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Thread: European alternatives to (Commercial) Ektars?

  1. #1

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    European alternatives to (Commercial) Ektars?

    As I am returning to more and more LF shooting, I realized that I don't like constantly re-mounting a lens (namely my 305 GClaron) from one board to another and back again... And yes, I know there are solutions to avoid it but I have yet to find a sinar to graphic(toyo field) adapter so that I could use a lens on both my Toyo metal field (half plate) and my Tachi 8x10.
    Anyway, since my other two lenses for 8x10 are of a vintage persuasion (the WA velostigmat and a 19in artar) I've been thinking about adding something of similar age / character in between them - like a commercial Ektar. But to find one on this side of Atlantic is not very easy. But surely, I thought, there must be a plenty of lenses that were produced here and are lying somewhere on the shelves...
    So my question is, what might be a good alternative to good old sort of "everyday" 8x10 lenses for mainly landscape/architecture/general use somewhere in the reagon 12-14 inches (300-350mm)?

    Of course there is plenty of modern 300mm plasmats, but I'd prefer something lighter / more compact.

    Thank you!
    Website of sorts, as well as flickr thing.

  2. #2

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    Re: European alternatives to (Commercial) Ektars?

    Quote Originally Posted by andreios View Post
    As I am returning to more and more LF shooting, I realized that I don't like constantly re-mounting a lens (namely my 305 GClaron) from one board to another and back again... And yes, I know there are solutions to avoid it but I have yet to find a sinar to graphic(toyo field) adapter so that I could use a lens on both my Toyo metal field (half plate) and my Tachi 8x10.
    Anyway, since my other two lenses for 8x10 are of a vintage persuasion (the WA velostigmat and a 19in artar) I've been thinking about adding something of similar age / character in between them - like a commercial Ektar. But to find one on this side of Atlantic is not very easy. But surely, I thought, there must be a plenty of lenses that were produced here and are lying somewhere on the shelves...
    So my question is, what might be a good alternative to good old sort of "everyday" 8x10 lenses for mainly landscape/architecture/general use somewhere in the reagon 12-14 inches (300-350mm)?

    Of course there is plenty of modern 300mm plasmats, but I'd prefer something lighter / more compact.

    Thank you!
    300mm Nikkor-M and the smallest plasmat Fujinon-W /CM-W comes to mind. Older lenses might be a triplet Gundlach or....? If you test your G-claron against the sun, do you see unwanted reflections? If not, buy another one

    Sent fra min D6503 via Tapatalk

  3. #3

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    Re: European alternatives to (Commercial) Ektars?

    Tessars, lots of Tessars! The Commercial Ektar is basically a carefully made f/6.3 Tessar design, in most instances.
    Thanks, but I'd rather just watch:
    Large format: http://flickr.com/michaeldarnton
    Mostly 35mm: http://flickr.com/mdarnton
    You want digital, color, etc?: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stradofear

  4. #4

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    Re: European alternatives to (Commercial) Ektars?

    Commercial Ektars were post-WW II coated f/6.3 tessar types. A number of European makers made f/6.3 tessar types after WW II. Nearly all were coated. The problem with most is finding one in shutter, especially in the focal lengths the OP wants.

    OP, your idea that tessar types and Artars are vintage made me giggle. The real divide, extreme wide angle and telephoto lenses excepted, is between anastigmats and other, with a small secondary divide between coated and not coated. This last is more or less 1947 and later vs. pre-1947.

  5. #5
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: European alternatives to (Commercial) Ektars?

    "Smaller and lighter" means something more around f/9 if you're talking about a tessar. The 300 Nikkor M is quite small and precise, but the image circle doesn't offer much wiggle room. The dialyte 300 Fuji C is a little more generous in this respect, and also quite compact. These are fully modern multicoated lenses. But neither will be ideal for architectural shots needing significant rise. Fuji 300A will have a lot more coverage. It's a modern plastmat in a lightwt no.1 shutter; even the 360 version is in a number 1, has a huge image circle, and is way lighter than general-purpose plasmats like W's and CMW's. But these are uncommon and pricey. G-Clarons are similar to Fuji A's but single-coated and more common. Old 6.3 Ektars came in huge shutters. But any way you look at it, you're going to spend way more than a simple adapter board, which any basic machine shop can easily make if you supply them with the Sinar blank. But if you need vintage, it's easy to find 360 f/9 process tessars in barrel, and then have them fitted into a no.3 shutter. They tend to have smoother background blur that the more modern lenses I listed above.

  6. #6
    Mark Sawyer's Avatar
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    Re: European alternatives to (Commercial) Ektars?

    An equivalent focal length and aperture Xenar.
    "I love my Verito lens, but I always have to sharpen everything in Photoshop..."

  7. #7

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    Re: European alternatives to (Commercial) Ektars?

    Xenar is similar to C. Ektar but different in some ways.

    Xenar in barrel can be f4.5 full aperture up to 480mm, while the C. Ektar is f6.3 full aperture. There are non C. Ektars that are f4.5 full aperture
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Stopping down to f8, they are pretty similar with the Xenar being a bit lower contrast than the C. Ektar. Color balance (IMO, the Ektar is excellent) is different between the two. C. Ektar and other Ektars used Lanthium glass, glass types used in the Xenar might not have Lanthium glass.


    Other Tessar in Europe, Doctor Optic, Zeiss Tessar, CCCP Industar, Boyer, Cooke and a host of others.


    Bernice

  8. #8

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    Re: European alternatives to (Commercial) Ektars?

    Thank you for your responses... Obviously my lens-lore is very poor... At least my question allowed someone to practice the virtue of mirth..

    Anyway, I will use your pointers and have a look around what's available, in the end, I could live with a lens even without shutter (my 19in artar is shutterless and so far I did not have any trouble with that). The Nikkor Ms and Fujinon As are maybe as scarce on the old continent as the commercial ektars, so that would not be much help..
    Website of sorts, as well as flickr thing.

  9. #9

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    Re: European alternatives to (Commercial) Ektars?

    Andreios, if you can live without a shutter look for a post-WW II CZJ f/6.3 Tessar or a coated Berthiot Ser. IIa f/5.7 Olor. These are both rough equivalents of the f/6.3 Commercial Ektars. If you can live with an uncoated lens, there are some quite inexpensive 300/5.7 Ser. IIa Olors on ebay.de and ebay.fr.

  10. #10

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    Re: European alternatives to (Commercial) Ektars?

    Quote Originally Posted by andreios View Post
    I have yet to find a sinar to graphic(toyo field) adapter
    This is something you can DIY, simply use the frame of a sinar standard and fix it on a toyo lensboard that has a big hole, enough to allow the rear cell to pass.

    You can use a cheap Multi-Purpose sinar standard for that.

    If you use two cameras, better if you solve the lens boardcompatibility as soon as possible, this is what I found...

    I use sinar and cambo and it was a nightmare, I made a 3D printed adapter and I'm really happy with that.

    Click image for larger version. 

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