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  1. #1

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    Unique and/or Legendary lenses

    What are the large format Unique or legendary you know, heard of, interested, modern, old, shot with, or seen with a hefty ridiculously expensive (or cheap) lenses?

    Discussing actual use of these lenses and why are they legendary.

  2. #2
    gandolfi's Avatar
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    oh - where to begin....

  3. #3
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  4. #4

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    Do you mean truly legendary, or urban legendary?

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by E. von Hoegh View Post
    Do you mean truly legendary, or urban legendary?
    I'm interested in both

  6. #6

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    Clem, nearly the only reason to get a "legendary" lens is to have braggin' rights. If you're willing to spend money for that, well, its your money ...

    Thing is, many "legendary" lenses are no better than similar lenses that aren't legendary. There are a couple of exceptions. A class of lenses, soft focus types. They're not all functionally equivalent and if that's what you want you'll have to pay the price. The Goerz Hypergon. Again, there's no functional equivalent.

    Coupla examples of legendary lenses for which there are substitutes, possibly superior:

    Goerz Serie III Doppel Anastigmat, later sold as Dagor. Legendary as can be. Other makers sold equally good dagor types that can often be had for much less money than the equivalent Dagor.

    Goerz Apo-Artar, a four elements in four groups process lens. Also legendary as can be. Thing is, uncoated ones aren't that wonderful because of flare. And Nikon (symmetrical type Apo-Nikkors) and Rodenstock (Apo-Ronars) made functionally equivalent, possibly slightly better, 4/4 dialyte type process lenses, all coated, that generally sell for less than the equivalent Apo-Artar.

  7. #7

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    I'm interested in this subject too, though as an obligate contact printer I don't quite know *why* I care, given that I could probably get away with using meniscus lenses ground from expired bologna.

    Petzvals I think I understand; people seem to use them for shallow DOF with that appealing "swirly" look and a low-contrast "looks like a really old photo" character. But there are other lenses where I know the name but don't know what's special about them.

    As one example, what's the big exciting thing about "red dot" Artars?

    -NT
    Nathan Tenny
    San Diego, CA, USA

    The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
    -The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by E. von Hoegh View Post
    Do you mean truly legendary, or urban legendary?
    What a refreshing answer. Atta boy.

  9. #9

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    A really good overview of the milestones in lens development (and glass industry) is the book:

    A History of the Photographic Lens
    by Rudolf Kingslake

  10. #10
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    The two lenses that came across as legendary when I began taking an interest in older equipment were the Dagor and the Hypergon, the latter being the most desired in terms of wanting to try using but harder to find.

    I didn't go out of my way to buy a Dagor but was lucky to get one with a camera that lives up to the hbype, it is very sharp, great tonality, excellent coverage, and luckily it's coated.

    Heliars are supposedly very desirable but I guess I'm happy with what I have already

    Ian

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