Kodak 190mm WF Ektar

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I've got a couple questions regarding this lens- I searched the archives and couldn't find anyting. First, how does this lens fare for use on and 8x10 field camera. Second, how big/heavy is it? Third, how sharp is it? Finally, if you've had any first hand experience with this lens, I'd really appreciate your insights on it. I'm trying to find a good used lens for when I finally make the move to 8x10. Thanks!

-- Dave Munson (orthoptera@juno.com), April 13, 2000


Dave: I am not sure the 190 WF Ektar will even cover the 8x10 format. It certainly won't leave much room for movements. The 250 WF Ektar is a better choice for 8x10. Compared to more modern wide angle lenses, the WF Ektars don't have a lot of coverage. That said, the lens is sharp, but kinda large and heavy as are most of the older 8x10 lenses. Ansel Adams made some great images with the 250mm (10 in.) WF Ektar.

-- Doug Paramore (dougmary@alanet.com), April 13, 2000.

The 190 mm Wide Field is listed at about 315 mm of coverage. You might be able to squeak it on to 8x10, but you would be disappointed if you needed even modest movements. The 250 mm Wide Field Ektar, on the other hand, has about 425 mm of coverage and has room to spare.

I acquired a really nice 250 mm Wide Field Ektar for use on my 8 x 10 and was very impressed with the quality of the optics. Very sharp and contrasty. The older shutters are the weak link in the equation but can be dealt with without to much trouble. I did some testing on the big Ilex shutters and found them to be modestly off, but manageable in the central shutter speed range and poor in the slow and upper end of the scale. I also trip the shutter a couple of times before I make an exposure to get it warmed up. I can send you the results if you are interested.

If you can find a clean 250 mm with few cleaning marks, I would go that direction. With their coverage this lens is also desired for 11x14. Good Luck

-- Michael Kadillak (m.kadillak@att.net), April 13, 2000.

I agree with all the above comments. The 10" WF Ektar (254mm) is a very flexible lens with plenty of coverage, and it is sharp and contrasty with a smooth tonal range, but it is quite large. The Ilex #5 shutter won't be nearly as accurate as a modern shutter, but you can trust it within a stop if it is clean.

The 190 will just cover 8x10", so might not be the best choice as a first lens.

-- David Goldfarb (dgoldfarb@barnard.edu), April 13, 2000.

The 190 WF Ektar works fine for 8x10 landscapes. At infinity the image circle misses the corners ever so slightly, not an issue with me. If you email me, I can send you a jpeg of a photo made with this lens at infinity. Closer, the frame is filled but movements are slim. The optical quality of the lens is exceptional. It's a Tessar type formula--sharp, sharp, sharp! Eastman designed these for use with the color film products of the day, and commercial photographers considered them "state-of-the-art". They were very expensive when new. The shutter is fine when correctly serviced and adjusted. It's about the same size package as a modern Copal #3. Many millions of wonderful photographs (both color & B&W) were and are still being made with this lens. And, if you decide to leave 8x10 behind, it's a great 5x7" & 4x5" lens. Mine will stay with me 'till the end!

-- C. W. Dean (cwdean@erols.com), April 14, 2000.

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