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Thread: Does an affordable, available, non-plasmat 300mm-ish lens that covers 8x10 exist?

  1. #11

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    Re: Does an affordable, available, non-plasmat 300mm-ish lens that covers 8x10 exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by williaty View Post
    You clearly missed the "affordable and in a modern shutter" part!
    No I didn't miss it haha. I got my beat up AE12 f2.5 for $50, and I converted a damaged SG for shutter for another $40. Clearly the combo is affordable

    But anyway, for my blue yellow low serial AE 308mm f2.5 with clean glasses I paid $200, all on Ebay fyi

  2. #12

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    Re: Does an affordable, available, non-plasmat 300mm-ish lens that covers 8x10 exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by williaty View Post
    I some sort of sniping god on ebay, and doesn't cost close to a grand?
    Not 300-ish, but let me point a 420mm choice that's excellent for 8x10 portraiture.

    This is a Symmar 240mm convertible to 420mm by removing the front cell, not a Plasmat but half of it, just a triplet. Usually it has a shutter, ebay price from 120 to 250.

    Single coated, converted to 420mm is f/12 and it works very nice for portraits. When converted it has some focus shift, so you should focus at same aperture you shot, that would require a tight dark cloth.

    Also when converted to 420mm we should stop to /22 or beyond to get sharper corners (for landscape).

  3. #13
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    Re: Does an affordable, available, non-plasmat 300mm-ish lens that covers 8x10 exist?

    I only paid about three hundred for my good-condition 12" f/6.3 Ilex-Calumet Caltar, which is a (good) copy of the Kodak Commercial Ektar--a hot-rodded tessar design. It's in an Ilex #4, which works reliably. Shutter speeds are not always super accurate, but they are always consistent and after testing one knows what to do. I would consider a shutter like this sufficient for modern use, and better than a gummed up Compur or Copal.

    Ilex also made the Paragon, which is a conventional tessar design. It's not quite as optimized as the Caltar, but it's still a good lens.

    I'm not sure there's a better balance between affordability and modern applicability at that focal length. They are not common, but then again I found one when I was looking for it, so I suspect they are findable.

    For me, "affordable" for a 12" lens is just about anything under $500.

    Rick "a tough focal length to be too picky if on a budget" Denney

  4. #14

    Re: Does an affordable, available, non-plasmat 300mm-ish lens that covers 8x10 exist?

    Williaty, IMO the 'jittery' out-of-focus areas are caused by apertures with too few blades, more so than lens design. Both certainly play a part but even lenses with the smoothest/creamiest OOF rendering are greatly affected by aperture shape. Maybe look for a late model Commercial Ektar in Ilex shutter? Rick's Caltar is another good option.

  5. #15
    Dave Karp
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    Re: Does an affordable, available, non-plasmat 300mm-ish lens that covers 8x10 exist?

    Another option would be a 300mm Fujinon L. It is a Tessar type, single coated, in a Copal No. 3.

  6. #16
    David Lobato David Lobato's Avatar
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    Re: Does an affordable, available, non-plasmat 300mm-ish lens that covers 8x10 exist?

    What about the 12 inch and 14 inch Kodak Commercial Ektar in Ilex shutter? Or the Kodak Ektar lenses?

  7. #17

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    Re: Does an affordable, available, non-plasmat 300mm-ish lens that covers 8x10 exist?

    Try looking for a Wollensak Raptar Series 1a 13" (330mm). This lens is triple convertible so you add focal lengths of 20" and 25.5" using single elements. Usually found in Alphax shutters that are older but reliable.

  8. #18

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    Re: Does an affordable, available, non-plasmat 300mm-ish lens that covers 8x10 exist?

    OK, summary:

    1) Commercial Ektar: already watching. Prices have basically doubled, working on tripling, in the last 2-3 months. All the reasonably priced ones have sold and the only ones left are either damaged or what used to be the "gee that's a silly price" listings that are now the new normal. So far I've bought 2 that the seller said were ok and then I had to return them because either the glass is a train wreck or the shutter doesn't run (and no, I'm not being super picky at this pricepoint).

    2) Ilex Paragon Anastigmat: already watching, just haven't seen anything longer than 10" pop up.

    3) Ilex-Calument Caltar: new to me, sounds cool, watching for one now.

    4) Fujinon-L 300mm f/5.6: new to me, sounds cool, watching for one now.

    5) Nikkor-M 300mm f/9: Not wild about f/9 but sounds workable, watching for one now.

  9. #19
    William Whitaker's Avatar
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    Re: Does an affordable, available, non-plasmat 300mm-ish lens that covers 8x10 exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by williaty View Post
    I'm shooting 8x10 plates now via a 305mm f/4.5 B&L tessar in barrel and Packard shutter...
    Aside from the shutter issue, how do you like that 305 Tessar? They do occasionally show up in a shutter (Betax usually).

    I once had a Kern 14" f/8 Dagor that displayed pronounced "nisen bokeh" (double bokeh). It was the visual equivalent of fingernails on a chalkboard. All the more upsetting because that lens was so expensive! But that was an isolated instance; I've never had any other bad lens experiences myself. But I do like older lenses such as the B&L Tessars, Wollensak Velostigmats, etc. And they still seem fairly common on Ebay, although not in the proliferation of 15-20 years ago.
    Last edited by William Whitaker; 24-Jun-2018 at 18:11.

  10. #20

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    Re: Does an affordable, available, non-plasmat 300mm-ish lens that covers 8x10 exist?

    I have the regular (not Commercial) 12” Ektar, and it’s ridiculously sharp when you want it to be, and has glorious out of focus softness. For all practical purposes there’s no difference between the Commercial Ektars and the regular Ektars. (Quality control for the Commercial Ektars was a bit tighter, tolerances more strict)
    I could make 4x5 foot posters from my Ektar negatives if I wanted to. If you want to make contact prints (which is exactly what I do), any Ektar 12” will more than deliver. I’ve seen regular Ektar 12” lenses on fleabay for as little as $250. recently.

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