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Quality of Optar 101mm?

 
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majorcities



Joined: 08 Jun 2001
Posts: 4
Location: the Bluegrass

PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2001 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry for placing two consecutive posts, but I have too many questions!

ok. I'm just about ready to shoot with my 2x3 Graflex- I've had it for a year, but I've just now purchased a roll film back so that I can continue shooting square (my everyday camera is a 'blad with an 80mm Planar). I'm anxious to get started experimenting with this gorgeous little camera! So, coming from experience with a Zeiss lens, do you think I'll be pleased with the images produced by the Optar 101mm lens? I haven't heard anyone mention how good these lenses are, but all I know is that they came as a standard issue lens for these cameras. Anyone have any praise for these lenses?
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alecj



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 853
Location: Alabama

PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2001 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the Optar is a good lens. It was the best lens Graflex offered at the time. Although your images might not have the cutting edge of the Planar, they will have "character".
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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1425
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2001 2:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have no fear---the 101 Optar is a darn good performer (assuming yours is in good shape). It will cover the movements on the 2x3 Graphic without vignetting, and you will be impressed with the sharpness and contrast. Your prints WILL have a "vintage" look to them, but after all we're using vintage cameras, so that's no surprise! I love using this lens on my Century and bet you will too. Be sure to focus on the ground glass with a loupe for best results.
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Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 1861
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2001 9:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

On 2001-06-08 14:48, alecj wrote:
I think the Optar is a good lens. It was the best lens Graflex offered at the time. Although your images might not have the cutting edge of the Planar, they will have "character".

not to start a war (please please please don't hit me), but the consensus on rec.photo.equipment.large-format seems to be that for equivalent lenses, i.e., 101/4.5 vs. 101 4.5, kodak beat wollensak every time. this isn't to say that wollensak didn't make satisfactory lenses, just that kodak seems to have made better ones. with respect to the kodak 101/4.5 ektar as sold with many 2x3 graphics, look for chris perez' test results (do a search on perez and thalmann and lens test). the one he tested is phenomenal. makes you regret that kodak stopped making l.f. lenses.
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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1425
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2001 12:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dan,
Could you help me along a bit by furnishing complete, accurate web addresses for rec.photo.equipment.large-format (Netscape doesn't recognize the address you gave)? Search of Chris Perez turns up dozens of entries for a Latino band, and I'd rather not wade through 10 pages of entries for "Thalmann" that Google gave me. Many thanks!

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[ This Message was edited by: Henry on 2001-06-12 17:32 ]
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Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 1861
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2001 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote]
On 2001-06-12 17:29, Henry wrote:
Dan,
Could you help me along a bit by furnishing complete, accurate web addresses for rec.photo.equipment.large-format (Netscape doesn't recognize the address you gave)? Search of Chris Perez turns up dozens of entries for a Latino band, and I'd rather not wade through 10 pages of entries for "Thalmann" that Google gave me. Many thanks!

_________________


Henry:

rec.photo.equipment.large-forum is a usenet news group. to read messages posted to it, go to http://groups.google.com/advanced_group_search You should find it easy to use if, unlike me, you read the screen before clicking on 'search.'

Chris Perez' lens tests are at http://www.hevanet.com/cperez/testing.html
I tried to get to it this morning and the DNS couldn't find it. I hope this isn't permanent (a loss if so).

Hope this helps,

Dan
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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1425
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2001 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Dan. A Google search of "lens test" got me directly to the http://www.hevanet.com/cperez, etc., address (which was operating as I write) and the link to the Thalmann and Perez "lens test results" listings. Evidently they did not test the 101mm Optar, at least I don't see it in the 100mm-163mm category, nor the fabled Kodak 105mm f/3.7 Ektar, reputedly "the best of the best." They DO say the following, however: "...Wollensak lenses are valued less than either Schneider or Kodak lenses made in the same decade....However, the performance of...the Wollensak...lenses is very adequate for all kinds of photography! This becomes a significant point if total system cost makes the difference between photographing the world in Large Format or not." Perhaps this statement will be a useful response to "majorcities" original posting.
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majorcities



Joined: 08 Jun 2001
Posts: 4
Location: the Bluegrass

PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2001 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks everyone! Now I know for myself how good this lens is! I developed my first roll last night and, WOW. I was indeed impressed. The corners were even sharp!
I spent about two hours this past weekend trying to calibrate the damn rangefinder- what a pain! The help pages on this site are great, but for some reason, they didn't work for me. I ended up having to do it by trial 'n error. Now, it's right on the money. Now all I need to do is find a better roll film holder!
Thanks!
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CharlesC



Joined: 10 May 2001
Posts: 25
Location: East Tennessee

PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2001 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just curious. How do you think it compares to the Zeiss on your 'blad?
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Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 1861
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2001 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

On 2001-06-14 07:52, Henry wrote:
Thanks, Dan. A Google search of "lens test" got me directly to the http://www.hevanet.com/cperez, etc., address (which was operating as I write) and the link to the Thalmann and Perez "lens test results" listings. Evidently they did not test the 101mm Optar, at least I don't see it in the 100mm-163mm category, nor the fabled Kodak 105mm f/3.7 Ektar, reputedly "the best of the best." They DO say the following, however: "...Wollensak lenses are valued less than either Schneider or Kodak lenses made in the same decade....However, the performance of...the Wollensak...lenses is very adequate for all kinds of photography! This becomes a significant point if total system cost makes the difference between photographing the world in Large Format or not." Perhaps this statement will be a useful response to "majorcities" original posting.



Henry, if you'll go to Chris' site, go 'Home', and go 'Medium Format Lens Tests' you'll see his report on the 101/4.5 Ektar. He also has a discussion on Century Graphic vs. Technica.

FWIW, I have a 101/4.5 and a 105/3.7. Legendary or not, the 105 takes worse pictures than the 101. The difference may be operator error, or it may be that the lens has a problem. Its rear node is considerably farther behind the flange than the 101's, i.e., flange-to-film distance at infinity is much shorter.

Recently got a 4"/5.6 Pro Raptar enlarging lens,and am trying to figure out how to mount it in a shutter (barrel and all). Choices are, wrap with tape and screw into a Copal #1 and have an adapter to put it in front of an Ilex #3 made. I'll try the tape/Copal #1 route first. It had BETTER be good, especially close up, which is what I got it for.
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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1425
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2001 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dan,
Impressive! I wrote to Mr. Perez's email address with the hope of persuading him to run tests on the 65-101-203 Optars. I doubt if the 101 Optar will match or exceed the Ektar, but I'd still like to see some data. Also interesting are your comments on the 101 f/3.7 Ektar; this lens is touted as a "notable performer" in the 10th edition of Morgan & Lester's "Graphic Graflex Photography" (see p. 14, also p. 1. Maybe this is where I got the notion that it was so good.

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[ This Message was edited by: Henry on 2001-06-15 06:52 ]
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Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 1861
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2001 3:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

On 2001-06-15 06:52, Henry wrote:
Dan,
Impressive! I wrote to Mr. Perez's email address with the hope of persuading him to run tests on the 65-101-203 Optars. I doubt if the 101 Optar will match or exceed the Ektar, but I'd still like to see some data. Also interesting are your comments on the 101 f/3.7 Ektar; this lens is touted as a "notable performer" in the 10th edition of Morgan & Lester's "Graphic Graflex Photography" (see p. 14, also p. 1. Maybe this is where I got the notion that it was so good.

_________________
Which 203 Optar are you thinking of? The /5.6 Tele or the /7.5 long focus? Why not ask about the 10"/5.6 tele as well? It is probably the longest lens that will work without gymnastics on a 2x3 Graphic.

I got the idea that the 105/3.7 Ektar was great from Morgan & Lester and from discussions on rec.photo.equipment.large-format. As I said, mine's apparent poor performance may be due to operator error.

[ This Message was edited by: Henry on 2001-06-15 06:52 ]

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Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 1861
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2001 3:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

On 2001-06-15 06:52, Henry wrote:
Dan,
Impressive! I wrote to Mr. Perez's email address with the hope of persuading him to run tests on the 65-101-203 Optars. I doubt if the 101 Optar will match or exceed the Ektar, but I'd still like to see some data. Also interesting are your comments on the 101 f/3.7 Ektar; this lens is touted as a "notable performer" in the 10th edition of Morgan & Lester's "Graphic Graflex Photography" (see p. 14, also p. 1. Maybe this is where I got the notion that it was so good.

_________________
Which 203 Optar are you thinking of? The /5.6 Tele or the /7.5 long focus? Why not ask about the 10"/5.6 tele as well? It is probably the longest lens that will work without gymnastics on a 2x3 Graphic.

I got the idea that the 105/3.7 Ektar was great from Morgan & Lester and from discussions on rec.photo.equipment.large-format. As I said, mine's apparent poor performance may be due to operator error.

[ This Message was edited by: Henry on 2001-06-15 06:52 ]

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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1425
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2001 12:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dan,
My 203 Optar is the f/7.5 long focus, and is perfectly usable on the 2x3 Century, albeit at full bellows extension. And it is sharp!! I didn't ask about the 10" f/5.6 Optar tele because, since I don't own one, I just didn't think of it!

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[ This Message was edited by: Henry on 2001-06-19 12:35 ]
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