View Full Version : Ilex Caltar Lenses

Kevin M Bourque
26-Oct-2000, 23:44
Hi everyone -

I've read in various places that the older Ilex Caltar lenses aren't very good, and should be avoided. Does anyone have any specifics on this? Are they not bu ilt well? Not sharp? Prone to flare? Thanks, as always! - Kevin

27-Oct-2000, 16:16
I have a 215mm F6.3 Ilex Caltar that's great. It's not the latest and greatest multi-coated wonder, but it's sharp and not particularly flare prone.

I only shoot black and white so I can't comment on color retention/rendition.

Hope this helps, tp

Sean Billy Bob Boy yates
27-Oct-2000, 19:37
"I've read in various places that the older Ilex Caltar lenses aren't very good, and should be avoided."

I'd avoid those places that I read that, rather than the lenses. I have a 254mm Caltar that works like a champ on 8 X 10. It's a coated Tessar and barely covers at infinity, but sharpness has never been a complaint.

Like the fella up above said, they ain't the latest SuperApoHyperSymaGrandAnguGon - but then they ain't priced that way either!

Bruce Pollock
27-Oct-2000, 22:32
I have a 90mm f8 Ilex Caltar and I've come to believe that it's sharper than I used to give it credit for. Upon closer examination of some of my chromes, it's at least as sharp as my older 210mm Schneider Symmar.

Chauncey Walden
28-Oct-2000, 19:03
Hi Kevin, There's an article in the January/February 1996 issue of view camera, History of Lens Design Part Three by Lynn Jones, which discusses the the various designs of the Ilex/Calumet(Caltar)/Burke&James/Burleigh Brooks cooperative. The first Caltars (mid 60's) were f/6.3 computer designed Tessars, followed by the 90 f/8 Wide Field Caltar of 103 degrees coverage, and an f4.8 Plasmat series (some convertible) covering about 77 degrees. Some were marketed by Ilex as Paragons. B&J marketed them as Acutar, Acugon, and Acuton, respectively. Burleigh Brooks marketed them as Acu-Tessar, Acu-Veriwide, and Acu-Symmetrical. Apparently, the only one they felt was not a top-notch performer was the 375 Tessar.

29-Oct-2000, 19:34
I have a 375 Ilex Caltar that is use for 8X10 B&W and it performs very well. In fact I have compared it to a 14" Kodak Commercial Ektar and I can not tell any difference on 8X10 contacts. Maybe there was a quality control problem that caused some 375 mm Ilex Caltar lenses to be poor performers. If this is true I would have thought it would also affect other Ilex Caltar lens.