Did Kodak Put It's Ektar Lenses On Anything But the Retinas?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by momus, Mar 18, 2014.

  1. momus

    momus Member

    Messages:
    2,702
    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2009
    Location:
    Lower Earth
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I love the 50 3.5 Ektar lenses on the Kodak Retinas, but I don't love the Retinas. Very fragile and easy to break, and very difficult and expensive to fix. Did Kodak put a similar lens on any of their other 35mm cameras? I know about the little Signet 35 w/ the 44 Ektar. Any others? The Signet may work, but it looks as quirky as a Retina. Since it doesn't fold up it may be less fragile though.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 18, 2014
  2. lxdude

    lxdude Member

    Messages:
    6,943
    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2009
    Location:
    Redlands, So
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I think that the original Hasselblads used Ektar lenses.
     
  3. momus

    momus Member

    Messages:
    2,702
    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2009
    Location:
    Lower Earth
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Ah, I should have stipulated 35mm cameras. Thanks for the info though lxdude, I'll edit my post.
     
  4. summicron1

    summicron1 Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,944
    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2010
    Location:
    Ogden, Utah
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    They used the name on some point and shoot cameras later. The Medalist, which is a 620 film camera, uses an Ektar. The Ektar was also available as a large format camera lens. And I suspect the Kodak Ektra had one.
     
  5. elekm

    elekm Member

    Messages:
    2,059
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2004
    Location:
    New Jersey (
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Ektar was a brand name that didn't signify anything. It wasn't a lens design.

    As I recall, there were Ektars on some point and shoots.

    Leafing through my Kodak book, it looks like the only other Ektar for 35mm was on the Ektra. Probably more than you want to pay.

    And of course there are the medium format Ektars on the Medalist and Chevron - different designs.
     
  6. momus

    momus Member

    Messages:
    2,702
    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2009
    Location:
    Lower Earth
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Actually, it does signify something, to me anyway. It signifies excellent optics. Kodak used that designation on only it's best lenses, and I have never been disappointed with any piece of glass that said Ektar on it. I understand it isn't a particular design like Heliar or Tessar.

    Yep Mike, the Ektra camera will not be a recent purchase of mine, although I don't doubt that it would make great images. Looks like it will have to be the Signet 35 then. They're dirt cheap too. I'm afraid it will be too small for my hands, but may as well buy one and see.
     
  7. Tom1956

    Tom1956 Inactive

    Messages:
    2,057
    Joined:
    May 6, 2013
    Location:
    US
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    All my enlarging lenses are Ektars, probably of the Tessar-type design. I'm happy.
     
  8. chip j

    chip j Subscriber

    Messages:
    930
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2012
    Location:
    NE Ohio
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Ctein {"Post-Exposure" book} rated the Computar DL 55mm 1.9 as the best enlarging lens ever(35mm format}. And the people that designed the Computar said the enlarging Ektars were the only goo d lenses around when they started to design theirs.
     
  9. Mr_Flibble

    Mr_Flibble Member

    Messages:
    71
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2012
    Location:
    The Low Coun
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Oh, there definitely are Retinas with Ektar lenses. :smile:
    But they're only good if the camera hasn't been too mistreated. And they often are :sad:

    I love Ektars. Especially the 5-element heliar variants used on the Medalist.
    The Ektar on the Signet 35 is the one I had the most trouble getting to grips with, but this was mainly down to an iffy shutter and user-error.

    The Signet 35's Synchro Shutter is also pretty limited in my opinion and rather sensitive to dust. The shutters on the retina's certainly are more reliable.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 19, 2014
  10. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    18,032
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The Ektar was used on some of the Bantam cameras, they use 828 which is un-perforated 35mm roll film later repackaged as 126. The Ektars were also used on the better Instamatics.

    Ian
     
  11. AgX

    AgX Member

    Messages:
    11,909
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2007
    Location:
    Germany
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I am confused. I just learned that there had been "Ektar" lenses on Retinas anyway.
    Part of them rebranded versions of Schneider lenses I know.
    Part of them Kodak made lenses. I do not know of Kodak manufacturing complex lenses in Germany. Thus Kodak imported their german bodies into the US and fitted them there with their own Ektar lenses?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 19, 2014
  12. lxdude

    lxdude Member

    Messages:
    6,943
    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2009
    Location:
    Redlands, So
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Yep. I forgot earlier that my Bantam has an Ektar.
     
  13. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    18,032
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    There's no common feature/design to Ektars, any of Kodaks Anastigmats were rebranded as Ektar when coating was introduced, although there were some uncoated Ektars before that. They were made by various companies including Kodak themselves.

    Ian
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. BMbikerider

    BMbikerider Member

    Messages:
    825
    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2012
    Location:
    County Durha
    Shooter:
    35mm
    They also had a number of large format lenses named 'Ektar' and the famed SAV Carousel slide projectors all used Ektar lenses
     
  16. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

    Messages:
    4,134
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
  17. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

    Messages:
    4,134
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Kodak owned Nagel. Nagel made, among other cameras, Kodak Retinas. Most of the Ektars fitted to Retinas were rebadged Xenars, but some type 011 Retina IIs were fitted with a 47/2 Ektar (6/4 double Gauss type, I think) made in Rochester. All cameras were assembled in Stuttgart.
     
  18. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

    Messages:
    4,134
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I didn't remember that comment, so I checked and couldn't find it. Ctein recommended the 105/5.6 Apo El Nikkor above all other lenses for enlarging 35 mm.
     
  19. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    18,032
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    It's interesting that while Nagel was independent they didn't use Zeiss lenses instead using Schneider, presumably there was bad blood between Nagel and Zeiss. This seems to have boosted Schneider's importance as a leading lens manufacturer. Once Kodak took over Nagel the cameras began using Zeiss lenses as well.

    Ian
     
  20. elekm

    elekm Member

    Messages:
    2,059
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2004
    Location:
    New Jersey (
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    The medium format Ektars weren't the same design. The one on the Medalist I and II are five elements, while the Ektar on the Chevron is a four-element Tessar type. The Ektar was just a brand name and didn't represent a specific lens design, such as a Sonnar, Planar, Tessar, etc.

    Kodak used a variation of that name, producing lots of cameras with Ektanar lenses.
     
  21. elekm

    elekm Member

    Messages:
    2,059
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2004
    Location:
    New Jersey (
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    There are Kodak (Nagel) cameras with Zeiss lenses. I have a Vollenda Type 48 (VP 127) with a Tessar and a Vollenda 620 (6x4.5 and 6x9) also with Tessars. However, these are Kodak AG products and not the ones that are pre-Kodak, and I think Ian is right that pre-Kodak Nagels did not carry Zeiss lenses.

    I believe the story is that August Nagel was a former Zeiss employee who left and formed his own company after a disagreement with Zeiss. I can't recall what the disagreement was, but I recall reading that the split was acrimonious. I have to do some digging to find the article.

    The Retina Type 126 (the fourth Retina model) was the first to offer an array of lens options, including a Tessar, a Xenar, an Alcor, a Ysar and an Angineux, in addition to the Ektar for U.S. markets. My little Petersen's Retina guide says all prewar Kodak Ektar lenses (for the Retina) were manufactured by Schneider-Kreuznach.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 19, 2014
  22. Peltigera

    Peltigera Member

    Messages:
    704
    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2012
    Location:
    Lincoln, UK
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Nagel owned one of the four companies (Contessa) that merged to form Zeiss Ikon in 1926. He left because he was made into a director instead of being allowed to be a designer. He sold his new company to Kodak as he was a brilliant designer (of cars as well as cameras) but was no good at running businesses.
     
  23. momus

    momus Member

    Messages:
    2,702
    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2009
    Location:
    Lower Earth
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    It's easy to tell the fake Retina Ektars from the real ones. The fake ones look just like the Schneider lenses because....they are! They simply renamed them on the front. The Ektars (real) have a wide silver front to them and use the Kodak "camerosity" way of identification. I understand that they did this because they were having a harder time selling the non Ektar lensed cameras and the Ektar lenses were in short supply (not that the Xenar is a bad lens), so they simply renamed the Xenars to give people what they wanted. Sorta. I've owned Retina Ia cameras w/ the 50 Xenar lens and the real 50 Ektar, and there is no comparison. While the Xenar is a perfectly capable lens and makes lovely images, the Ektar is sharper by far and exhibits Heliar type 3-D imaging. Zeiss sharpness w/ Leica 3-D look. Very nice!

    The Ektanar was a 3 element lens if I remember correctly. Not in the same league as a Retina Ektar. They used the Ektanar on the later Signets. Mr. Flibble's comments about the Signet shutter are what have kept me from buying one so far. That and the odd design and it's tiny size. Looks like it would be hard to hold properly for an adult. I found the following link helpful.

    http://camerapedia.wikia.com/wiki/Kodak_lenses
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 20, 2014
  24. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

    Messages:
    4,134
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Folks, camerapedia is filled with misinformation. Filled. If you want to know about EKCo lenses, get the information from Brian Wallen's site http://www.bnphoto.org/ . Brian's information comes straight from EKCo data sheets.
     
  25. dynachrome

    dynachrome Member

    Messages:
    1,001
    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2006
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I have at least one of the Computar enlarging lenses. Some of them look suspiciously like lenses marketed under the Beseler name. Almost all of the ones I have seen in recent years have some kind of discoloration of the cement between the elements. There was a good article somewhere, Shutterbug I think, about usng the various Computar lenses on bellows units for macro work.
     
  26. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    18,032
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Personally I hate that camerapedia site the camera-wiki.org one is bit better.

    Brian's site is excellent but only covers EKCo and Kodak made cameras elsewhere with different lenses and shutters, so I have UK made lenses Ektars and Anastigmats in #0 compatible shutters, Epsilon, Prontor & Compur (Mount 370), the cells won't fit the Supermatics etc used for the same lenses sold by EKCo in the US.

    But perhaps more importantly people aren't realising that Ektar lenses vary enormously in terms of design and quality so some comparisons aren't particularly useful.

    Ian