B&L Zeiss Protar VIIa Triple Conv Lens FS
I'm just starting to thin out my large format gear. This is one of the nicer Protar lenses I've had, but I can't part with my larger casket set, so this one gets the boot. This will be a bit long-winded since these lenses require a bit of explanation for those not fully familiar with them.
8 1/2", 13 3/4", 16 1/8" triple convertible B&L Zeiss Protar VIIa in Optimo shutter w/mounting flange.
$275 plus shipping. US only. PayPal as "gift".
Here's the background info. A Series VII is a single lens cell that can be used alone in front of or behind the shutter. Edward Weston bought one that way (in barrel I believe) after consulting Ansel Adams for advice. Two Series VII cells make a complete Protar VIIa, with a shorter focal length than the individual cells. If the two cells are different focal lengths, then you have a triple convertible lens with three possible focal lengths. The single cells work well (a yellow or stronger filter improves quality). The two cells combined make an extremely well corrected lens that is at least comparable in performance and coverage to a Dagor. Many of us think the Protar is better.
The complete 8 1/2" lens easily covers 8x10" and always some movement - not a lot, but more than any 210 f6.8 Dagor I've tried. All the focal lengths are suitable for 4x5, 5x7, full plate, or 8x10, but will be at their very best on formats up to 6 1/2 x 8 1/2" where it has really great coverage.
Condition is unusually good. These lenses usually have significant edge seperation (the one way that Dagors really were better) . That does not seem to impact performance in normal use. Some of my others have very substantial separation, but work great. This sample has only the tiniest hints of separation at the edges. I'd call it effectively none, but somebody more used to modern lenses might notice. Front cell has a slight ding in the "filter ring".
The shutter has some brassing. It is pneumatically timed (like a Compound) and works fine. It is also pneumatically released, so takes a bulb release. Of course you can also trip it right from the release on the shutter, which is extremely smooth. Sally Mann seems to do it that way on here large format cameras. I used a bulb, but Sally gets a lot more money for her pictures, so you might want to follow here example over mine.
Pictures later today. Feel free to ask any questions. I'll probably have a couple more Protars (VIIa, and IV) for sale at some point, so if you are looking for something, feel free to PM.
Preference given to regular APUG participants (meaning only that I had some suspicious responses to a couple of past listings).
Last edited by Mark Crabtree; 12-08-2011 at 08:08 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Offers or trades considered (though there isn't much I need-PM about any trades).
It is one of the great classic lenses. I don't need it, and somebody should be using it.
Last edited by Mark Crabtree; 12-09-2011 at 11:29 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Protar lens set: still available?
Is this Protar lens set still available for purchase?
It's funny. I've been busy this summer and hardly checked in on APUG. Thought I'd look around tonight and saw you'd asked about my lens today.
Originally Posted by sgottli
I was surprised this didn't sell at the time, but didn't really pursue it further. I saw posts at another forum talking about how hard it is to find a decent priced Protar. I have been shooting with it on 5x7 lately, but have another lens in that focal length so would still sell it.
The Apple site where I had posted photos is no longer active. I can email pictures if you are interested. PM with your address.
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