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  1. #11

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    Generally improvement in modern lenses had to do with coatings, although improved designs thru computer number crunching was certainly a big plus. I believe the Optars came uncoated as well as coated. If your shooting "art" at close range you may be interested to some extent in a macro lens optimized for short distances. If you need to use flash check the synch on your lens, unless you use hot lights. My single coated Optar has bad contacts, so it's used for landscapes as it's not worth the repair expense over an improved lens.
    W.A. Crider

  2. #12

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    The standard 135mm optar is fairly sharp when stopped down, but the contrast isn't that great--which might not be a bad thing if you're shooting contrasty film-- IMO it's easier to add contrast in printing then to reduce it.

    I replaced mine with a Schneider Symmar-S 150mm f5.6 multi-coated lens, contrast was greatly improved as was sharpness at the wider apertures; although I don't think there's any more sharpness at f16 or smaller.

  3. #13
    Kim Catton's Avatar
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    I just found this: http://i.imgur.com/QxZMg.jpg

    I am thinking of bidding on the thing but how much would be responsible to spent on this glass? Also.. I am not sure if this plate will go on my graflex?

  4. #14
    JBrunner's Avatar
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    When you get to large format "sharp" becomes a relative term to some degree. The lens that you have is somewhat of a loafer, but stopped down to 16 or more it is still going to blow a smaller format out of the water all the while it's loafing along. It's like having a V8 engine. It doesn't have to turn that fast to make a lot of horsepower. Your perceived sharpness will in the beginning rest much more on your abilities, than the attributes of the lens. That said, there is nothing wrong with good glass, so long as you resist becoming a gear head. The best piece of gear you can have is you. The world is full of mediocre photographers with the "best" equipment.

  5. #15

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    Well, opinions differ, but the Optars were optimized for B&W, while the Ektars were optimized for color photography. I have an article I wrote a few years back on my website:

    http://www.graywolfphoto.com/pressca...uminosity.html

    It tells you something about this.

  6. #16
    Kim Catton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBrunner View Post
    When you get to large format "sharp" becomes a relative term to some degree. The lens that you have is somewhat of a loafer, but stopped down to 16 or more it is still going to blow a smaller format out of the water all the while it's loafing along. It's like having a V8 engine. It doesn't have to turn that fast to make a lot of horsepower. Your perceived sharpness will in the beginning rest much more on your abilities, than the attributes of the lens. That said, there is nothing wrong with good glass, so long as you resist becoming a gear head. The best piece of gear you can have is you. The world is full of mediocre photographers with the "best" equipment.
    I am completely aware of myself being the most important piece of "equipment". I do a ton of photography and depending on the task ahead I will choose the right equipment. I see my cameras as tools. Sometimes I need no more than a simple screwdriver - at other times when the task demands it, Ill pull out precision laser guided instruments and diesel powered hacksaws! well.. you get my point. I am also on a budget and the "best" equipment will seldom reach me But hurray for analogue still. Good things come cheap these days.

    The reason to my question about sharpness is simply because I dont know this format too well (yet). I have now done around 30 sheets of 4x5 on the lens mentioned. At 16/22 it yields the kind of sharpness I need for the project I am working on right now. Now I just need something that will give me less angle (for portraits) and coming from medium format and 35mm I bring with me experience of VERY different qualities of glass. I am however happy to have learned that largeformat glass in many ways will "always" yield sharp results.

  7. #17
    dhosten's Avatar
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    I'll add my 2 cents Kim. Large format lenses, by and large, are not anywhere near as sharp as 35mm or quality medium format lenses. That's because the needed degree of enlargement is so much smaller. A 16x20 print from large format looks sharper than most 8x10s from 35mm (doesn't matter if Nikon, canon or Leica).
    What LF does offer is the large neg/chrome which gives greater size prints, better tonality, and often allows for movements, and decent sharpness. My favourite portrait lens for 4x5 (Graflex) used to be the 210/370 convertible Symmar already mentioned... I have a picture using that lens in the gallery. It may work for you, or you may prefer a 250mm lens. btw The Kodak 203mm Ektar is cheap and sharp, you'll get great portrait results with it too.
    That's about it. Good luck and happy shooting.

  8. #18

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    I hope you enjoy you're new camera!

    Jeff

  9. #19

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    The lensboard shown at http://i.imgur.com/QxZMg.jpg will not fit your graflex. It looks like the board (plate) for a Linhof Technika, Wista, and several other cameras. It is not difficult to find a board for a graphic and to switch the lens. It usually involves unscrewing the rear element group from the shutter, removing a retaining ring that mounts the shutter to the lens board, then reversing the process on the new board.

    In the U.S. keh.com and skgrimes.com both sell graphic lens boards. Keh is used equipment, Grimes machines new ones from aluminum. I'm sure you could find one on your side of the ocean.

    I can't help too much on price, KEH can give you some idea, as can eBay completed auctions.

    Like others here, I believe if you stop your Optar down to f/16 or f/22, you'll find the results to be quite sharp. I recently replaced my old Raptar with a 150mm G-Claron, but I did it more for a modern shutter and flash sync than for the lens. The Claron will be a little better, but few will notice. Probably including me.
    ---
    mike rosenlof
    louisville colorado usa

  10. #20
    Kim Catton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrosenlof View Post
    The lensboard shown at http://i.imgur.com/QxZMg.jpg will not fit your graflex. It looks like the board (plate) for a Linhof Technika, Wista, and several other cameras. It is not difficult to find a board for a graphic and to switch the lens. It usually involves unscrewing the rear element group from the shutter, removing a retaining ring that mounts the shutter to the lens board, then reversing the process on the new board.

    In the U.S. keh.com and skgrimes.com both sell graphic lens boards. Keh is used equipment, Grimes machines new ones from aluminum. I'm sure you could find one on your side of the ocean.

    I can't help too much on price, KEH can give you some idea, as can eBay completed auctions.

    Like others here, I believe if you stop your Optar down to f/16 or f/22, you'll find the results to be quite sharp. I recently replaced my old Raptar with a 150mm G-Claron, but I did it more for a modern shutter and flash sync than for the lens. The Claron will be a little better, but few will notice. Probably including me.
    Thanks a lot for helping me with the lensboard. I think I will go for the lens and see if I can win the auction. Afterwards I will look for the needed lensboard. Iv'e actually bought one or two things from KEH and they are really nice people to trade with in my opinion.

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