View Full Version : Ilex Question.

28-May-2011, 16:21
Would an Ilex Paragon 10 1/2" process lens cover 8x10? I'm trying to get into large format photography and this seems like the only large format lens that anyone i know will sell me. Also, another question. Will any of the soviet Industar lenses cover 8x10?

John Kasaian
28-May-2011, 16:57
Would an Ilex Paragon 10 1/2" process lens cover 8x10? I'm trying to get into large format photography and this seems like the only large format lens that anyone i know will sell me. Also, another question. Will any of the soviet Industar lenses cover 8x10?

Its the only lens anyone will sell you?? You haven't talked to Jim Galli & his little green men, I take it?:D
There are plenty of great old lenses that will cover 8x10 on a budget. If you're partial to Ilex, look for a 15"/375mm---it's a beaut of a lens.

If that Paragon is an apochromatic, chances are it won't cover or if it does it likely won't allow any wiggle room. The older apos weren't noted for generous coverage at shorter than normal focal lengths---I have a 14" Apo-Artar that will cover 8x10 but I wouldn't want to go any shorter than that (I think a 12" apo woud be a crap-shoot on an 8x10, but then I could be wrong)
Here's what you do---in a dark-ish room hold the lens about 10-1/2" from a white wall and point it at a window and see what size image is projected on the white wall. That ought to give you an idea.

28-May-2011, 17:21
Its really the only lens that the photo store will sell me, within my price range. And regarding it being apochromatic, would that mean it has 2 elements inside? Because I'm almost sure the lens I've been offered has 2 elements. (please understand, that I've read loads on 8x10 photography on the internet, but have no real world experience in it. so please, wise sages of the forum, allow my rather stupid learner questions)

Another question, by the way, How good are enlarging lenses for doing 8x10? I have a wolly raptar that I took off my enlarger because someone had ripped all the aperture blades out. I know it projects to 8x10, but is it any good for photography that isn't closeups? I primarily intend to use the 8x10 view camera i have half built to do cityscapes and landscapes, and I'm not sure if an enlarger lens would function for that task. (once again, i have very little large format experience, so if i'm completely wrong on this point, inform me.)

Also, seeing as I'm looking for lens to do city based work with, should i look for something that covers 11x14 so that i can shift it upwards and have more leeway to eliminate keystoning?

One more. Could some kind soul on here point me in the general direction of some cheap, usable 8x10 lenses?

Sorry for all the newbie questions.

28-May-2011, 18:35
My 12" Artar doesn't cover 8x10.

To answer the OP, there are a lot of inexpensive (depending on your idea of inexpensive) lenses that can cover 8x10. Do you need it in shutter? Coated or not? Focal length?

To throw a few out there:
Turner Reich Triple Convertible in 12"-21"-28"
Agfa Super Intergon 210mm f9
Goerz Dagor 210mm (8 1/4") and up
Any vintage Rapid Rectilinear which is marked as 8x10 - Bausch Planatograph for example
B&L projection triplets in 12" or 15"


28-May-2011, 18:53
Every example i can find of the aforementioned lenses on fleabay is far out of my price range. I'm looking for a lens in the 50$- 1020$ price range, so real bottom of the line stuff. I may start a whole new topic asking the question that this topic has morphed into, What is available for 8x10 in that range?

I've been thinking that if i stop the lens down all the way, i could use the "one mississppi.." technique for exposing, with a lens cap of some sort, or i could build a simple rotating disc shutter so a shutter would not be important,. Coating on the lens would be nice, but not really a game changer if non present. I'm really just desperately searching for a starter lens. A 12" gundlach off a korona would be a dream, though i cant find any that are within that price range, online or off.

John Kasaian
28-May-2011, 19:15
How about a pinhole? A LF camera is actually a pretty good platform for a pinhole.

I haven't had much luck surfing ebay lately, but they used to have a search for misc. lenses and every so often one could find a lens that would cover 8x10 tucked away in there.

Another option would be to make a lens. A meniscus of a suitable focal length shouldn't be expensive from one of the internet surpus optics dealers (Surplus Shed, Edmund Scientific, etc...) you can stick it in a barrel made of (new) plastic sewer pipe or a grapefruit juice can or something (and post a picture here of a dreamy print oozing with bokeh and you'll likely have to fend off all the offers to buy your magic lens heh-heh!)

Richard Rankin
28-May-2011, 20:00
If you don't need a shutter, I've got a 12" Thornward circa 1901 that would be under $100 and made for 8x10. Also have a Perken Rayment that is officially 9x7 but easily covers 8x10, which would also (just) be under $100. Actually, the Perken Rayment is listed in my 'lens lending library' so you could just borrow it for a few weeks.


28-May-2011, 20:19
Wow, this forum community blows me away. 3 hours later, i already have four reply posts completely full of extremely helpful advice, and written in a cordial manner too. This forum is so much more mature than the small and medium format forums that I'm used to, where everyone thinks that they're the next Stieglitz or Adams because they took artsy photos of their friends with a diana.

And also, Richard Rankin, your offer is quite intriguing. If you could post or PM me a picture and more exact price for the Thornward, and the Perken, that would wonderful.

Bear in mind though, i have only been active on this forum for a day, so for all you know, I'm a Nigerian prince offering to give you his fortune through email.

29-May-2011, 08:18
To me, 8x10 and the word "inexpensive" do not go together in the same sentence. When buying long lenses for 4x5 there seems to be a price penalty just because they can be used on 8x10. I have been looking for a bargain 165mm Angulon for quite some time, for use on 5x7, but can never conscience the price because they have a reputation for covering 8x10.

Here are the 8x10 bargains I have found:

An uncoated 159mm/16 Gundlach Extreme Wide Angle in an Ilex shutter ~$150
A 240mm/5.6 Schneider Convertible Symmar ~$150
A 375mm/6.3 Ilex Paragon in shutter, bought with Calumet C1 camera for ~$350
A 540mm/11 Ednalite Process lens in no shutter ~$35

Ednalite is virtually unheard of as a lens manufacturer and this one might well have been made by somebody better known, but getting a similar long, slow process lens is about the only bargain above that I would expect to be easy to find again. In fact I recently did get a 420/9 Red Dot Artar in no shutter for about that same $35.

The 159mm Extreme Wide Angle lenses from Gundlach (and more commonly Wollensak) do occasionally show up with no shutter for prices below $100.

Unless your enlarger lens was designed to enlarge 8x10 negatives (focal length equal to 240mm or more) it is unlikely to be usable on an 8x10 camera except for extreme close ups.

Best of Luck in your search, and your learning process.

Mark Sawyer
29-May-2011, 11:15
If you post your city, there might be someone nearby with a cheap lens you could pick up. The 300mm Industar will cover, but only comes in a barrel, and I suspect would be hard to mount in a shutter.

Here's a better possibility:


Mark Sawyer
29-May-2011, 11:18
A 12" gundlach off a korona would be a dream, though i cant find any that are within that price range, online or off.