View Full Version : Examples of color with non coated lens

George Kara
8-Nov-2007, 13:04
Do any of you have samples of images shot in color with non color corrected lenses? I would especially like to see any figure/portrait examples.

Thank you


Steve Hamley
8-Nov-2007, 13:39

Non-coated does not necessarily mean not corrected for color. I have an uncoated Gundlach Hyperion portrait lens described in the literature as "fully corrected for color".

I've also shot many uncoated lenses with color film, and the results can be very surprising and pleasing, especially using high contrast color transparency. I have an uncoated 180mm Berlin Dagor I particularly like. Keep the glass of an uncoated lens shaded for more contrast.

You do need to be sure the glass is crystal clean (uncoated lenses are generally 60 years old or older); any haze will give you results not desired by either the manufacturer or you, and this also applies to coated lenses. Finally, any result you see on-screen will likely not convey any truly representative information.



David A. Goldfarb
8-Nov-2007, 14:04
Not LF, but here's a shot from an uncoated Heliar on a Voigtlander Superb TLR. The film is Fuji RMS.

Not a coated lens, but seems well corrected for color and chromatic aberration. Contrast is a bit lower than a modern lens, as expected.

Ole Tjugen
8-Nov-2007, 14:34
Here are two.

The "cityscape" is a slight crop from a 4x5" slide shot with a 3 1/4" WA Rectilinear of doubtful origin, the little fount was shot with a 15cm Zeiss Doppel-Amatar.

In both cases the reduced contrast was what made it possible to get the exposures - on Fuji Astia.

8-Nov-2007, 15:42
i wanted to try my 2x3 format Busch Pressman Model C with some chrome film. I cut it down from 4x5...i specifically wanted to see how color and portraits worked with the uncoated Ektar 101mm lens (sounds like you had the same curiousity). the lab was kind enough to deveop this non-standard sheet size, and it worked. film is either astia or provia (i tested both, can't recall which this particular shot was). you can see some flare on the highlights, and this in the shade. also doesn't help that my four year old can't stand still long enough for me to get a film holder in place, so the focus is a bit off. but gives you an idea at least...


shot at f/4.5 i believe.

Dan Fromm
8-Nov-2007, 16:06
Do any of you have samples of images shot in color with non color corrected lenses? I would especially like to see any figure/portrait examples.

Thank you

GeorgeUn,George, if you're thinking of lenses that aren't achromatic, the short answer is that they aren't suitable for use with color films. Most, if not all, of the relatively modern anachromats are soft focus lenses, use chromatic aberration to gain softness. With color films this causes, I'm told by a friend who has several Boyer Opales, horrible color fringing.

Is that what you were asking about? FYI, virtually all modern (certainly post-1920 or so) lenses are pretty to extremely well corrected for color.

Ole Tjugen
8-Nov-2007, 16:12
Good point, Dan.

Even the old WA Rectilinear consists of two achromatic doublets!

I haven't tried a Periskop (two uncorrected meniscii) with colour film - yet another point on my "things to do" list? I have a few of those too - a Voigtländer W.Z., and a meniscus "Satzobjektiv". ;)

Glenn Thoreson
8-Nov-2007, 19:17
Rippo, Kodak never produced an uncoated Ektar. Your 101 Ektar is coated, but only on the interior surfaces of the lens. This coating was considered too soft to stand up on the outside surfaces. It was soon replaced with a harder coating on all surfaces.

George, I have used a very high quality cemented achromat telephoto lens with color slide film. It is coated with modern material but still has pretty bad fringing on the red end of the spectrum. Not something you would want to shoot a wedding with. A red fringed moose against a snowy background isn't any fun either. There is a huge difference between uncorrected and uncoated. Most lenses I've used that are newer than the '30s will give pretty fair color. Even simple meniscus lenses.

8-Nov-2007, 20:29
Glenn: i did some googling on the ektar and saw a few references to it being uncoated. thought i had a winner (or..er..loser?). anyway, disregard my pic then. i'll have to wait until i have my homemade lenses up and running in a week or two.

David A. Goldfarb
8-Nov-2007, 21:06
The Verito produces some quite visible color fringing. I've posted a detail showing this as well as a couple of other color images made with the Verito in this thread on APUG--


These are attachments, so to see them you need to be registered and logged in, but you don't need to be a subscriber.

Glenn Thoreson
9-Nov-2007, 21:03
Matt, because the early Ektars did not have the "L" in a circle printed on the front ring, a lot of people insist they are not coated, which is incorrect. There is a great deal of misinformation on the web about this. I have a couple of these, and I'll admit, they do look like they're uncoated. When the hard coating was perfected and released, the "Lumenized" designation was applied. All of this make no real difference, I'm sure. It's just that the perpetuation of misinformation about these lenses kind of bothers me. I'm too old and picky, I guess.

9-Nov-2007, 22:27
hey no sweat, glenn. i'm all for accuracy! how about we call it "sort of coated", because it seems to generate a bit of flare even on mild highlights.

next you're going to tell me my Dagor 6" lens is secretly coated on the inside... :)

George Kara
10-Nov-2007, 07:26
Thank all of you. I was looking for examples of non color corrected lenses. I just havent seen the "undesirable" color associated with them. Love the lower contrast of non coated lenses. This would seem to work well in harsher lighting conditions. I dont have an opportunity to try either an uncoated or non color corrected lens as I dont own either.


Glenn Thoreson
10-Nov-2007, 13:09
Sort of coated - I like that. :D

Jon Wilson
10-Nov-2007, 22:40
Here are a couple of shots I have taken with uncoated lens, e.g., 11 1/2" Verito and a 6 inch petzval. The actual pictures are very nice. The 650x650 size limit truly distorts the shots posted on these threads.

Dan Fromm
11-Nov-2007, 04:27
OK, folks, what does coating have to do with chromatic aberration?

Paul Fitzgerald
11-Nov-2007, 10:25

"OK, folks, what does coating have to do with chromatic aberration?"

That's simple, just hold the lens under a white light and look at the reflections, if they come back as different colors from 'chromatic aberration' caused by the coating. :D

If, on the other hand, all the reflections come back white, the lens is un-coated. :eek:


"All of this make no real difference, I'm sure. It's just that the perpetuation of misinformation about these lenses kind of bothers me. I'm too old and picky, I guess."

Sorry, but I do have a lovely 'Eastman Ektar 14"/6.3' with all white reflections, had a '10"/4.5 Kodak Projection Ektar' with all white reflections , have sold 2 '127/4.7 Kodak Ektar's with all white reflections and the art deco Bantam Special had uncoated Ektars. Kodak DID make uncoated Ektars before WWII, they also made coated 'Anastigmats' without the circle L logo during WWII.

Curiouser and curiouser.

Dan Fromm
11-Nov-2007, 11:49
Paul, are you teasing me? Your answer is wildly inconsistent with the textbook explanations/definitions of chromatic aberration.

I'm sure you've read the same books I have.

As far as I know there's only one connection between coating and chromatic aberrations, and it is coincidence or perhaps marketing fluff. You may have noticed that, for example, in the early '50s Voigtlaender replaced, e.g., Heliars, with, e.g., Color Heliars, Skopars with Color Skopars, etc. They made a lot of noise about the need to buy new cameras with the new lenses to get the best results with the then new color films. It happens that old Heliars and Skopars weren't coated and that the new Color lenses were.

I have no idea whether the new Color lenses were redesigns with better control of chromatic aberration than the old lenses they replaced. But if they were redesigns and were better, the coating had nothing, the redesign everything, to do with it. I've always put the name changes down to marketing fluff intended to sell more cameras, could have been mistaken.



Ole Tjugen
11-Nov-2007, 12:08
Here's an example of chromatic aberration (and a few other aberrations, but that doesn't really matter). Shot with half a Symmar 150mm f:5.6, with the kind of scenery that shows off any aberration better than anything else.

First the whole picture, then an enlarged section of one corner. Last the center at the same scale, showing that the chromatic aberration increases with distance from center. As you will also see, coating or not makes no difference - this lens is coated, the two pictures I posted above were both shot with uncoated lenses. By sheer coincidence all these lenses have four glass/air surfaces...

David A. Goldfarb
11-Nov-2007, 13:34
My understanding of the connection between coating and correction of aberrations like chromatic aberration is that coating made it possible to use better corrected designs with more elements without suffering the contrast penalty that would come from introducing more air/glass surfaces. The improvements resulted from the ability to use improved designs, in other words, that only became viable in the age of coated lenses.

Dan Fromm
11-Nov-2007, 14:18
David, the eager adoption of fast 6/4 double Gauss lenses by "Hollywood" in the 1920s and still photographers' aversion to 6/4 lenses of any type until coating arrived has puzzled me for a while. Any insights?

David A. Goldfarb
11-Nov-2007, 15:14
Well, I suppose they could increase the contrast with lighting and get a little Hollywood glow from the flare.

Paul Fitzgerald
11-Nov-2007, 21:26

"Paul, are you teasing me? Your answer is wildly inconsistent with the textbook explanations/definitions of chromatic aberration."

Of coarse I was joking, word play, that's why the big grin :D

It's the easiest way to see if a lens is uncoated, coated or multi-coated. Just look at the color of the reflections from a clean white light.