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Thread: Please Help Identify "Type Y" Caltar Lens

  1. #1

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    Please Help Identify "Type Y" Caltar Lens

    While browsing for some Sinar accessories at KEH.com, I caught sight of this little 240mm Caltar lens a few days ago. I was intrigued by it's size, so I took a chance and purchased it for $99. My thought was that it might be a Tessar that could cover 4x5? I currently carry a 250mm Fuji f6.7, which is quite a bit larger. (Though, not as large as most.) This lens stands about 2.25" high.

    Does anyone recognize this lens, a Type Y Caltar f6.8? I mistakenly through out my older Calumet catalogues years ago, so I can't look it up. Its dimensions are very similar to an old 240mm Tele-Xenar that I have. But focusing on a semi-distant object, it has a bellows draw of about 9.5". (Bellows draw is much less for the Tele-Xener.) So, it's not a tele.

    I've included some not very well executed photos. (I do better at architecture.)

    The coating is strong. I can see both strong blue dots and some strong yellow dots. At first, I thought that I could see some green and magenta color in the dots. I doubt it though; I think just blue and yellow. So, likely single-coated?

    It appears to cover 4x5 quite easily. Checking in the lens comparisons table, 240mm Tessar designs would have an image circle of about 270mm.

    If you can help me identify the lens type, I would sure appreciate it.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails B.jpg   A.jpg   C.jpg  

  2. #2

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    Re: Please Help Identify "Type Y" Caltar Lens

    Here's the dot pattern. It was tricky for the camera to see the patter as I observed it. As you can see, there are two sets of three. One is clearly on top, and the other is clearly on the bottom.

    On the "upper" pattern (three lower dots in the photo), the last dot (blue) appears to be at the same height as to top surface of the lens, and the 2nd and 3rd in order appear to be above that dot. (Virtual image.)

    On the "lower" pattern (three upper dots in the photo), the second dot (yellow) appears to be at the same level as the bottom surface of the lens. In this pattern, there are two strong dots and the third dot that seems like it's below the bottom surface of the lens is faint. The first dot (blue) appears to be above the bottom surface of the lens.

    Comparing the "upper" pattern with the "lower" pattern, the virtual elevation of the upper pattern appears to be much higher than that of the "lower" pattern.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Rear.jpg   Pattern.jpg  

  3. #3

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    Re: Please Help Identify "Type Y" Caltar Lens

    f/6.8 a lot of times means that it's a Dagor formula, but not always...

    How to recognize a Dagor lens by the reflection
    https://www.largeformatphotography.i...ons+dagor+lens

  4. #4
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    Re: Please Help Identify "Type Y" Caltar Lens

    I believe this may be a Rodenstock Ysarex, but I don't remember where this bit of mental lint came from. The Vade-Mecum doesn't mention LF Ysarex lenses, but the Rodenstock GmbH Wikipedia page lists 95mm f/3.5, 127mm f/4.7, 150mm f/4.5, and 210mm f/4.5 Ysarex lenses for the "Graflex XL Camera System/Polaroid Land Camera".

    I have both a 210mm f/6.3 and 240mm f/6.8 Caltar Type Y, and really should take them out for a spin.

    Just found this by googling " "Rodenstock Ysarex" Caltar " without the outer set of quotes:

    https://www.largeformatphotography.i...-type-Y-Ysarex

  5. #5

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    Re: Please Help Identify "Type Y" Caltar Lens

    This is really interesting. From Steve's link, I found the following comment by C.P. Goerz:

    https://www.photo.net/discuss/thread...-ysarex.93540/

    Apparently, it's made with at least one element of lanthanum glass.

    Another thread I found reported that Kerry's research found that this is indeed a Tessar lens.

    I'm looking forward to giving it a try.

  6. #6

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    Re: Please Help Identify "Type Y" Caltar Lens

    Lanthanum (low dispersion) optical glass became a LOT less special during the later 1950-1960's as Lanthanum optical glass became a standard optical glass catalog offering.

    While this was invented at the US of A National Bureau of Standards during WW-II in response to the German's stopping their supply of optical glass to the US during war time with Eastman Kodak becoming the prime manufacture and supplier of Lanthanum optical and a host of other optical glass.

    Most famous Lanthanum glass optic could be the APO Lanthar for a host of marketing notions, while Kodak Ektars have been made using Lanthanum optical glass long before the German's began using it.

    The other notable optical element is cultured Fluorite (also low dispersion in a special way), initially Canon in Japan were the ones to produce this with a telephoto lens that became legendary. Today Fluorite is in the optical glass catalog.

    Special glass are not the panacea for solving all optical difficulties or result in the very "best" camera optic, they are one of many tools and elements available to the optical designer to create an optic to meet the needs of a specific imaging need.


    Bernice



    Bernice



    Quote Originally Posted by neil poulsen View Post

    Apparently, it's made with at least one element of lanthanum glass.

    Another thread I found reported that Kerry's research found that this is indeed a Tessar lens.

    I'm looking forward to giving it a try.

  7. #7

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    Re: Please Help Identify "Type Y" Caltar Lens

    I recently found one of those in the 240/6.8 form. As you found it is generally thought to be a Rodenstock Ysarex, and Ysarex appears to have been Rodenstock's trade name for Tessar-like lenses. The reflections on the one I have are certainly consistent with its being Tessar-like.

    I don't know about the glass types, but one notable feature of the lens is that it's a heck of a lot smaller than a 210mm plasmat, let alone a 240mm plasmat. The filter diameter is 49mm.

  8. #8

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    Re: Please Help Identify "Type Y" Caltar Lens

    That's what originally interested me in the lens. It's nice having a diminutive lens for such a long focal length. And for 4x5, a 270mm (or so) image circle is plenty large. As for aperture, I rarely expose an image lower than f16, if down that low.

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