Anyone know what this lens might be?

Discussion in 'Darkroom Developing and Printing' started by Sholto Fisher, Nov 10, 2003.

  1. Hello everybody,

    I'm having difficulty trying to figure out what the following lens is/was
    used for.
    The markings say:

    Solar Anastigmat 5 1/2 In. f:4.5 No. 7036 Made by Ilex Optical Co. Rochester

    f stops from 4.5 - 32

    I have a picture of it at
    Is it an enlarging lens or medium/large format lens?

    Any info would be much appreciated.



    inbox at sholtz dot port5 dot com
    Sholto Fisher, Nov 10, 2003
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  2. Sholto Fisher

    Dick Guest

    Difficult. It appears to be a barrel lens for a large format camera which
    may have been separated from its Ilex shutter. It could also be an
    enlarging lens (Solar did make those), however since it has an english size,
    vice metric, this is less likely. Just my guesses for now, I googled it and
    did not come up with much, though.

    Dick, Nov 10, 2003
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  3. So much for Google Groups, this is the second message I
    replied to days ago where the reply doesn't show up.
    I rather think this is an enlarging lens custom made by
    Ilex for Burke & James. B&J used the trade-name "Solar" for
    its enlargers and some other darkroom equipment. The focal
    length is about right for 4x5. Ilex was capable of making
    quite good lenses. My guess is that this is a Tessar
    although it may be a Triplet. You can tell by counting the
    reflections of the two halves using a small flashlight. A
    Tessar will have two strong and one weak reflection in the
    rear component, a Triplet only two strong reflections. The
    front will be the same for both, four strong reflections.
    Richard Knoppow, Nov 14, 2003
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