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  1. #1

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    Heliar VS Skopar in real life on neg

    Well this could be in MF, Plate cameras and perhaps also Large Format forums so here it is.
    I have a 13,5cm f/4,5 Heliar (on Bergheil ) and a 7,5cm f/3,5 Skopar (guess) coming my way.
    What is the real life difference between the two above comparing the negs/prints?
    I know these two are different formats and focallenght but as far as I know comparable samples of each exists. Short of 9X12film and holders it will be a couple of days before I can test shoot the Bergheil and it will be a while befor Emil(gandolfi) and I can make a Superb heliar/skopar shootout.
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    Technology distinquishable from magic is insufficiently developed

    Søren Nielsen
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  2. #2
    df cardwell's Avatar
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    The Heliar has a glamour, the Skopar does not. They are functionally the same,
    and capable of ethereal lightness, or cruel sharpness. They are superb, wonderful lenses.

    BTW, they swept 'soft portrait' lenses out of use when they hit the scene, the softy shooters found they could focus easily, and for some reason that seemed to help. And if a 'softy' picture was desired, they shot wide open (as you always did int he days of slowslowslow film) and just racked the sharp focus forward of the subject.

  3. #3

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    Thanks Mr Cardwell
    I can't wait to get my babies home (today, tomorrow or saturday)
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    Technology distinquishable from magic is insufficiently developed

    Søren Nielsen
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  4. #4

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    Both are fine lenses and given their age the kindness of the passage of years is likely to be more important than anything else. The heliar was the more complex lens and probably has the edge but given the higher number of air-glass interfaces may have significantly lower contrast than the skopar which is a tessar type design.

  5. #5
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    The Heliar should have sharper corners than a Skopar of the same focal length on the same format, but if the lenses are of different generations and you are shooting different formats, it will be difficult to compare. Also, the falloff of focus on a Skopar isn't necessarily a bad thing.

    The look is also a bit different. Try some comparison shots with a near subject stopped down about 1-2 stops and look at how the sharp subject separates from the soft background. Heliars tend to have a bit more of a three dimensional effect.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
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  6. #6
    Ole
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    Quote Originally Posted by bnstein View Post
    ... The heliar was the more complex lens and probably has the edge but given the higher number of air-glass interfaces may have significantly lower contrast than the skopar which is a tessar type design.
    Heliars and Tessars have the same number of air/glass surfaces: Six. Just like triplets.
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  7. #7
    df cardwell's Avatar
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    AS far as the 'glamour' associated with Heliars, it has always seemed to me that if you expect a romantic lens, you get one. This isn't meant to demean the Heliar, only to suggest that there is as much magic in a Tessar-Skopar-Dogmar-Cooke, etc., etc., etc..

    Twenty years ago, when I realised that I could make the SAME fine image with any ONE of this era's lenses, I did the silly thing of keeping the B&L Tessars, which were selling at a fraction of the others, and selling the Heliar collection, and all the rest.

    There IS magic in photography, you just have to learn how to use it.

  8. #8
    Rolleiflexible's Avatar
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    I have Heliars and Tessars.
    The differences are subtle.
    How you see makes far more
    difference than the lens you
    happen to be looking through.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ole View Post
    Heliars and Tessars have the same number of air/glass surfaces: Six. Just like triplets.
    Hmm Ole, Doesn't the skopar also have six air/glass surfaces? Though according to the Vade Mecum the Heliar is 5 lenses in three groups and the Skopar is four lenses in three groups.
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    Technology distinquishable from magic is insufficiently developed

    Søren Nielsen
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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rolleiflexible View Post
    I have Heliars and Tessars.
    The differences are subtle.
    How you see makes far more
    difference than the lens you
    happen to be looking through.
    Yes so true but it is interesting what look is achieved with old lenses.
    Kind regards
    Send from my Electronic Data Management Device using TWOFingerTexting

    Technology distinquishable from magic is insufficiently developed

    Søren Nielsen
    Denmark

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