Ektar Commercial lenses

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I just got an Ektar Commercial 14" lens. A bit different in its interface from my Rodenstock 210.

1) There does not seem to be a lever to open the lens for focussing. How do I focus? Set it on T?

2) Three settings: Off, X, and M. What are they for?

3) Standard cable release does not seem to trip the shutter although it work fine when I manually trip it.

Thanks, Vinod

-- VNC (chettu99@tyenet.com), August 18, 2000


1) Unless somebody know of a secret lever, sure, set it on T for focussing. 2) Flash sync. X is electronic flash, M is flash bulbs, and OFF is off (I've never seen a sync switch with OFF.) 3) Not all cables are created alike. I have one that will trigger my 35mm bodies, but doesn't have the "reach" to trip my LF shutters ot Mamiya TLR's. If nothing is broken with the shutter, you may just need another release. I have to carry my lenses into the camera shop and try the releases in the store.

-- John H. Henderson (jhende03@harris.com), August 18, 2000.

"Unless somebody know of a secret lever, sure, set it on T for focussing"

There is no "secret lever" - just a lever in very plain view, if it is mounted in an Ilex #5 like mine is. If you don't see the lever, it may well be boroken off - I've seen several Ilexes with this lever missing.

-- sheldon hambrick (sheldon_hambrick@hotmail.com), August 18, 2000.

Vinod, as Sheldon said, assuming that your lens comes in a Ilex shutter #5 there should be a lever, have a good look, the lens has normally this type of shutter. This shutter is of a "prontor" type, so to speak, which means that you do not have to cock it, this if your cable release extends longer than , say, an inch. Otherwise you need to cock the shutter every time.Settings are for synchronization of the strobe or flash lamps. good luck

-- andrea milano (milandro@multiweb.nl), August 18, 2000.

Well, I checked carefully and nothing seems to be broken. There is only one lever which when pulled trips the shutter in addition to cable release socket, the flash sync socket and flash setting. Shutter speeds are from 1 to 1/50. It is marked No 5 Universal Synchro on the lower part with Illex on the top.

-- VNC (chettu99@tyenet.com), August 18, 2000.

I have a 12" in a number 4 Ilex shutter. It may differ from the number 5. Looking directly at the front of the lens, there is a lever at 1 o'clock which is pushed down to cock the shutter. At the 12 o'clock position is a small pin with a cap that is pushed down with the shutter cocked to open the shutter to focus setting. This pin is different from the shutter release, which is located at the 10 o'clock position. Pushing the pin in opens the shutter, it is recocked to close. Could your little pin assembly be broken off? Perhaps the number 5 shutter didn't have one, but every one I have seen or owned worked like mine.

-- Doug Paramore (dougmary@alanet.com), August 18, 2000.

A picture is worth 1,000 words


It may be, though, that you have a self-cocking shutter - which would require a longer than typical cable release plunger throw, and which may lack a hold open lever.

-- Sean yates (yatescats@yahoo.com), August 18, 2000.

FWIW, the serial number starts with ES. So it was made in 1947. The first year they called it Commerical Ektar so I gather.

-- VNC (chettu99@tyenet.com), August 18, 2000.

I have found on my 12" Commercial Ektar that a pneumatic release works best. You can still buy them with a very long peice of pipe/hose. If you shorten that to about 2' you have a very good and smooth release. It seems much more reliable than a 'solid' release

-- Stephen Humphreys (rwlcorp@aol.com), August 24, 2000.

Vinod, Stephen has your answer. Use a pneumatic release unless you can find a regular cable release with a very long plunger. Long throw releases are not easily found today, and are much more likely to be found used than new.

-- Jim Noel (jimnoel@att.net), August 29, 2000.

Just for the benefit of the archives, I found that the Saunders Cable Network brand cable with adjustable throw works fine with this lens.

-- VNC (chettu99@tyenet.com), September 08, 2000.

I have a 10" Wide-Field Ektar with the same shutter. It's self-cocking, hence the need for a cable-release with a long plunger and no focusing lever. Use "T" for focusing. If the shutter hasn't had a CLA for a while, you might send it in. The shutter throw seems to get longer with use, and it occasionally needs to be adjusted.

The flash sync has an "off" setting, because you might conceivably be using flashbulbs and just setting the shutter to "T" for focusing or maybe making a multiple-exposure with flash for part of the shot and no flash for part of the shot, and it's convenient just to be able to turn the sync off.

-- David Goldfarb (dgoldfarb@barnard.edu), September 08, 2000.

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