plasmat lens question : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

hi there i was wondering if anyone can answer a few questions about plasmat lenses for me .. i was thinking of getting a 153mm - 220mm -320mm - f4.5 Hugo Meyer Satz Plasmat and was interested in using it on a 5x7 camera ... will this lens have the ability to cover a full 5x7" negative ... i have about 25" from the lensboard to the ground glass - if this lens won't work, can anyone recommend another classic-convertable lens that will give me coverage, room for movements, and the nice quality of light older plasmats are known for? thanks again for your help - john

-- john nanian (, June 18, 2001


Hi John: My Symmar 210/370 is a heckova lens, and it's a plasmat, as is the later, multi-coated Symmar-S. You can get 50s/60s era single-coated 210s in Synchro-Compur. This is as very underrated lens and can be had occasionally on Ebay for cheap. It doesn't have the sort of arty quality that a wide-open Meyer Plasmat does (it's supposed to be sharp). If you want the pictorial effect, on the other hand, I wouldn't fool around with the Meyer; rather, get an out-and-out portrait/pictorial lens for 5x7. A Wollensak Verito (c. 12-inch for 57) or a 300mm Rodenstock Imagon. With the latter: If you can find one in the old No. 5 Compound set-up (as I did), you've got something extraordinary for 5x7 portraiture, etc. The 300mm Imagon in later production came in a Copal (I forget which number), the diaphragm of which was too small (!) to allow for use of the large Imagon disk (the H-5.8 disk). Anyhow, the older production 300mm Imagon in No. 5 Compound matched w/ 5x7 is considered by Imagon afficionados to be one of the best, if not THE best, Imagon configuration ever. Also, the older Imagons came with a green filter (for B+W), not the neutral density filters of the later productions. And don't be scared away by the Compound Shutter Menace. It's hard to find an old Compound that's working really well, but they're easy to fix (Steve Grimes would charge $60-$80 and have running like a top). Having said all that, the Wollensak Verito is a great lens (favored by the celebrated Hurrell of Hollywood portrait fame) and doesn't involve all these arcane Imagon issues. Neither lens is cheap. Photographic Systems had a MINT IN ORIG. WOODEN BOX (if you can believe it) Verito for sale awhile back for c. $750. But if I'd been that much in the black at the time, I'd have been on it like white on rice. Lens & Repro and similar reputable dealers list 300mm Imagons in Compound for around $600, give or take. Enough already. I'm going to bore the Q & A guys to death. If you personally want it, though, I have more info on the Verito and BUNCH more info on pictorial lenses of the past in general and the Imagon in particular. I would just stress one last time that, if you're looking for pictorial effect, get a real pictorial lens, not a Meyer.... -jb

-- Jeff Buckels (, June 18, 2001.

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