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Any new production lenses that will fit my Century 2x3?
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Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 1888
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Sat Dec 14, 2013 4:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

aoresteen wrote:
Quote:
"Dan Fromm"]Um, Joey, when I tested I found that the 103 Graflar was sharper than the 101/4.5 Ektar which, in turn, is sharper than the 105/3.7 Ektar. I have, have never used, a 101 Optar; it should be a little less good than the 101 Ektar."



Dan,

My 105mm f/3.7 Ektar (1941) is a lot sharper than my 101mm f/4.7mm (1946). I thought the Graflar 103mm was a triplet (I've never used one). Is it really sharper than the 105 Ektar which is a 5 element Heliar lens?

My 105mm Nikkor M is sharper than them all. I'm using them on my Cambo 23SF view camera.

Thanks!


Tony, how did you evaluate sharpness? I used a USAF 1951 chart, shot the lenses from wide open to f/22, examined the negs under a microscope. TMX.

The 105/3.7 Ektar I tested is the second one I've had. Less formal testing convinced me that the first wasn't as sharp, especially in the corners, as my uncoated 1946 101/4.5 Ektar. I bought the second one after reading many remarks about how wonderful the 105 is. The big surprises with it were in the corners, always less resolution than the 101 gave. The lens doesn't really cover 2x3.

Yes, the Graflar is a triplet. Huge surprise. But stop for stop it was the sharpest of the three everywhere in the field.

The usual caveats apply. The lenses I tested may not have been as good as they were when they left the factory. Operator (that's me) error is always possible. The camera I tested with might have had the GG out of alignment or the roll holder I used might have been out of spec (these should affect all lenses, though). But a few other posters here -- Jim Jones, for one -- have reported much the same results without, however, spelling out their test procedures.

I'm not surprised that y'r Nikkor M is sharper than y'r Ektars.

FWIW, I now use a 105/5.6 Boyer Saphir BX (= Zircon, somewhere between a Symmar and a Symmar-S in quality) on my Graphics and Cambo SC-1.

Cheers, and you're right to be suspicious,

Dan
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DarinWC



Joined: 30 Dec 2004
Posts: 13
Location: Sacramento, CA

PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2013 5:07 am    Post subject: whats wrong with what you got? Reply with quote

-Whats wrong with what you got?-
Joey, that example you posted looked pretty crackin!
You could have stopped it down for more depth of field if you wanted, but frankly I liked the shot as it was. I really dont think you could have gotten much sharper. At least i cant tell on the web.

Regarding enlarger lenses.. only the componon will fit shutters, the nikons and rodogons will not. The added expense of buying a shutter makes them no bargain, and they are not as good as most of the other lenses. That being said, nothing is stopping you from trying one out if you have an extra shutter lying around or just use a hat method. I have a componon 135mm in a copal 0 size shutter and I have nothing bad to say. Its just not as good.
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DarinWC



Joined: 30 Dec 2004
Posts: 13
Location: Sacramento, CA

PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2013 5:59 am    Post subject: New lenses Reply with quote

OK, now to answer your question.. Yes, there are new lenses that will work great on a Century Graphic.

On the wide end, there are new lenses designed for 4x5 and some designed for digital backs that will cover 2x3 but not 4x5. A quick jump over to BHPHOTO turns up:

Schneider 47mm f/5.6 Apo-Digitar Lens with Copal Shutter & Lensboard
113 mm Image Circle at f/11

Schneider 58mm f/5.6 Super-Angulon Lens with Copal Shutter & Lensboard
166 mm Image Circle at f/22

Schneider 72mm f/5.6 Super-Angulon Lens with Copal Shutter & Lensboard
229 mm Image Circle at f/22

Schneider 80mm f/4.5 Super-Symmar Aspheric XL Lens with Copal Shutter & Lensboard
211 mm Image Circle at f/22

and on the non-telephoto long lenses:

150mm f/5.6 Super-Symmar Aspheric XL Lens with Copal Shutter & Lensboard

180mm f/5.6 Apo-Digitar Aspherical Lens with Copal Shutter & Lensboard


These are probably the latest in technology available. But any one of them will set you back $2000 at least.
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DarinWC



Joined: 30 Dec 2004
Posts: 13
Location: Sacramento, CA

PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2013 6:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK back to reality.. here are some wide-angle lenses to look for:

58mm Grandagon f5.6

65mm Angulon f6.8
65mm Wide angle raptar f6.8

65mm Ilex wide-angle acugon/paragon
65mm Super Angulon f8
65mm Grandagon f5.6
65mm Super Angulon f5.6

75mm f8 super angulon

80mm f6.3 Wide Field Ektar

Also, keep an eye out for the horseman topcor lenses.

Dan: did I miss any of the common ones?
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Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 1888
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2013 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darin, I'm not sure there ever was a 65 Grandagon.

The useful and almost affordable ones you missed include the 47 f/5.6 and f/8 Grandagons and the mythical (anyone seen one?) 47/8 Ilex.

And then there are the very expensive 35, 45 and 55 Apo Grandagons and a variety of semi-mythical old technology 60 mm +/- lenses from Berthiot, Dallmeyer, TTH and Cooke and the real but horribly expensive short Protar V and W/A Dagors.
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DarinWC



Joined: 30 Dec 2004
Posts: 13
Location: Sacramento, CA

PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 4:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dan Fromm wrote:
Darin, I'm not sure there ever was a 65 Grandagon.

The useful and almost affordable ones you missed include the 47 f/5.6 and f/8 Grandagons and the mythical (anyone seen one?) 47/8 Ilex.

And then there are the very expensive 35, 45 and 55 Apo Grandagons and a variety of semi-mythical old technology 60 mm +/- lenses from Berthiot, Dallmeyer, TTH and Cooke and the real but horribly expensive short Protar V and W/A Dagors.


Probably got confused between the 58mm f5.6 grandagon and the 65mm f4.5..

The OP was looking for a lens in the 65-80mm range if i remember correctly. I figured the 58mm was pretty close.
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aoresteen



Joined: 26 May 2004
Posts: 47
Location: Newnan, GA, USA

PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2013 12:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don, looks like you do it right.

I don't shoot test charts. I shoot a typical scene with both lenses on the same roll of film. Then I make 10x15 prints full frame with the same enlarging lens and then look at them with a loupe. Usually it's easy to pick out the better lens.
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Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 1888
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2013 2:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tony, in that instance I did it right. I usually do it wrong, but the wrong way has given much the same results as the right way.

One surprise from the right way: my 95/2.8 Saphir shows substantial barrel distortion -- the bars to left of center slant ///, to the right slant \\\ -- that I missed in my usual tests. Re my usual tests, they're explained here: http://www.galerie-photo.com/telechargement/dan-fromm-6x9-lenses-v2-2011-03-29.pdf

Cheers,

Dan
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Joey Anchors



Joined: 18 Jan 2012
Posts: 63
Location: Philadelphia, PA

PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2014 3:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all the info guys. Darin that list will come in handy for my future wish list!

I ended up getting a pretty clean Graflex Optar 203mm F7.5 off ebay. Now I just need a board.

OH I started shooting for a vintage car magazine out in CA. They love my work and the fact that I use film and vintage gear!! I just have to shoot color now for them...haha
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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1442
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congrats for scoring the Optar 203. If yours proves to be as good as mine, you'll be a happy guy! It'll stretch your Century's bellows, as it does mine, but you'll like the results.
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Joey Anchors



Joined: 18 Jan 2012
Posts: 63
Location: Philadelphia, PA

PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Henry. One quick question.. How do I know where to place to stops for the 203mm on my Century?
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Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 1888
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 10:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pardon me for jumping in.

I use long lenses, don't have stops positioned for them. I don't need stops because I don't use my Graphics' rangefinders.

Joey, put your camera on a tripod in a location where you can see a distant object. The more distant the better. Mount the 203. Pull the front strandard out to the very front of the outer bed rails, make sure that it is square to the rails. Rack the front bed rails out as far as they'll go. Note how far they extend in front of the bed. Call this position A. Your bellows will complain, ignore it. Look at the far distant object on the GG. Slowly rack the bed rails in until the distant object is in focus. Note where the rails' front ends are. Call this postition B. To get full use of your camera's focusing travel with the 203, set the front standard on the rails the distance from A to B back from the front of the rails.

And don't rush to do all this tonight or tomorrow. If the weather forecast and radio announcers' hysteria are correct you'll be buried in snow and freeze too.
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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1442
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 12:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What Dan said. I know that infinity focus is close to fully-extended bellows, so I go there and do the rest on the ground glass (using the 3.8x Toyo loupe).
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aoresteen



Joined: 26 May 2004
Posts: 47
Location: Newnan, GA, USA

PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dan,

You refer to the 103mm GrafLar (with an L). I found a 103mm f/4.5 GrafTar (with a T) in my junk bin. It's in a Century shutter 1/10 to 1/200 B & T. The shutter needs repair.

I'm not sure where I got it but it must have been around 2005 or so when I had SK Grimes make an adapter lens board so my Cambo 23SF can use 2x3 Graphic lens boards. I think it came off a junk Graphic 23 that I bought for the front standard parts.

Anyway, is this the 103mm that you found sharper than the 105mm Ektar?

Or are they two different lenses - the Graflar vs Graftar? If they are the same I'll have the shutter repaired and give it a go.

Thanks!
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Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 1888
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tony, I don't know whether the Graflar and Graftar are the same.

I just checked my database, have had two Graftars, still have one. When I wrote about Graflar, I was mistaken, possibly confused. I just looked at the lens, it is a Graftar, so there's not a typo in the database entry for it.

Sorry for the confusion.
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