Quote Originally Posted by Two23 View Post
I just bought an antique lens, so I'll offer some thoughts. I'm not a collector. I just like finely made old things, and especially like the mystery of using something very old. Last summer I started using a c.1959 Kodak Brownie Hawkeye. I liked it! I then bought a c.1937 Voigtlander Bessa, nearly mint condition. I still shoot about one 120 roll per week. I then bought a c.1914 Kodak Special No. 1 and had it fully restored. I will use it when it gets warmer outside (synthetic shutter could shatter in the below zero cold here now.) SO, last week I bought something even older, a c. 1870s Derogy 5.5" Petzval lens. I love its beautiful brass. I love the flowing engraved scripts. I love the sense of grace it gives my Shen Hao 4x5 field camera! I am not a collector, but really appreciate finely made cameras. More than that, I am entranced by the connection they give me to photographers of the distant past. The Derogy has no shutter of course, but I shoot at night a lot anyway. For the record, I have virtually NO interest in what I call the "second wave" of lens technology, that which came after about 1885. I have no interest in buying a lens from 1900. A 1930 Voigtlander Bergheil in dark green, maybe. I paid $650 for the Derogy from a collector. He seems to buy & sell all the time. I had bid on an 1842 Ross Petzval in December, but dropped off at $1,600. I really wish I had taken it to $2,000. For me, the history and connection to the past are very important. I might yet sell the Derogy for something significantly older, but until then I really am in love with it!

New NIkon lenses are costing over $2,000 now. To me it seems that $650 for something so historic, so beautiful, is almost obscenely low. The lens would have cost a small fortune in 1872! For me, the lens not only can make art: it is itself art!

Kent in SD
hi Kent.

While I understand all your comments, it sounds like you're "just" entering, what could be a fun/interesting but also time consuming and costly journey....

You sound a little like me... a couple of years ago..

I also love the craftmanship - the beauty and the connetcion to a past ara..
In lenses and in cameras too..

What you see in your Derogy, I saw in my first Gandolfi camera.
I truely also love the old lenses.
But as a user of the lenses, I quickly realized that one thing is the beauty of the lens - a second (and more important for me) quality makes a difference.
the character/quality of the images you can get from the lenses..

As much as I love the same lenses as you, I also love the "second wave" as you call it.
Firstly because some of those are as beautiful as the older ones, but more important: if you stay pre 1885, you're somewhat limited in the choises of different image quality (?)

I have not much interest in lenses that makes tack sharp images (I have what I need, I think).
But the softer lenses are my weakness!
And there's a LOT of fantastic lenses made from 1885 and foreward.. (WWII approx).

so I started like you - then the sickness hit me (GAS), and now I am lost in the world of beauty! exteriour as well as interiour...

And there's always just one more, I need to have and try...

Let's talk in a couple of years! That could be interesting.

(BTW: you camera set up looks beautiful!)