Zeiss Nettar

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by rusty''''''''s pics, Mar 24, 2008.

  1. Recently acquired and old, possibly pre WW II Zeiss Nettar 515/16 folder. Lens was pretty dirty, but no fungus. I cleand what I could; it was easy to unscrew the front element once the infinity stop was bent a bit. I could not unscrew the rear element though, and there is still quite a bit of hazy crud in there. I shot a test roll on Fomapan T200, and developed in Rodinal 1:50 for 8 minutes. Results were far better than I expected! No light fog, and the old 75mm Novar Anastigmat did a nice job. I even guessed the focus distance pretty well, particularly given the lens reads in meters. The only thing that screwed up was the emulsion which either flaked off the FOMAPAN or was not properly coated. Oh well, not bad for a camera made in 1938! But you can all judge for yourselves: http://www.flickr.com/photos/arcanefuture/sets/72157604237901767/
  2. Looks pretty good to me as well, sharp, nice contrast. The Nettars were cheap and cheerful but well made and kept their alignment really well.

    The Novars are nothing special to look at but work surprisingly well (as you know) especially closed down by a couple of stops.

  3. I think you must be joking with us...that is beautiful. Those cameras are wonderful, and don't underestimate the Novar and other 3 element lens on many similar folders. Very fine.
  4. I'm interested in your Fomapan experiance. The last batch of ten rolls I got was not Fomapan 100 but something like Efke 25. Almost no image when exposed as 100 ASA. Now you say you have emultion problems. I think I'm not taking any chances anymore. They seem to have some kind of quality control issues. Maybe they just send the crap to the US. Anyboy else have problems with Fomapan?

    Your photos look great and I also have a Novar on a Ikonta that I like very much. The only time it gets that radial distortion is when opened up AND focused close. Focused at infinity or near, it is fine opened up. I think this is typical with all the front focus lenses, not just the Novar that gets the bad rap. It's a good lens, made by Rodenstock.
  5. Thanks for checking out my photos guys. The Nettar is a fun camera, and my 9 year old daughter is fascinated by its quirks. I think she and Dad have the same taste in toys....

    Good info on the Novar from Cliff. I always wondered who made it. Rodenstock glass has always been top drawer in my book.
    About Fomapan....this is the first time I've had trouble with their emulsion. I'm sure it was a coating defect since the emulsion was gone before I washed the film. I use tap water for stop bath.

    So now you say that it's not even the right emulsion anymore! That's getting pretty bad...it's a shame because the T200 is beautiful film. But since FOMAPAN in the USA now costs $2.85 per roll, and Tri-X is going for $3.15, I think it's time to give the home team some business. I love FP-4 and HP-5, but cannot afford to buy them in quantity anymore.
  6. Nice cemetery shot.
  7. I have a couple of folders with the Novar (a Nettar, and an Ikonta A), and it's a smashing little lens. Stopped down a bit, it easily bites at the heels of the Tessar. I'm off on a trip to Estonia shortly, and the Ikonta is in the bag. There's always a spare corner in any camera bag that a folder can fit snugly into.
  8. The nice thing about a folder with a Novar, is the versatility.

    The Tessar is super sharp, and the Bokeh is funky. I don't like the Bokeh of a Tessar. The Novar is a 3 element design, more like a portrait lens. It is very sharp when stopped small, but opened up it really softens to a warm glow. Absolutely stunning results can be had with this lens. I also have an Ikonta A with a Tessar, but use it differently. Sometimes, it's just too sharp, and later need to use the computer to add a soft glow or blur. The main purpose of packing around a small folder in your pocket is to take a variety of pictures, some of them being close-up portraits of people. The three element lenses, I think are better suited for that. My favorite on the 6x9 camera is the Rodenstock Trinar, about the same as the Novar, but a bit less distortion and better Bokeh.

    I don't know why the world thinks that Tessar is the only lens to have, the others have their place, and the Novar is no exception.
  9. The Tessar just gets a huge reputation as "THE" lens. If you look at prices of folders on FlEaBaY with Tessars, they are going for 4-5 times what the Novar equipped cameras are! I have decided that the oft neglected Triplets suit the way I shoot; My 1948 Rolleicord IIc has a Zeiss Triotar which reminds me a bit of the Novar. My photo students go crazy over those bloody Holgas. I hate the things and tell them they can get an excellent folder like the Nettar for the same money or less.
  10. Boy do ever agree about the three element lenses. Novar Anastigmats at f8 and above are an awesome lens as are the Triotar. I say we just keep letting the Planar/Xenotar, Tessar/Xenar, people pay those prices and shoot the "Cheap" stuff. Oh, just a note...Tessars are of a design called a Cook Triplet type. The term Triplet refers to the number of groups not elements. Also the number of elements has nothing to do with the sharpness of a lens design, there are tack sharp lenses with only two elements. This is especially true in symmetrical lens designs.
  11. The Tessars are not Cooke triplets, They are 4 elements in three groups, I don't think are related to the Cooke at all. However the other three element lenses like the trioplan, trinar, and Novar, et al, are based on the Cooke design, as are some of the very finest large format lenses still made by Rodenstock and Schneider.

    You are right on with the f8 being the magic number with the Novar. The Novar was the "New" triplet design that was color corrected. Unfortunately this correction added the distortions when the front element is extended, and when focused close, you must stop it down. My front focus 3.8 Trinar shows no distortions until opened up to about 4.5 and gives a better Bokeh, but not real great with color.

    You are also correct about the sharpness. I have a two element Goerz design that is so sharp, it later became the standard copy production lens they made for over 70 years.

    For general use, for color or B&W, The Novar on the small folder is what stays with me, not my Tessar. Like Alex said above, there is always room in a pocket or bag for the A size Netter or Ikonta.
  12. I believe the little Nettar with the Novar lens is very forgiving to a novice like myself. I even used a Sunpac flash with good results. {my opinion}
  13. Same Camera as above , but indoors with flash. {cropped}
  14. Try again ?
  15. I like that shot of the little wood shed, Ron. Great little camera.
  16. Ha Ha Cliff, that was my home from about 1938/9 till 1943. Of course it didn't have that 'new' addition {that caved in} at that time.
    Ahhhh Life was Good.
  17. Hey Ron, I just took a closer look at the old house. By the lean, it looks like the whole thing is going to fall soon. It's hard for some to believe in this day and age, that people don't need a million dollar mansion. I used to live in a shack when I was a kid. I paid $25.00/month for the place 37 acres with the shack and outhouse. The shack wasn't as good as yours , It was made from that slab wood they throw away before they start getting to the boards. I worked at the little Texaco gas station and pumped regular gas for .18 a gallon. I remember people coming in to fill up 50 gallon drums because there was a "Scare" that gas was going to go to .50/gal. I raised chickens and eggs. and traded the eggs to the guy at the gas station for my gas. He sold them in his little store. Life was simple then, no stupid computers to try to keep running. Just a good wood stove and an oil lamp.
  18. Your photographs are awesome. The quality for a camera of that age is astonishing.

    ...I must give it a go.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

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