 5x4 and these I believe are also Tessar designs. The Nikon is slightly more contrasty but both lenses produce wonderful images. Viewed without knowledge of photographer or lens content is more the factor than the age of the lenses.

One other thing about the Alphax shutter is the sheer ease a novice with common sense can clean one of these shutters.

22-Jul-2007, 19:53
How do you know that a shutter is a good fit? skgrimes makes it sound like voodoo to try to get the spacing right.

Just by good luck I have recently managed to aquire a 241 Wolly in an Alphax #4 shutter and soon after a set of 305mm [Dialyte] and 254mm Tessar elements that fit straight into the Alphax #4.

23-Jul-2007, 00:35
The images don't lie. :)

And it is very convenient as I carry only one shutter and elements.

Oh heck wait --- :) I now need to feed all the data into a Cray super computer and wait for the sun to be aligned with Mars while standing on one leg.

Or -- I could look at old Wollensak data where they indicate which elements fitted which shutters. I realise that removes panic and doubt but it does actually work.

You can find the data listed on www.cameraeccentric.com

From what I understand the spacing of elements is "slightly less critical" with longer focal lengths when compared to wide angle optics. I'm not saying it doesn't matter but the 3 sets of elements all focus correctly close up and to infinity and are sharp across the field.

Ernest Purdum
23-Jul-2007, 08:48
If you have the original barrel, it's easy for a machinist to compare spacing by using a height gage.

26-Jul-2007, 08:49
Are there any nice lenses that would be a direct fit to the 135mm Optar shutter?

Dan Fromm
26-Jul-2007, 10:18
I'm sorry, but but if your shutter is a Wollensak-made Graphex basically no. Rochester shutter makers didn't conform to the Compound/Compur/Prontor sizes.