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Thread: Hi. New Here. Have a lens problem

  1. #1

    Hi. New Here. Have a lens problem

    I have just purchased a Cambo 8x10. It came with a 14" Kodak Commercial Ektar, in an Ilex #5 shutter. Problem: the two front lens element rings are a tiny bit apart due to the threads being stripped. Maybe less than 1/8", and even all the way around the rings. The sharpness is fine, and so is the glass. I'd really like to sell the lens, as I will be using this camera strictly for portraiture, and I'd rather have a 360 Fuji or something of that ilk with an X synch that works. I use flash and any synch I have does not fit the Ilex, and the X synch on it doesn't work either.

    I seriously doubt I can get the element rings apart without damaging the lens, and I really don't want to spend money on a restoration job on a lens I don't really want. Is this lens sellable?

    Any advice will be appreciated. I'm not a vintage lens guy . . . I'd prefer something less primitive, as mentioned above. It would be far more useful for me. Thanks.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Nara, Japan

    Re: Hi. New Here. Have a lens problem


    The 14" Commercial Ektar is supposed to be particularly favored for portraiture, and the focal length is ~355mm. If you can show some photos of the front, perhaps someone can help you. If your shutter has a bi-post connection, adapters to convert it to regular PC are available.


  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Queensland, Australia

    Re: Hi. New Here. Have a lens problem

    I agree, I have the 8.5 inch commercial ektar and would love to have the larger 14 inch. Why would you want to swap a pedigree like that for a fuji? Not that there is anything wrong with a Fuji, but you have one of the best lenses you could own. Work around the problem, there are many on this site that can advise you on how to get the sync working, but you would soon regret selling that lens.

  4. #4

    Re: Hi. New Here. Have a lens problem

    Kodak Commercial Ektar has a long history of being one of the very best lenses made for portrait work. Many famous portraits have been created with this Kodak lens. The 14" focal length is a prime choice for 8x10 portraits.

    Ilex# 5 should have a flash sync, some are the common single flash sync connectors, some are bi-post flash connector. If the flash sync connectors is missing it might have been removed at some point in this shutter's history. Know Ilex# 5 shutters used on Kodak lenses are different than normal Ilex# 5 shutters, the threads are not the same as a standard offering Ilex# 5.

    Could an image of the offending gap be posted?
    How long have you been producing images with an 8x10 view camera?


  5. #5
    Mark Sawyer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Stuck inside of Tucson with the Memphis blues again...

    Re: Hi. New Here. Have a lens problem

    Keep in mind that increasing the distance between the front elements of a Tessar introduces a touch of spherical aberration, and was an option in some lenses like the Wollensak Velostigmat Series II and the Ilex Paragon Series A.
    "I love my Verito lens, but I always have to sharpen everything in Photoshop..."

  6. #6

    Re: Hi. New Here. Have a lens problem

    I'll put up a picture of the lens and it's problems tonight.

  7. #7

    Re: Hi. New Here. Have a lens problem

    Include some pictures of the Ilex# 5 shutter and the side where the shutter release lever and cable release socket is located. This is the edge where the flash sync should be located.


    Quote Originally Posted by Gordon Lucas View Post
    I'll put up a picture of the lens and it's problems tonight.

  8. #8

    Re: Hi. New Here. Have a lens problem

    Hi folks. Here are the pictures of the lens for your analysis:

    1. Lens overview

    2. The offending "gap"

    3. Front view of buttons and levers

    4. and Side view of buttons and levers.

    Let me know if there is something else to post . . . . but I think this should cover it. Thank you for all of your help.

  9. #9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Winona, Minnesota

    Re: Hi. New Here. Have a lens problem

    Yes indeed the lens gap is not normal but it might be perfectly fine for your purposes. We don't really know if X-sync is dysfunctional until you can test it with a proper cable.

    If you find the lens is sharp, then I would concentrate on the shutter issue then get back to us. You can get a brand new Paramount PB-PF flash extension for under $20. (The cord has a female PC connection - thus it is an extension so you will need a standard PC cord as well.)

    #5 X-synch is usually easy to fix. Funny, but I've never had X go bad.

    Best of luck and please keep us informed.
    Last edited by; 27-Aug-2018 at 12:22.

  10. #10

    Re: Hi. New Here. Have a lens problem

    I think I read somewhere that Kodak used modified Ilex shutters on some of their lenses. Is it possible the shutter was replaced and the aperture scale transferred?

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