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Thread: 508mm f/7 ILEX lenses

  1. #1

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    508mm f/7 ILEX lenses

    I have and use a 508mm f/7 Calumet Caltar ILEX lens in a No. 5 Universal Shutter on my 11x14. I have seen FS a 508mm f/7 ILEX Acutar and an ILEX 508mm f/7 Paragon in the same shutter. In the 1970s, I once owned a 508mm ILEX with a very, very low serial number. I assume that that one was of the first 508mm's and sold directly by ILEX. So obviously ILEX made all these lenses, and Calumet distributed them as Caltars. I was wondering who distributed Acutars and Paragons?

    I read that Linhof sold only the top of the line Schneider lenses... am I right on that Bob? Or did Linhof just test its Schneider lenses before labeling them "Linhof"?

    Was there any difference between Acutars, Caltars, and Paragons? To me seems that labeling the front of the lenses with the different brands, just occurred on the ILEX manufacturing line, and they were all just assumed to be optically equal... dangerous assumption. In the 1990s acquired a 24-120mm AF Nikkor. Was able to try out 5 or 6 samples of this optic, one stood out amazingly better than the other samples and bought it in an instant... to this day is one of the sharpest Nikkors that I own and use.

    Just curious....

  2. #2

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    Re: 508mm f/7 ILEX lenses

    <throat clearing noises> http://www.galerie-photo.com/ilex-lenses.html The link is in the list.

    Ilex sold Acutars and Paragons through the usual channels, didn't brand them to suit a distributor. As far as I know there were no major redesigns after release of any of Ilex's last gasp lenses. Paragon trade names came first, were replaced by Acugon (f/8 Super Angulon type), Acutar (tessar type), and Acuton (plasmat type).

  3. #3

    Re: 508mm f/7 ILEX lenses

    Off track, but curious (especially after looking at Dan's summary) is the 20" Ilex a triplet or a Tessar design? I have read conflicting information on their design and intended format. I read somewhere semi-reputable (an article in View Camera) that they were triplets with about 33* coverage (so, intended for 8x10), and have also heard that they are Tessars and great for 11x14. Any user information?

  4. #4

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    Re: 508mm f/7 ILEX lenses

    I have one that says Orbit, 20 (500mm) f:7 made in USA, definitely a Tessar, covers 12x20 nicely

  5. #5

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    Re: 508mm f/7 ILEX lenses

    DMS206, thanks for the confirmation. Jason, if I recall correctly -- I wrote the article, haven't looked at it recently -- I worked through all the b.s. that's been posted about that lens and came down in favor of Tessar.

  6. #6

    Re: 508mm f/7 ILEX lenses

    Thanks all, and sorry to hijack the tread.

  7. #7

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    Re: 508mm f/7 ILEX lenses

    I used to have a c.1975 Calumet catalog that included this lens (Caltar branded of course). I remember that they advertised it for studio work on 8x10, to give a good perspective when shooting food or crockery. Sadly that catalog is long gone so I can't tell you what, if any, tech details they'd provided. I will say, from personal experience, that Ilex made some very good lenses.

  8. #8

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    Re: 508mm f/7 ILEX lenses

    Dan, thank you for the info at
    https://galerie-photo.com/ilex-lenses.html
    In doing a search for info on the lens used "508mm" and "Caltar" which would exclude "20" and "Acutar" from the results. My first very, very low serial number 508mm ILEX covered 8x10 but allowed for very little movements which would confirm "the lens is a triplet that covers 35. This means 320 mm, 8 x 10 with minimal movements."

    Jason Greenberg Motamedi, as for user information: My current 508mm Calumet Caltar easily covers 11x14 and I've never ran out of movements. F/64 is definitely the sweet spot of my lens. Using the optic on my 11x14 is just a pleasure. Its f/7 aperture projects more like a f/5.6 optic on the GG.

  9. #9

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    Re: 508mm f/7 ILEX lenses

    Greg, quoting me against myself is entirely fair, but if you're going to do please quote more fully. The information you quoted comes from the late H. Lynn Jones. The man was highly accomplished and had a fine career but his memory wasn't the best and towards the end of his life his posts here and elsewhere seemed somewhat addled. Nothing he's posted can be believed until it has been checked and found to be true.

    Its a shame you don't have your old lens and can't count reflections. I don't think Ilex changed their last gasp lenses' designs after launch but I've been mistaken before.

    Cheers,

    Dan

    Oh, yeah, I searched for "the lens is a triplet that covers 35. This means 320 mm, 8 x 10 with minimal movements," got one hit. It was to an unauthorized copy of my article at technodocbox.com.

  10. #10

    Re: 508mm f/7 ILEX lenses

    It occurred to me that I had a 508mm kicking around. I managed to find it but it is a f/5.6 Bausch and Lomb Tele. It must be lacking in coverage as I put it on a 5x7 board so 6.5x8.5 at most. Don't recall ever shooting with it. It is a moose of a lens. 2 strong reflections in front and 3 in the rear. It is coated. I wonder for what it was intended?

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