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Thread: Artars

  1. #1
    LJ Segil
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    Highland Park, IL
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    620

    Artars

    I am in need of help from the gurus. I am considering purchasing a coated Apochromatic Artar, not a Red Dot, by American Optical Co., serial #777xxx. The article on the forum home page claims that there was a design change when American Optical went from the Apochromatic Artar to the Red Dot Artar lens. Is this in fact the case? Do these lenses differ significantly, if so does anyone know in what sort of fashion, and does the Red Dot produce a superior image (in the hands of a competent image maker, of course)? Any information, advice, and admonitions are most appreciated.
    Thanks,
    Larry

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Knoxville, Tennessee
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    1,789

    Re: Artars

    Barrel lens or shutter?

    Nobody's responded yet so I will. My conclusions are conjecture and I have no real basis for anything except the observations of the Artars I have. I have a number of RDAs and a 35" non-Red Dot with a 77xxxx number bought from Eddie here on the forum. I've also noted some description of coated pre-Red Dot lenses by Andrew Glover, aka Dagor77.

    My 35" Artar has a deep sapphire blue coating, while all my other Red Dot Artars have a softer bluish-magenta coating. One of Andrew's auctions mentions the same coating color on a non-RDA. So I conclude that the coating did change.

    The article otherwise seems to concentrate on spacing, and who knows what Goerz did in every case, but I feel safe in assuming barrel lenses are optimized for copy camera use (probably 1:1), and factory mounted lenses in Ilex or other late shutters are optimized as taking lenses. In my experience with process versus taking Dagors, taking lenses are spaced a little further apart except for the 10-3/4", which is exactly the same.

    So if you had doubts (I don't), you could take the non-RDA and unscrew the cells a turn at a time and test it. I had the 35" Artar I bought from Eddie mounted in an Ilex #5 spaced to the length of the barrel and I'm not sweating.

    Cheers,

    Steve

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    505

    Re: Artars

    All APO Artars are set to 1:1 but then in the fifties when Goerz reached perched high on the very zenith of the lensmakers skill and craft added coating to the lens, they also changed the magnification ratio all over the place...generally the longer the lens the shorter the ratio(1:3) all the way down to the small artars which were about 1:10 if I remember correctly.


    You could custom order a specific ratio for a given focal length and the lenses were marked as 'special', Art Sinsabaugh had a 24" Artar made for infinity as an example.

  4. #4
    LJ Segil
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Highland Park, IL
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    Re: Artars

    Are the Apo Artars decent performers at distance/infinity? For those with both RDAs and Apo Artars do you notice a difference in the character of the image in any way, particularly well beyond 1:1 magnification? Does barrel vs. shutter mounting seem to effect the way either type performs?

    I still find conflicting information concerning whether the actual lens design changed beyond just the spacing and the coating when American Optical Goerz went from the Apo Artar to the Red Dot. I sure would appreciate a definitive answer, if one is available half a century after the fact.

    But ultimately, I suppose it is the actual performance of the two types that matters, so if anyone can share their experiences with both/either of the lens types I would be most appreciative.

    My GAS need guidance (with guided GAS, who needs missile defense?).

    Thanks,
    Larry

  5. #5

    Join Date
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    Re: Artars

    Larry,

    Yes. No, assuming you mean beyond 1:1 as in closer to infinity. Most of my Artars are long so I can't say about macro distances, but I assume being process lenses they are as good as G-Clarons. The shortest one I have is 10-3/4", shorter than that I use a Dagor.

    All of mine are shutter mounted so I can't tell you if there's a difference. That said, I think it's important to ensure that if the lens is non-factory shutter mounted, it's always nice to know who did it and how it was done. Placement of the aperture relative to the glass can have a significant effect as I understand it. Also, it's important that the glass is clean, but most Artar cells can be unscrewed from the rear to remove and clean the glass if needed.

    I doubt you'll ever get a definitive answer as Andrew has noted. My advice is to try one that's factory-spec and for the format, barrel or shutter, and clean and I'm sure you won't regret it. Do keep in mind that the shortest focal length Goerz recommended for 8x10 at infinity was 16-1/2". You haven't said what focal length or format you're contemplating.

    All the ones I have are sharp as heck. Artars are sharper than Dagors within specification. Mine are all clean and when re-mounted in shutter, sent to S.K. Grimes. I could offer to send you some jpegs, but IMO they don't prove anything. I could offer to send you a test neg if you want if you tell me what focal length and format you'd like, although I'll have to go shoot something.

    Cheers,

    Steve

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
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    505

    Re: Artars

    You won't have any trouble using an Artar or red dot at infinity, none whatsoever. Actually I've never had a macro type lens perform badly at infinity but most taking lenses aren't as good at the closer distances required for say jewelry. Although Goerz did give all kinds of advice for longer lenses on 'taking cameras' I have used a 10 3/4" RD on 8x10 with plenty of movement so not to worry on that score.


    As far as I know Goerz only changed the mag ratios in the 50's an not the actual design itself(just spacing), Rodenstock did come out with a six element 'artar' design and they perform a bit better at wider open stops but the catch is they are hard to find and only seem to be in the 600mm+ focal lengths though the catalogue says they made shorter ones I've yet to see one....still hoping though ;-)

  7. #7

    Re: Artars

    I've used my factory shutter mounted 14" RD and a custom mount 19" on 8x10 for thirty plus years and find them excellent. I couldn't ask for more. I also have a 305 and 240 G Claron and I can't see any difference in performance. My 19" was a custom mount by a friend who was an optical designer and builder for Oak Ridge National Lab. He did a fantastic job, better than a factory mount.

  8. #8

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    Mar 2007
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    Re: Artars

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Dudenbostel View Post
    I've used my factory shutter mounted 14" RD and a custom mount 19" on 8x10 for thirty plus years and find them excellent. I couldn't ask for more. I also have a 305 and 240 G Claron and I can't see any difference in performance. My 19" was a custom mount by a friend who was an optical designer and builder for Oak Ridge National Lab. He did a fantastic job, better than a factory mount.
    Don,

    Any chance that your friend might be willing to mount some Apo lenses for me too?

    Thanks,

    Asher
    Last edited by Ken Lee; 24-Jul-2011 at 13:19.

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