Carl Zeiss lens dating

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by GeorgeDexter, Oct 3, 2009.

  1. GeorgeDexter

    GeorgeDexter Member

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    I'd like to date a Zeiss Planar 80mm f2.8 for Hasselblad, but I think she's out of my league :wink:

    But seriously. I'm trying to find a production date for a Hassy lens that I got hold of. It is an early, pre-T* chrome version, with the serial number 2570001 on the front ring. Stamped in silver on the rear, black lens mount is 287540. I can tell that this lens has been disassembled at some point, and it occurs to me that these parts may have been taken from different lenses. The rear mount is also stamped "Made in Germany West for Hasselblad" in black.

    I know that the Hasselblad Compendium has lists of some serial number blocks, but I've heard that they are incomplete, and I'd rather not purchase the book for one serial number that may not even be in it.

    Thanks,
    George
     
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  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Google Zeiss serial numbers :D

    Firefox remembers I've looked before :smile:


    BTW I found a T coated lens on Ebay last week produced in 1939 it was identical to my 1955/6ish 150mm f4.5 Tessar in a Compur, and the coating is very good.

    Ian
     
  3. AgX

    AgX Member

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    You could look it up in:

    Thiele, Hartmut
    "Fabrikationsbuch Photooptik III"

    It lists Zeiss Oberkochen lenses with their serial numbers.
     
  4. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Cost you $60 though :D Or £40 in the UK

    Rather an expensive book, Where do I find more details of East German Zeiss lenses ?

    Ian
     
  5. elekm

    elekm Member

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  6. AgX

    AgX Member

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    In Volume II. Expensive...

    Volume III is now in surplus for 20€.
     
  7. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    It's complete enough to tell that the 2570001 dates from 1958, and that 287540 is too short to be credible as a serial number for a Zeiss/Hasselblad C lens (supposing that this is missing a bit at the end, it could be from 1961. Too early still to be from a black C lens).

    It's not an exact science, and the answers may be not quite right on a rare occasion, but you might try the online lens dating thingy at Hasselblad Historical (in the left margin). This mini applet is based on Rick Nordin's tables.

    You should buy the book anyway though!

    Another thing: set the lens to it's close-focus limit, and look at the rear. See if you can find one (or perhaps more than one) stamp in red(dish) ink somewhere.
    If so, look at the bottom section of this page, and see what you can make of it.
     
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  8. GeorgeDexter

    GeorgeDexter Member

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    Thanks for the info!
     
  9. John R.

    John R. Member

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    The 80C f2.8 number range that I have are as follows:

    Serial # 1594932 through #1599320 are dated 1956.

    Serial # 2570294 through #2576569 are dated 1959.

    Your 80mm lens is somewhere prior to '59. "QG" may be right that it is a 1958 but Nordin's serial number charts that I have do not show a number range for 1958 on the 80 f2.8.

    You can rest assured your lens is most likely was produced during 1957 or 1958. Based on the 2570001 serial number your lens is the 6 element design 80mm. The 7 element design began production around 1960.

    The early Zeiss letter code on your lens was "OBPAL"
     
  10. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    To clarify:
    The numbers used in the Hasselblad Historical lens dating applet are supplied by Rick Nordin (he is a valued member of the group behind the site - which, by the way, is a community effort, and if anyone has something interesting to contribute, please do!).
    Gathering numbers and linking them to dates is - as i mentioned earlier - not an exact science, and when new numbers appear, the way to understand them may change, and blocks might shift.
     
  11. GeorgeDexter

    GeorgeDexter Member

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    Correction: I left out the last digit on the number stamped on the back of the lens: 2875405. That doesn't fit into any of the blocks in the Nordin book ( I located one). I'm wondering if the lens was so badly damaged that the factory assigned a new serial number when it was serviced? Maybe in 1961?
     
  12. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    Hard to say what this number is. A Zeiss serial number normally doesn't appear on the back of the lens.
    What does it look like? Stamped in ink? Engraved and filled with white paint? Scratched on/in?