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  1. #1
    aoresteen's Avatar
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    Dagor 120mm f/6.8 Series III Lens

    I have a C.P. Goerz Berlin Dagor Series III f/6.8 120mm lens serial # 612728. I was wondering if anyone could date it? The shutter is a Compur Rapid serial # 311589.

    Is this one of the Burke & James remounts or is it off a 9x12 folder?

    It doesn't have an aperture scale engraved, the aperture plate is blank. I bought it around 1996 or so thinking I would use it on a 5x7 view camera but never did. Around 2005 had it mounted for my Cambo 23SF but forgot about it. Last week I found it in a box of stuff for my Cambo that I had in storage. I've never used it as I need to get an aperture scale for it.

    Is it worth having someone like SK Grimes make an aperture scale for it?

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Rear element:

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    Shutter serial number:

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    Tony
    Newnan, GA

    Cambo 23SF, Hasselblad, Mamiya M645, Rolleiflex 2.8C
    Rollei 4x4 Grey
    Leica M4-P M3 IIIf RD Contax IIa Nikon SP
    Olympus OM-1 OM-2

    http://www.oresteen.com/ROLLEI4X4.htm

  2. #2

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    Per P-H Pont's Goerz chronology, 1923. It has been remounted, the Compur Rapid shutter was made from 1934-51. There's no telling where the cells came from. B&J probably wasn't involved.

    If the glass is in good order and it forms a decent image on the GG (you'll use a 2x3 camera, won't you?) and you don't already have a good lens around that focal length it might be worth spending the money. If you want to use it on 5x7, save your money and get a modern lens that covers the format well.

  3. #3
    aoresteen's Avatar
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    Thanks Dan!

    Yes I will use it on my 2x3 Cambo. The 5x7 is long gone (I had bought a 300mm Schneider for it), I gave it to my younger brother to carry around ! Once my darkroom is finished I'll shoot some test shots with it and guess at the apertures. If it works well then I guess I'll have a proper scale made for it.
    Tony
    Newnan, GA

    Cambo 23SF, Hasselblad, Mamiya M645, Rolleiflex 2.8C
    Rollei 4x4 Grey
    Leica M4-P M3 IIIf RD Contax IIa Nikon SP
    Olympus OM-1 OM-2

    http://www.oresteen.com/ROLLEI4X4.htm

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Fromm View Post
    Per P-H Pont's Goerz chronology, 1923. It has been remounted, the Compur Rapid shutter was made from 1934-51. There's no telling where the cells came from. B&J probably wasn't involved.

    If the glass is in good order and it forms a decent image on the GG (you'll use a 2x3 camera, won't you?) and you don't already have a good lens around that focal length it might be worth spending the money. If you want to use it on 5x7, save your money and get a modern lens that covers the format well.
    Dan, Dan, the lens is a B&J. "Series III" is the clue. A real Berlin made lens would be marked "Serie", and a Berlin made Goerz with a serial in that range would simply be marked "Dagor"; they dropped the series designation somewhere in the late 300,000 range as far as I can tell. It would also have the focal length in CM. It will cover 4x5 with very little room for movements, assuming the coverage is normal for a Dagor.

    Aoresteen, it could be a good lens, but the B&J remounts are all over the map. Dagors are very sensitive to spacing, so take some photos with it before you spring for an aperture scale. Stop down to at least f:16 for testing purposes.

  5. #5
    aoresteen's Avatar
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    E.von Hoegh,

    I thought that at around serial # 600,xxx and above, Goerz changes the "Serie" to "Series".

    Anyone?
    Tony
    Newnan, GA

    Cambo 23SF, Hasselblad, Mamiya M645, Rolleiflex 2.8C
    Rollei 4x4 Grey
    Leica M4-P M3 IIIf RD Contax IIa Nikon SP
    Olympus OM-1 OM-2

    http://www.oresteen.com/ROLLEI4X4.htm

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by aoresteen View Post
    E.von Hoegh,

    I thought that at around serial # 600,xxx and above, Goerz changes the "Serie" to "Series".

    Anyone?
    Nope. They dropped the "serie" designation long before the 600,000 range, as I posted above. CPG Berlin never marked a lens "series"; those are B&J remounts.
    Edit - the markings should be as this lens, except for focal length. http://www.ebay.com/itm/C-P-Goerz-Be...item3388d3c994
    Last edited by E. von Hoegh; 12-18-2013 at 03:54 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  7. #7

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    Emil,

    Thanks for the correction. I'll try hard to remember the Serie - Series distinction.

  8. #8
    aoresteen's Avatar
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    Question: Why is the rear cell marked "Germany"? Were the cells made in Germany or did B&J actually make them?

    From what Emil says the front cell was made by B&J. When did B&J make these Dagors?
    Tony
    Newnan, GA

    Cambo 23SF, Hasselblad, Mamiya M645, Rolleiflex 2.8C
    Rollei 4x4 Grey
    Leica M4-P M3 IIIf RD Contax IIa Nikon SP
    Olympus OM-1 OM-2

    http://www.oresteen.com/ROLLEI4X4.htm

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by aoresteen View Post
    Question: Why is the rear cell marked "Germany"? Were the cells made in Germany or did B&J actually make them?

    From what Emil says the front cell was made by B&J. When did B&J make these Dagors?
    Why is the front cell marked "Berlin"? I did not say the front cell was made by B&J; I said the entire lens was a remount by B&J.

    B&J ended up with a huge assortment of lens cells and unmounted cemented elements after WWII. Some were from Dagors, some were from other types. The booty came from Zeiss, who absorbed Goerz Berlin in 1926. B&J mounted this glass in cells, mounted/remounted the cells in shutters, and peddled them as the real thing. Some of the lenses, put together from well matched elements, were as good as the real item - others were not. The glass was of all vintages, even early f:7.7 (in focal lengths of 12"/300mm and shorter) cells from the 1890s were remounted. Goerz New York published a disclaimer at one point.
    Last edited by E. von Hoegh; 12-19-2013 at 09:33 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  10. #10
    aoresteen's Avatar
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    E.von Hoegh,

    Thanks! But now I'm more confused. If these Dagor Series III lens cells were made by Goerz in Germany before Goerz was absorbed by Zeiss in 1926, are you saying Goerz never sold them? That they *ALL* became left-overs that B&J bought after WWII?

    It seems to me that Goerz would have sold some of them and Zeiss may have sold them for some time until they retooled and engraved them differently. Per Dan's reference my Dagor dates to 1923. Seems to me that we can conclude that it was a genuine Dagor (front cell at least) lens.

    Just because B&J bought a bunch of them after WWII doesn't mean that Goerz DID NOT sell any of them before 1926.

    So I conclude that there are some Dagor Series III lenses that exist that are not from B&J but from Goerz. Since mine is in a Compur Rapid of 1934-1951 it *COULD* be a B&J remount or a remount by someone else. What if it was remounted in 1938? I guess the shutter serial number would also be a clue as to age. The serial number of 311,589 doesn't make sense as that would put it around 1917:

    http://camera-wiki.org/wiki/Compur_serial_numbers.

    I decided to remove the cable release mount to see if there were any hidden serial numbers. Bingo! The serial number is 4,311,589 making it a 1937 shutter.

    Full serial number:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Hidden serial number:

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    I think my Compur Rapid was modified for use with a cable release. I don't think that Compur would have released it from the factory with one serial number digit hidden. Who added it? Would B&J have done it?

    What bothers me is the blank aperture scale. Did B&J remount lenses and NOT provide an aperture scale? Seems to me that they would provide an aperture scale with a lens that they remounted. But mine is blank and looks like it is factory original. When buying replacement shutters you get a blank aperture scale plate. So why would B&J add a cable release adapter and not an aperture scale? I have never examined any B&J remounted Dagors so if anyone has a sample photos that would be helpful.


    So at this point I think it is reasonable to assume that the lens was remounted by an independent repair shop and not by B&J. Given the shutter date I think it was remounted pre-WWII as it had the added cable release adapter.

    Thoughts?
    Tony
    Newnan, GA

    Cambo 23SF, Hasselblad, Mamiya M645, Rolleiflex 2.8C
    Rollei 4x4 Grey
    Leica M4-P M3 IIIf RD Contax IIa Nikon SP
    Olympus OM-1 OM-2

    http://www.oresteen.com/ROLLEI4X4.htm

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