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  1. #1
    gma
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    I have a Plaubel Heli-Orthar F= 5.2" in an Ilex No.1 Universal shutter, largest f stop marked is f/8. The engraving includes Frankfurt and the letters D.R.G.M. No patent date that I can see. Does anyone know if this is a process lens or intended for general photography? It covers 4x5.

    gma

  2. #2
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    I couldn't find any reference to it in my lens manual but the name makes me suspect it's only orthochromatically corrected. From it's age that doesn't tell you much about what it was used for as ortho films were used for general photography until the 50's. If it's a process lens it should be pretty sharp. Have you tried it on film yet? It may need a filter to drop the red out to get the sharpest results.
    Gary Beasley

  3. #3
    Ole
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    I have found references to "Doppel-Orthar", "Triple-Orthar" and several versions of "Satz-Orthar", but no "Heli-Orthar".
    All that means is that it wasn't on the market in 1910.
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  4. #4

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    From the Lens Collector's Vade Mecum:

    "Heli Orthar, f 6.3 or f 5.2, Layout Pla001. The rear drawn is three glasses and Frerck says the design was legally protected, i.e. probably subject to patent action. The rear cell was usable on its own, and so was the front, so three foci are available. The complete lens was well corrected compared to other lenses such as Q15. It was classed as a wise amateur purchase but was deleted by 1926. The f 6.3 covered 90 degrees, so a 18 cm was used with 13x18 and the cells separately gave also 41 cm (front) and 33 cm rear."

    Steve

  5. #5
    gma
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    Thanks, Steve. I knew that someone would have info. I knew that it has good wideangle coverage, but the ability to use front, rear or both is a pleasant surprise. When I cleaned it I thought it looked nearly symmetrical, but I did not know it is a "convertible" lens design. Now I will need to measure the iris at the various stops to determine correct f stops when using the cells separately.

    gma

    I just found a German website that lists the Heli-Orthar as a higher quality lens by Plaubel. I will try to set up a lens test target to check the resolution this weekend.

  6. #6

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    If you intend to use the lens on a regular basis, i'd consider sending it to S. K. Grimes to have the cell spacing checked, and I'd have a triple aperture scale mounted, just like the old triple convertibles. With a last date of 1926, it's likely the Ilex isn't original... ??

    Steve

  7. #7
    gma
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    Steve,

    Thanks for the reminder to check the cell spacing. I had not thought that the cells could be out of position, but on close examination the rear cell was not fully seated. I think the shutter is original or at least a contemporay of this lens. I have three other shutters almost identical. One has a patent date of 1912. All are 7/8" at the overall outside depth ( before the lenses are screwed in ). I will make the initial resolution test with the rear cell fully seated. Thanks again for the heads up.

    gma



 

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