kodak commercial ektars

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Hi to all of the folks who were so helpful to me. I hope this is read by Dave the individual who mentioned that I could use simple movements to blow out the background on a tight portrait. I hope when you get a chance you can e-mail me with a description of some of those movements.

I thought long and hard about the input I got. I read the info in your website about the lenses that were suggested to me for portraiture, namely the Kodak Commercial Ektars.

I am extremely interested in the 12inch(6.3) and the 14inch(6.3). I also want the 12incn(4.8) portrait lens but I am unsure about this lens as there is mention of a 12inch(4.5))on your website which I am assuming is a different lens that the 12inch(4.8)portrait lens. Are these two distinctly different lenses or are the one and the same?

These lenses appear to come with different shutters, were they originally sold that way? Some of the literature I have read says the shutter max of the Acme is 1/30 sec. no matter what the dial says. In a related issue, if I find a mint or near mint lens, is it worth my while to remount the lens to say a copal shutter if that is possible?

Most of the websites I have gone to, have advertised their Commercial Ektars from Excellent to Mint. These lenses by all rights are approximately 40-50 years old and I am a bit skeptical of some of these claims. They can all be in great shape. Who can I depend on to tell me the truth?

These lenses are praised by so many sources that I will attempt to get the three that I mentioned.

My biggest concern is running into a con man who is advertising his lens as mint, but neglecting to mention that it has been run over by a truck, with the resulting thousand pieces having been reassembled over a two year period. I have had people look me right in the eye as they told me a bogus history about a piece of equipment that turned out to be a DOG! I have promised myself to avoid that on making my move to Large Format.

I have visited the websites of Stephen Shuart, Glen view, Cameta Camera, Club Camera, All Seasons, Lens and Repro, The F-Stops Here, and I would like to know if I have mentioned someone in the above group that some of you know and trust?

I know some of the games played by some people. The fact that a lens is coated doesn't mean it hasn't been recoated. Lenses that appear in great condition that have been pieced together after extensive damage. All the dishonest and disreputable things that some people pull I would like to steer clear of and I hope you folks will let me know who's who in Large Format.

Again Thanks Jonathan Brewer e-mail:lifestories@earthlink.net

-- jonathan brewer (lifestories@earthlink.net), June 27, 2000


One more for your list is Equinox -- he's my dealer, I'm a junkie, coffee and old camera equip -- I'll book into The Betty some day. This is the address but I don't know what he has in now: http://www.pond.net/~equinox/ I've met some of the dog salespeople -- "Oh, all our equipment is tested" "Then why are none of the 3 shutters I've looked at working?"

Anyhow what I like to do is you can see the person you're taking a photo of in the GG. You can see the (say mountains in the background) fuzzy but just to give it the extra kick, I kick the bottom of the lens board out a bit (swing up--I guess that's tilt?) just a bit so it doesn't make a bit of difference to the people in the scene. Or swing it sideways a bit. Play. That's how I obliterate entire mountain ranges. I'm sure others know better. Dean

-- Dean Lastoria (dvlastor@sfu.ca), June 27, 2000.

Stephen Shuart, The F-Stops Here, and Lens and Repro all have excellent reputations, and should all take things back if you are unsatisfied. I bought a lens from F-Stop that had a problem they were not aware of (I'm fairly sure they were being honest), and they offered to take it back beyond their normal limit.

Big Commercial Ektars were largely studio lenses for professionals, so there is good reason to expect them to be in good shape, but that said, many dealers tend to grade a bit high, and old Ilex/Acme shutters usually need a CLA if they haven't had one in a long time. Budget $50-80 to have Steve Grimes (www.skgrimes.com) take a look at it and put it in excellent shape, meaning most of the speeds will be pretty accurate, but the fastest and slowest speeds might be a bit on the slow side.

I wouldn't worry too much about recoated lenses. It's such an expensive process, that it usually isn't worth it, and in some cases it might be better than the original coating.

One way to blur the background on a portrait subject is to position the face at an angle to the film plane and swing the lens to focus on the eyes.

-- David Goldfarb (dgoldfarb@barnard.edu), June 27, 2000.

Two other places you might want to consider are Midwest Photo Exchange (www.mpex.com) and Kenmar Camera (www.kenmarcamera.com). The latter has a heft restocking fee. But, I've dealt with both of these dealers and find them to be reliable. Both carry Kodak lenses. Kenmar Camera has a separate page for Ektars.

-- neil poulsen (neil.fg@att.net), June 27, 2000.

Hi jonathan, I sent an email about 3-4 days ago breifly describing camera movements to you (for your previous 8x10 thread), i guess you didn't get it???. It was sent to your lifestories@earthlink.net e-mail address. If you didn't get it, let me know and I'll resend it.


-- Dave Anton (daveanton@home.com), June 27, 2000.

Yes, truly mint Ektars are available if you are patient and ready to act. After wanting a 250 mm Wide Field Ekar for several years and not wanting to accept less than mint, I found one that was literally in the black ebony box with the original case and the hanging tag from the store still attached. The front and the rear caps were shiny new and the glass surface was crystal clear. I must have looked at 5 Ektars that were considered in the mint category and did not really know what mint was until I got the Wide Field. Since a truly mint lens is a rarety and deals of this nature are few are far between, you need to be ready to jump when the opportunity presents itself. I would suggest that private individuals rather than the conventional sales houses are where you may be most successful. That was the case with me. A favorable return policy and the use of a credit card are bonuses. You could put a new shutter on these lenses and drop as much as half of what the lens cost, or you can work around their physical limitations without any problems. My #5 Ilex Universal needs to be fired a few times before I take a shot and I know based upon shutter testing that I need to stay in the middle of the shutter speed range for best results, but it is still very functional. Would you jerk the engine out of an old Mercedes or a Triumph because it may have been underpowered or lacking as compared to todays standards? I would not. That is part of the pride of ownership of something that is over 50 years old and still functional. Good Luck

-- Michael Kadillak (m.kadillak@worldnet.att.net), June 28, 2000.

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