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Thread: Caltar Type S 135 mm/5.6

  1. #1

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    Caltar Type S 135 mm/5.6

    Hello,

    can anybody give me some information about a Caltar Type S 135 mm/5.6 lens (serial number: 8 790 xxx)?

    Is this a Schneider or a Rodenstock? Is it multicoated? How old could it be?
    Any comments on its image quality?

    Thany you very much for your help!

    Regards

  2. #2
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    Caltar Type S 135 mm/5.6

    I believe it's a Rodenstock Sironar - perhaps '70s vintage, though I'm sure Bob Salomon could tell us exactly from the serial number. No, it's not multicoated.

    I tested a 300mm Caltar Type S once. It was a competent lens, certainly quite usable, but not so refined overall as the later generation Rodenstocks. I think Rodenstock took a big step forward with the Sironar-N / Caltar II-N generation - that's when they picked up both multicoating, and also the extra smoothness in the out-of-focus areas that remains characteristic of the Rodenstock plasmats today in the Apo-Sironar-S series. Since the Sironar-N lenses are often available at attractive prices on the used market, I'd pass on a Caltar Type S in favor of one of the later models.

  3. #3

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    Caltar Type S 135 mm/5.6

    Your Caltar S is Schneider. Possibly single coated. If it were a Caltar S II, then it would be multi-coated. It's probably a 1970's to early 1980's optic. It should be an outstanding performer.

  4. #4
    Dave Karp
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    Caltar Type S 135 mm/5.6

    Kerry Thalmann wrote an article on the history of Caltar lenses in the May/June 2003 issue of View Camera Magazine. He states that the Caltar S series was (1) available from the early 1970s to 1976, (2) made by Rodenstock, and (3) a private label version of the Sironar series. According to the table in the article, this lens had a 188mm image circle, and a filter size of 58mm. He confirms that the Caltar-S II lenses were made by Schneider and equivalent to the Symmar-S series.

  5. #5
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    Caltar Type S 135 mm/5.6

    Sorry Chris, but Caltar Type S is not Schneider, although S II is (Symmar-S equivalent). Yes, the names are confusing. (Caltar II-N = Nodenstock?)

    Full details on the ins and outs of the Caltars over the years can be found in Kerry Thalmann's excellent article in the May/June 2003 issue of View Camera. Just located that issue on my shelf, to refresh my recollection - Aender, Kerry identifies the Type S as the Rodenstock Sironar, vintage 1970-76. Coverage is indicated as 70 degrees, rather than the 72 degrees of the later Sironar-N / Caltar II-N series, yet another advantage for the later Rodenstock version.

  6. #6
    Jim Ewins
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    Caltar Type S 135 mm/5.6

    What may be the origin and years for a Ilex-Calumet Wide Field Caltar No. 27xx 90mm f8 mounted on a Seikosha-SLV shutter?

  7. #7

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    Caltar Type S 135 mm/5.6

    To Oren, Christopher and Dave:

    Thank you very much for your precious information and help!

    Cheers

  8. #8

    Caltar Type S 135 mm/5.6

    Aender, FWIW, I've been shooting with a Caltar S 135mm f/5.6 for over 5 years and I've been quite pleased with its performance. It was one of my first LF lenses and is still my most used lens. I've never made a direct comparison with a more modern 135mm lens, but I'm happy with the negs and transparencies made with this lens.

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