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Kodak Enlarging Ektar 4.5/50 London
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 10:51 pm    Post subject: Kodak Enlarging Ektar 4.5/50 London Reply with quote

This is a very small uncoated lens with fixed aperture. Following the info some of the forum members provided, it's a Heliar optical design. It has no mecanical parts. A small metal ring inside makes the aperture even smaller than the lens diameter. I presume, if I arrive to get rid of it, the aperture will be around 2.8.

I easily adapted the lens using a L39-NEX cheap adapter, a M39 macro ring and a M25-M39 adapter. This allows me to focus from infinity to around 60cm using the lens' own thread mount. If any interest I will post later a photo of the lens adapted.

The shots look like low Heliar contrast. Sharpness is OK but not outstanding, a small lens diameter contributes to that, I guess. But overall picture quality is on the good side. There is some glow! It gives to shots a nice old looking style.

#1 ISO 400, colours and contrast are slightly boosted. This is how the lens behaves in high contrast counter-light situations, still not in counter-sun ones


#2 A 100% crop from the previous, unprocessed


#3 ISO 400, colours and contrast are stronger boosted. A shot taken in shadow


#4 A 100% crop from the previous, unprocessed


#5 ISO 100, just contrast is slightly boosted. This is how it behaves under good light conditions


#6 A 100% crop from the previous, unprocessed


#7 ISO 100, exposure is compensed, colours and contrast are boosted. This is how the lens stands direct counter-sunlight


#8 A 100% crop from the previous, unprocessed


#9 ISO 100, colours and contrast are slightly boosted. Chromatic aberrations are not really visible


#10 A 100% crop from the previous, unprocessed


The look of the shots recalled me some Soviet lenses. I'd say, subjectively, the lens stays in half-way in between an old medium format Heliar 12,5cm and an early Soviet Jupiter-8.


PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I find that the lens gives the most of it character when objects are taken against the sky well lit. No need then to tweak hardly for a retro-effect.

Here I just lifted saturation a bit.



Here more tweaks were needed to see some more than dark shapes on the front plan, though nothing especially sophisticated.



PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2019 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is an update with a FF Sony A7.

I think I start understanding the lens' character and usage. In the previous set I was under an impression that I needed to fix the "faults" of an uncoated glass giving little contrast and large flare. So I instinctively struggled agains low contrast getting some uninteresting artifacts in under- and overexposed parts of the image.

What I see now, is 1) it truly excells i BW giving indeed a retro look thanks to low contrast, 2) it's better not to push contrast even in colour, 3) not-too-sunny days are preferrable for shooting, then the lens delivers much better its "something sprecial".

#1


#2 Sometimes the lens gives a very convincing result in pretty difficult light situations (here auto-contrast applied), and it is rather unpedictable if you win or lose. Maybe avoiding direct sunlight saves the whole story?


#3 A simple colour desaturation to 0 renders the heliar low contrast easily appreciable


#4 In the same time the lens is in no way unsharp. Here is an unprocessed 100% crop from the previous


#5 Can it do a 3D effect? For a heliar design which is well known for its smooth transitions, and especially for its uncoated version, the question might sound a bit rhetoric. But in some occasions, especially with glossy surfaces on a rough background, there is a mild version of "pop out".


#6 Coulour shots seem to get best when they include large planes of same colours. What is a big advantage and a kind of surprise (given the low contrast), in terms of sharpness the les renders on FF very evenly across the frame, and that also helps for a good impression of large planes. Even if, after my experiments with another Printing Kodak and it internal disk, I guess the aperture I used it with was not at all the declared f4.5, just because there is a small fixed disk inside the lens which may give it rather f5.6 if not f6.5 real speed.


#7 Being a low contrast lens, this tiny Ektar does not miss rendering well complex and rather fine articulation of details. I composed this shot deliberately in a way to chain several layers of objects at different distances, so that the OOF blurring might be easily traced. Here the heliar character is perfectly observed, for such transition is really smooooth. You have no portion of the image where you might securely state: here the in-focus is over and the OOF starts.


PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2019 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

alex ph wrote:
I find that the lens gives the most of it character when objects are taken against the sky well lit. No need then to tweak hardly for a retro-effect.


Looks very similar to a lens behind a mist filter.

I agree with you on B&W processing.
Though sometimes color works fine too:



PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2019 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nice review, a lens for the golden hours
Like 1 Like 1 Like 1


PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2019 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did you check for internal haze?
Or possibly element separation?
I would strongly suspect that problem from the results.

A five element uncoated lens should give better contrast than this, if its clean. Also it is always advisable to use a hood.


PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2019 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, poilu! Great shot, aidaho! Did you use the Kodak Enlarging 50mm or another version of Heliar designed lens?

When I mentioned my version is tiny I did not exaggerate, as it has only 23 mm of outer diameter and seems more a 8mm projection lens in a very thin barrel. Its attachment thread is a tad wider than 24mm. On my A7 it looks like that




Luis, the lens does not have haze or separation. But it has some heavy ceaning marks on both front and rear lens the previous owners left



That shows how hard the lens worked its previous life. But I am not disappointed, as I got it cheap and it stays for another "character" lens in my toolbox.

What I'd really like to do is to open the barrel and to take off the fixed inner ring, to test the lens WO. But I did not manage to unscrew the two parts of the barrel.

As the barrel's diameter is small and it has no filter thread, I can imagine a hood made only of some black paper and scotch.


PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2019 9:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

alex ph wrote:
Thank you, poilu! Great shot, aidaho! Did you use the Kodak Enlarging 50mm or another version of Heliar designed lens?

No, that was a Zuiko 50/1.4 with promist filter.
I just instantly recognized this type of rendering, as I've dealt with it before.



PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2019 9:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

alex ph wrote:



Luis, the lens does not have haze or separation. But it has some heavy ceaning marks on both front and rear lens the previous owners left

...

As the barrel's diameter is small and it has no filter thread, I can imagine a hood made only of some black paper and scotch.


I was thinking you can sandwich two layers of black gaffer tape together, but stagger it so you leave a sticky strip to attach around that lip on the lens. Make it long enough so it begins to intrude on the sensor, then trim it back with scissors. I do this on mine when contrast is compromised. It would be more waterproof than card too Very Happy

A current creation that's in use -



A blind man on a charging horse would never notice the difference.


PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2019 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Printing Ektars should have a Heliar design. Enlarging Ektars are a different kind I guess.

Edit: 2" and 3" 4.5 are Heliar. 4" a 4 separate elements design. London 50mm ?


Last edited by Ernst Dinkla on Mon Oct 21, 2019 6:04 pm; edited 1 time in total


PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2019 8:27 pm    Post subject: http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3078/5807421355_3a1bd25400_b.j Reply with quote

Wow, Sciolist, that looks suggestive! Thank you for your hint, I'll provide myself with a tape and will try to follow your steps.

Aidaho, that looks very good. So, no more need in hunting for authentic Heliars, just enough to put the mist filter on.

Ernst, here is the Kodak info attesting that 2 and 3 inch Enlarging Ektars are Heliars. Meanwhile the 4 inch one has four glasses. In fact, my tiny Ektar looks more like the first Ektanon on the right side of the page. But it has f4.5 and not f6.3. So I presume it has the same optical scheme as his larger brothers having the aperture adjustment.




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