View Full Version : Ilex Universal number 3??

4-Jul-2008, 11:52
Hi, could somebody please explain which kind of lenses can be mounted on an Ilex Universal number 3? Is it compatible with any Copal or Compur size or does it just take lenses with american threat????

thank's a lot in advance


John Kasaian
4-Jul-2008, 13:12
Depends Torsten. I doubt that it would be compatible with a copal or compur. Check out www.skgrimes.com which I believe has all the thread measurements of Ilex and other shutters. If your Ilex Universal is an older "General" (which looks like a dial set compur) I haven't heard anything good about them. If it is a black or sliver/white Universal without the dial (the dial reminds me of a face with a moustache) with the retro art deco lettering they can be quite good. If it is marked "for Eastman Kodak" you just might find a Kodak lens that will fit. If not perhaps an Ilex lens will fit or maybe even a Goerz. There is no way of knowing that I'm aware of outside of trying them out. If you can find some old lens catalogs and see which lense were offered in Universal #3 shutters and whose f-stops matched the one on your shutter, perhaps that would narrow down things a bit.
Unless your's is one of the Universals that didn't have an aperture. Then you're on your own. Of course the non aperture Universals are great for rear mounting a barrel lens with it's own aperture. That would be quite economical to have done IIRC.

What is cool about these old Universal shutters is that they are "double action" like press shutters (or Smith and Wesson revolvers) in that they cock and fire with one deression of the cable release.

Peter K
4-Jul-2008, 15:19
In "Kodak Lenses - second 1946 printing" the Eastman Ektar f/6.3 8 1/2" was aviable in No. 3 Ilex Univ. Shutter.

4-Jul-2008, 17:57
here is a photo of the shutter In questionhttp://farm4.static.flickr.com/3091/2551610913_ba00e56b9e.jpg

Dan Fromm
5-Jul-2008, 03:46
Hmm. Something about the thing says "oscilloscope camera" even though it doesn't have a sync terminal.

Is the rear of the shutter threaded externally to accept a retaining ring?

5-Jul-2008, 11:00
mine does have a sync PC ans yes on the retaining ring witch I have

5-Jul-2008, 11:14
That sez "3X" so how does that compare to "3" ?

Dan Fromm
5-Jul-2008, 15:55
Ed, I think a 3X is a 3 with X sync, except that this one doesn't seem to have a sync terminal.

Turner Reich
5-Jul-2008, 16:17
In "Kodak Lenses - second 1946 printing" the Eastman Ektar f/6.3 8 1/2" was available in No. 3 Ilex Univ. Shutter.

Ive got one of these.

5-Jul-2008, 16:24
it does you guys can you see the nipple !
the shutter is mine and yes it has a pc sync

5-Jul-2008, 16:41
Thanks Dan and Gustavo

Turner Reich
5-Jul-2008, 20:14
it does you guys can you see the nipple !
the shutter is mine and yes it has a pc sync

Mine has a "nipple" also.

6-Jul-2008, 14:39
here is another photo from the side
i was wrong :o



Joseph O'Neil
6-Jul-2008, 14:42
I have my 8.25" RD Artar front mounted on one of those shutters. I use the iris in the lens itself. Works great.

Dan Fromm
6-Jul-2008, 15:04
Gustavo, that "nipple" is threaded internally, must be a cable release socket, not a PC terminal. The aperture scale screams "oscilloscope camera."

Is the barrel threaded externally at the rear? If not, the shutter is good only for front-mounting, as Joe uses his.

6-Jul-2008, 17:27
it has thread on both out side an in side

Turner Reich
6-Jul-2008, 17:59
My apologies, mine is a No.3 Acme Synchro made by Ilex. Ilex Optical Co. Rochester, N.Y. It has a cable release protrusion and the protruding terminals for a flash, the Graphic type of two terminals. It has the M,F,X sync lever on the side. The lens mounted in it is a Kodak Commercial Ektar f 6.3 8 1/2".

Pat Hilander
6-Jul-2008, 21:20
[QUOTE=Dan Fromm;366367]Gustavo, that "nipple" is threaded internally, must be a cable release socket, not a PC terminal.

Dan is correct, that is where the cable release screws in. The shutter was made for Elgeet and they did make a lot of lenses for oscilloscope cameras, so Dan might be right on that too. Still probably a very useful shutter though.

Dan Fromm
7-Jul-2008, 01:28
Pat, since Gustavo has confirmed that the rear of the shutter's barrel is threaded externally it is a very useful shutter.

Some years ago, I learned to my considerable dismay that some 'scope camera lenses are suspended in the camera by the lens' barrels, front and rear. These beasties have shutters that are threaded internally at the rear to accept the rear cell but not externally to accept a retaining ring. These shutters have very limited usefulness.



9-Jul-2008, 09:51
Here is a few more photos , By the way I will like to sale it :D




Jim Ewins
9-Jul-2008, 20:57
Mine has a front lens and a rear lens. In combination or singly it gives a 13 1/4 ", 11 3/16" or 7 ". The Lenses are B&L Zeiss Protar series VII. The aperture plate covers the lettering which describes which No 3 it is

EuGene Smith
10-Jul-2008, 12:12
I have one of those Universal #3 shutters with a front mounted Elgeet 3 inch f1.9 Oscillo-Navitar Series 125 - 1:0.9 Mag. It has stops f1.9 to f11 and speeds 1 - 150, B, T. It is double action (no cocking), has the cable release nipple, and no sync (what good would sync be on an oscilloscope lens?)

As for the rear, it has both internal threads and external threads w/flange. The front mounted lens has a heavy lens hood which is about 1" deep and of black enameled metal about 3/8" thick that is labeled TEKTRONIX (a maker of very expensive lab scopes)


Dan Fromm
10-Jul-2008, 12:18
EuGene, if there's no rear cell you have only half a lens.

As for sync, I believe they use it to trigger the 'scope.

EuGene Smith
10-Jul-2008, 14:02
Dan: You're right and I can see that the rear element is missing. I had never looked the thing over, so I thought it was a front mounted lens like some of the old microscope lenses.

Anyhoo, I dug around in my old junquebocks and drug out a Wolly Oscillo-Raptar in an Alphax. Now I see what you mean, as both lenses appear to be the same formula (Homocentric? Protar?) with what appears to be identical or very similar elements back to back.

By the way, are those 'scope lenses any good for WA use with a 4x5 camera?


Dan Fromm
10-Jul-2008, 15:15
EuGene, the consensus is that they're best used as paperweights (or sources of shutters). They typically cover 3x4 at around 1:1, so don't come close to covering 4x5 at infinity.



EuGene Smith
10-Jul-2008, 16:23
Thanks, Dan.

HMMM! Before I harvest the Alphax & junk this Oscillo-Raptar, I think I will connect an MD reversing ring to the 55mm adapter ring that is on it, put it on my Minolta bellows, attach that setup to my trusty, rusty, old SRT 101, and see what happens. Years ago I did something similar with an old B&L 88 and had a ball with it.

Then I'll rescue the Alphax and mount a real lens on it.