View Full Version : Ektar 12-inch F4.5

Craig Roberts
31-Jul-2012, 17:52
Some time back I was able to acquire a 12-inch F 4.5 EKTAR lens. I have used the 12-inch F 6.3 Commercial EKTAR for decades and am very pleased with it. Aside from the speed, what is it about the F 4.5 vs the F 6.3 in terms of design that makes this different from the Commercial EKTAR and the 305mm portrait lens? Anybody have “hands on” experience with this lens? Eventually, I will get around to shooting some film with it but I am curious about the design and history. Searching the forum came up blank.


31-Jul-2012, 18:21
This site might have some information of interest for you.


I've have and use the 12 inch Commercial Ektar and really like it. You don't need me to tell you about it.

Other Kodak lenses -- the earlier Anistagmats in particular (which I have used a bit) are older and not coated but still put out good image quality in both B&W and color. I think the Anistigmat name was the earliest (1930 or 40s?) and the Ektar name came later for the "premium" lenses. since that is recollection I look forward to someone correcting that.

I don't know much about the design difference because that really doesn't matter much to me.

SOMEWHERE out there on the internet I have seen the Kodak Data book (I think that is the correct title) that lists technical data for the older Kodak lenses like Ektars, Anistigmat, etc. Sorry, but I either never bookmarked it or lost the bookmark.

Craig Roberts
31-Jul-2012, 18:29
Thanks Brian.

I am from the school that says - "try it and see what happens"

Louis Pacilla
31-Jul-2012, 19:00
The 12" Kodak Ektar f4.5 is a Tessar copy of high quality. Should have a very nice look wide open at 4.5 and would be a nice portrait lens on 5x7-4x5 and at closer distances on 8x10.

The Commercial Ektar is more like the Tessar IIb f6.3. While not as fast as the Ic the Tessar IIb was preferred by commercial photographers because of better coverage and better corrections . Where the Tessar Ic as well as the 12" Ektar f4.5 would have been the choice for sports,children, press and portrait photographers.

The 305 Kodak Portrait is a COMPLETELY different animal then any of the above. It is a diffused focus meniscus lens with iris in front of the element. Great for pictorial work and portraits.

Here's the Kodak Camera Technique & lens catalog from Camera Eccentric site. I copied the page for this post that is pertinent to your question. If you click on the attachment once Then a second time it will enlarge it well enough to read the text. but then you can go to Camera Eccentric and read the entire catalog. Why not?


31-Jul-2012, 19:04
That is what I was referring to. Thanks Louis!

Dan Fromm
1-Aug-2012, 05:49
This site http://www.bnphoto.org/ is probably the best source for information on EKCo lenses for still cameras.

1-Aug-2012, 19:57
You will find information on some old Kodak lenses here :
By the way, I got a No 36 Kodak Anastigmat f/4,5 12" barrel lens yesterday ! It's not coated, it's a Tessar.
I shot an 8x10 wide open this evening, I'll scan it tomorrow and put it here.

Craig Roberts
2-Aug-2012, 16:49
Thanks every one. This is what I was hoping for.