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135mm Optar vs. Xenar

 
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Jim23



Joined: 08 Sep 2001
Posts: 126
Location: US/Greater Cincinnati, Ohio

PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2001 11:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm looking into purchasing a 4x5 Graphic from a friend who wants to sell one but not both. I have a choice between a near-mint ca. 1960 Super Graphic with the Graflex Optar in a Grafex shutter (MFX) OR a near-mint ca. 1968 Crown Graphic "Special" with the 135mm Schenider Xenar in a Compur MXV shutter. Electric shutter trip, Y-cord, etc. all are working on the Super Graphic and rangefinder and accessory viewfinder are OK. Crown Graphic has auto-parallex correction with top range/viewfinder, body release works well. Revolving back on Super Graphic is a plus...which is most durable/servicable? Both are about same cost. Each had recent shutter overhauls.
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Les



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 2682
Location: Detroit, MI

PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2001 3:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a Crown Special, have used it abused it and even had to take a garden hose to it once, and it's come through with flying colors.

The Xenar lens is okay, not great, Other people swear by them. The shutter is capable (never had problems with mine)

I find it easier to use a wide on a Crown than a Super, the inner rails are linked to the focus knob on the Crown, not on the Super.

If you are a collector or careful shooter (the Felix Ungar type) Then go for the Crown and Xenar. What makes the Special, special is the Xenar lens. (and it was special because it was $20.00 or so cheaper than the same camera with an Ektar)

If you are more of the Oscar Madison type (Like me) that would rather get the shot than worry about a scratch on the tripod mount, Then try to get the Crown and the Optar. Resale will be less with this combo than with the Xenar, but I suspect it will take better pictures. If you can test both lenses.
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