View Full Version : My new Caltar Type Y

27-Aug-2009, 12:21
I just purchased, for a very good price, a Caltar Type Y 240/6.8. The Archives (and Kerry's articles) suggest it is a Tessar design made by Rodenstock, and the Type Y probably means it's an Ysar or Ysarex, though I find no evidence of Rodenstock-branded lenses of that designation in this focal length. Rodenstock may have revived an older design at Calumet's request.

It looks quite good. Probably marginal 8x10 coverage, and certainly abundant for smaller formats. It's mounted in an chrome-ring Copal No. 1, which is consistent with the early 70's date Kerry mentioned. The front filter ring is 49mm. The lens is coated, but not multicoated.

It is definitely a Tessar--some who wondered in the archives weren't sure despite Kerry's insistence--with two front air-spaced elements and a cemented pair in the rear that is almost plano on on the surface facing the shutter.

This lens supposedly had an element that is lanthanum glass, but I don't have a geiger counter and when I turned the lights out, it didn't glow. :) But some of the old radioactive lenses yellow with age--this one hasn't.

I'll give it a good test, but I think it's a winner.

Rick "who found very little in his own search and is adding to some future person's search" Denney

27-Aug-2009, 13:33
I have a 210mm f/6.3 Caltar Type-Y. It is a fantastic lens. At one time, I got a hold of a technical representative at Calumet and was told emphatically that the Type-Y was in fact a Rodenstock Ysarex. He also speculated that at the time, the Type-Y could not be sold at a competitive price (due to the exotic glass?) and so, Calumet ended up selling relatively few of these.