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View Full Version : Update on using Kodak Ektra Ektar Rangefinder lenses on Sony E Mount body


John C. Ling
08-20-2014, 09:16
I want to report using all four of my Kodak Ektra Ektar rangefinder lenses on my Sony A7R full frame digital camera body. I am particularly pleased that the wide E lens mount opening and open space within the camera body are able to adequately accommodate the protruding rear portion of my Ektar 35mm f3.3 lens when this lens has my custom British-made adapter attached to it. It has been a lot of fun to use my 50mm f1.9, 90mm f3.5, and 135mm f3.8 Ektar lenses, in addition to my 35mm lens, at full format size without any magnification factor at all. Finally I'm able to produce images almost identical in specifications to what these lenses were originally designed for over 70 years ago utilising film. I 'm quite impressed that these lenses are still able to cope nicely with the present day digital image acquisition. I'm really happy that I have been successful in giving these lenses a 'new lease on life' Perhaps it is an exaggeration to say that I have aided in a re-birth for them from their dreary existence as curiosity pieces, chiefly unloved and certainly unuseable (until now). I would like to think that Kodak's designers and makers of these premium-grade vintage lenses, probably all long gone, would have been pleased with my present efforts.

furcafe
08-20-2014, 10:04
Sweet! I agree that the old guys in Rochester would approve.

Really wish someone would make adapters for Ektra Ektars in quantity. I have a couple of functional Ektra bodies & use them fairly regularly, but it would be nice to use the glass on my A7 (or M 240). Same goes for my Foton lenses, speaking of obscure American mounts.

Edit: Now I remember that you gave me the info on the British company in your previous thread. I'll have to shoot them an email about getting a copy of your adapter & maybe getting 1 of my 50/1.9s modified for LTM or M mount.

stompyq
08-20-2014, 10:18
cmon. post some images!!

furcafe
08-20-2014, 11:19
Also photos of the adapter itself!

cmon. post some images!!

John C. Ling
08-20-2014, 13:54
Hello Furcafe,

Thanks for your comments. I'm impressed that you are still using your Ektra rangefinder film cameras. How do you keep their shutters from misbehaving? The person to contact in England is Ian Broomhead, the principal of the firm SRB Griturn. I know him quite well from my past dealings with him. I'm sure that he will be able to make Ektra Ektar-to-Sony E mount adapters for you without too much difficulty. I believe that he has the needed specifications on file. I am presently awaiting the results of Don Goldberg of DAG Camera Repairs in making a Ektra Ektar-to-Leica M adapter for me. The back focus distances of the Ektra and Leica M camera bodies are very similar, leaving very little thickness for an adapter to be interposed between the Ektar lens and the Leica M body. But Don has assured me that he thinks that he can custom-make an adapter to do the job, focussing from near to infinity. With the live view present on the Leica M (model 240), one does not have to be concerned with any rangefinder cam need.
What Foton lenses do you have and do you think that they can be used on an E Mount Body? I';m not familiar with any of these lenses.

furcafe
08-21-2014, 06:07
I don't do anything special w/my 2 working Ektras (other than follow all the steps in the manual, which is really necessary for using the film backs, anyway). My 1st body literally worked out of the box, which is impressive because the eBay seller (perhaps thinking it broken) included hardly any packing materials. According to a sticker on the back it came with, it was last serviced (by Kodak) in the late 1960s. My other working body, another eBay purchase, was restored more recently by Ken Ruth of Photography on Bald Mountain in California. The only mechanical problems I've had w/either body has happened in cold weather, when I suspect some of the lubricants got too thick for the shutter to properly function & the speeds were way slow. In fairness this has also happened w/some of my screw-mount "Barnack" Leicas & Contax IIs of roughly the same era.

Examples of images taken w/the 1st body: https://www.flickr.com/photos/furcafe/tags/eastmankodakektrac194041/

I've begun an email correspondence w/Mr. Broomhead so we shall see how that goes (he quoted 180 GBP, does that sound right?). Thanks for the info & good to hear that an Ektra to Leica adapter is possible.

As for Foton lenses, I have the standard Taylor, Taylor & Hobson 2-inch/2 Cooke Amotal (which is often found in LTM), the 4-inch/2.8 Cooke Panchrotal, & 8.5-inch Cooke Telekinic (which needs significant repairs to the mount). The Foton body is pretty thick, so I'd guess that an adapter could be made for E mount, but the entire lineup consisted of 3 lenses so probably not worth it unless you already have the lenses. The LTM version of the 2-inch Cooke Amotal can be found here & there, though prices have skyrocketed along w/other LTM glass in the past 5 years. Vintage TTH Cooke glass is legendary among cinema folks (as are their new stuff: http://www.cookeoptics.com/index.html ) & that has probably also contributed to the inflation. The Panchrotal does have very smooth boke.


Thanks for your comments. I'm impressed that you are still using your Ektra rangefinder film cameras. How do you keep their shutters from misbehaving? The person to contact in England is Ian Broomhead, the principal of the firm SRB Griturn. I know him quite well from my past dealings with him. I'm sure that he will be able to make Ektra Ektar-to-Sony E mount adapters for you without too much difficulty. I believe that he has the needed specifications on file. I am presently awaiting the results of Don Goldberg of DAG Camera Repairs in making a Ektra Ektar-to-Leica M adapter for me. The back focus distances of the Ektra and Leica M camera bodies are very similar, leaving very little thickness for an adapter to be interposed between the Ektar lens and the Leica M body. But Don has assured me that he thinks that he can custom-make an adapter to do the job, focussing from near to infinity. With the live view present on the Leica M (model 240), one does not have to be concerned with any rangefinder cam need.
What Foton lenses do you have and do you think that they can be used on an E Mount Body? I';m not familiar with any of these lenses.

John C. Ling
08-21-2014, 08:26
Thanks for the information about the Foton lenses. I've never seen any of them. What does the lens mount look like?

I am still not completely certain that Don Goldberg will succeed in making a useable Ektra-to-Leica M adapter for me, but I am hopeful.

As to SRB-Griturn in England may I suggest that you get a generic black anodised Canon EOS-to-Sony E Mount lens adapter on EBay (the quality of all of them is pretty good). You can get a better quality adapter with chromed lens mounts attached with securing screws on both ends of the adapter from a major manufacturer, but it will cost a lot more. In either case, send the adapter to Ian. He will cannibalise it, saving only the E- Mount portion and attaching his custom-made black anodised Ektra mount part with its multi-start screw thread and lens-localising notches. By your doing this, he will probably charge you less money for his service. I paid less than what he is charging you, but this was several years ago and he made five of them for me. I have each one attached to my Ektar lenses individually. The fifth one is the adapter that I sent to Don for his modification to Leica M Mount.

I like your Ektar pictures taken with your Ektra cameras. I'm still not very good at posting pictures on a website.

furcafe
08-22-2014, 05:09
The Bell & Howell Foton has 2 mounts: an internal threaded on a built-in helical that's just for the 2-inch & an external bayonet for the telephotos. They basically split the difference between the LTM & Zeiss Ikon Contax mount. The 5th photo in this article shows the internal mount (w/the external mount surrounding it): http://www.vintagephoto.tv/foton.shtml

Thanks for the info on supplying a generic Sony adapter to form the base of the Ektra thread portion. Is there any advantage of the Canon to Sony adapters compared to Nikon to Sony, etc.? Or are they just cheaper?

Thanks for the information about the Foton lenses. I've never seen any of them. What does the lens mount look like?

I am still not completely certain that Don Goldberg will succeed in making a useable Ektra-to-Leica M adapter for me, but I am hopeful.

As to SRB-Griturn in England may I suggest that you get a generic black anodised Canon EOS-to-Sony E Mount lens adapter on EBay (the quality of all of them is pretty good). You can get a better quality adapter with chromed lens mounts attached with securing screws on both ends of the adapter from a major manufacturer, but it will cost a lot more. In either case, send the adapter to Ian. He will cannibalise it, saving only the E- Mount portion and attaching his custom-made black anodised Ektra mount part with its multi-start screw thread and lens-localising notches. By your doing this, he will probably charge you less money for his service. I paid less than what he is charging you, but this was several years ago and he made five of them for me. I have each one attached to my Ektar lenses individually. The fifth one is the adapter that I sent to Don for his modification to Leica M Mount.

I like your Ektar pictures taken with your Ektra cameras. I'm still not very good at posting pictures on a website.

John C. Ling
08-22-2014, 11:53
I chose the Canon EOS-to-Sony E Mount Adapter to be cannibalised for the Ektra Ektar adapter as I believe that the EOS has one of the widest mouths available in its lens mount diameter size. Also, probably not pertinent to this discussion, is that the EOS SLR camera body (digital and film), can be used via an adapter with more lens makes than any other camera brand. C