203mm 7.5 Optar?greenspun.com : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread
After waiting around a while and not finding a good clean 203mm Ektar I took a risk on a 203mm/7.5 Wollensak Optar which I hear is based on the venerable 7.7. Anyone have any idea how these compare to the Ektar in sharpness and coverage?
-- Ben Smith (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 16, 1999
Ben--I just took a look at my copy of Grafhic Graflex Photography, the two lenses are not the saame. The 7.5 Optar, like the other Optars, is a Tessar type, four element lens. Also, like most of the Optars, it's a nice sharp lens, as long as it's in good condition. The 7.7 Ektar is a totally different design, it is a symmetrical, air- spaced design. According to the book, this lens has it's maxium definition at it's maxium aperture. The 205 will have plenty of coverage for 4x5 film. I've been very hapy with the 162 optar that I own. I also have the 203 Ektar, but I find that I don't use that length as much as the 162. I think you will be happy with the 205.
-- Bill Moore (email@example.com), September 17, 1999.
Ben, I'll toss my two cents worth in on this one. I own a 203mm Ektar, which, if I remember correctly, Kodak does not rate it as highly as the Commercial Ektar of approximately the same focal length (8 1/2-inch). However, during student days, some 22 years ago, I used this same lens to make 4x5 colour transparancies from which I made separation negatives and 11x14 dye-transfer prints from a portion of the transparancy. I also used the same lens for B&W and colour negatives as well.
This lens was designed to cover 5x7, so it has plenty of coverage on a 4x5. My 203mm is in use on a Graphic View Camera, which was U.S. Army surplus. Over the years I have seen a number of these cameras for sale, along with the same case I have, and they all had the 203mm lens with them! They also all had the bellows-type lens shade as well, something I have never seen as a separate item!
-- Terrence Brennan (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 24, 1999.
Arlington Camera in Arlington, TX has a 203mm F/7.5 Optar on a Crown Graphic for a good price. When I looked at it, (I also have the Ektar), I definatlely saw eight air-glass reflections which would indicate four air-spaced elements like the Ektar. Beyond that, I'm afraid I can add nothing else. I didn't buy it.
-- Guy Ulrich (email@example.com), September 29, 1999.