What do I have here? Goerz Dagor lens from 1914.......
Total newbie in LF though I have fiddled with some LF lens on my Rolleiflex SL66, and now have a nice Wista 45DX coming soon so I'll be more involved in not too long....
Anyway, about 8-9 years ago on a whim I bought an old Seneca 9 wooden field camera, really beat up, off eBay. Since I did not even have any 4x5 film holders or even film I let it sit for a few years and then, even though the shutter seemed to work fine, I had a local camera tech do a CLA on it. Dumb move. When I got it back within 2 clicks of the shutter the aperture blades got all twisted up and stopped working, and I just put the whole thing on the shelf. Now, with my new Wista coming and a few new LF lenses coming too and being on the verge of diving head-first into LF photography I'm curious about this camera again, particularly about the lens.
The lens has written on the ring:
Goerz Dagor F:6.8 Series III No.1 FOCUS 6 IN. No. 317075
From an article on this site the serial # appears to indicate it's a lens from 1914-1918. Although the lens rings and such are quite thrashed the glass is pretty clean and clear with no scratches. As mentioned the German IBSOR D.R.P. now shutter seems shot. The front element of the lens screws off, the rear too tight and without the right tool I decided not to fool with it. The measurements of the rear retaining ring appear to be approx Copal #0 size.
I see some posts here with some admiration of Goerz Dagor lenses but it seems there were quite a few of them over many years. Can I remount the lens somehow on another shutter? Anything anyone can share about this lens? Is this lens anything unique or special? Rare?
Photos of the lens attached.
Not particularly rare or wonderful, but if in a good shutter a very usable normal lens for 4x5. Ole Tjugen (send him a PM) might be able to suggest a replacement shutter that will accept the cells and give the right spacing.
If you can't get a proper replacement shutter the cost-effective way to get a normal lens for your Wista is to buy a modern lens from KEH. The last time I looked they had heaps of 'em priced below the cost of an improper shutter in good order (all used shutters need a CLA, its a law of nature) plus adapters to accept y'r Dagor's cells.
Well they don't make Dagors in anymore and they do render beautiful smooth images. I'd keep it. I have a 7 inch Dagor dating from the teens, it is beat up but got me hooked on Dagors. It was remounted in a Copal #1 shutter. The 6 inch Dagor I have came in a Compur #0 shutter. so that may be what you can look for, an older Compur or Copal #0 shutter to replace the Ibsor shutter. Or try Flutot's Camera Repair or Paul Ebel Lens Service to revive the vintage shutter.
That said, Dan's suggestion of a modern lens and shutter is a lot less trouble for everyday shooting. Keep the vintage lens for a different look.
I have a series III 120mm f6.8. It is a sharp but not particularly contrasty lens (being single coated). Mine dates from about 1923. Its mounted straight into a Compur 0 shutter. My enquries suggest that although the cells date from 1923 it is, in fact, a Burke and James remount. Its none the worse for that. One thing I have found is that there is a little focus shift when stopped down. My tests reveal that its at its best at f22, more than acceptable at f16 but that great wide open. It has plenty of coverage for 5x4 Its greatest virtue is that it is a very compact light lens, much more so than the modern 125mm fujinon I also own. I have attached a photograph that I have taken with this lens.