Archive for January, 2023

I bought a Meyer Görlitz Trioplan 105mm f/3.8 view camera lens designed to cover 6x9cm film. This is an old pre-war lens with no lens coatings. I decided to compare it to my beloved 101mm f/4.5 Ektar and I am surprised at just how comparable it is. My Ektar is a later coated lens and thus has a natural advantage in color and contrast performance due to the lens coating. Eastman Kodak Ektar lenses were among the sharpest and finest performing lenses of their era. This lens however is quite nice and despite its lack of lens coatings, I was able to get some nice images using a very hi-resolution image sensor. The Canon M6 Mark II with a Metabones Speedbooster was an excellent test for the resolution as that cameras pixel dense 32.5 mp sensor is demanding. I mounted the lens with an adapter to a bellows unit for focusing.

I show a series of images wide open at F/3.8 and the results were very respectable. The images definitely needed some color and contrast help in Lightroom, but it was an easy tweak and the images are pleasing. This lens has a nice vintage bokeh and is pretty sharp. Stopped down to f/5.6 and the sharpness got nice and crisp. But you know me… I like it wide open 😉

If you buy one of these and want to use it on a view camera with film, the shutters can be finicky. Be sure to test the speeds and make sure they work smoothly or you won’t be able to make good exposures on film. My example has slow speeds 1/10th to 1 second running sticky and slow. But my intention was to run this lens with modern sensors so T setting is all I need.

If I had to choose one, I’d choose the Ektar as that lens is sharper, with better contrast and color, but it is also 3/4 stop slower. The Trioplan can definitely create more background separation with that wide f/3.8 maximum aperture. Fortunately, I can keep them both and I certainly will. This German gem of a lens is every bit worth the $100-$150 they fetch on Ebay and at camera shows like the PhotoFair. I have a few images I created with the Trioplan below. I have used the Ektar in a post about the Crown 23 press camera as well as my review of the Spiratone Bellows / View Camera in months past on this blog, if you are interested in that lens.

This shot shows a large out of focus background showing off some of the vintage bokeh.
Decent resolution wide open on a 32.5 mp APS/c sensor
The image clarity holds up, even at close focus. Nice!

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