"Numbered" lenses

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Ole, Jul 1, 2005.

  1. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Once upon a time - about a century ago in Europe - it was common to mark lenses not with focal length, but a number. One of my lenses is an Emil Busch Weitwinkel-Aplanat No.3 f:14; another an O. Simon Anastigmat No.4 f:7.2.

    Others have focal lengths, but I haven't yet seen any with both markings.

    A No.0 would have been made for the smallest plate format, about 6.5x9cm. The No.1 is 9x12cm, or 4x5" if made in an "inch" country. No.2 covers 5x7" or 13x18cm, those are close enough to be considered the same. But from there on it breaks down: I know that the Busch illuminates the full 8x10", but not whether it's made for that, 18x24cm or some intermediate plate size. And then there are the larger plate sizes... The German sizes were 18x24, 24x30, 30x40, 40x50. Same sizes as enlarging paper is still sold in, but noone really knows why :wink:

    I'm bidding on a No. 6 Aplanat, hoping that it covers 30x40cm. If not, it will be a nice portrait lens for 8x10"!

    Anyone?
     
  2. photomc

    photomc Member

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    Hey Ole, you may have given me some information on the lens that came on the 8x10 Korona I just won. No marking on the lens (nice brass, covered with what looks like a black varnish or something) except the front and read elements of each set are marked with roman numerial III and then followed by a 4 or 5. Mounted the 5 last night and it was really nice coverage...full rise and fall, with the Korona..the lens are mounted in a Wollensak shutter marked Regino I think (it's at home and I'm not).

    Now I have something else to go on...if I find anything, will let you know.
     
  3. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I saw your question about that lens - and I'm stumped. At least temporarily.

    In a bit more than a week I'll be at home, and in a slightly better position to see if I can find any lens maker who marketer a "Serie III" - except Goerz (it's the Dagor) which I already know about. Is there any hint? Number of reflections? I guess it might be a Wollensak lens in Regno shutter - I have one of those, too (a "Rapid Convertible").
     
  4. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

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    Goerz Doppel Anastigmat were listed this way. A no. 1 being a 6 inch #1a 6 1/2" #2-7" #3-8 1/4" #4-9 1/2" #5-10 3/4" #6-12" I'm going from memory here so may not be exact. But then there's a #2 Vitax Wollensak which I figured would be small but it's a huge 13" portrait lens. While a No. 8 VIIa Protar is a 7" lens. You would need a #30 Protar for the 12X16. Nothing holds up very well. Too bad really. My 14" Heliar is a #6 and a huge Voigtlander Euryscop RR Portrait is a #6. That kind of holds up to the different #6's being meant for a 10X8 plate.
     
  5. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The nice little Busch lens illuminates 8x10", the Simon Anastigmat covers 18x24cm with plenty of room for movements...

    The "portrait" lenses were intended for plate diagonals smaller than the focal length - a 13" portrait lens seems great for 5x7" assuming a 40° sharp coverage.
     
  6. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Ole, if you don't have a copy of the Vade Mecum, you really should buy one. It will lead you farther astray, and it will boggle your mind with incomprehensible names for lenses. All those series! TTH, for one, made a Ser. III.

    Good luck, have fun
     
  7. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I have it. And the 1910 photography book by Herr Schmidt (can't remember the title at the moment - has lists, remarks and prices for the most common lenses in Germany at that time - , Beck's "Photographic Lenses", and a few more. But I have brought none of them with me to work in the North Sea.