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First Test: 36" Aero Ektar

A couple of decades ago, I traded my 12" f4.5 Ektar I had on my 8x10" Burke & James for a WWII vintage 36" (ca. 1000mm) Aero Ektar. The lens itself weighs - well - alot. It has no shutter. I'm assuming this pointing facing down on a Flying Fortress or something confirming bombing hits over Germany or Japan in the 1940's.

Way back when my dad and uncle built a camera around this lens. The camera consists of a couple of interleaving wood boxes (more or less light tight) with the Aero Ektar in the front, and the back half of a Speed Graphic in the back. The rear-end of the Speed Graphic has a shutter in addition to a ground glass and all the accoutrements required to place a film holder. My dad made a label for the front calling it the "Neardorf" (spoofing the famous large format Deardorff.)

Recently- well actually a couple months ago I convinced my daughter to go to the park to test this out. And recently (really this time) I developed the test sheets.

This test was a first for a number of other reasons besides the "Neardorf". It was also my first test of the Fomapan 200 film and my first attempt with semistand development HC110. I guess all those tests were semi-successful.

The crazy long-fast lens (Almost 1000mm @ f6.3) creates a nice out of focus background as one might have expected. HC110 semistand looked ok, but the Foma neg was pretty grainy.

36" Aero Ektar Test

While working on this post, I thought it might be useful for some that I share a spreadsheet with the shutter speed settings for the Speed Graphic cameras too:



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