View Full Version : 16.5 Inch APO Artar Lens

Brian Ellis
8-Apr-2004, 09:38
I'm trying to find information about this lens. The seller describes it as a 16.5 inch F9 (I think) coated APO Artar lens in an Acme #4 shutter. I've searched everywhere I know to search and can't find anything indicating that Georz or Schneider even made such a lens. I see many references to longer and shorter APO Artars but nothing on this focal length. I'm thinking of buying the lens so obviously it does exist but given the lack of information about it, I'm concerned that it perhaps was originally made as an enlarging lens or for some highly specialized use like aerial photography or something. If anyone can provide information, or point me to a source for information, about this particular lens I'd appreciate it. Thanks.

Juan V.
8-Apr-2004, 10:13
I don't personally have any info, but a thread a few weeks ago gave a listing of all the Artars and the 16.5 was on the list:


Robert Zeichner from that thread may have more info.

John Kasaian
8-Apr-2004, 10:31

I've seen a few. I currently have 14" 19" and 24" examples---I wish I had a 16-1/2" which would be the approx equal of a 4x5 210mm on an 8x10, but I've got too many lenses as it is and 16-1/2" is too close in focal length to the 14" and 19" anyway.

If it is coated(either a red dot, or a coated APO) it would be especially nice, but even the uncoated ones(like my 14") are excellent performers. Expect to pay more for a coated lens though.

The Acme #4 would have been an appropriate shutter if it were factory mounted.

They were originally process camera lenses, but are popular for photography as well. Goerz sold them mounted in shutters for this purpose, sort of like Schneider's popular G Clarons were originally for graphic arts until they became justifiably popular with LF photogs, so Schneider started offering them in shutters as well.

Morely Baer and other pros used Artar lenses if thats any encouragement.

If it is in good condition, and as you've said its already mounted in a working shutter(to have one of these in a barrel mounted would be a $500-600 additional expense including shutter, according to S K Grimes website), it would be worth serious consideration.

IMHO, Artars are about as good as it gets.


Ernest Purdum
8-Apr-2004, 10:52
Over the years, Artars were made in a huge range of focal lengths. At differing times, differing lengths would be listed. I have a Goerz brochure which shows the 16 1/2" being available in either #4 Acme or #4 Alphax. They indicate the coverage at infinity as being 9" X 12". Although originally made for use on large horizontal copy cameras, they are by no means overly specialized lenses.

Jim Rice
8-Apr-2004, 12:04
I have one and love it. It's just about the longest thing that my 4x5 Wisner Tech can handle, and will be my normal when i move up to 8x10. Scarey sharp.

Ralph Barker
8-Apr-2004, 12:55
I, too, have a 16 " Apochromat (red dot) Artar labeled C.P. Goerz Am. Opt. Co. mounted in an Ilex #4 Acme Synchro shutter. I haven't used mine extensively, as I need to have the shutter CLAed, but the image quality is quite good.

Ralph Barker
8-Apr-2004, 12:59
Here's what it looks like, Brian:


Brian Ellis
8-Apr-2004, 13:40
Thanks very much for all the helpful information, particularly the picture that Ralph sent. I ordered the lens today.

Jim Rice
8-Apr-2004, 13:50
Ralph's is considerably newer than mine (Goerz Optical Co. Inc. s/n 83570x), which has a brass rather than aluminum barrel and is mounted in a No.4 Universal (self-cocking) shutter. On mine a generic (marked Japan) 67-72mm step up ring can be used as filter threads with a rubber band (I got a 49 cent bag of them at the drugstore, the one that worked was about 3/16" wide and about 3/8~1/2" diameter unstretched) used as a bushing for interference fit. The resulting red ring looks pretty natty, too, though you can pick your own color.

Michael Jones
9-Apr-2004, 06:23

Its a great lens. I picked it when I bought an 8x10 because it was 2x my 210mm. I had one in a #4 Acme and after having Frank Marshman (the Camera Wiz) CLA the shutter, it was perfect. Later I used in my 8x20 and it had plenty of coverage. If you don't use gels, you may want to have Grimes make a filter adapter. Enjoy your new lens and tell Joe T. hello for me.


Ed Balko
9-Apr-2004, 06:35
I have a 16 1/2 Red Dot Artar front mounted on a Heavy Duty Alphax shutter (the shutter was originally part of an oscilloscope camera). The light weight of the lens is a plus in a front mount.

I use the lens on a Technika V, usually stopped down to f16 or f22. It is a fine sharp lens.

Tito Sobrinho.
9-Apr-2004, 16:45
"Later I used in my 8x20 and it had plenty of coverage".

The dialyte type of lenses (Celor, Artar, Apo-Ronar, Kodak Ektar 203/7.7), have little coverage. It is not a plasmat design. The above 420mm lens, only covers 9"x12" at infinity.

Ralph Barker
9-Apr-2004, 18:25
Brian - your inquiry prompted me to get off my duff and remount my 16 " Red Dot Artar on a modified 110mm Toyo board, so I can use it on my 8x10 Tachihara, too. The hole required was a tad less than 2mm larger than a standard Copal #3 hole, so a few minutes with a file did the trick.

Thanks for the motivation!


29-Oct-2008, 11:41
I have a red dot 16 1/2" F:9.5 Goerz Apochromat Artar mounted on a metal frame with a lever for graduated settings 20 t0 200 @ F:16,22,32 & 45. It was used on a Modi-
Graphic flat bed camera that was 13" long. The lens itself has a slot to insert color gel filters for color separation. My graphics shop in NYC used it to shoot 20" x 24" films which we used for screen printing. It's so sharp you can reproduce an eyelash. On the film end we had a holder for oil filled prisms that could rotate on its axis allowing us to distort copy to an artists specs. As I also supplied color photos for tv commercials I had a polaroid 8" x 10" color print holder. It plus its' 19" F:11 sister are for sale. Make an offer.--Norman Lampe