View Full Version : Kodak 203mm Ektar Value

10-Feb-2012, 17:41
A day or two I posted this lens for sale. Lots of lookers, a few nice comments, but no interest. Perhaps I am asking too much. Here is my post. I would like to get a consensus on what a fair price should be, not high, not low, just fair.

I have for sale a very nice Kodak 203mm f7.7 in a Flash Supermatic shutter. The glass has no scratches or cleaning marks. The shutter was CLA'd 2 years ago by Carol Miller at Flutot's Camera in California. Her calibrations have the shutter speeds accurate at all speeds except 1/400 which fires at 1/250. The serial number of the lens is EI1923. Carol will have a record of the service in the event you would like to verify with her. She keeps very good records.

So, folks, what do you think is the fair value?

Jim Graves
10-Feb-2012, 17:57
On the high end but definitely reasonable given the condition and recent CLA.

Pictures of the lens and a link to an article or description of the the lens would help your sale, and even better would be to add a photo taken with the lens.

10-Feb-2012, 19:29
Indeed, photos of the item for sale are very important.

Look at the recent Sigmar sale. Photos of the lens, and photos taken with the lens. The lens was not available after 3-4 hours. If it were less rare, it would have still sold, but not so instantly.

For prices, you could check closed auctions on Ebay. I'd want $200 for it, and asking $225 isn't a bad start if it's in the condition advertised. If you listed it for 225 with photos and I were in the market for it, I'd PM you an offer of $200 (unless it was a hot item that normally sells in hours, in which case, there'd be no bargaining). But I've got five lenses in roughly the same focal length, so I won't be offering.

11-Feb-2012, 04:34
I am sorry, i don't agree very much with the previous posts.
200/225 USD seems to be a little too much, especially for THAT version of the 203mm.
The lens on sale should be exactly the same i got off Ebay for about $150 (with very good shutter and spotless optics).
There BIN offerings on Ebay which are even more expensive, but you see them again and again.
If you look for completed (green) sales, you'd get a fair idea of the current value.
Check if the item is actually the same, there were various version of the Ektar 203mm. I'd pay a premium for the latest version, with a better (IMHO) shutter, better coating, and a different cell design (yours should be like mine, with lettering on both the inside and outside of the front cell).

A side note:
it's a total mistery why the Wollensak siamese twin of the late version of the Kodak Ektar is so cheap!
I couldn't resist when i saw a very nice one on auction: i won it for $54 + shipment!
It was sold ad f/7.5, but in reality it's a dialyte copycat of the 203mm Ektar, made for Graphic cameras, with hard coating and set in a Graphex shutter.
I guess that the appreciation that the Ektar gets, in forums and by "word of mouth", plays a big role in defining the market price. Which is not low for a product made in great quantity, and for a lomg span of time. I just sold a 210mm convertible Symmar for 150, shipped, in a spot-on Compur No.1: i have been quite satisfied about the outcome, i routinely see the same lens going for somewhat less... I guess that in the fifties the Symmar was getting much more consideration (than the Ektar), but now they sell for somewhat less :)
If i had to ask myself why, i'd say that the Ektar gets with time what it deserves, while the Symmar (convertible!) gets cheaper and cheaper cause there are too many of them.

my best wishes for your sale


Michael W
11-Feb-2012, 04:37
I was looking for one of these for ages & if this lens had come up then I would have snapped it up. Eventually got one from England, so I'm no longer in the market. If you are patient I'm sure a keen buyer will show up.

11-Feb-2012, 06:11
Until yesterday I had two of these lenses and a point that's maybe not thought about is the value of the lens/shutter combination.

In the US this lens was sold in a Supermatic and later a slightly modified Compur (flash synch connection) Graphex, it happens to be fully Compur/Copal #0 compatible.

In the UK and Europe the lens was sold in a Kodak Epsilon shutter, a Prontor-SVS or a Compur.

So to some extent value isy also partl which shutter and to me the ideal shutter would be a Compur, then Prontor followed by the Supermatic and Epsilon.

However in this case the shutters been serviced, maybe the price is a touch optimistic but it's not unreasonable. Sure sometimes there are real bargains on ebay so as CJ found he paid much less but it's swings and roundabouts.


11-Feb-2012, 06:25
start lowering the price till it sells.

you only gave it one day till this thread......

and two days till now.

here is one that sold for $95:


another that sold for $120 with a lens board:


one that sold for $202:


and a current listing. a buy in now or best offer for $175:


11-Feb-2012, 06:34
again these are great lenses, you can see with eddie's post these lenses are all over the place in price, from 95.00 to 202.00, the one i had i paid 190.00 that was with a fresh cla, one of the best lenses i ever had, great for back packing, sharp and contrasty, wish i still had it. with a cla 2 years ago, i would not go below 150.00

11-Feb-2012, 06:44
Why do you want to sell this lens ? Have you a better lens than the ektar ? Which one ? The 203mm Ektar lens is one of the best lens ever produced. It have never been beat in its focal range. It cover 5x7 with an image circle similar to the plasma lens. So, unless you have a backpack full of 203mm it's not a good idea to sell it. You never find a better lens ! In this time, it's difficult to earn money selling old stuff. February is the worst month for selling. After christmas, before the taxes, during Valentine, nobody want to pay a lot for an old lens. Keep it and shoot with it !!

Michael Graves
11-Feb-2012, 07:19
A while back, I picked up one that was nearly mint as far as cosmetics and glass went, but had a sticky shutter. Cost me $95.00. Like catalinajack, I sent it to Carol. At the time she charged $50.00 for a CLA, but it came back purring like a kitten. (Carol always does such wonderful work!) Considering shipping back and forth, I figure I have about $180.00 tied up in an amazing lens. I figure it should be worth $20.00 to SOMEONE to avoid all that hassle and get a pristine lens from the get-go. $200.00 sounds fair to me. Knowing what I know now.....then again, I already have one with about that much tied up, so what do I know?

Ivan J. Eberle
11-Feb-2012, 07:41
The other problem for the Ektar is that Plasmats in 210mm focal length are super abundant, and super cheap. Probably the most popular student and commercial studio focal length. Many have been dumped on the market cheaply (sub $200 is now the norm for a mint or nearly mint APO Sironar N Rodenstock rebranded as a Caltar IIN, like the one I've got when I was considering and bidding upon several 203 Ektars). Many of the modern plasmats will be in impeccable shutters not needing CLAs and all will be Copal-compatible, which most of the Ektars are not.

11-Feb-2012, 08:23
As I pointed out earlier this 203mm f7.7 Ektar is fully Copal #0 compatible, Kodak sold it in Prontor, Compur and Epsilon #0 shutters in Europe. This particular Ektar is quite different to all othe Ektars in terms of design.

Last weekend I bought a bunch of shutters - Compur, Prontor, etc2 #00 and 4 #0, some with lens cells, 3 for 20 ($32). I hadn't noticed what the cells were in one Prontor and when I got home was surprised to find a complete 203mm f7.7 Ektar in excellent condition. So at just under 7 ($11) a real bargain and the shutter's like new.

If you're putting together a light weight oufit for back-packing then this particular Ektar weighs 190g in a Prontor and lens panel (a bit less in an Epsilon) compared to 560g for a 210 f5.6 Symmar-S in a Copal or 465g for a 7" Paragon in an Acme 3 shutter, plus of course it's very significantly smaller.


John Kasaian
11-Feb-2012, 09:44
IMHO $200 seems to be the par for a 203 in good condition. Buy one for a little less and you've found a bargain. Buy one for a little more and you've still got a great little lens anyway which is certainly worth every bit of whats being asked.
As Ivan points out, modern 210 plasmats are plentiful and cheap right now---I think that is why it is a buyer's market and the 203s are relatively unknowns among the new guys by comparison. I think that is what made the 203 Ektars such a bargain lens in the past (and 203 Wollys even more of a bargain!)

Dan Fromm
11-Feb-2012, 09:52
As I pointed out earlier this 203mm f7.7 Ektar is fully Copal #0 compatible

Not if it is in a Supermatic.

11-Feb-2012, 10:25
I have one that I like a lot but the problem is the Epsilon shutter: not a Kodak product but by Ensign, which I believe was Prontor inspired but reliability is not at all good - at least that applies to my example. If I could get a reasonably priced Copal and get the iris plate accurately marked, then I would be using it a lot more often.

12-Feb-2012, 03:28
When's a product not a Kodak product ? They didn't make these Ektars or the shutters themselves, however they did put their name on them both :D

It's easier to find a good rimset Compur at a decent price than a Copal and they tend to be more reliable even the earliest versions.

Kodak were the agents for Ross in Australia and New Zealand and had close links with the company going back to before WWI so it's quite likely the UK made 203mm f7.7 Ektars were made by Ross Ensign. Severe import restrictions after WWII meant using UK made shutters where possible.

It's often forgotten that Kodak Ltd (in the UK) was a separate company to Eastman Kodak with it's own Manufacturing and Research facilities. Kodak's plants in Europe (Germany, Hungary etc) were also part of Kodak UK.


Lynn Jones
14-Feb-2012, 13:51
This Kodak 203 f7.7 is one of the sharpest ever, however, its coverage if only about 45 degrees. It is a 4 element all air spaced similar in design to the Goerz Artar. The only problem one might find is the Kodak shutter which has never been great.


14-Feb-2012, 16:11
This Kodak 203 f7.7 is one of the sharpest ever, however, its coverage if only about 45 degrees. It is a 4 element all air spaced similar in design to the Goerz Artar. The only problem one might find is the Kodak shutter which has never been great.


You mean the Eastman Kodak shutters ? They weren't used in Europe by Kodak Ltd.


Jim Galli
14-Feb-2012, 16:24
I bought a sweet coated one from Eddie for $85. Needed a shutter CLA which I performed and it's part of my permanent 4X5 kit. Terrific little lens but they made a gazillion of them and everyone considers them entry level. Entry level that can probably do 68 line pairs in a millimeter.

David Lindquist
14-Feb-2012, 17:51
This Kodak 203 f7.7 is one of the sharpest ever, however, its coverage if only about 45 degrees. It is a 4 element all air spaced similar in design to the Goerz Artar. The only problem one might find is the Kodak shutter which has never been great.


Other figures for coverage for the Kodak 8 inch f/7.7 Ektar have been given. For example Kodak publication O-18 indicates this lens covers 52 degrees at maximum aperture and 56 degrees at f/16 or smaller.