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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Feb 1999
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    76

    Lanthar lenses

    Just curious, Does anyone know what a Lanthar lens is? I did not see any info on them on the main page. They pop up from time to time in the used ads for outrageous sums of money. Why are they so special? Josh

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Nov 1998
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    339

    Lanthar lenses

    They're so special because there's an aura of mystique surrounding them and they 're collectible. Voightlander made a series of lenses to fit various cameras, called Apo-Lantha r. How apo they are and how they'd compare to modern lenses I don't know persona lly but a couple of well-known photographers/photograpy writers whose opinions I trust have said that they're good lenses but not in the league of modern lenses , many of which sell for _lots_ less.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Feb 1999
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    145

    Lanthar lenses

    They are made from a very dense "rare earth" glass called lantham? (i think) and are famous for being a "hot" lens(slightly radioactive). They are prized for being some of the sharpest best performing "classic lenses" on the used market. oops gotta go...I'll dig up an old view camera mag see if i can find the article.

  4. #4

    Lanthar lenses

    I understand that the Apo-Lanthar is a variant of the heliar design wherein one or more elements (although I believe only the rear element) is made of lanthanum (rare earth) glass. This lens is reputed to have very high resolving power. S omewhere on the net is a comparison chart of large format lenses produced by an interested professional. The Apo-Lanthar rated a 7/10, which was more or less a median score. That's about the extent of my knowledge.

  5. #5

    Lanthar lenses

    A followup. My father owns a Voigtlander Apo-Lanthar that he purchased back in the 1950's. Very recently, I had the shutter serviced and the lens mounted on a Crown Graphic. We took some sample negatives last weekend. To my admittedly u ntrained eye, the resolution and contrast were excellent. I wouldn't pay collec tor prices to own one, but this lens is really very nice to work with.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Dec 2003
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    78

    Lanthar lenses

    I purchased a 300mm Apo-Lanthar back in the very late 60's when they were being "closed out" by a big camera store in NYC. It came without caps in a compound shutter.

    I used this lens on my 4x5 for many years and the results for me are stunning!! Color work is exceptional and B@W the same. I also use the lens on an 8x10, but there are no room for movments, the coverage is tight!! Minimum aperature is f/32

    Have never seen a 300 Apo-Lanthar for sale, can't imagine what one would cost if it was on the market. Sorry, mine is NOT for sale. I work with dagors, schneiders and rodenstocks also. I love the Lanthar, goes to my grave with me. For some curious reason, only antique photons travel trough the lanthar and the results are very special. :-) :-)

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    53

    Question Re: Lanthar lenses

    I would be interested in knowing more about using Apo Lanthar 300 on 4x5, I have one that needs a new shutter, and I would like to know what's the best shutter / lense board solutions for it.

    thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by kreig View Post
    I purchased a 300mm Apo-Lanthar back in the very late 60's when they were being "closed out" by a big camera store in NYC. It came without caps in a compound shutter.

    I used this lens on my 4x5 for many years and the results for me are stunning!! Color work is exceptional and B@W the same. I also use the lens on an 8x10, but there are no room for movments, the coverage is tight!! Minimum aperature is f/32

    Have never seen a 300 Apo-Lanthar for sale, can't imagine what one would cost if it was on the market. Sorry, mine is NOT for sale. I work with dagors, schneiders and rodenstocks also. I love the Lanthar, goes to my grave with me. For some curious reason, only antique photons travel trough the lanthar and the results are very special. :-) :-)

  8. #8

    Re: Lanthar lenses

    I too purchased an Apo Lanthar lens from a company in NY called Camera Barn in 1972.
    It's a 210mm in a Compur 3 shutter but strangely doesn't have a serial number anywhere. Does anyone know why this is? I read that only the last production runs of the 210mm had Compur 3 shutters but that's all I've heard.

  9. #9

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    Sep 2003
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    Lanthar lenses

    Until quite recently, most lenses were "achromats" meaning that two colors made images the same exact size. "Apochromats" or "Apo" lenses are able to image three colors to the same exact size, but used to be limited to process lenses such as the Apo Artar, which sacrifice speed and coverage to obtain apochromatic correction. The new "rare earth" glasses, of which lanthanum is one, made it possible for faster and/or wider lenses to qualify. The Apo-Lanthar was the first large aperture lens to be designated an apochromat. The point was emphasized by three colored grooves on the front of the lens mount.



    Since then, many apochromats have come on the market, some carrying "Apo" as part of their name, some without the designation.

  10. #10
    All metric sizes to 24x30 Ole Tjugen's Avatar
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    Mar 2002
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    Lanthar lenses

    I used a 210mm Apo-Lanthar for a while, then sold it as it seemed to be a lot more desired by collectors than shooters. For the money I bought a 210mm Xenar and a 150mm Apo-Lanthar...

    I have never shot a test target with any lens. But to my eyes, the Xenar and the Lanthar are both very, very sharp. Somehow the Lanthar gives more "pleasing" pictures - it's probably one of those "bokeh" things.

    I also have a 150mm Heliar mounted on a plate camera, and that also gives very pleasing but possibly less sharp images.

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