View Full Version : 8 1/2 inch (215 mm) f5.6 ilex-calumet series-s caltar no.187 image circle info please?

Brian Merry
10-Apr-2002, 00:20
I've just made the jump to 8x10 and the Calumet c-1 (I think it's a c-1, it's bl ack and made of alluminium) I bought came with the lens, 8 1/2 inch (215 mm) f5 .6 ilex-calumet series-s caltar no.187. It has a copal no.1 shutter and the len s barrel on the light side of the lens lense board is chrome or stainless on the outside. Oddly it is stamped with the number 7917 on the side of the black bar rel on the other side of the lens board. I would like to know the coverage of this lens (image circle) and what the numbe r stamp on the lens barrel means. Also, on the side of the lens by the shutter speeds and apeture markings are sma ll characters: t=14" and directly underneath that is: f=8 1/2". Is this a conv ertable lens and how do I use it that way?

Thanks, Brian Merry

neil poulsen
10-Apr-2002, 06:41
I don't have direct knowledge, but I can relate information provided in an article that includes the history of Caltar lenses in the Jan/Feb 1996 issue of View Camera. However, this particular lens isn't mentioned. They do mention a f4.8 215mm Caltar-S lens, and I'm wondering if your's isn't the same lens but in an f5.6 shutter. (???) But since they were produced by Ilex, it would seem that they would be mounted in a shutter by the same name. Anyway, if it's the same lens, it has an image angle of 77deg, it was an excellent lens (for the time?), and it was designed to perform well as a convertable with a converted focal length about twice that of the compound lens.

As another possibility, at the time that Calumet began marketing private label Rodenstock lenses as S Caltars, they produced lenses in multiple focal lengths, EXCEPT the above 215mm lens made by Ilex. I'm wondering if your lens might be a Rodenstock that was made to fill the gap when Ilex went out of business. This is conjecture on my part, because it doesn't go into detail in the article.

For what it's worth!