Rodenstock Trinar or Zeiss Nettar

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Darkroom317

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I am looking at two 6 x 9 folders. One has a trinar the other has a nettar. Both are in compur shutters with the trinar going form 1sec to 1/250 and the nettar going 1 sec to 1/400. One camera is a Welta and the other is a Zeiss. Which would be better?
 

Ian Grant

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Depends on the age of the cameras. I have a coated 105mm Trinar and it's not a bad lens for a triplet possibly better than the Nettar which was the bottom of the range pre-War Zeiss lens fitted to their Nettar camera.

Ian
 
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Darkroom317

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How is the bokeh on the trinar. The Welta is a Trio. It looks like it might be early to middles 1930s. Both are pre-war. I am wating a 6 x 9 folder for street photography.
 

ntenny

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I doubt if it's possible to generalise about the bokeh on lenses of this era. Triplets generally tend to have a certain "look" in the corners where the sharpness breaks down, though. Bokeh is so subjective, and so dependent on fine details, that I'd expect it to vary quite a bit from sample to sample.

As Ian says, the Nettar was the bottom of the line, and I wouldn't expect much of it. The one Trinar I have (on a prewar Wirgin 6x9) is excellent; sharp in the centre, reasonable (by triplet standards) in the corners, not much vignetting and a lot of character. If you have to make a call just on the lens names, I'd go with the Trinar.

It's going to be a little challenging to use any scale-focussing camera for street photography, but I expect you know that...

-NT
 

Ian Grant

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As Nathan says it's impossible to really comment about the qualities wide open, both are triplets. I'd forgotten I have another Trinar on a 9x12 camera & that's also a respectable performer.

These camera's were actually regularly used with Zone (scale) focussing, the Nettar's in particular, so were the Ikonta's, and the Welta can be used the same way. Pre-WWII a great many street shots were made that way with a pre-focussed camera.

Ian
 

elekm

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Plus, in the day when the cameras were made, photographers weren't concerned about "bokeh." As well, emulsions were much slower, so opening a lens was often done to be able to take a photo and not for artistic effect.

Triplets, which include the Trinar, Nettar Anastigmat, Novar, Triotar and others, were adequate lenses that performed best when stopped down to f/8 or smaller. Keep your expectations in check.
 
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Darkroom317

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The Welta is in better condition and has just been CLA'd. Just wanted to know what I was in for as far as the lens. Thanks for all the advice.
 

ntenny

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These camera's were actually regularly used with Zone (scale) focussing, the Nettar's in particular, so were the Ikonta's, and the Welta can be used the same way. Pre-WWII a great many street shots were made that way with a pre-focussed camera.

Yes, but pre-WWII, giants walked the earth and people knew their DOF tables by heart! :smile:

-NT
 
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Darkroom317

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What would you suggest as a reasonable price for either of these cameras. The Welta just went up to 122 USD.
 

Ian Grant

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Prices are difficult, I wouldn't pay more than about £50/$80 for a pre-war folder, except perhaps for a Super Ikonta.

Personally I'd look for a post WWII folder with a coated lens, there were quite a few, as well as good Russian copies of the Super Ikonta, Moskva 4 & 5's are the better models.

Ian
 

elekm

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I wouldn't pay more than $75 for a zone-focus folder, and at that price it would have to be in excellent condition. A Super Ikonta generally will be more than $150 and up to $300.

One thing to keep in mind when looking at older cameras: They made more than one. There are literally hundreds of them available at any one time on eBay.

Short version: Don't overpay.
 

ntenny

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It's worth looking at Jurgen's prices (http://www.certo6.com/buy.html) for comparison. In the $125 range you could get a basic 6x9 folder with a CLA and possibly a new bellows from him, so I don't see the percentage in paying a similar amount for a similar camera of unknown provenance...

I don't think I've ever paid more than about US$35-40 for a folder. To be fair, I've gotten some that were unusable, but on the whole the results of bottom-feeding have been quite good.

-NT


-NT
 

ntenny

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How would a Vaskar compare to these other two lenses?

Decent triplet, probably not too different from the Trinar. Before the war, Voigtlaender had two different triplets in their standard line, the Voigtar and the Vaskar, with the Vaskar being the slightly-higher-end option (I assume due to better materials and/or more precise construction, not to differences in the optical design)---this is sort of analogous to the Nettar and Novar lenses at Zeiss.

I really think it's a mistake to attach too much importance to a particular brand name on prewar triplets, though. They're all the same optical design, and it was an era when there was still a lot of craft, vs. industrial process, involved in lensmaking---so the differences between different triplet "versions" can fairly easily be obviated by whether someone in the grinding shop in Braunschweig had a hangover one day in 1928.

-NT
 

elekm

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I agree. There are some good triplets with the Kodak Anastigmat on the Kodak Duo 620 being among them. Otherwise, a triplet is a triplet is a triplet. There's only so much that you can do with three lens elements.

However, it usually offers a low-cost entry into folding cameras.

The Schneider version is the Radionar, by the way, and I've found it to be a decent lens on the one camera that I have with it -- a Kodak/Nagel Vollenda Type 48 (VP127 film).
 

ntenny

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I agree. There are some good triplets with the Kodak Anastigmat on the Kodak Duo 620 being among them.

Is that a triplet? I thought "Kodak Anastigmat" on a Nagel camera usually meant a Tessar type.

-NT
 

ntenny

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Is this the early Bessa, with the three little icons for the focal scale? Mine is a really nice camera (considering its specs, I mean), but has a bit of a light leak at the hinge---sealing it up a little better is on my expanding list of camera projects.

-NT
 
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Darkroom317

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Is this the early Bessa, with the three little icons for the focal scale? Mine is a really nice camera (considering its specs, I mean), but has a bit of a light leak at the hinge---sealing it up a little better is on my expanding list of camera projects.

-NT

I believe it is the one after that. It has the cover for the main viewfinder.
It also came with a 6 x 4.5 mask.
 

steven_e007

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Names can be very confusing... I have heard that when Zeiss Icon formed they continued to use lenses from Geortz, Rodenstock and other companies, but changed the names. Therefore, the Zeiss Ikon Novar lens is said actually to be a Rodenstock Trinar, although I've never found solid proof. The 'Nettar Anastigmat' is anybodies guess...
 

steven_e007

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Yes Rodenstock and Zeiss have always been totally independant.

However, the 'Novar' is a Zeiss Ikon brand name - which I have been led to believe need not neccesarily be Zeiss.

The seperate camera companies which were amalgamated to form Zeiss Ikon had associations with various lens manufacturers who produced their optics. Often they sourced lenses from several different companies. Some of these were rivals to Zeiss. For example ICA cameras usually sported Geortz lenses, although I think Geortz was absorbed during the merger and effectivly dissappeared as a lens maker. Other lens makers stayed independant. When Zeiss Ikon were formed it seems Zeiss didn't prevent these companies from supplying lenses, at least at the 'budget' end. I have several very early Zeiss Ikon plate cameras with None Zeiss lenses on them - but later on the names of the manufacturers did seem to disappear. Zeiss lenses such as Tessars on Zeiss Ikon cameras always proudly carry the manufacturers name, most simpler lenses just seem to have a lens name on them. Curiously the Triotar, another triplet used on some Zeiss Ikon cameras, always boasts it is a 'Carl Zeiss Jena' Triotar... Hence the possibility that cheaper lenses, such as the Novar, may be made by someone other than Zeiss - I have heard Rodenstock mentioned, but never seen any proof.
 
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Ian Grant

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You may well be muddling Goerz with Meyer-Optik Görlitz Lenses, easy to do.

Goerz became part of Zeiss in 1926, their old optical works may well have made the early Novar lenses as part of Zeiss Ikon but later they were made by Carl Zeiss Jenathemselves, Novar's fitted to Zeiss Ikons (West Germany) after WWII may still have been made at Jena until roughly 1952/3.

Meyer at Görlitz became part of the Pentacon group some time after WWII.

Ian
 

steven_e007

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You may well be muddling Goerz with Meyer-Optik Görlitz Lenses, easy to do.

Not at all... I hadn't even thought about Meyer-Optic... I might be muddling my spelling, but that is a different problem entirely :wink:

Goerz became part of Zeiss in 1926, their old optical works may well have made the early Novar lenses as part of Zeiss Ikon but later they were made by Carl Zeiss Jenathemselves, Novar's fitted to Zeiss Ikons (West Germany) after WWII may still have been made at Jena until roughly 1952/3.

Meyer at Görlitz became part of the Pentacon group some time after WWII.

Ian

I'm still very sceptical about this. I have many camera with Zeiss lenses, they are always most happy to put 'Carl Zeiss Jena' on the lens front along with the name and the serial number, even with triplets such as the Triotar. (Similarly Carl Zeiss Oberkocken, or Zeiss Opton)

Never, with a Novar, have I seen either a manufacturer, city of manufacture or a serial number on the lens.

I suspect 'Novar' may be a generic name for any triplet on a Zeiss Ikon camera - it is quite possible they are not all from the same manufacturer.

What makes you so certain they were made in the Zeiss Jena factory?
 
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