101mm Ektar f4.5 in Synchro-Rapid 800

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Nathan Smith, May 17, 2005.

  1. Nathan Smith

    Nathan Smith Member

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    I have a 101mm Ektar f4.5 in a Kodak Synchro-Rapid 800 that needs a bit of work. The shutter appears to need a relatively simple repair, it seems the shutter release lever just doesn't catch. The lens is ok, but has some small cleaning-swirl scratches.

    So, to make a short story long - is this worth spending money to repair?

    I was going to put it on my Busch Pressman 'C'. I have a 101mm Raptar in Rapax for this camera. From what I've read, this is a 4-element Tessar type lens, probably not that different from the Raptar. Also, I'm just plain scared of that shutter - I've read the repair manual enough to know that I don't want to mess with it. It seems complicated and yet not terribly robust. I'm tempted to sell it cheap and avoid trouble.

    Does anyone have experience with this lens/shutter setup?

    Thanks,
    Nathan
     
  2. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    If what you really want to do is try the Ektar, its cells should screw right in to the Rapax that hold y'r 101 Raptar. Measure the lens thickness in the two shutters to make sure the Ektar's cell spacing is right in the Rapax.

    Which is better? Over on www.graflex.org, opinions are split. On the one side is Richard Knoppow, who (a) knows whereof he speaks and (b) insists that ALL tessar type Raptars have a design mistake that causes severe coma. They therefore have to be stopped down farther than the equivalent tessar type Ektar to get the same corner sharpness. On the other side are happy users who report that their 101 Raptars are plenty good enough and ask why corner sharpness matters anyway.

    So try to put the Ektar cells in the Rapax, shoot the two lenses against each other, and report back. Then you'll know which to sell.
     
  3. Nathan Smith

    Nathan Smith Member

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    Thanks Dan. It was a good idea, but, unfortunately, the Ektar cells won't fit the Rapax, not even close. I tried 'em in a Supermatic too - no luck.

    So I guess it comes down to whether I want to get the Synchro-Rapid fixed or not.

    Nathan
     
  4. phfitz

    phfitz Member

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    Hi there,

    Nathan, use the Raptar and sell the Ektar. Even if you can get the Kodak Synchro-Rapid 800 CLA'd it will break. It is a wierd design and they have a fatal fault. There are 2 sets of shutter blades and the lower set always break. When you cock the shutter the main blades will open, exposing the roll film.

    Yes, I do have 2 perfect sets of glass and 3 worthless shutters. I'll make 1 a barrel lens.

    Just my 2 cents.
     
  5. Nathan Smith

    Nathan Smith Member

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    That's my feeling, too. It's a shame because, as Dan says, the Ektar's a better lens than the Raptar, but that shutter is a loser.

    I was kind of hoping that everyone would say "No, really, it's a GREAT shutter! once you have it CLA'd it'll be fine!" :smile: ... but my gut feeling was that it just wasn't going to happen.

    Nathan
     
  6. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    May not be worth spending the money, but I'd bet S.K. Grimes shop would be able to mount the Ektar in one of the other shutters. Meantime, you might be able to try it using a lens cap shutter if you dim the room lights enough and install a ND filter...
     
  7. MarkS

    MarkS Member

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    Last year SK Grimes was unable to fix the broken Synchro-800 shutter in a Kodak Chevron for me. I'd say give it up- if you don't like the Raptar, there are plenty of other good lenses cheap out there.
     
  8. bobfowler

    bobfowler Subscriber

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    I'm not sure I'd spend the money it would take to put an f/4.5 Ektar onto a new Copal shutter. A new Copal 0 (assuming it would fit) costs about $250.00, then add about another $200 or so for machine work to make adapters for the cells. For the same $450.00, B&H has a Nikon 105mm f/5.6 Nikkor-W (gray market import).

    The f/4.5 Ektar is a single coated Tessar whereas the f/5.6 Nikkor-W is a multi-coated Plasmat. I know where I'd put my money :smile:
     
  9. Nathan Smith

    Nathan Smith Member

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    <insert Homer Simpson doughnut sound here> mm-m-m-mm, 105mm f/5.6 Nikkor-W!

    Nathan
     
  10. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    Actually, I was thinking more along the lines of rethreading the Rapax and/or the Ektar's cells -- pay only for the threading work, not a new shutter. Probably still not cost effective, the work would probably cost over $100, but lots cheaper than a new shutter. OTOH, f/4.5 Tessar type lenses, uncoated, are available in shutters that need only minor cleaning (with plate cameras attached, rendered less usable by lack of ground glass and plate holders) for under $50 on a routine basis -- and these are often older Compur shutters, robust and easy to clean on a user-serviced basis. No flash synch, of course, but if you shoot landscapes or hot lights, who'd care?