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  1. #1

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    Do LF lens names mean anything?

    You know, Dagor, Symmar, Ronar, Optar, Claron, Sironar, Rodagon etc.

    do they really mean anything (maybe in German?). Or are they just supposed to be sylabic groupings that sound impressive?
    "Fundamentally I think we need to rediscover a non-ironic world"
    Robert Adams

  2. #2

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    Arbitrary designators, nearly all of them. Trade names, in short.

  3. #3
    Mateo's Avatar
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    I know at least one of them does: Double Anastigmat GOeRz.
    "If I only had a brain"-Some badly dressed guy made of straw in some movie I think I saw

  4. #4

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    The names of just a few lenses try to refer to some particular quality, but they are largely just contrived. Zeiss Planar seems to try to describe its flat plane, and I've read that there is something behind the Biogon name if one searches ancient Greek.

    To noodle out the families of Zeiss lense names (for example), see this: http://www.zeiss.com/C12567A8003B58B...256A53003735CE

  5. #5
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    In the case of the Goerz Dagor it's a simple abreviation:

    Doppel Anastigmat GOeRz

    Ian

  6. #6
    Ole
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    Anything ending in "-gon" or "-on" tends to be wide-angle (Hypergon, Biogon, Angulon), or at some time have been intended to be wide-angle (Rodagon).

    Many lenses ending in "-ar" are Tessar clones like the Xenar, but many are not - like the Symmar. The Symmar has an almost symmetrical construction which started out as a Dagor-type and was then changed to Plasmat-type. Plasmats, by the way, were said to give better "plasticity".

    A long time ago there were basically only two (well - four) types: Petzval portrait lenses, and Aplanat/Rectilinears. And the "landscape lens", a single meniscus lens (or achromatic pair) behind the aperture. The only "modern" lens of this construction is the Imagon.

    Most aplanats are called either something-or-other Aplanat, or Rapid Rectilinear.

    When the anastigmats made their entry, there were suddenly a large number of different constructions with lots of different names. And every producer used their own names, and made slight changes to avoid patent issues, and so on. Being slightly different already at that time, Rodenstock made the "Hemi-Anastigmat" which is neither "Hemi" nor really Anastigmatic.

    Once you start messing about with old lenses the confusion increases - the Xenar is a Tessar-type lens except the "Xenar Typ D" which is not. Some Ektars are Tessars, some are not. I've already mentioned the Symmar, and modern APO Symmar has no relation to the original Dagor-type Symmar. The Planar has at least three different formulas. Voigtländer once patented Heliar and Dynar, but most Heliar lenses are of Dynar construction. So is the APO-Lanthar, which is APOchromatic and contains a Lanthanum glass element. Or at least it did - I'm not too sure about the modern ones for 35mm cameras...
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  7. #7
    JG Motamedi's Avatar
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    Many are arbitrary, but some of the classic Zeiss lenses are based upon greek; -gon for instance means angle or corner (polygon) and bio- is life (biology), so biogon would suggest the 'angle of life', or something of the sort. I *think* the prefix -tar has something to do with vision, so biotar would work out to vision of life. Tessar is derived from the Greek root for four since it has four elements.

  8. #8

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    The first part is the trade name, ie Symmar. The letters after it tell you what you really want to know.

    Symmar $500.
    Symmar S $1,000.
    Symmar XL $2,000.
    SymmarXLCH $3,000.

    It's called marketing.

  9. #9
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Yes, the price generally goes up when you start adding letters like, "S," "E," and "X." The same is true for automobiles.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  10. #10
    Ole
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    Quote Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb
    Yes, the price generally goes up when you start adding letters like, "S," "E," and "X." The same is true for automobiles.
    ... and "APO" is like "Turbo GTI" !
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

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