Caltar 210mm f6.3 -- info please.
What do you lens historians know about the Caltar 210mm f6.3 large format lens?
Any ideas who the manufacture was?
What is the design? 3/4? 4/4? 6/4? (other???)
What would one expect in terms of performance?
Thanks in advance for any information you may have.
The May/June 2003 issue of View Camera has an article entitled "Caltar Lenses, Past and Present". There is no 210 f6.3 lens listed, but rather a 150 f6.3 and a 210 f6.8. The 210 is a 3 elements in 3 groups configuration, has an image circle of 242mm, comes in a Copal 1 shutter, takes a 49mm filter and the OEM is Rodenstock. The Rodenstock badge for this lens is "Geronar" and I have and use it frequently. It is an excellent lens and is the least expensive recent example of that focal length you can find all other things being equal.
edit: here's more from the article by Kerry Thalmann: "They are simple 3-element designs with limited coverage, but they are multi-coated, quite compact and in modern Copal shutters. Performance is a notch down from the Caltar-II N models, but still quite decent at nomal working apertures (f16-f32) and they represent a good value - if you can live with the limited coverage." (I've never run out of room using my Geronar)
It could be an Ilex....mebbe...well, it could be.
Brad the early ones made by Ilex should be listed at an 8 1/2" f6.3 IIRC. About 215mm. They were a tessar and similar enough to Kodaks Commercial Ektar to be considered a direct replacement which is the market Calumet was targeting after the Kodak's had left the scene. The 210 f6.8 lenses are indeed a triplet.
Usually the Caltar's have more then just "Caltar" on the label -- some series designation like the "Caltar-II N " in the quotation above. Providing this information would help alot. Another possible clue: what is the brand of the shutter?
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Well, thanks all. I saw this lens for sale at one of the big houses back east and cannot find it now. I thought it was MPEX but, it's not listed there now....maybe it was all a (bad?) dream...
The description just said:
Caltar 210mm, F6.3 in Copal #1.
I couldn't figure it out. That's why I asked here.
I am well acquainted with the Caltar II-E / Geronar in this focal length but it is definitely an f6.8 lens. I have a210 gerona and like it.
I thought perhaps this was an immitation of one of the commercial Ektars but, as Jim points out the closest commercial Ektar clone by Ilex was an 215mm f6.3
Then, I thought maybe it was one of the lesser known imports from Japan - the Komura Commercial comes in 210/6.3 and, I think, it must be a tessar design. Is this lens any good, btw?
Oh well, just thought somebody here might have a clue.
I can't speak about the Komura 210/6.3 you asked about but I have a rather beat-up 210/6.3 Prinz that I bought for the shutter. Yamazaki tell me its one of theirs, i.e., a 210/6.3 Commercial Congo. A commercial Ektar clone. Lousy front coating notwithstanding it shoots pretty well, but I think there are better 210s.
I suspect that Jim's memory isn't working quite right and that he may have confused the 210/6.3 tessar type Ilex Caltar with the 215/I forget what convertible plasmat type Ilex Caltar. But then, my memory's going too.
Last edited by Dan Fromm; 04-15-2006 at 12:38 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: correct error
here's the '60's caltar tessar type right here ( courtesy of the cameraeccentric )
the symar was available for $180, the caltar for $135
2005 prices, $1100 v. $880
"One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid,
and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision"
OK, I found the actual lens.
It is mounted in the older chrome copal #1 (the one with the fine serrated edge and modern shutter speed progression).
The lens is marked "Calumet 1:6.3 / 210mm Caltar Type-Y".
The glass is coated, maybe even multi-coated. The reflections from a halogen source are pale cyan and maybe, very light pink-ish orange (?)
Judging by the reflections, it appears to have three groups, two in the front and one in the back. I'm gonna guess that the front cell is composed of two air spaced elements. Whether the rear cell is a cemented pair ( --> tessar formula) or, a single element (--> triplett), I cannot tell.
The front cap is generic, slip on but, the rear cap has a logo on it...maybe a stylized, script letter "Y"???
I'm going to go out on a libm and guess that it is in fact, a Yamasaki Congo. Which would make it a tessar.
Anybody know anything about these? What might be a fair price for this thing in excellent condition with caps?
I realize this is an old thread, but just for anybody else who searches here: my bet is on a Rodenstock Ysarex.