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Author Topic: FS 300mm Apo Lanthar, lanthanum glass in no 5 shutter... "Bokeh King"  (Read 7055 times)

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This is one of those older "cult lenses". It is a Rare lens valued by collectors and users who value the lens for its unique look. The lens is tack sharp at all apertures including F/ 4.5, it is a lens made for rapid wide open use. Not only is the lens very sharp but there is a very pleasing and photogenic look to the background. Objects are smoothed and made more round but there is no coma or distortion to the plane of focus so the defocus effect is very even and "calm". At F/4.5 there is a shallow depth of field ideal for selective focus photography. The transition to out of focus is very smooth. When you have overlapping areas of focus there is a lot of pop, very good, this is a very good for separating your subject from the background.

The Apo Lanthar utilizes special rare earth glasses that are far superior to the lead oxide E.D. glass that we get for our large format lenses today. This allows for better corrections at wide apertures while also being a true Apochromatic low dispersion lens. This is thanks to "super glass" that has both extra low dispersion and high refractive index properties. Both Throium and Lanthium glass types were used. Lanthium is still used today by Cooke Oprics for making their 20k cinema with the "Cooke look". This lens also has the cooke looking actually being a derivative of the Cooke Triplet (portrait anastigmat)...

The first lenses had poor corrections and had to be used at very small apertures. This was a problem for photographers at the time because the emulsions were incredibly slow.  When new glass types came into production so did new lenses that were aimed to fix this problem. Joesph Petzval combined Crown glass which has low dispersion and low refraction with Flint glass that had high dispersion and high refraction. Lenses with higher refraction bend light more effectively making it easier to produce strong corrections with smaller elements. Also low refraction lenses develop spherical aberration at wide apertures. Petzvals lens was sharp and fast by the standards of the day but suffered from astigmatism, coma, and a rounded depth of field. It was an optical engineer at cooke that found a way to use Flint and Crown in a better way that was corrected for these short comings. The lens was the Cooke Anastigmat, also known as the Cooke Triplet, Cooke portrait, or Cooke Series II. The lens was an instant classic, photographers purchased it for its speed and sharpness but it was still sold and favored by many into the 1950's for its special look and photogenic focus properties (bokeh). Voightlander produce there own version of the lens only they used 2 elements for the front and back groups, making their Anastigmat a "5-element triplet". This design was also sold into the 1950's as the Heliar and Universal Heliar lens. Some prominent Japanese photographers took the Universal Heliar lens back to japan in the early 20 century. It developed a following and is said it was the only lens that the Emperor would allow himself to be photographed with. During WWII Schott optical glass was not available for the Allied forces. New glass types were created and with help of Eastman Kodak put into production for use in creating high speed lenses for spy planes. Both American and British lens makers had access to these special glass types. These lenses contained slightly radioactive lanthium and throium ingredients that gave the lens special properties unlike other glass. It is both high refractive like a flint and low dispersion like a crown. Voightlander was fortunate that they suffered the least amount of damaged out of all of the German Optical Companies. A very years after the war they complete reformulated the Heliar design using both Thorium and Lanthanum super glass type (ultra crowns and ultra flints). The higher refractive index allowed for better spherical corrections wide open giving the lanthar F/8 sharpness at F4.5 while also making it the first Apo Chromatic non process, non military, lens on the market. The best part was that the legendary Anastigmat Bokeh remained which is the biggest advantage of the Lanthar over the Spy Plane lenses such as the Aero Ektar. Fast forward 60 years and the lens is a cult classic with a look and wide open sharpness that cannot be matched with todays film lenses. The glass is still the best available, You can see this yourself by checking out a table of Schott optical glass.

Please PM me for the price.
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8x10 user

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Re: FS 300mm Apo Lanthar, lanthanum glass in no 5 shutter... "Bokeh King"
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2014, 02:33:07 am »

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8x10 user

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Re: FS 300mm Apo Lanthar, lanthanum glass in no 5 shutter... "Bokeh King"
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2014, 02:45:59 am »

Lanthanum crown has extra low dispersion on par with the Lead Oxide E.D. glass used by Rodenstock but with much better refractive properties. This means better wide open performance. I believe the thorium crown that was used had even lower dispersion. Thorium crown is no longer available for use to lens makers.
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EricWHiss

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Re: FS 300mm Apo Lanthar, lanthanum glass in no 5 shutter... "Bokeh King"
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2014, 11:51:54 am »

I'd love to see some example shots taken with this lens..
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Rolleiflex USA

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Re: FS 300mm Apo Lanthar, lanthanum glass in no 5 shutter... "Bokeh King"
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2014, 11:09:16 pm »

bump
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8x10 user

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Re: FS 300mm Apo Lanthar, lanthanum glass in no 5 shutter... "Bokeh King"
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2014, 05:38:53 pm »

bump
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8x10 user

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Re: FS 300mm Apo Lanthar, lanthanum glass in no 5 shutter... "Bokeh King"
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2014, 03:32:16 pm »

Finding pictures from the 300mm Apo Lanthar is difficult as not many can afford this lens. Images from the 150mm and 210mm are a lot more common.

The 150, 210, and 300mm are most commonly used on 4x5
« Last Edit: February 26, 2014, 03:35:35 pm by 8x10 user »
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8x10 user

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Re: FS 300mm Apo Lanthar, lanthanum glass in no 5 shutter... "Bokeh King"
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2014, 09:45:15 pm »

Come on... Don't those pics make you want to go back to shooting film!
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8x10 user

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Re: FS 300mm Apo Lanthar, lanthanum glass in no 5 shutter... "Bokeh King"
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2014, 01:33:21 pm »

bump
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8x10 user

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Re: FS 300mm Apo Lanthar, lanthanum glass in no 5 shutter... "Bokeh King"
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2014, 02:08:23 pm »

The look of this lens is superior to anything MFD has to offer.
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: FS 300mm Apo Lanthar, lanthanum glass in no 5 shutter... "Bokeh King"
« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2014, 09:17:53 pm »

How much does it sell for?

Cheers,
Bernard

8x10 user

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Re: FS 300mm Apo Lanthar, lanthanum glass in no 5 shutter... "Bokeh King"
« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2014, 10:08:36 pm »

I also have listed it in the Large Format Forum.... $2499 + Paypal and Postage. 
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8x10 user

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Re: FS 300mm Apo Lanthar, lanthanum glass in no 5 shutter... "Bokeh King"
« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2014, 02:22:56 pm »

SOLD!
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