135mm Wide Field Ektar

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I just stumbled on to a 135mm Wide Field Ektar on ebay that came with a 5x7 camera I bought, that has yet to arrive. Assuming the lens is in decent condition (I know it's a big assumption), what kind of performance can I expect with the 5x7 format? How well does this lens handle color?



-- Eric Verheul (everheul@cnetech.com), April 06, 2002


The Sept/Oct 1997 Photo Techniques did a review of a 10" Wide Field Ektar and compaired it to a modern top of the line Rodenstock. I would suspect that much of what they found would also apply to your 135.

They said things like the Ektar "was never better than top-of-the- line modern glass"

I think that they are talking more about B&W but they also say: "With pictures made in dim, soft, but full range light, the venerable classic delivered results very nearly indistinguishable from the modern lenses."

Flare was the major area where they were critical of the design: "if your favorite shooting scenario is the Mojave desert at high noon...you will prefer a first rate modern lens."

On the whole, I would say that they liked the lens but you can order back issues and read for yourself.


-- Neal Shields (shields@ftw.com), April 06, 2002.

The image circle for the 135 WF Ektar is 229mm.This will cover 5x7 with no movements to speak of.These lenses were not multicoated but many of the later ones were single coated.The Ektar brand of Kodak lenses were advertized as being specially designed for color work.I've got a 195 mm WF Ektar I ues for 5x7 and I am very pleased with it.When you are dealing with lenses of this vintage you can't expect the sharpness and contrast of the latest offering from the big 4 lens makers.But you do get a much smaller and lighter lens if that's a consideration.Also the damage to your bank account will be much less.Have you checked on the price of a center weighted filter for a Super Angulon lately.If you need maximum movements,sharpness,or contrast than you will have to make the investment.Good luck

-- asher galloway (asher_g@yahoo.com), April 06, 2002.

Eric, if your 135mm WF Ektar turns out to be anything like the one on my 5x7, you will not be disappointed. Also see: http://www.hevanet.com/cperez/testing.html Enjoy!

-- Chauncey Walden (clwaldeniii@attbi.com), April 06, 2002.

..and here; http://www.hevanet.com/cperez/cameras/ektar_list.html Any lens that resolves 60 lines is stunning on my camera. Have fun.

-- Jim Galli (jimgalli@lnett.com), April 06, 2002.

Thanks for the advice. I can hardly wait for it to arrive.

-- Eric Verheul (everheul@cnetech.com), April 07, 2002.

I use this lens for 4x5. It's a favorite but it will be very wide on 5x7- not much extra coverage. The real difference between this lens and a modern multi-coated is in contrast. Visible if you look carefully but not a problem IMHO. Enjoy!

-- Mark Sampson (MSampson45@aol.com), April 08, 2002.

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