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Thread: Ilex Acuton f4.8 215mm (8.5in)

  1. #1

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    Ilex Acuton f4.8 215mm (8.5in)

    Hi folks

    Picked this beauty up for a tiny price, it's in a fully working Ilex #3. I know it's a 6 glass Plasmat and convertible, but does anyone know what size image circle it throws? Or what the back focus is at infinity? I'm hoping I can focus it to infinity on my Century Graphic 23 because I need a long lens around 200mm and my Helioprint 9/210 is too dim on the ground glass to focus well in the typically dull light up here in Northern England. I'm hoping to buy a 4x5 camera later this year so I will put it to use on that too, but I was wondering if it will cover larger sizes too.

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  2. #2
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    Re: Ilex Acuton f4.8 215mm (8.5in)

    First thing, this is a really nice lens, perhaps a tiny bit lower contrast than newer lenses with better coatings, but still a very fine performer. I've owned two in my forty plus year career and been delighted with both. Excellent color rendition and great black and white prints from it.

    If memory serves from my long lost instruction book, it covers 5x7 as is and stopped down comes very close to covering 8x10 at zero positions. When you remove the front element group, it converts to a 14 inch lens and does cover 8x10, but with limited movements. The green f stop numbers are for use with the front element off. When you include the 4x5 camera, you will really enjoy getting to use the longer focal length.

    As to infinity focus, I don't have mine handy to measure right now, but I suspect you will be okay. It will certainly work well for portraits and still life work on the Graphic, even if you have to wait to get the 4x5 before you can use it at infinity.
    "One of the greatest necessities in America is to discover creative solitude." Carl Sandburg

  3. #3

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    Re: Ilex Acuton f4.8 215mm (8.5in)

    Cheers lenser, that's reassuring info. Ilex lenses and shutters are uncommon here in England, which is why I think, no-one else put in a bid higher than the tiny sum I paid. If it was a Symmar in Compur, it would have cost 10x as much. I like using unusual lenses so I actually prefer having this to a Schneider or Rodenstock.

    I'll make a lens board for it when it arrives and try it out on the Century, fingers crossed for infinity!

  4. #4

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    Re: Ilex Acuton f4.8 215mm (8.5in)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Greenhalgh View Post
    Hi folks

    Picked this beauty up for a tiny price, it's in a fully working Ilex #3. I know it's a 6 glass Plasmat and convertible, but does anyone know what size image circle it throws? Or what the back focus is at infinity? I'm hoping I can focus it to infinity on my Century Graphic 23 because I need a long lens around 200mm and my Helioprint 9/210 is too dim on the ground glass to focus well in the typically dull light up here in Northern England. I'm hoping to buy a 4x5 camera later this year so I will put it to use on that too, but I was wondering if it will cover larger sizes too.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I have some Ilex literature that says the flange distance for this lens is 8.13 inches, or 13.81 inches when the rear cell only is used. The diameter coverage of the combined lens is 12 inches and for the rear cell only, 12.5 inches. Angle of view is 70 degrees for the combined lens and 47 degrees when the rear cell only is used. I didn't do the trig to see if the image circle figures they give agree with these angles of view (just in case some one does that and they don't). Almost always the lens maker's literature will say at what stop the coverage figures are good for but here Ilex doesn't. So probably f/16 to 22 would be a good guess. They do give 8 X 10 as the maximum film size for this lens. That may be a slight stretch for an image circle of 12 inches.

    David

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    Re: Ilex Acuton f4.8 215mm (8.5in)

    Short answer, Ian, without having to know anything at all about the lens. Plasmats aren't telephotos. 215 mm is ~ 20 mm greater than Century Graphic's maximum extension. The lens won't work at all on your little camera without heroic measures.

    I use lenses up to 260 mm on my Century, which is no larger than yours, but with heroic measures. Lens in barrel mounted in front of a #1. The #1 adds extension, as does the adapter that hold the lens in front of the shutter. When necessary I also use a short extension tube. You might want to try cobbling up an extension tube that sits between shutter and lens board. Ain't no top hat lens boards for little Graphics.

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    Re: Ilex Acuton f4.8 215mm (8.5in)

    Thanks David, that' exactly what I needed to know. So it should just and so cover 8x10stopped down with no movements, that's fine for me as I'll probably never go bigger than 4x5.

    Hiya Dan, I knew you'd know about the maximum length lenses possible on the Century. I think I could make a top hat type board if it needs some more extension, it probably won't be pretty looking but I'm sure I could make something workable.

    Don't suppose you have any pictures illustrating any of your heroic measures? Would be useful for me to see.

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    Re: Ilex Acuton f4.8 215mm (8.5in)

    Ian, send me a PM with your e-mail address and I'll send you a few images.

    The Ilex #3 is more-or-less the largest shutter that will fit on a 2x3 Pacemaker Graphic board. The mounting hole is 1.985 inches, the board is 2.25 inches across.

    I can't begin to think about how I'd use a 215 on and Ilex 3 on a 2x3 Graphic without knowing more about the rear cell's dimensions. If the rear cell's diameter exceeds that of the shutter mounting threads, there's no easy way (= tube) to do it. This is why I gave up all three of the 240/9 dagor type G-Clarons I've had. The hard way is a multi-piece tube. Relatively expensive. The 210 dagor type G-Claron has a slenderer rear cell, its cells fit a #1, and an adapter to attach a #1 to, say, an LTM tube wouldn't be very expensive. Re the 210, I just checked. This isn't the case for the 210 plasmat type G-Claron.

    If you want to use a lens of around that focal length on y'r Century, look for a 203/7.7 Ektar or a 203/7.5 Raptar. People on graflex.org have reported using them, but not focusing very close, on Centuries. Plasmats much longer than 150 mm can be hard to use on a Century because their rear cells are larger than their shutters' mount threads.

  8. #8

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    Re: Ilex Acuton f4.8 215mm (8.5in)

    Cheers Dan that's all valuable info. I'll get a PM off to you now.

    I'll have to get the ruler out when the Acuton arrives and work out if it's physically gonna fit the Century or not. I might have to find something else, a G-Claron 9/210 is the obvious choice due to the ease of putting it in a small shutter, but I have real trouble focusing with such a slow lens, I rarely have strong sunlight to work with, it's bad enough with my Angulon 6.8/65, so I fitted a second set of infinity stops for it and mostly shoot it at infinity.

    So, to be clear, it is the dagor type G-Claron 9/210 I need and the plasmat type won't fit? Do they both go into a #1?

    I've only seen a couple of 7.7/203 Ektars for sale in the UK, but I'll keep an eye open.

  9. #9

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    Re: Ilex Acuton f4.8 215mm (8.5in)

    Ian, I have the very same 215mm Ilex Acuton and a Century Graphic as well. Unless you pull off some magic machining with a stepped, top hat adapter, I don't think this is the appropriate long lens for your Century. The outside diameter of the rear lens element is 56mm, so it won't begin to clear the inside opening of the front standard which is 44mm, an extended top hat adapter at least the length of the rear element would be required. The retaining ring on the 215mm Acuton is 67 mm in diameter and inside measurement of the square lensboard for your Century is 61.5 mm. Yes you could mill down the retaining ring to fit inside the back of a custom top hat lensboard, but it would be a fair amount of work to make all of this happen. Because this plasmat can just cover the 8"X10" format, it definitely seems overkill for your 2X3 Century. I understand your wish to make this lens work because it would make for bright viewing on the ground glass. If you don't have a fresnel lens for your Century, look into adding one. There's plenty of information on this forum about the particulars of correctly mounting a fresnel on a Century.

    My personal experience with mounting a 203mm Kodak Ektar (a great lens to be sure) on my Century, is that it would just barely focus on infinity with the front bed completely racked out, which made it useless for near field subjects, so it's become part of my 4X5 lens arsenal. I believe Dan has said in the past the Kodak 203mm will work on a standard 2X3 Graphic (not the Century model), perhaps with the deeper body of that model allows the needed extension. What I use for a longer lenses on my Century is a petite, 165mm f6.3 Ilex tessar mounted in a Copal 0 shutter, and for a longer telephoto, I have a 240mm f5.5 Linhof select Schneider Tele-Xenar (this lens was designed for this format). I also have a 190mm f5.6 Kodak Ektar (a tessar design) mounted in an older #1 Compur shutter that would work, but again the retaining ring would have to be milled down to fit within the standard Century lensboard. These 190mm Ektars however, are very scarce.

    I hope this is helpful.

    Mark

  10. #10

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    Re: Ilex Acuton f4.8 215mm (8.5in)

    Hi Mark.

    That was immensely helpful, many thanks. Simple decision for me, this lens goes into the drawer until I get a 4x5.

    Thanks for the long lens suggestions, I would love a 7.7/203 Ektar. I do have a 6.3/170 Kodak Anastigmat in a clean working Ilex Universal, it's on a Kodak 3A so I could remove it and put it on a board for the Century, it's an early 1920s vintage uncoated dialyte. Dan Fromm and Ian Grant both have one of these too but neither has tried theirs yet, I guess I should take one for the team and be the first to give it a whirl, you never know, it might compare favourably to it's illustrious 7.7 brethren.

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