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Tanar 5cm F2 and Acall 35mm F3.5 Film Tests
Old 02-14-2009   #1
David Murphy
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Tanar 5cm F2 and Acall 35mm F3.5 Film Tests

Every now and then I pull some of my old stuff out of the closet and assemble some vintage LTM rigs to check things out or just have fun. Sometimes I think I'm one of the last people on earth to do this sort of stuff.

The tests described today are of a Tanaka Kogaku Tanar 5cm F2 H.C. and an Kyoei Acall 35mm F3.5. The latter lens is a bit better known than the former, but neither are exactly household words. The Tanar 5cm was sold with the Tanack rangefinder in the late fifties. The Acall was, apparently, a moderately popular aftermarket 35mm LTM in the 60's and up to the early 70's perhaps. You can find it listed for sale by New York camera dealers in vintage Popular Photography magazines of that era at pocket money prices. They sell today from about $80-$200 depending on factors such as the inclusion (or non-inclusion) of case, hood, finder, condition, and so forth. I have no idea what the market price of a Tanar 5cm F2 is -- there's not enough in circulation to gauge that.

The Tanar is fairly compact, but the Acall is really a tiny little gem. The Tanar construction reminds me somewhat of the Leica Summarit. My first LTM wide, which I purchased a few years ago, was an Acall and I'd recommend to any beginner in LTM who is looking for good performance, wide compatibly with most LTM bodies (which eliminates the LTM J-3 from consideration), and moderate cost.

Pacific Rim camera has a historical article with speculations about the Acall, suggesting it was made by Komura. I own a second copy of it branded by Telesar. This article makes an interesting read:

http://www.pacificrimcamera.com/pp/copies/hlens.htm

First I show the Tanar on my Leotax S and three photos using Kodak Gold 200 processed and scanned at Walgreens. Next I show the Acall 35mm F3.5 on my "new" Leotax F with a Canon zoom finder, and some photos taken with Kodak Gold 100. The point of the photos is to make a casual evaluation of the lenses and also to check out the Leotax F (there's no art here!). The images were taken at mid to high f-stops, i.e. about F5.6-F16.




















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Last edited by David Murphy : 02-14-2009 at 23:26.
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Old 02-15-2009   #2
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The Acall was the first wide I ever bought-when I owned a Fed 1 in 1967. I bought it from Olden in New York for $17.50. That included lens, hood, shade and case! Postage and packing was another $1.25. It was sharp until I dropped it onto concrete in the pits at Mosport some years later.
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Old 02-28-2009   #3
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Thanks David for the info. BTW, may I know the filter size for the Tanar H.C. 5cm f/2 lens?
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Old 03-04-2009   #4
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Not sure. I have a Kenko UV filter on it that measures slightly over 40mm on its external thread diamter with a caliper, but the filter is labeled "38". Isn't 40.5mm a common size for some Japanese rangefinder lenses - might be that.

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Thanks David for the info. BTW, may I know the filter size for the Tanar H.C. 5cm f/2 lens?
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Old 03-05-2009   #5
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I realized that it is 40.5mm for the filter size. Inspired by your pictures, here are some of mine. The lens can close focus until the M8 cannot RF couple, so I think I may have pushed it a little too near the edge while testing it near focus and wide open:




Last edited by Hacker : 03-05-2009 at 16:43.
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Old 03-05-2009   #6
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Old 04-30-2009   #7
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Hacker those are very impressive shots. This lens has image quality similar to the Nikkor 5cm F2 - what an amazing sight too, to see this mounted on an M8 - timeless quality (Leica and Tanar).
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Old 05-12-2009   #8
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I have the Kyoei W.Acall 35mm f3.5 as well, got it around X-mas from the US thru evilbay.

That lens is fabulous, built like an Abrams tank and tack sharp at the same time. I love it. It performs stellar on the M8, time after time. Not too expensive (yet), either!


EDIT: David, could I trouble you for measurements of the hood? I have shot this lens extensively on my last-month trip in the Czech Republic, but upon scanning I find many fingers in the frame, so I'd like to find a hood that doesn't obstruct the view on a film M camera. A hood will keep me from sticking my fingers in front of the lenses' rim.

I would need front and rear diameter as well as height when placed face-down on the table, so I can calculate the angle.

Much obliged!
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Last edited by johannielscom : 05-17-2009 at 10:41. Reason: question added
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Atlanta
Old 10-23-2009   #9
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The tests described today are of a Tanaka Kogaku Tanar 5cm F2 H.C. and an Kyoei Acall 35mm F3.5. The latter lens is a bit better known than the former, but neither are exactly household words. The Tanar 5cm was sold with the Tanack rangefinder in the late fifties. The Acall was, apparently, a moderately popular aftermarket 35mm LTM in the 60's and up to the early 70's perhaps. You can find it listed for sale by New York camera dealers in vintage Popular Photography magazines of that era at pocket money prices. They sell today from about $80-$200 depending on factors such as the inclusion (or non-inclusion) of case, hood, finder, condition, and so forth. I have no idea what the market price of a Tanar 5cm F2 is -- there's not enough in circulation to gauge that.
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Shots from the Kyoei W.Acall 35/3.5
Old 12-18-2009   #10
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Shots from the Kyoei W.Acall 35/3.5

I took the Kyoei W.Acall 35/3.5 with me as I went camping with my scouting club in May. This album shows shots with a Leica M3, the W.Acall and Konica Impresa 100.
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Old 12-18-2009   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CLE-RF View Post
I took the Kyoei W.Acall 35/3.5 with me as I went camping with my scouting club in May. This album shows shots with a Leica M3, the W.Acall and Konica Impresa 100.
Hello Johan,
The lens seems to be OK, but the film gives a slight color cast that needs correcting.



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Last edited by raid : 12-18-2009 at 07:16.
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Old 12-18-2009   #12
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Quote:
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Hello Johan,
The lens seems to be OK, but the film gives a slight color cast that needs correcting.



Greetings,
Very true. These were the quick 'n dirty uploads. Most of the shots were a bit underexposed, as I generally had metered for bright daylight and failed to meter again when light got less or I got indoors. Living out in the field in bright sun for five days apparently 'tweaked' my ability to estimate light.

Rating the Konica Impresa 100 as 80 would have done the trick I reckon.

I love the lens, it's very small and sharp.
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Old 12-18-2009   #13
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I may look for such a lens one day.
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Old 12-18-2009   #14
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Johan,

Beautiful pictures! See what you've done to me ... Now I just want to fly on KLM.

Raid - I'm first in line!

Regards to everyone,
Robert

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WTB: 35mm f3.5 W Komura, W Acall Kyoei, Telesar or Accura ltm lens.
Please send PM with details.
--------------------------------------------------------------------

Last edited by rlouzan : 12-19-2009 at 04:40.
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Old 12-19-2009   #15
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I looked on ebay. The prices are high.
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Old 12-19-2009   #16
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Raid,

I agree with you completely! Sellers/Dealers are starting to ask crazy prices for common Leica and third party ltm lenses.

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WTB: 35mm f3.5 W Komura, W Acall Kyoei, Telesar or Accura ltm lens.
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Old 12-19-2009   #17
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I will not fall into their traps though. The options out there are so large that I will always be behind in creating cash for some really nice item. I still have to actually buy the 35mm Summilux. This takes priority over a Tanack.
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Old 12-19-2009   #18
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Quote:
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I looked on ebay. The prices are high.
Just keep an eye on eBay. I got mine from the US for USD99, shipping additional. Was the only bidder. The 35/3.5 sometimes is mistaken for an enlarger lens, due to its size and LTM thread.

Sooner or later, one will surface, I'm positive.
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Old 12-19-2009   #19
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Johan,
Thanks for the encouragement.I will wait and see.
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Old 02-13-2010   #20
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I took the Tanar out for a spin with the M9:





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Old 02-13-2010   #21
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Old 02-14-2010   #22
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Hacker,
Do you own any lenses that are not tack sharp? Good job here.
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Old 02-15-2010   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raid View Post
Hacker,
Do you own any lenses that are not tack sharp? Good job here.
Tack sharp is Hacker's signature-His workflow.
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Old 02-15-2010   #24
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Not sharp lenses get sold. Actually, I'm not even sure it is my workflow, as I simply downsize and sharpen slightly (5/100 setting). In some instances, I do not even sharpen in RAW (let alone pre-sharpen). That said, what I have seen is this. Many folks complain of back and front focus ad nauseum. They use my camera and the pictures are not sharp. I use their cameras and the pictures are sharp. It boils down to technique first. Otherwise, no amount of workflow can help.
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Old 02-28-2010   #25
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Hi,

Is there any web reference regarding the 35mm f3.5 W Acall Kyoei optical lens diagram?

Thanks in advance,
RLouzan
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Old 03-02-2010   #26
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Bump, bump, ...
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Old 03-02-2010   #27
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Robert,

Ask Roland (Ferider), he has a 1960s leaflet or brochure with lens diagrams on Komuras. He sent me scans once, but I cannot find them on my hard drive.

I sold my 35/3.5 because my big ugly fingers got in too many of the shots, but recently picked up a Komura 35/2.8 with caps and Kyoei finder for a song
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Old 03-03-2010   #28
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Hi Johan,

Will do!

Please post some pictures and let us know your impressions on the Komura 35/2.8

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Old 08-15-2013   #29
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BUMP

Anyone else here shooting a Tanar? I know I will be tomorrow! The new-to-me Tanar 2.0/50mm, here shown without the Tower lens hood with matching Series VI filter holder that I bought for this lens.

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Old 08-15-2013   #30
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What is special about a 50/2 Tanar? Is it optically somehow of the same calibre as a Nikkor 50/2 or a CZJ 50/2?
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Old 08-16-2013   #31
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Hi Raid,

I've read in the Sonnars thread on here somewhere that it is a true Sonnar design, identical to the Nikkor 2.0/50mm.

It is a nice lens, very well-constructed. All brass, firm click stops, close focus to 2.5 ft too.
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Old 08-21-2013   #32
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Johan,
I picked up Tanack IV-S with 50/2 Tanar and 35/2.8 W Tanar with finder. Camera is gummed up, and lenses were fungus infested, but cleaned up very nicely.

I have noticed, however, that 50mm Tanar focuses to 1.5 feet, coupled to 3 feet only. Must be nice lens to use on micro four thirds. I have to try it on my wife's EP-1. Did you happen to use 35mm Tanar in the past? Both lenses are very well constructed.

Also, do you happen to know, who made Tanar lenses? It seems Tanaka made them themselves, but I am curious.
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Old 08-21-2013   #33
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Hi Sam,

can't answer any of your questions, unfortunately.

Never shot the 35mm Tanar but if it is anywhere near as nicely constructed as the 50mm, it should be a gem.

Can't tell you who built the Tanar lenses, but I'd venture a guess and say it either was Nippon Kogaku or some other company that had the Nikkor design licensed and took parts from the same suppliers. The focusing-past-RF-coupling is quite unique after all!

Pretty soon I'll be trying the lens on my Ricoh GXR Mount, could be stellar on that too!

If anybody else can shed some light on who constructed the Tanar lenses: I'd like to know too!
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Old 08-21-2013   #34
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Thanks, Johan. 35mm Tanar is very nicely constructed. All black painted brass and glass, just like 5cm. I have degummed the camera, and am getting ready to shoot some film with it. I will try to post some pictures, as soon as I develop film, and providing I get to repair my comp by then.
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Old 08-21-2013   #35
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David, I grew up maybe a mile away from where I think you took most of the photos you posted (over on Minoru).

I feel both homesick and old now.
Sigh.
8-)
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