Goerz Frontar Lens on Zeiss Ikon , Collecting Information in One Place

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Mustafa Umut Sarac, Mar 23, 2013.

  1. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    I am a big fan of Goerz Dagor and I never dreamed to own an Goerz Dagor lens until I saw Zeiss Ikon with Goerz Frontar lens. My breath is taken at that moment. I will buy one at April and until than please educate me about Frontar lens . Is it German or American , what about the history and architecture , who supplies glasses , who designed the lens and what else that designer designed , who is he ? Is there american patents on that lens ? Are there any users at APUG ? Where to buy one working camera without problems ? I did saw some ultra sharp textile but ultra smooth skin tones examples bw and some best of best panorama greens in bw again , is there any color examples ?

    Thank you,

    Umut
     
  2. elekm

    elekm Member

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    Goerz Frontar is an achromat -- two-element lens. Made in Germany. I'm not sure who designed the Frontar. It's a very simple lens. I am not sure who designed it.

    The Frontar was used on Box Tengor cameras, and also the VP127 Ikonette and the 126 Instamatic Ikomatic F.
     
  3. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    The camera you saw with a Frontar lens is a box camera, it's an achromatic meniscus lens. The Frontar is no more related to the Dagor than a salamander is related to a cat.
     
  4. tony lockerbie

    tony lockerbie Subscriber

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    Quite right, the Frontar is a very simple optic designed for Box cameras and a few other low end folders. I have a Box Tengor with this lens and the quality is a little better than a Box Brownie...more Hipster than Ansel Adams :smile:
     
  5. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Oh, and by the way, Mustafa, not only is the Frontar not a Dagor, not all of Goerz f/6.8 Doppelanastigmats are Dagors. Goerz made a number of f/6.8 dialyte type double anastigmats. If Goerz made it and it isn't engraved "Dagor" or "Doppelanastigmat" and "Serie III" it isn't a Dagor.
     
  6. John Wiegerink

    John Wiegerink Member

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    I've owned every model of the Box Tengor and while they seem to be build much better than most of the box cameras of their time I can't say the optical quality was better. In fact I'd take my old Kodak Target 616/620 or even an Agfa Sure Shot to the Tengor for picture quality, but that's just me of course. As for seeing some shots of "Ultra sharp textiles? Maybe in the very tiny center of the frame, but I rather doubt it to be "ultra" sharp. Now, I'll buy the smooth skin tones in black and white, but none of the Tengor's (10 or more)I've owned have been ultra sharp. They do make a pretty darn good portrait camera if you can learn to frame your subject. Oh, and of the ten or so Tengors I've had there have been some that delivered better picture quality than others even of the same model era. JohnW
     
  7. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    Also, Dagors are really a largeformat lens. All Dagors exibit focus shift, it's due to the left-over spherical aberrations. What this means is twofold: Firstly, you must focus at the working aperture because the focus shifts, the lens' focal length actually gets longer as you stop down. Second, if you want that Dagor look, the "sharp but smooth" with wonderful microcontrast, you need to stop down to about f:11 to f:16. On 35mm, this means the lens will be badly diffraction limited and a real handful to focus.
     
  8. elekm

    elekm Member

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    I thought that I would revive this conversation.

    In regards to the Box Tengor, I found that the prewar models are sharpest at the middle distance settings. The postwar Box Tengor with the black and satin chrome finish is sharpest at infinity.

    I have fun with the Box Tengor, because it's OK to forget about "serious" photography and just do some point and shoot without having to constantly check your meter.

    The lens on the Zeiss Ikon Tengoflex is also surprisingly sharp.

    However, there is a limit to what you can do with such a simple lens as the Frontar.

    This is the only non-Zeiss lens to survive the merger that formed Zeiss Ikon and to be used in the Zeiss Ikon lineup until its demise in the 1970s - although there was a gap of time when there were no Zeiss Ikon cameras with the Frontar.