big piece of glass in a huge Ilex #5 shutter. Don't drop one on your foot- your foot will not soon forgive you. But your film will love you for it if you use one. Beautiful image rendering, lovely smooth tones and easy gradation from sharp to out of focus.
A pity about the shutter size being #5, I will look for something a little bit smaller such as a 355mm G Claron or similar or even one of the larger plasmat lenses if the price is right.
Thanks again to everyone who replied.
Don't let the large shutter dissuade you from getting one. The 14" Commercial Ektar is one of the finest pieces of portrait glass available, and it is a whole stop faster than a G-Claron. You may find that for portrait work, the G-Claron is too sharp and too contrasty. It isn't that big a deal to get a blank Sinar board and have it drilled. ANY competent machine shop can do it for you.
FWIW, for some time the only LF lenses I had were a 14" Commercial Ektar and a 10" WF Ektar, both in #5 Universals and both wonderful lenses. The trick(s) for using #5 Universals are :
1) Use a "long throw" cable release---I like Gepes---to reliably fire the shutter which is double action, so the cable release not only fires the shutter but cocks it as well.
2) Exercise the shutter by firing it a few times before pulling the dark slide "for real."
3) Make sure that if you send a #5 Universal out for a "cla" they just "ca" it--lubrication makes 'em evil.
You should be able to find a 14" Commercial Ektar in a usable shutter for about $500 +or- I think a 355 G Claron would command considerably more loot. Another lens which I believe Karsh used was the 375mm Ilex Paragon/Acuton. These are usually found going for a bit less moo-lah than Commercial Ektars.
It's the Ektar look that lead me to a two year search of a 14" Ektar Commercial lens. I paid what it was worth as a mint lens and shutter and don't regret it in the least and I am not a rich man by any means. Sometimes you have to have the right tools for the work at hand. I am so glad that the previous owners kept it in its original wooden box, I am sure that is what contributed to its longevity. They are out there, just start looking.