The other day I pulled out my old Tele-Arton having in mind shooting the full moon – lousy weather deferred that plan.
I picked up this little handful in the mid 1980s at one of our Photographica-fairs. Jim McKeen had used the lens to photograph birds – his hobby was bird-watching. The lens is capable of very high quality images – fitting since Jim used it with his Leica and a bellows.
According to the maker, Schneider of Kreuznach, the lens was made in various focal lengths, with or without a shutter for use on medium format cameras or with a bellows on 35mm cameras. The lens has two groups of elements – a three element group at the front and a two element group at the back. The two element group was provided in two diameters, a smaller one to cover 65 x 90 mm (about 2.5 x 3.5 inches) and a larger diameter group for a larger 90 x 120 mm coverage.
My lens has the smaller back group and a Leica screw-mount thread to fit the Leitz bellows. After I bought it, the lens was put on a display shelf and never used. Discovering the lens again, I have taken a few shots with it – using my Sony NEX-5 digital camera. The NEX-5 1.5x crop factor makes the lens equivalent to 360mm focal length. The results were impressive, especially the colour rendition. The lens was made c1956 according the serial number table on the Schneider Kreuznach web site. I found it had better contrast than the 1950 vintage 200 mm Telyt lens I have. In an image below, you can see the engraving error on the bezel (Arlon for Arton) that affected my first Google search.
Some more images of the Tele-Arton (top row), and some taken with it (bottom row).