Quality of Caltar II Compact lenses?

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Does anyone have any reflections on the quality of the Caltar II Standard Compact lenses (which are on sale at the moment)? I'm looking for a relatively inexpensive and compact 210mm to use with my Speed Graphic; I shoot both portraits and landscapes, mostly b/w. Cost is a consideration, as is weight. I called Calumet and they claimed that the quality of this lens (3 elements / 3 groups) is equal to that of the Caltar II Standard, and that the compact lenses are also made by Rodenstock. All that is sacrificed, the rep claimed, was image circle and a bit of speed. Can anyone verify this claim? Any other suggestions for a good lens in this focal range? I'd love to find a used Nikkor 200 M but can't; I'm also looking at Artars, Ronars, Geronars, Dagors, commercial Ektars, G-Clarons, as well as the usual suspects (Nikkors, Symmars, Sironars) on Ebay. Any advice would be appreciated. Many thanks: I'm a beginner.

-- Gregory Bell (gbell@uclink4.berkeley.edu), December 09, 1998


The Caltar II Standard Compact lenses are Rodenstock Gerogon's. There are a number of recent posts on this website discussing the merit of these lenses. Try this thread: http://www.greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id=000EpN

-- Howard Slavitt (has@cpdb.com), December 09, 1998.

I ordered the 210 and 150 when I recently purchased a Calumet Cadet view camera. I think they will do anything I ever want to do. I have no means of giving you a millimeter/line comparison or any other esoteric optical findings. They seem crisp and sharp to my old eyes, and that, combined with the price, is just fine by me.

-- Tony Brent (ajbrent@mich.com), December 12, 1998.

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