Speaking of dog lenses...
The other day we got a Schulze and Billerbeck Portrait-Euryplan with f260/3.3. It's an absolutely huge piece of glass, bigger than we expected and it will barely fit on our Pecoflex with some modifying on the lensboard...and not at all on the Graphic View. It needs to be CLA'd and it really needs a lens hood or a compendium.
We did some research before buying and thought it would be some kind of plasmat. It turns out to be something else, probably an astigmatic triplet. Immediately the promising words 'swirly' and 'bokeh' teamed up in our heads. We haven't tried this lens yet, but we hoped someone could look it up in their Lens VM and tell us some more about it.
Perhaps it will turn out to be a 'dog', but maybe it will be a very interesting lens to work with. Don't know, either way doesn't really matter.
Thanks in advance for helping out.
We've been cheerfully disregarding the deafening silence ensuing our question and gone on digging for more knowledge bites on this lens ourselves.
The lens designs seems pretty much the same as the Goerz Hypar (also available in portrait version) and the B&L Sigmar, about which lens it is harder to find more info.
So maybe someone here has experience with any of these relatives of our Schulze & Billerbeck Portrait-Euryplan?
PS We haven't had time yet to clean, mount or use, but we promise to post some pics when we do get around to that. If only for the purposes of the archive.
I've never owned the lens in question, but I did go out with a girl back in High School with the last name of Billerbeck...or was it Schulze? ;-)
According to Kingslake, its a Airspaced Dagor designed by E. Arbeit of Schulz and Billerbeck of Potsdam in 1903. Check out "A History of The Photographic Lens" p94.
Kingslake goes on to report that the eight air-glass surfaced caused some problems because of interreflections, but the lens proved to be quite satisfactory in practice.
Well, I know nothing about your particular lens, but I have seen and used the B&L f4 Sigmar, as well as its Wollensak cousin, the f3.5 Varium. These are triplet lenses (3/3 design) which are ostensibly soft focus lenses, however they are nowhere near as soft as the Verito or the Imagon. Wide open they are semi-soft, but sharpen up within a stop or two. I never used my Sigmar (it was in bad condition), but my 16" Varium is a keeper. It is reasonably sharp by f/5.6, and quite sharp at f/11. It is also massive. These were described in the literature as "budget" lenses, for what every that is worth.
... The lens designs seems pretty much the same as ... the B&L Sigmar, about which lens it is harder to find more info...
From the Vade Mecum:
Here again the designs seem to vary and may overlap the above: and it is possible this is due to changes with time or market. But Eury- tends to be faster than Aero-plan and has more air-spaced designs. See Scu007 for Q20 types at f5.6 and f6.3 and App063 for a f6.0/f7.5 layout,- and Scu008 and Scu009 for Q18 types. The designer was E. Arbeit in 1903 and Apo colour corrections are claimed for some at least. These are innovative designs, especially as Scu007 became the layout of choice for Plasmat and modern professional lenses. The layout was somewhat prone to flare and reflexions until coating was used, and Arbeit may have chosen to go where others had not, but deserves credit for his innovation. The numbering of the series seems complex, possibly due to changes in the lists with country or year. In 1908 it was Series 1, f4.5; Series 11, f5.6; Series 111, f6.8; Series 1V, f6.5. (And no Aeroplan in the list.) A problem factor is that the positives were outside in the Series 1, and inside in the Series 11 and 111. Most can be converted to give 2x focal length by using a single cell. Euryplan was reported as 'new' in (Photographic News, 25/01/1907, p75) when it was a 1+2 i 2+1 layout rather like a Planar and was sold in 3 series f4.5 for up to 80°, f5.6 for 90°, f6.8 for 82° and these were convertible to well corrected components. They were said to be something of a bargain at the modest cost. F4.5 in 3.5-12in, others in 3.5-24in. The patent was No135,742 to Herr Arbeit of Wetzlar, 21/02/1901.
Euryplan Series 1 f6.8. ] These were general purpose lenses in 1908.
Euryplan Series 11 f6.0 ]
Euryplan Sets Type 11 and 111 6-lenses each, for 9x12; 13x18cm. This was an air-spaced 3+3 anastigmat. There were probably several sets at different times in f6.0 and f6.8 for 9x12 and 13x18cm, with 4
or 6 cells. See Photography, 21/09/1909, p243 S6 where the Euryplan shown is a 2+1 i 2+ layout ie Plasmat type, Series 11 f5.6 and there was a f4.5 of similar design, while the f6.8 was still a Q9 cemented lens. It used
only 2 types of Jena glass, one for all positives, the other for both negatives.
Euryplan Series 111 f4.5 A portrait lens.
Portrait Objective Series 1V f2.3. Also see above.
Another list instead gives the following, which suggests the numbering at least changed.
Euryplan Series 1 f4.5 9.0-32cm for 80° and as a portrait lens. Mainly Q20 type (Scu009) But there was also an f4.0 version without series numbering, Layout Scu010. So the f4.0 may be an earlier lens? (Euryplan was seen at No2037 engraved Staley, as an f4.5 8.25in lens in brass, with Scu009 layout.) Fig 032 012 Schulze and Billerbeck Euryplan f4.5/8.25in Ser I No203x, sold by Staley and Co.
Euryplan Series 11 f5.6 or f6.0 in longer sizes. Made as 6.0-60cm to cover 90° Q20 type. This is shown as Scu008 for an f5.6 lens.
Euryplan Series 111 This seems to be made in f6.8, f7.5, or f7.7 in 6.0-60cm for 82° as a Q20 type.
Incidentally they do not seem to have offered a Wide angle lens up to 1908.
EuryplanSeries 1V f6.5
Velos Series 1V f4.5 but there is little information on this.
Euryplan Series 11 and 111 were reissued as f5.6 and f6.8 in Scu007 in foci 3.5-24in.
The f4.8 lens with the Q9 design should be interesting to try as it should have the contrast so often lacking in old lenses and enough speed to be interesting. But it is said that increase in speed with this type usually is
coupled with a narrow angle of cover. And air is cheaper than glass, so air-spaced designs tended to increase. S&B lenses do not seem to be easy to find in the UK and are often in poor order as the glass is set in alloy mounts in the brass barrels, and the alloy is very soft- and the engraving can be hard to read. Many seem to lack serial numbers, or have them engraved on the outer face of the cell where they are often worn. But they tend not to be costly as the firm is relatively unknown. One view is that the Scu005, Scu007 type is the most collectable and interesting.
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that must have been tedious, copying all that from the VM - or is that available on CD-Rom as well? It looks like in a few years we could use have of those.
Anyway, the funny bit it that our specific portrait euryplan is not a plasmat. The little we found about it on the web, said it should be. That was our main reason for buying it. But the lens unscrews easily and tells a different story: big piece of curved glass as first element, than two other seperate elements. Lens design is not even close to being symmetrical, as you'd expect from a plasmat. Judging from the lens design diagrams, it can hardly be anything else than a triplet like the Hypar and the Sigmar. Or we're missing something here completely.
It's not designated as belonging to any series either. All it says on the barrel is: portrait-euryplan F 3.3 No. 5 = 260mm Schulze Billerbeck Goerlitz no. 16812.
Oh well, I guess 'the proof of the pudding etc. etc.'
But from a quick look through the gg, the lens looks indeed soft not but quite soft focus, has flare and needs a good lens hood/compendium.
Maybe we just have a mystery lens.