Graflex.org Forum Index Graflex.org
Get help with your Graflex questions here
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Astragon 90mm lenses? - Opinions
Goto page 1, 2  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Graflex.org Forum Index -> Lenses Help
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
SimonW



Joined: 16 May 2005
Posts: 27

PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2005 6:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have never heard of these lenses but I have located one f6.8 in a 90 that might do as well as an Angulon providing the lens is a good one. Does anybody have any experience of these? Are they better or worse ... comparable to the Angulon?

As an aside, I have also located a Bosch & Lomb 88mm for the same price ... which of these would be preferable and are either better/worse or on par with the Angulon 90mm?

Thanks ...



[ This Message was edited by: SimonW on 2005-05-17 23:24 ]
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 1887
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2005 11:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

On 2005-05-17 23:22, SimonW wrote:
I have never heard of these lenses but I have located one f6.8 in a 90 that might do as well as an Angulon providing the lens is a good one. Does anybody have any experience of these? Are they better or worse ... comparable to the Angulon?

As an aside, I have also located a Bosch & Lomb 88mm for the same price ... which of these would be preferable and are either better/worse or on par with the Angulon 90mm?

Thanks ...



[ This Message was edited by: SimonW on 2005-05-17 23:24 ]
At even odds, Astragon = Congo. Re Congo, go to Chris Perez site and see what he and Kerry Thalmann found.

If you have the Astragon's serial number, you can ask Yamasaki Optical (congo@cosmonet.org) if its one of theirs.

No comment on the B&L, I've never been near one.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
SimonW



Joined: 16 May 2005
Posts: 27

PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2005 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


Hey Dan.

Thanks for chipping in mate. I have found out that Commercial Astragon were a private line for a Bronx dealer back in the 50's (?) ... they seem to be a Tessar lens type and the one I have found is a 90mm f6.8.

Serial = 85231

These seem to be different from the Congo in the sense that I didn't see any Congo's in a 90mm that come in an F6.8 config. Am I right in thinking it's not one of theirs in that case or way off? The lens has Seikosha - written on the flange as far as I can tell, is this any help?

I am very curious now as to know whether these are good performers when found in good condition when compared to the Angulons.

Best regards, Simon.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
SimonW



Joined: 16 May 2005
Posts: 27

PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2005 12:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


I found this from Bob Salomon ...

Quote:
Astrogon and Commercial Astrogon lenses were a private lable line from, I believe, Strling Howard in NY in the 50s and early to mid 60s.


So they could still be Congo I guess.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 1887
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2005 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

On 2005-05-18 05:16, SimonW wrote:

I found this from Bob Salomon ...

Quote:
Astrogon and Commercial Astrogon lenses were a private lable line from, I believe, Strling Howard in NY in the 50s and early to mid 60s.


So they could still be Congo I guess.
Simon, here is the URL for Congo's site: http://www.cosmonet.org/congo/index_e.html. The company is Yamasaki Optical, they read and write english and reply to e-mails. ASK them if they made the lens you're looking at.

GO to the Perez/Thalmann lens test site, I've already given you the URL.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
SimonW



Joined: 16 May 2005
Posts: 27

PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2005 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


Dan,

I have checked out Kerry's site recently and read the info on the Congo lenses and as I said I found no reference to a lens that was anything like the Astragon. I will however get onto the other site with the link you provided and see what I can dig up.

Apreciated.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Les



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

PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2005 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a coated B&L 88m and found it to be a very nice lens

Someone above made the comment that he thought the 90 Astrogon might be a tessar formula. While companies in the 60s did a lot of things differently than in the 30s, most tessars and their decendants were either f4.5 or f6.3 not 6.8.

If it is a tessar design it won't come close to covering 4x5.

Les
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
SimonW



Joined: 16 May 2005
Posts: 27

PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2005 1:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Les.

I may well go after the B&L 88mm and with regards the 6.8 not covering 4x5 here's a quote from http://www.cosmonet.org/camera/old_45_lens_e.html

Quote:
Bausch and Lomb(B&L) Tessar F6.8

Its from 6x9cm folding camera, takes 4x5 format. The focal length seems to be 120mm. The shutter is Ilex, B, T,1-1/100sec.. You can enjoy the wide angle images for 4x5 inches. The board is home made.


The above lens seems to be 120mm but they still seem adamant that the Tessar will cover 4x5. Now I'm confused. Here's a pic ...



Could you tell me more about the B&L 88mm? What is your overall view of this lens by comparison to the Angulon? If both were the same money which would you prefer given both were of equal standard in condition? Do you have any sample images using this lens at all?

Thanks, Simon. :smile:

[ This Message was edited by: SimonW on 2005-05-18 06:46 ]
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 1887
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2005 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

On 2005-05-18 06:41, SimonW wrote:
Hey Les.

I may well go after the B&L 88mm and with regards the 6.8 not covering 4x5 here's a quote from http://www.cosmonet.org/camera/old_45_lens_e.html

Quote:
Bausch and Lomb(B&L) Tessar F6.8

Its from 6x9cm folding camera, takes 4x5 format. The focal length seems to be 120mm. The shutter is Ilex, B, T,1-1/100sec.. You can enjoy the wide angle images for 4x5 inches. The board is home made.


The above lens seems to be 120mm but they still seem adamant that the Tessar will cover 4x5. Now I'm confused. Here's a pic ...



Could you tell me more about the B&L 88mm? What is your overall view of this lens by comparison to the Angulon? If both were the same money which would you prefer given both were of equal standard in condition? Do you have any sample images using this lens at all?

Thanks, Simon.

[ This Message was edited by: SimonW on 2005-05-18 06:46 ]
As Les wrote, your B&L 88/6.8 Tessar is NOT a wide angle lens. And a 120 Tessar won't cover 4x5 either. So much for that. If the lens came from a folder and is engraved Tessar the seller is dishonest or ignorant.

The Astragon probably isn't a Congo, now that I see it. Thanks for posting the image. Ask Ritz if there's any indication of where the lens was made. The shutter is Japanese, but the glass still might be German. I'm thinking Leitmeyr. If not, I have no clue.

If the price is right -- I'm being strong and not looking -- and Ritz will sell it with the right of return, buy it and try it. Don't forget that it is often, though not always, possible, to recover most of the cost of a lens bought to try out by selling it on eBay.

Good luck, have fun,

Dan
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
SimonW



Joined: 16 May 2005
Posts: 27

PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2005 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


Dan,

Forgive my ignorance but I am confused regarding the B&L 88mm not being a Wide Angle? Here's another quote from Ritz where they both are ...
Quote:
Bausch & Lomb Lens 88mm f6.8 Wide Angle in Graphex MX


And a pic ...



So if the B&L 88mm isn't a wide, what is it? Essentially I am looking for a cheap wide angle that will cover 4x5 and that is equal to about 24-28mm in 35 format.

Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Les



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

PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2005 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, Dan help fuel the confusion.

Here's the facts.

Both lenses say "wide angle"

Both lenses are indeed f6.8

A tessar formula CANNOT under any circumstances be a wide angle lens.

Thus none of these are tessars.

Lens performance is so subjective... I never really did a head to head, get out the loupes and blow a box of chrome testing these two lenses.

I don't put my main subject in the corners. For the most part what's in the corners in my photographs are: mud, grass, sky, clouds. Who cares if they aren't as pin sharp as the center?

The clients were impressed with the photographs, I got paid. I got paid more than the lens cost. That makes it a very good lens in my book.

The shutter jammed on the B&L and I had a new contract comming up so I bought the Angulon, more on the name than any performance characteristics. I did notice that under drab skys the images did not appear as sharp as under bright sunny skies. Now local contrast created by harsh shadows can do wonders for sharpness, but with the Angulon I actually noticed it.

Does that mean the B&L was better? No. I never went back and tested the B&L looking for something.

I think the Nikon lens you've been drooling over will out perform any of these lenses to a degree. If your end results are 20 x24 ilfochromes, then stop messing around and get the new glass.

If your end results are mostly 8x10s and a couple 16x20s then get what fits your pocket book and spend the extra money on film to learn.

Bottom line. The B&L was the first wide angle lens in the Graflex catalog, it was made to perform well. A lot of men and a few women made a living off of this lens and probably put a lot more through college with it.

If you can test before you buy, or buy witht he right of return, that's even better.

[ This Message was edited by: Les on 2005-05-18 08:16 ]
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
SimonW



Joined: 16 May 2005
Posts: 27

PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2005 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks mate.

Ok, lets lay my needs out on the table and clarify my earlier points.

# On the website sited in my previous post they stated the 120mm B&L was a Tessar, not any other lens. My mistake was to infer by ambiguity that the B&L 88mm was also a Tessar.

# I shoot landscapes usually on colour tranny and have 35mm, 120 and now a 4x5 system thanks to the Crown Graphic which I have only just started shooting with in the last week using two Grafmatics.

# My initial plan is to shoot B&W's with the old lenses like the 135mm Optar and whichever old wide I can buy ... either the B&L 88mm or an Angulon 90mm.

# My long term plan is to shoot the colour tranny stuff when I finally buy the Nikkor SW 90mm ... and later buy a proper view camera with movements etc.

# My bottom line for the moment is to find a really nice old wide angle thats cheap but that does a sweet job shooting landscapes mainly, and some reportage and street in B&W until I save enough for the Nikkor.

So given those critereon I might do well to buy the B&L 88mm ... assuming this is a wide and will cover 4x5?

So will this lens cover 4x5 or not?



[ This Message was edited by: SimonW on 2005-05-18 08:25 ]
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 1887
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2005 3:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

On 2005-05-18 08:21, SimonW wrote:

Thanks mate.

Ok, lets lay my needs out on the table and clarify my earlier points.

# On the website sited in my previous post they stated the 120mm B&L was a Tessar, not any other lens. My mistake was to infer by ambiguity that the B&L 88mm was also a Tessar.

# I shoot landscapes usually on colour tranny and have 35mm, 120 and now a 4x5 system thanks to the Crown Graphic which I have only just started shooting with in the last week using two Grafmatics.

# My initial plan is to shoot B&W's with the old lenses like the 135mm Optar and whichever old wide I can buy ... either the B&L 88mm or an Angulon 90mm.

# My long term plan is to shoot the colour tranny stuff when I finally buy the Nikkor SW 90mm.

# My bottom line for the moment is to find a really nice old wide angle thats cheap but that does a sweet job shooting landscapes mainly, and some reportage and street in B&W until I save enough for the Nikkor.

So given those critereon I might do well to buy the B&L 88mm ... assuming this is a wide and will cover 4x5?

So will this lens cover 4x5 or not?


Thanks for the clarification on the B&L. I've known Ritz to make some, um, pricing errors but they're a good store and don't misrepresent what they sell.

Both of the lenses whose pictures you've shown will do what you want. There's no way of knowing which is in any sense best without trying both of them. This because of variations between individual lenses when new and because of the unknowable abuse both may have suffered since they left the factory. Choosing between used lenses on the basis of reputation isn't safe.

In short, both are gambles. If I had to choose, and I don't, I'd buy the Astragon because its shiny. There's no rational basis for choice between them.

Simon, I have a heap of crappy old lenses. Cooke Aviars, Ektars, that sort of thing. They do just fine with Ektachrome. Where did you get the idea that old lenses are poor choices for shooting color?

Les, now that we see the B&L Simon has been writing about, yeah, its the same 88/6.8 that you have and it isn't a Tessar, is is a 4 element double gauss like the 90/6.8 Raptar and all of the WF Ektars.

Cheers,

Dan
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
SimonW



Joined: 16 May 2005
Posts: 27

PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2005 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Dan.

Once again to clarify ... I didn't mean to infer that I would never shoot colour tranny with either of the lenses we are discussing but rather my current purpose is to shoot B&W on the 4x5 specifically ... for now.

I have not tried these lenses with colour tranny as yet so it may be up in the air regarding how well they may suit my stringent or not so stringent needs in terms of quality and sharpness etc. They could be great or not depending. Because I sell my Landscapes semi professionally, ofcourse my initial impression is that a modern lens like the Nikkor SW ( which I have seen many wonderful pro Landscape images with ) will be superior for that purpose professionally speaking.

Ofcourse I am more than happy to be pleasantly surprised by the older lenses and I would be delighted if they were beautiful for colour work also. I am perhaps guilty of the commonly held belief that the old lenses do better in B&W than colour ( when up against the modern types ) but again I am more than happy to be proved wrong on that count too.

I assume that the B&L is not coated? And again, will these lenses cover 4x5?

[ This Message was edited by: SimonW on 2005-05-18 08:46 ]
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 1887
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2005 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

On 2005-05-18 08:42, SimonW wrote:
Thanks Dan.

Once again to clarify ... I didn't mean to infer that I would never shoot colour tranny with either of the lenses we are discussing but rather my current purpose is to shoot B&W on the 4x5 specifically ... for now.

I have not tried these lenses with colour tranny as yet so it may be up in the air regarding how well they may suit my stringent or not so stringent needs in terms of quality and sharpness etc. They could be great or not depending. Because I sell my Landscapes semi professionally, ofcourse my initial impression is that a modern lens like the Nikkor SW ( which I have seen many wonderful pro Landscape images with ) will be superior for that purpose professionally speaking.

Ofcourse I am more than happy to be pleasantly surprised by the older lenses and I would be delighted if they were beautiful for colour work also. I am perhaps guilty of the commonly held belief that the old lenses do better in B&W than colour ( when up against the modern types ) but again I am more than happy to be proved wrong on that count too.

I assume that the B&L is not coated? And again, will these lenses cover 4x5?

[ This Message was edited by: SimonW on 2005-05-18 08:46 ]
B&L sold the 88/6.8 for use on 4x5. Probably uncoated, but ask Ritz to make sure.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Graflex.org Forum Index -> Lenses Help All times are GMT
Goto page 1, 2  Next
Page 1 of 2

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group