19" Apo Artar--is this a good lens?

Discussion in 'Large Format' started by classcamera, Jul 1, 2003.

  1. Hello All, <P>

    I recently traded two Ikoflex' (1b with Novar lens and a 1c with
    Tessar), for a f/11, 19 inch Apo Artar barrel lens, and I am
    wondering what type of pictures I can expect when shooting this as a
    telephoto on 4x5? I will be doing most of the shooting at night, so
    the exposures will be in the minutes, and a shutter is not necessary.
    At what f-stop will I get optimum performance, since F/11 is wide
    open, and it goes to f/90, will it produce sharp pictures at f/16,

    Thanks for the help,<P>
  2. Well, It isn't a telephoto lens so I hope your 4x5 camera has a LONG bellows extension.
  3. It's a very sharp lens. I use it on 8x10" and 11x14". On 4x5" I'd worry about bellows flare, so you might make yourself a long shade (it can be as simple as a cardboard tube) to restrict the image circle.
  4. There simply is no better lens.
  5. The Artar was the standard process lens for decades - it was designed by Zschokke at Goerz, based on the dialyte design. The Artar is a very sharp lens - it is apochromatic and very well corrected. It was originally designed for process applications (i.e., 1:1 applications) but the corrections of this design are very stable over a wide range of applications and it works very well at long distances also. Later models (the red dots) were coated and had optimum ratios adjusted anywhere upto 1:10. The 19" Artar will cover 8x20, so on 4x5 (as suggested above), a shade to reduce that extra light bouncing around inside the bellows is a good idea. Also, as stated above, this is not a telephoto design, you will need approx 19" of bellows extension for infinity focus. I think consensus was that optimum aperture seems to be f/22 although since the Artars are used as long lenses, they are often stopped down further for DOF reasons. Cheers, DJ
  6. I've used mine at f/128 and if there's any degradation of image quality at that aperture I certainly can't see it. I've made wonderful portraits with it at f/16 as well. It should be sharpest from f/22 to f/32, but it's just so bloody sharp that you'll never tell the difference no matter at what aperture you shoot. I don't know about the originals, but the Red Dots are also true apochromats by virtue of having been designed to do four color separation process work.

    It's noticeably sharper and has more contrast than my 12" Dagor (uncoated) and that's also a superb lens. You just can't go wrong with the Artar. They're also inherently very flare free because the design is 4 elements in 4 groups (correct me if I'm wrong about that, DJ) which provides very few air to glass transitions.
  7. Actually, the coating does help with the Artar design. Since it is 4 elements in 4 groups, that is eight air-glass surfaces which does make for some flare. In contrast, the Dagor is two groups of 3 cemented elements i.e., 4 air-glass surfaces and 4 glass-glass surfaces. Glass-glass surfaces tend to be less problematic from a flare point of view. So, the benefits of coatings in the Dagor design are fairly minimal. The coatings do help to control flare with the Artar design (with the larger number of air-glass surfaces), which might be an argument for waiting for the red dots. But having said that, the uncoated versions work very well also - you just need to exercise a little more care with shading the lens etc than you do with the Dagor. I do agree that the Artars are sharper than the Dagors. The Dagors are more of a wide field design and have some uncorrected zonal spherical aberrations etc and are not apo. They do have much more coverage though. Cheers, DJ
  8. Thanks for all the advice and knowledgeable comments.<P>

    To clarify things a bit, I shoot a Burke and James Saturn 75 with 4x5 back. This is a monorail camera that is 24 inches in length, so the camera easily accommodates the focal length of the lens. Why I wanted a lens of this length is that I shoot night time industrial landscapes, in black and white; I was hoping to shoot the back of my local airport, however form the nearest road it is 1000 yards away, making a normal lens impractical. Now all I need is to let the security at the airport know I am going to be around and I will be set.
    Thanks again,

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