View Full Version : Anybody tried Aviars for portraits?

Pete Watkins
22-Dec-2010, 09:57
I've recently aquired a nice T.T & H 210mm Aviar lens. T.T & H claim that it covers half plate so I assume that it will cover 5x7 if I want to try it. The advertising information of the time (between the 1st & 2nd World Wars) states that these lenses are very good for portraits. Has anyone here tried this? I intend to try my lens when the weather improves and Christmas is out of the way but opinions would be welcomed. Are these lenses Tessars?
Best wishes,

22-Dec-2010, 10:29
I've seen some nice stills with a 12.5" wide open. I don't see why portraits would work any less. It's all in the hands of the person using it as to its potential.
I recently picked up a Series II 14.5" f4.5. On the ground glass, it looks like it has potential to make some nice out of focus areas, with areas in focus being very sharp.
I still need to mount it on a lensboard to see if it holds it own against my others, but considering what I've seen just holding it up to the front standard, I don't see mine going on the auction block any time soon.

Alex Tymków
22-Dec-2010, 10:59
Hi Pete
The Aviar is a 4-glass dialyt type lens, 4 elements in 4 groups. The Tessar is 4 elements in 3 groups. I have a postwar Aviar, I have yet to try it with portraits but other pictures I have taken prove it to be a beautiful lens. Let us know your views when you have tried it. Alex

john wood
22-Dec-2010, 11:47
Playing around with a Speed Graphic and (essentially) hand-held mount, I got a few nice ones of my kid. The potential was there, real nice fall-off from out of quite sharp, but I haven't put it on a tripod yet for a serious test.

E. von Hoegh
22-Dec-2010, 12:08
Why not? I use a 16 1/2" Artar for portraits.

22-Dec-2010, 18:38
I have a 10"[254mm] f4.5 Aviar and wide open is beautiful for portraits. I would say to f8 would still be wonderful.

Jim Galli
23-Dec-2010, 00:15
Not bona-fide but same distance and aperture so you can get a feel for what you would get;




and last but maybe not least......


They are among my very favorites. I just bought a 20" f5.6 ex air ministry Cooke Aviar for the 11X14. Heavy. Very heavy.

Pete Watkins
23-Dec-2010, 12:09
Thanks to everybody for their help and advice. Especially to Jim for the links.
I'm gonna try it soon.
Best wishes,

Andrew Plume
24-Dec-2010, 13:56
Hi Pete

good luck with this - to me and with my 14" Aviar it's bitingly sharp and well, abstracts yes, landscapes too but portraits, well over to you and Jim has of course made a run at portraits too

best regards