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Thread: optar 203mm

  1. #1

    optar 203mm

    this is a copy of the ektar 203, or is it a rebrand?

    o got a chrome or two i did with this lens recently and the detail was pretty incredible..

    they say 120 lpm?
    Ektachrome 64 x wishes and Tech Pan Dreams

  2. #2

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    Re: optar 203mm

    I don't know for sure, but it's extremely likely that the Graflex Optar 203mm f/7.5 is a re-labeled (OEM'd) Kodak Ektar 203mm f/7.7, to be sold by Graflex dealers. Physically they seem identical. Most Optars were made by Wollensak, but perhaps not all. Remember that in the heyday, 1910s-1960s, those three company's factories were within a mile or so of each other. There was probably more co-operation than we realize...

  3. #3

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    Re: optar 203mm

    They were made by Wollensak, lo these many years ago.

    Lynn

  4. #4

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    Re: optar 203mm

    If you ever get down to Roanoke, VA stop in the O. Winston Link museum and see an entire freight train station filled with his train photographs.

    Then pay close attention to the equipment he used. Graphic view cameras and Wollensak/Optar lenses. He used what worked. Not having a computer he never suffered the ridicule of the masses of lens snobs telling him his gear could not do the job.

    To the lens snobs that always want to flame me, when you have an entire freight warehouse filled with your prints as a museum, then you can tell me how stupid I am.

  5. #5

    Re: optar 203mm

    well i have been weighing up buying a 240mm, expensive lens and then i got this chrome back from the lab and holy crap was i totally stunned by the detail and resolution, noticeably more than the other 135mm optar I have. personally, I love the graflex.. prefer the slr to the speed, but thats due to handholdability and ease of focus.
    Ektachrome 64 x wishes and Tech Pan Dreams

  6. #6
    multi format
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    Re: optar 203mm

    the kingslake history of the rochester camera companies
    is a pretty good read ...

    http://www.nwmangum.com/Kodak/Rochester.html

  7. #7

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    Re: optar 203mm

    I think chances are that the 203mm Optar was made as a competitor of the Ektar. The f7.5 aperture is probably a small (very small) biti of one-upmanship.

    One of the nice things about the Optar is that it is less well known than the Ektar and consequently usually sells for significantly less. I can't think of a better starting lens for a new 4X5 user. Quite likely it would become a keeper, too.

  8. #8

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    Re: optar 203mm

    Jim said 'train photographs' like Lindberg flew a plane once.
    How about night action photos with a gazillion flahbulbs spread all over the landscape
    Moving steam locomotive inside a double track tunnel
    Freight steaming by a drive-in movie, kids in convertible in the forground, F-86 on the movie screen.
    Buy the book.

  9. #9

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    Re: optar 203mm

    Ed, your absolutely right. One of the neat things about this museum is all the equipment on display. I don't mean just the camera's and lenses. It includes the flash generators that he invented to trigger those "gazillion" flashbulbs. And the massive mutli-bulb reflectors he designed...and the Buick load of heavy cable to string it all together.

    I'm suprised that he never fried himself while testing all this gear out. BTW that Buick convertible the kids were in at the drive-in was his. The plane on the movie screen was inserted in the darkroom.

    Yeah, I'll admit that the modern plasmats are "better" than the older Optars, Ektars etc. But are the photographers?

  10. #10

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    Re: optar 203mm

    I've heard (and seen) nothing but good things about the 203 Optar. It ain't the name on the lens, but what you do with it that matters most IMHO.
    Cheers!
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

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