View Full Version : Bad ebay Artar, any ideas?

G Benaim
22-Aug-2007, 02:05
Well, I seem to be having a run of bad luck w my ebay purchases. First my camera comes w rows of pinholes in bellows, now the 19in artar I got looks like a portrait lens! Seriously, fuzzy all over. It's an older uncoated lens, and there's a little haze, not much, but it's seriously soft. Could it be an element was put in inverted, or some such thing? Has anyone had a similar experience w this sort of lens? Next to my 300 apo ronar, well, it's just no contest. If I can't get it to work I'll probably just sell it as a portrait lens! Cheap, too. Anyway, all help greatly appreciated.


John Kasaian
22-Aug-2007, 02:12
I've had several artars and none were ever fuzzy. Is it a barrel lens or is it in a shutter? Could there be crud in where the waterhouse stp is supposed to go? Have you contacted the seller?

G Benaim
22-Aug-2007, 02:15
John, it's a barrel lens, the iris is clean, if that's what you mean. I got a partial refund from the seller, so I'm just trying to see if I can fix this puppy or not.

Joseph O'Neil
22-Aug-2007, 04:45
My smaller artar is sharp as tack. That "haze" you describe almost sounds like something got onto it or into it. Where exactly is the haze - on the outside or inside?

Brian Ellis
22-Aug-2007, 05:15
Why not send it off to Carol What'shername or S.K. Grimes (expensive), let them look at it and see what can be done at what cost? Maybe it just needs a CLA, for which Carol What'shername charges about $50 I think.

Eric Rose
22-Aug-2007, 06:42
I've noticed a lot of water damaged gear being sold these days. They don't mention it but if you know what to look for it's obvious.

Chauncey Walden
22-Aug-2007, 08:02
I once had an Artar that initially left me wondering why people thought they were sharp. I checked the positioning of the elements against a diagram and found that somewhere in its past an internal element had been reversed. Boy, did that make a difference!

22-Aug-2007, 08:03
Carol MILLER does not do lenses, only shutters. Try www.focalpointlens.com for lens restoration.

John Kasaian
22-Aug-2007, 09:49
Do the serial #'s front and back match?

It could well be that an element got cattywhompus as others have indicated. It mightbe worth sending it to a tech to have it discomboobilated and reassemled correctly.

Jim Galli
22-Aug-2007, 10:52
iirc it's almost impossible to get an Artar assembled wrong as the inner elements are a press fit in the threaded piece that holds them. You could try swapping front inner to rear group and vice versa and see if that makes any difference. That would be an easy mistake when it was apart for cleaning and with older hand ground lenses it could make some difference. They're nice heavy lenses and will hold a LOT of papers down on a windy day.

CP Goerz
22-Aug-2007, 22:16
I second and third the outer element of the front or rear being inside out and/or mounted improperly and at a slight angle.

CP Goerz

G Benaim
23-Aug-2007, 00:42
OK, I switched the rear element and things look much better, but it still has a slightly dreamy look, maybe that's just the look of these lenses? I'm going by what I see on the GG only, not used it on film yet, but I'll try to describe the look. The colors are less saturated, the highlights tend to bleed, like there's some gauze over the lens. The amount of haze is really minimal on the lens, though that may be what's causing part of this. Even compared to the dagor 6.5 in I got, the dagor just sparkles w color and contrast. Does this sound like a problem w the lens or is this how it's supposed to look? It's a 7xxxxxx serial, btw. Thanks again,


G Benaim
23-Aug-2007, 00:54
PS: What's the right way to lubricate iris blades? The ones on the dagor are a little stiff.

Ernest Purdum
23-Aug-2007, 11:30
Artars are process lenses and should be very sharp. "Dreamy" indicates something definitely wrong.

Iriis blades should not be lubricated, just cleaned. Are you sure that it is the blades that are stiff? Quite often it's the ring around the lens barrel that is the problem.

Michael Jones
24-Aug-2007, 05:04
Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you do criticize them you'll be
a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

This is good and especially true if you ever lived in Florida...

Thanks for the laugh.


Uli Mayer
24-Aug-2007, 13:08
Isn't there somebody here who owns such a tack-sharp Artar of same age or similiar serial number, and who is kind enough to measure the lenght between the apex of the front lens surface to the surface of the rear lens, so that GB may get a reference for correct spacing?

It does not matter if the measured Artar has a different focal length, since - within a given lens design - all relevant optical dimensions ( radii, lens thicknesses, distances ) do alter proportionally or linearily with focal length.

A loupe may help to look for signs of previous tinkering with cell mounts and individual lens elements. Wrong re-assembly of lenses is not too uncommon with lenses of unkown history.

Steve Hamley
24-Aug-2007, 16:39

I could and would be glad to if I weren't remodeling and could get to my dial calipers. But maybe it's better not to solve problems that are not actually confirmed. GB stated that his bellows was full of pinholes and he hasn't shot with the lens - just looking at the GG. I don't think you can troubleshoot a lens on the GG especially with light leaking in. Wrap the bellows in something light tight and shoot a piece of film or four.

Also, how about haze?

If the image on film is still soft with a wrapped bellows, maybe the best thing would be to call/e-mail S.K. Grimes since Adam has undoubtedly seen a million 19" Artars.


G Benaim
24-Aug-2007, 23:43
Hi Steve,

I'll definitely test it w film before doing anything else, and the image quality doesn't change much when the bellows is wrapped, btw. Don't you think that the gg image is a good guide for what to expect on film though? If not, why not? I'll give SK Grimes a call too. Thanks,


CP Goerz
25-Aug-2007, 06:37
PS:For a stiff iris just use some light gun oil or 3 in 1, wipe any excess from the blades with a piece of absorbent paper but as mentioned the main sticking point is the dial itself so a drop or two top and bottom will work wonders there too. Don't force anything, let the oil do its work and you'll be fine.

G Benaim
25-Aug-2007, 12:11
Thanks Andrew, I did that, but now there's oil on the blades no matter how many times I wipe it off, open and close them, more oil. I'll leave it without the glass on overnight, to let it dry out, but how bad is it if there's still oil left on it? I've heard that that's precisely what causes haze, right, so what should I do to avoid it?


CP Goerz
26-Aug-2007, 13:25
Hey there,

I never found oil to be a problem though you don't want globs of it dripping on the glass. Just keep at it with the absorbent paper and it'll eventually be cleared up enough. Did you get the glass in order yet?

G Benaim
26-Aug-2007, 13:49
Haven't shot film w it yet, will see how that goes before trying what you reccomended. It's too damn hot here.