Being a builder and tinkerer, I regularly receive a catalogue from a California company specializing in military/scientific surplus equipment. These folks sell everything from tools, surplus optics, industrial equipment, to esoteric electr onic gizmos I cannot even begin to describe or understand.
Believe me, this is not some right wing, paramilitary outfit, selling surplus ca mmo clothing and war toys to paranoid militia types and survivalists! They sell truly wonderful and interesting stuff.
The last three catalogues have listed the following item: 75mm Carl Zeiss Biogo n WA LF lens, military surplus, supposedly unused. The write-up is a bit long, so I will not quote from it here. They offer it in two versions: "professional ly" mounted in Copal shutter, for approximately $1200.; not mounted in shutter, for about $600. They also sell a number of other interesting optics for ridicul ously low prices.
I'm fully aware of the legendary reputation of the CZ 75 Biogon, and that it sel ls for over $2500. in some camera ads. I've never used one, and I personally do n't know anyone that does. I use a Scneider 75mm 5.6 SA. I've read numerous t hings in View Camera Magazine (and other books/publications) over the years abou t this optic. Is it really that good?
The catalogue illustration looked like the genuine thing, at least to my untrain ed eyes. I called to discuss the item with them. The gentleman was helpful and seemed very well-informed. He advised me it was a surplus military aerial phot ography optic. As far as he knows, it's the same CZ Biogon lens design sold to photographers for years. They have it mounted in a Copal shutter by an independe nt lens technician in Ca. He said they have a return policy.
Questions for all the lens design types out there: Could this be the same CZ le ns sold to LF photographers? Does anyone have technical info for, or personal e xperience with, the 75mm CZ Biogon? Should I just buy out their entire invento ry and double my investment? Or is this just too good to be true?
Any thoughts on the matter would be appreciated. Thanks, Sergio.