Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Meaning of the code on older Carl Zeiss lenses

  1. #1
    Ron (Netherlands)'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    The Netherlands
    Posts
    197

    Meaning of the code on older Carl Zeiss lenses

    On my German cameras I use mostly the older Carl Zeiss (Tessar or Triotar) lenses in black mounts from the 20's 30's. These mostly had a tab for focusing or for changing the aperture. On this tab or on the rim of the lensmount there was usually a code composed of the letter A or B, a Roman numeral followed by a small Latin numeral, like e.g. BIV3 as this one:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	BIV3.jpg 
Views:	22 
Size:	35.3 KB 
ID:	182520

    I have read somewhere that the Roman numeral stands for the inner diameter of the mounting ring - so the smaller lenses might have I, II and the larger ones have an VI or VII. Furthermore, my lenses with focusing mount bear the letter A, the ones without have the letter B. But what the little Arabic numbers like 2 or 3 mean is still a question for me ....

    Here's another one with BIV2:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	BIV2.jpg 
Views:	19 
Size:	14.7 KB 
ID:	182521

    Anyone who can provide more info on these codes?
    Last edited by Ron (Netherlands); 16-Sep-2018 at 12:51.
    __________________
    When day is done......

    My Flickr

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Denmark
    Posts
    5,590

    Re: Meaning of the code on older Carl Zeiss lenses

    Here is what Zeiss said about it.




    The Roman/Arabic numbers are a size identification - like compur O,OO, etc. I don't think the specific match between numbers with lens type and focal length was published in catalogues.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails image.jpg  

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    6,886

    Re: Meaning of the code on older Carl Zeiss lenses

    1901 Zeiss London catalog: http://books.google.com/books?id=cnk...gbs_navlinks_s

    CZ London, really. In English. Click on the little starry wheel in the upper right corner of the screen to download as a PDF. P. 13 has a long list of numeric size codes, earlier pages explain the alphabetic codes.

    Ron, this forum has resources. Here http://www.largeformatphotography.in...mainly)-lenses is one that you should use.

  4. #4
    Ron (Netherlands)'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    The Netherlands
    Posts
    197

    Re: Meaning of the code on older Carl Zeiss lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Tribe View Post
    Here is what Zeiss said about it.




    The Roman/Arabic numbers are a size identification - like compur O,OO, etc. I don't think the specific match between numbers with lens type and focal length was published in catalogues.
    Thank you Steven, I have some of the older catalogues in pdf but none of them specifies this information....And indeed the Roman numbers match for instance with the numbers on older Distars and Proxars. But still the little Arabic numbers puzzles me.
    __________________
    When day is done......

    My Flickr

  5. #5
    Ron (Netherlands)'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    The Netherlands
    Posts
    197

    Re: Meaning of the code on older Carl Zeiss lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Fromm View Post
    1901 Zeiss London catalog: http://books.google.com/books?id=cnk...gbs_navlinks_s

    CZ London, really. In English. Click on the little starry wheel in the upper right corner of the screen to download as a PDF. P. 13 has a long list of numeric size codes, earlier pages explain the alphabetic codes.

    Ron, this forum has resources. Here http://www.largeformatphotography.in...mainly)-lenses is one that you should use.
    Thank you Dan, and yes I'm aware about these resources, very informative and a lot of catalogue info as well. However I wasn't able to find an answer to my specific question in those catalogues. Or do you mean I've should posted my question right there?
    __________________
    When day is done......

    My Flickr

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    6,886

    Re: Meaning of the code on older Carl Zeiss lenses

    Ron, BIV3 decodes as special mount B ("objective mount fitted with iris diaphragm and fixed flange", without focusing helical), size IV subsize 3. All this except subsize 3 is in the 1901 Zeiss catalog I pointed you towards and the 1910 Zeiss catalog in the list. Subsize 3 is the mystery, everything else is clear.

    The catalogs give the very strong impression that subsize indicates barrel length.

    Sorry, you can't post to my list and anyway it has no forum attached. This is the place to ask, I'm glad you asked here.

  7. #7
    Ron (Netherlands)'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    The Netherlands
    Posts
    197

    Re: Meaning of the code on older Carl Zeiss lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Fromm View Post
    Ron, BIV3 decodes as special mount B ("objective mount fitted with iris diaphragm and fixed flange", without focusing helical), size IV subsize 3. All this except subsize 3 is in the 1901 Zeiss catalog I pointed you towards and the 1910 Zeiss catalog in the list. Subsize 3 is the mystery, everything else is clear.

    The catalogs give the very strong impression that subsize indicates barrel length.

    Sorry, you can't post to my list and anyway it has no forum attached. This is the place to ask, I'm glad you asked here.
    Thanks so much Dan for clarifying; I wasn't aware it was possible to really look into the books you directed me to.
    However I still don't seem to manage to open the 1901 catalog - guess the starry wheel procedure didn't work out well on my old mac.
    __________________
    When day is done......

    My Flickr

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    6,886

    Re: Meaning of the code on older Carl Zeiss lenses

    About the starry wheel on the right. I just checked. When I clicked on it a window with four choices opened: My Library, Help, Advanced Book Search, Download PDF. Download PDF still works.

    The 1910 catalog has the same information.

  9. #9
    Ron (Netherlands)'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    The Netherlands
    Posts
    197

    Re: Meaning of the code on older Carl Zeiss lenses

    Thanks again Dan. In my browsers (I checked with 3) I only get the first 3 options you mention. The Download PDF option is not mentioned.
    __________________
    When day is done......

    My Flickr

Similar Threads

  1. Rare early Carl Zeiss Jena lenses
    By schneideritis in forum Lenses & Lens Accessories
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 9-Jan-2015, 09:21
  2. Meyer Optik Globica Luxus Carl Zeiss Jena lenses
    By Ig Nacio in forum Lenses & Lens Accessories
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 25-Mar-2012, 11:30
  3. Carl Zeiss Jena Large format Lenses (tessar)
    By akfreak in forum Lenses & Lens Accessories
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 4-Jun-2011, 11:30

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •