Unusual lens Isco-Gottingen Tele-Westanar 135mm

Started Aug 10, 2007 | Discussions
Arjay Bee Regular Member • Posts: 469
Unusual lens Isco-Gottingen Tele-Westanar 135mm

This one came up on Australian e-bay together with bellows and 1959 Asahi Pentax H2 film body from 1959 era. Arrived today. First the lens.

Isco Gottingen Tele-Westanar 1:3.5 135mm M42
Aperture range is 1:3.5 - 1:22
Closest focus is 1.35 meters or 4.5 ft

The lens is made in Germany and is very small in both diameter and length; smaller than the 135mm m42 Takumar Pentax. All metal but lighter than the Takumar as well. It has a coke bottle waisted form and has lots of bright chromework. FWIW, matches all the extra chrome trim on my DL2. Unusually the aperture ring is in front of the focus ring. It has no automatic diaphragm as is completely manual. This is understandable when turning the quite stiff aperture ring as 15 blades are beng moved: yep 15!!! The opening this creates is completely circular at all apertures. Bokeh has to be nice!!! The arrangement of rings means that there is a bit of a juggle between selection of aperture and focussing as when turning the aperture the focus is upset. Have to think about this one or resign myself to use wider aperture a lot of the time due to the relatively dimish focussing screen of the *ist DL2.

DoF scale is included. Incidently there are some very small wear signs on the barrell but the glass is in perfect condition. It came with an Accura 1A skylight filter which has probably played a huge part in protecting the front filter over time. (46mm filter thread???) but no lens caps.

Not having an A/M aperture switch makes the mount very simple and so it links very easily to the bellows. When trying to fit the bellows to other m42 lenses the mounting fouls the front mount of the bellows needing the addition of an extension tube as a spacer. The Isco lens doesnt have this problem.

Images will follow.

Cheers, Arjay

OP Arjay Bee Regular Member • Posts: 469
Re: Unusual lens Isco-Gottingen Tele-Westanar 135mm

The bellows were unnamed on the e-bay sale as the mounting obscured the brand but it turns out that they are a single rail Hanimex with driver knob on the right and lock knob on the left. There is a tripod mount at the bottom of the rear mount. The lock knob is a bit dodgy as it self locks when winding out and gets sloppy as you wind in.

The aluminium metal work is worn and the black enamal chipped in places but the bellows themselves work fine at keeping out with no holes and the price was right. The Isco bellows combo focusses very comfortably at about a 60cm distance to provide a near 1-1 image if not greater.

On the rear mount there is a locking screw so the camera body may be turned to portrait mode. Using a true pentax M42-K adapter the rear mount fits under the brow of the inbuilt flash mount, however the screw is a bit tricky to tighten as fingers can't get in there. A bit tricky too, to remove the bellows from the adaptor while on the camera as the mount fouls the flash mount. Thought I was doomed to have it mounted forever til I worked out how to use the grub screw to turn the bellows out of the adaptor. Then loosen the screw and back up and then retighten and turn the mount out of the adaptor again. In future will use an extension tube spacer here whenever using the bellows.

Pics to follow

Cheers, Arjay

OP Arjay Bee Regular Member • Posts: 469
Re: Unusual lens Isco-Gottingen Tele-Westanar 135mm

The H2 body is in average condition but not bad for 48 years old and I never anticipated using it but it works and never needs batteries. Chrome work is pitted and scratched but curtain works well and is fully operational. Could put a film through it just for fun and try and remember the sunny 16 rule.

Now for the sample shots from a late afternoon very overcast quick shoot. New to me out of box

The lens

Aperture at f5.6

Aperture at f16

First shot: yes it is sharp - resixed only

First flower resized only

First weeds resized only

First macro - resized, 52mm Takumar lens cap taken at distance of 60 cm with bellows

There are a few images from this lens model on PBase. I like the looks of this one so far.
Cheers, Arjay

steephill Veteran Member • Posts: 9,861
here's a gallery of shots
OP Arjay Bee Regular Member • Posts: 469
Re: here's a gallery of shots

thanks Steve - I was going to make this link today here in the thread. There is another series on pbase but they are not very good examples due to operator error or a foggy lens element. These are beautiful.

It is this series that set me to thinking about weed shots and made me very excited to get this lens. At the time the lens was as yet sight unseen, just on the ebay sale site and the images placed by the vendor weren't all that encouraging - as it turns out the lens is in much better condition than anticipated.

Hope to get out later toady and make a few more pics with it...
Cheers, Arjay

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