Well, I bought this lens a few weeks ago and it finally arrived. It was just a whim. I really want to play with old lenses. Ideally 19th century, but those are pricey when they are in usable shape usually. So I settled for a lens that will 100 years old in 7 years (well...maybe).
It is, as the title suggests, a Kodak Anastigmat 170mm f7.7 lens. It is mounted in a "Kodak Ball Bearing Shutter" which actually seems to be working pretty well. The serial number is 111573. From what I can gather, these lenses were placed on Kodak 3A Autographs. Which appeared to be a HUGE folder. The date on the shutter assembly says Jan 18, 1910 - Jan 7, 1913. I am guess that the chances of someone placing a new lens in an old shutter are pretty low. And that date seems to be appropriate for the camera the lens came with.
Please let me know if I am wrong though.
Anyway, I taped it onto a spare lens board just to see what I got. I was thinking that since this thing is so small, I'd get vignetting. At this point I was just looking for an old lens to play with.
Surprisingly (to me at least), this little lens seems to cover 4x5 pretty well. I didn't see any serious fall off (all though there probably is some...being a 7.7 the damn thing is DARK on the glass).
Anyway, can anyone give me more info on this lens? I am looking to simply play with and experiment with old glass cheaply. I like some of the effects that it can give.
I looked it up in my Large Format Optical Reference Manual and found one entry to match. A barrel lens, covers 5x7,50 degree coverage, 4 element/ 4 groups. Does this seem anything like what you have?
A couple of things. If the patent dates are 1910 and 1913 the item can't be older then the last date. The other thing is it labelled 170mm? Assuming it's US made when did the switch to metric happen? I thought it was quite a bit later then 1915.
I haven't had a chance to take this lens apart, although it does look to have 4 elements in 4 groups. Aparently it was pretty widely used as were variations of it. There were a bunch of 7.7 anastigmats made in various focal lengths.
It does seem to do 4x5 well. It is hard to tell exactly how good the coverage is because it is a pretty dim lens and I don't have a great dark cloth.
Have you looked it up in the lens information at graflex.org or largeformat.info? I seem to remember (but can't lay hands on) that the various f7.7 anastigmats are the uncoated forerunners of the later dialyte-type Ektars (such as the beloved 203 f7.7). If so, it should have reasonable coverage for 4x5, and excellent sharpness.