Equipment: Aero Ektar

Written by Nasir Hamid on December 12th, 2011

The Aero Ektar lens was made by Kodak for the US Military to use for aerial photography during WWII. It’s a huge chunk of glass that has a fast aperture of f2.5 which for a large format lens is incredibly fast and the result is a shallow depth of field of around an inch with a very distinctive bokeh. The lens doesn’t have a shutter so it needs to be used on a camera with its own shutter. For this reason its perfectly suited for use with the Speed Graphic 5×4 camera that has a built in shutter at the back. I think my Speed Graphic is from the 1950’s so combined with this Aero Ektar lens this is a vintage camera setup that is still going strong.

Speed Graphic with Aero Ektar lens

Speed Graphic with Aero Ektar lens

This image was made with the setup above. It's a heavy rig that is a little slow to use so hand holding it is not really an option. Fortunately for me this student was promoting a play so he wasn't going anywhere fast and was kind enough to stand still for this portrait.


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