View Full Version : Aero Ektar 178, Some Questions...

26-Jun-2009, 05:18
My first post:-)
I am a fashion photographer and really in the need to go to other places. Is a time of changes. I have long time thinking to try Film and Large format for some Projects. It will be a new process that i hope push me in new ways to think and capture.
Now my question its follow.

I am thinking to get a Aero Ektar 178mm f2.5 for fashion portraits. Maybe with a Graflex Speed Graphic. Altenative is the Chamonix 4x5.

Now the Questions.
1. Is it possible, trough maybe a adapter/Mount to use the Aero Ektar with a Hasselblad H?
2. Wich Camera bodys can i use with a Aero Ektar?

The question is that i like to be in the beguining flexible with Digital & analog in the same time and i have a Phase One P30 H mount back that i love to use together with the Aero.

lambis Stratoudakis


Walter Calahan
26-Jun-2009, 05:47
The best camera is the Speed Graphic for its focal plane shutter.

I have one mounted to a Graflex 4x5 SLR, but it will not focus on infinity. It is only good for close portraits.

An example: http://www.walterpcalahan.com/Cheers/Portfolios/Pages/Portraiture.html#6

26-Jun-2009, 06:12
1. Is it possible, trough maybe a adapter/Mount to use the Aero Ektar with a Hasselblad H?

It is possible to adapt anything. YMMV how much it will cost and whether it is worth while mounting it to a H body - if any, I'd use it with a digital back on a view camera.

Aero Ektars are merely cheap wide aperture lenses with LF coverage, with otherwise rather modest performance (they are low contrast and about one to three stops slower than the nominal aperture suggests, being uncoated and having yellowed). They are interesting for people that want a narrow DOF on a shortish large format lens on a budget. But there are vastly superior 2.8/180mm lenses with medium format coverage, even at a budget - the 2.8/180mm Sonnar for P6 is not that much more expensive.

IMHO it would be rather pointless to use a Aero Ektar on a medium or small format camera or with a crop back.

2. Wich Camera bodys can i use with a Aero Ektar?

Thanks to its size and non-standard mount it needs something with a fairly big lens board and a focal plane or large behind-the-camera shutter. Most use a Speed Graphic, but a Mentor Studio (or other Mentor with large lensboard) or similar FP shutter cameras, or any camera that can take a sinar shutter would do as well.

Mark Sampson
26-Jun-2009, 06:22
Take a look at the SK Grimes website- they have modified several cameras to take Aero-Ektars. Certainly the most famous Aero-Ektar user is photojournalist David Burnett; you might contact him about his experiences with one on a Speed Graphic.

26-Jun-2009, 08:50
Vielen Dank Sevo :-)

No the idea is not to use medium format with aero But to step in the large format photography and use 4x5, pollaroids, paper Positives in my shoots. Thats the Goal.

But untill then i love to be more flexible. To use my Phase one back in Speed Graphic or any LF camera and the Aero (or any exelent boketh lens) will help me in my beguinings.
If i had the money i would only shoot 8x10 and have a dslr for those other jobs.

So its for me now flexibility. Dream is a Speed Graphic that acept a Phase one back and polas , not only 4x5 but also 100c (becauce i have soooo many )

We was going out off topic now .. but the special character that i see the Aero have in combination with lf would really help to create a more " arty" fashion shoot without the need off endless hours digital processing that on the end looks... digital.

7-Sep-2009, 23:45
sorry to bump this but I have a question that was brushed on but not really answered from this thread.

I have a pretty simple monorail 4x5 and am interested in the 178 2.5. However there is no real way for me to give it a proper shutter, is there? This is why people put it on speed graphics, correct? Would there be a way to put it on my camera that would allow me to have a shutter?

Pete Watkins
8-Sep-2009, 02:29
I don't really understand what you mean by a "proper shutter" but over here we have LUC shutters and over there you have Packards. Not the ideal perhaps but a nice compromise.

Dan Fromm
8-Sep-2009, 02:42
RP, consider mounting it in front of a proper shutter.

Whether it is practical to mount a lens in barrel in front of a shutter depends on:

lens’ focal length. Call this f.

format used. Call the format’s diagonal Df.

diameter of the shutter diaphragm, wide open. Call the diaphragm’s diameter Ds.

distance from the lens to the shutter’s diaphragm. Call this distance Dd.

A simple similar triangles model gives this rule:

Circle Illuminated = (2*Ds/Dd) * f.

If CI > Df the lens will illuminate the format without vignetting. If, that is, it will illuminate the format when not in front of a shutter..

The underlying model assumes that the lens projects a cone of rays and that the shutter prevents the outer part of the cone from reaching the film. This isn’t correct; as a result the model is somewhat conservative.

Dd, the distance from the lens to the shutter’s aperture, is the distance from the cone of rays’ apex to the aperture. Just where the cone’s apex is located is not clear. Likely positions include the exit pupil, the center of the lens’ diaphragm, the lens’ rear vertex, the lens’ rear nodal point, … I use the lens’ diaphragm. The results are not too bad.

Pete, Lucs, Packards, and "roller blind" shutters offer a limited range of shutter speeds, no fast ones.

Pete Watkins
8-Sep-2009, 02:52
Dan, I know, but they're better than nothing. LUC's are so much lighter than Packards as well.
I have a few lenses (that I've bought cheaply) where I've glued/superglued a step up ring on the front to enable me to front mount my Copal 3 (62mm). Works well.

8-Sep-2009, 09:52
love this forum. thank you very much for the info.

Peter De Smidt
9-Sep-2009, 10:51
Note than Aero-Ektars are mildly radioactive. I confirmed this with a sample I owned using a Geiger Counter.

Jim Galli
9-Sep-2009, 11:39
The Speed Graphic is a good solution. I have 2, a 4X5 and a 5X7. I'm at 1/800th all the time in bright daylight with fast old glass. I recommend the earlier version with the somewhat larger and easier to mfr at home wooden 4X4 lens board. Your idea is very sound and lots of folks have already gotten beautiful results.

9-Sep-2009, 13:20
I've been using an 8" f/2.8 Pentac on a 4x5" Graflex RB. Works great, if a bit on the heavy side.

Lynn Jones
9-Sep-2009, 15:20
I have one in shutter for LF camera use and one in a Nikon mount. I've used them for 35 years and like them both.