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  1. #1
    Lachlan Young's Avatar
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    Are there any good lenses from 'unclean' brands?

    As the title says does anyone know if there are any good lenses from manufacturers that would be regarded as 'unclean'? I am particularly looking for LF lenses to cover 5x4 of between 100mm and 210mm. The reason for looking for 'unclean' brands is so that the prices may be lower - unfortunately everything seems to be suffering from acute Gallitis with prices soaring up up and away out of my price range. The absolute maximum I would be willing to pay is £100-£120. The specific focal lengths I am interested in are 150mm-210mm. I am looking for a general purpose lens with a 'look' similar to that obtained with heliar type lenses. I am also looking for a tessar type lens of about 200mm focal length.

    All help much appreciated,

    Lachlan

  2. #2

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    Lachlan, LF lens bargains are still available. There are a lot of apochromatic process lenses out there (nearly all in barrel mounts) and in various focal lengths. Examples include Apo Nikkors, Rodenstock Apo Ronars, Wrays, Agfa Repro Camera lenses and Apo Raptars. Economical Tessar type lenses include the Wollensak Raptars and the Russian LF Industars, etc.
    Tom Hoskinson
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  3. #3
    JG Motamedi's Avatar
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    Unclean? Been reading Leviticus?

  4. #4
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    lenses with the cloven hoof? sorry. only kosher optics discussed here.
    chris

  5. #5
    Lachlan Young's Avatar
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    No, I was meaning lenses from brands like Wollensak, Ilex etc as compared to Nikon, Schneider etc. The thread title was inspired by a thread started by Andy K about your favourite 'unclean' makes of cameras.

    Hope this helps,

    Lachlan

  6. #6
    JG Motamedi's Avatar
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    Ilex is an abomination!

    Well, I picked up a 90mm f/8 Ilex Acu-Veriwide for $200 a few weeks ago for a particular job. I was surprised to find that the lens actually covers 5x7 with a respectable amount of movement and very nice sharpness and color rendition.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lachlan Young
    No, I was meaning lenses from brands like Wollensak, Ilex etc as compared to Nikon, Schneider etc. The thread title was inspired by a thread started by Andy K about your favourite 'unclean' makes of cameras.

    Hope this helps,

    Lachlan
    Lachlan, be very careful when you slander Wollensak and Ilex. Both made some world-beaters. For example, Wolly's 160/5.6 and 210/5.6 Pro Raptars. And Ilex Acugons (the longest is 90/8) and late Paragon/Acutars.

    Its a shame that you posed your question as you did. You really should have asked which lenses fit your budget and are good enough to use. And you should have told us whether you can use lenses in barrel or must have lenses in shutter.

    Someone suggested the 210/4.5 Industar-51. They're all in barrel. Mine isn't particularly sharp centrally. Since I've shot it only on 2x3 that's all I can say about it.

    If you must have the Heliar look, whatever that means, save your new p until you can afford to buy a real Heliar. You'd do better to concentrate on the basics of lens performance -- sharp enough for your purposes to the corners, low flare -- than to worry about fine points. Many of the fine points the local lunatics go on about ad nauseam are a consequence of lens abuse, i.e., asking a lens to cover a larger format than its maker intended.

    If you want a good affordable lens, focal length 6" - 8.25", look for a Kodak #3a or #4 Special with a B&L-made Tessar IIb in Compound or Ilex. The lens will likely be engraved Zeiss Kodak No. 4. I have one of these in barrel, made in 1914 or so, that shoots beautifully. These cameras aren't expensive, your hundred quid or so should easily buy one and a CLA for the shutter and a board with hole for your 4x5 camera. Also look in eBay.de for nice post-WWII f/6.3 Tessars from CZJ. One of my neighbors has several, doesn't complain about them.

    Yours in bottom-fishing,

    Dan

    Thinking of fishing, I killed two little trout this morning. How'd you do?
    Last edited by Dan Fromm; 05-13-2006 at 04:28 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: afterthought

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by JG Motamedi
    Ilex is an abomination!

    Well, I picked up a 90mm f/8 Ilex Acu-Veriwide for $200 a few weeks ago for a particular job. I was surprised to find that the lens actually covers 5x7 with a respectable amount of movement and very nice sharpness and color rendition.
    Jason, I have a 65/8 Ilex, middle sib of yours. There's also a 47/8, baby sib. By all accounts, these are no worse than, possibly a little better than, the equivalent f/8 Super Angulons. I'm as delighted with my 65/8 Ilex as I am with my 47/5.6 SA, i.e., very.

    If we're lucky the kid will stick around long enough to lose a little of his ignorance.

  9. #9
    Lachlan Young's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Fromm
    Lachlan, be very careful when you slander Wollensak and Ilex. Both made some world-beaters. For example, Wolly's 160/5.6 and 210/5.6 Pro Raptars. And Ilex Acugons (the longest is 90/8) and late Paragon/Acutars.

    Its a shame that you posed your question as you did. You really should have asked which lenses fit your budget and are good enough to use. And you should have told us whether you can use lenses in barrel or must have lenses in shutter.
    Sorry, if you got the wrong end of the stick - what I was trying to ask was: are there any good lenses at reasonable prices from brands like Wollensak/ Ilex - brands which in my view have had a very unfair press recently - that offer good perfomance?
    How common are the Pro Raptars and are they significantly more pricey than ordinary raptars?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Fromm
    If you must have the Heliar look, whatever that means, save your new p until you can afford to buy a real Heliar. You'd do better to concentrate on the basics of lens performance -- sharp enough for your purposes to the corners, low flare -- than to worry about fine points. Many of the fine points the local lunatics go on about ad nauseam are a consequence of lens abuse, i.e., asking a lens to cover a larger format than its maker intended.

    If you want a good affordable lens, focal length 6" - 8.25", look for a Kodak #3a or #4 Special with a B&L-made Tessar IIb in Compound or Ilex. The lens will likely be engraved Zeiss Kodak No. 4. I have one of these in barrel, made in 1914 or so, that shoots beautifully. These cameras aren't expensive, your hundred quid or so should easily buy one and a CLA for the shutter and a board with hole for your 4x5 camera. Also look in eBay.de for nice post-WWII f/6.3 Tessars from CZJ. One of my neighbors has several, doesn't complain about them.
    What is a reasonable price for a Heliar - I'd be looking for something relatively recent and coated?
    The east German lenses seem to have a good reputation, however in Europe at least, they can often go for quite high prices. As to the Industar one Ukrainian seller on Ebay has commented that 'the quality sanction on these lenses was not very high' - so it is not surprising that there are a lot of dogs out there - mind you someone has found out that the problem with many of these lenses was that two of the elemnts seem to have been interchanged wrecking their performance! I will have a look out for the B&L/Zeiss Kodak Tessar - what is a reasonable price? Don't worry about converting $ to £.

    Your help is much appreciated,

    Lachlan

  10. #10

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    Go to ebay and check out completed auctions for a price guide. Then look at large format items for sale.
    Claire (Ms Anne Thrope is in the darkroom)

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