your opinion on choosing a Schneider Gold dot Dagor 355/8
I have been offerred a Schneider MC Gold dot Dagor 355/8 in mint condition for my 8x10 lens line. I searched in google and this forum, and got both positive and negative feedback or sometime speculations on this lens in comparison with the old generation goerz dagor 14" F7.7.
The strength: Schneider Gold dot Dagor 355/8 benefits from modern multiple coating, reputed to be very high contrast and excellent color rendering.
The drawback: significantly smaller image circle than the old generation goerz dagor 14" F7.7. According to some user reports on Schneider Gold dot Dagor 355/8, the lens just covers 11x14 and barely 7x17.
Since I will primarily shoot 8x10 for b&w, neither Schneier dagor's color performance nor Goerz dagor's huge covering power seems to be a must for my requirement. So here is my concern:
How about Schneider Gold dot Dagor 355/8 performance for 8x10 B&W? Does its negative still have the "Dagor Reputation" for a pleasant creamy effect and smooth transition in tonalities? Or might the lens's high contrast make it inferior than Goerz dagor 14" F7.7 in b&w shooting?
Thanks for your comments.
I had one of these for a few years, and it would not even cover 7x17 very well. Not much movement. The multicoating was nice, but I could not tell a huge difference between it and my unocoated 12" dagor in terms of 'snap'. So I sold it. I like my 355 G-claron better since it will cover even my 12x20.
The Last Dagor is a fine lens, was a fine lens, and will always be a fine lens. As Clay suggests, the Dagor is efficient enough, with only 2 air/glass surfaces, that coating and multicoating are not a big deal.
The 'new lens' is the same as the 'old lens', just put into a different shutter. Schneider did nothing to it but buy the license from American Optical. So, is it still a creamy, lovely lens ? You bet. Can it still cut a face to ribbons if you let your process get out of control ? Absolutely.
Is it a nice, recent lens in a great shutter that will push you - as the photographer - to realize just a small portion of it's potential ? Yep.
For most folks' use of a 14" / 355mm lens on 8x10, a Tessar type lens ( Commerical Ektar ) has plenty of coverage. The Schneider Dagor, even restricted by it's mount, gives far more than the Ektar, and you'll never be wanting for more.
Contrast ? Specifically it's shadow flare you want to talk about, and whatever tendency to make softer shadows an uncoated dagor has, remember that the multiple surfaces of any plasmat (which unless efficiently coated is a flare machine !) make coating a far greater issue. It always has seemed to me that an uncoated Dagor was about the same as a single coated plasmat and, and the multi coating of your Dagor will not so much make the contrast unpleasantly high but give you freedom to shoot anywhere you wish. Night scenes in the city, foggy scenes on the coast.... anywhere you go this lens will be more than fine.
It is a fine lens for 8x10, and you should buy it, and shoot it forever. As long as it isn't too expensive !
"One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid,
and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision"