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Thread: Does anyone actually use cult lenses?

  1. #91

    Re: Does anyone actually use cult lenses?

    Late one afternoon last week I went up in the mountains with a friend who wanted to photograph some aspens behind a beaver pond in that light. For fun, I took along my 8x10 and some lenses I wanted to compare. I made one setup and shot all the lenses focusing on the same tree beyond the pond. For reference, I started with an old 300mm Protar which I knew to be pretty decent - maybe even a little better than that. I suppose it might even be a cult lens of sorts. It was followed by an old Goerz 300mm Syntor which proved (using a microscope on the neg) almost as good if stopped down. A 420mm Goerz Dogmar was next and was a disappointment. I'm going to take it apart and make sure it is assembled correctly and do a better test on it. The pleasant surprise was a 480mm Rapid Rectilinear of unknown parentage that I purchased as front and rear elements and assembled in a cardboard tube with a slot for a Waterhouse stop. It was right up there with the Protar, too. Lastly was a 600mm Protar Series V (an old one with Waterhouse stops). Now, whether it was the lens or just my ability to focus f/18 after sunset, this one didn't grab me. It was even across the entire neg but a little on the soft side. Still a cult one, I guess, especially if you were looking at the huge contact print it could produce. It will get retested in better light and more careful focusing. There is no doubt that these old lenses have a nice "look".

  2. #92

    Re: Does anyone actually use cult lenses?

    Chauncey<

    " A 420mm Goerz Dogmar was next and was a disappointment. I'm going to take it apart and make sure it is assembled correctly and do a better test on it."

    Out of curiosity is your Dogmar 'bloomed' on all the glass surfaces? All of mine are, I'm starting to think Goerz was the first to do this at the factory on production lenses but have only seen this on Dogmars.

  3. #93

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    Re: Does anyone actually use cult lenses?

    Paul, the Zeiss nuts -- one of my neighbors is one -- insist that CZJ was the first firm to coat lenses and that they began coating lenses for military applications in the late '30s. AFAIK, lenses for civilian applications were first coated in the mid- to late-40s. I have a TTH Aviar whose serial number places it in 1944 that's coated.

    In addition, H. Lynn Jones insists that B&J began coating lenses in the 1920s. I don't believe this, asked him for a patent number and examples of coated lenses. He never responded.

    But there's no reason why Dogmars can't have, um, tarnished.

    Chauncey, if you go here http://www.dioptrique.info/objectifs/00079/00079.HTM and click on courbes (curves, in English) you'll see that the Dogmar has to be stopped below f/11 to tame coma and that it has relatively bad astigmatism, i.e., off-axis performance.

    Cheers,

    Dan

  4. #94

    Re: Does anyone actually use cult lenses?

    Hi Dan,

    "Paul, the Zeiss nuts -- one of my neighbors is one -- insist that CZJ was the first firm to coat lenses and that they began coating lenses for military applications in the late '30s. AFAIK, lenses for civilian applications were first coated in the mid- to late-40s. I have a TTH Aviar whose serial number places it in 1944 that's coated."

    One of the Dogmars I have looked like someone got after it with steel wool and sandpaper so I polished and polished and polished. It appears the factory 'blooming' is at least 3 layer thick. All surfaces on all the Dogmars I have, both Berlin and New York, are factory 'bloomed' save the newest, it's single coated and from the odd, third 'Goerz' company.

    Dallmeyer may have been the first to notice that tarnished glass passes more light but I think C.P. Goerz was the first to act on this. I have only seen this on Dogmars since 1914, not on other Goerz lenses.

    Chauncey, it's hard to reverse the outer elements but it's very easy to reverse the inner. Dogmars are triple convertible so each cell will form an image, if the inner element is reversed, it won't form an image. The rear cell, 1.5Xfl, is an almost pictorially soft look until stopped down, the front cell, 2Xfl, has enough 'swirlies' to get seasick until stopped down. The 420 is a lovely studio portrait lens and I love the look but it's not as sharp as a tessar until stopped down. The 480 isn't half bad either.

    have fun with it.

  5. #95

    Re: Does anyone actually use cult lenses?

    Dan, an interesting site. Thanks for posting it.
    Paul, I dug it out and had a look. There is no sign of any bloom and it seems to be assembled correctly. From the Vade Mecum, it appears to be a late one from around 1925/26 (serial 660 thousand something). I think, as you both suggested, that it will have to be stopped down more, and if I get the chromatic curves thing correctly, a strong yellow filter would help. Now, to find a huge filter....

  6. #96

    Re: Does anyone actually use cult lenses?

    Chauncey,

    Thanks for looking, it was a thought, oh well.

    "Now, to find a huge filter"

    6x6 VC printing filters, behind the lens, inside, out of the wind.

    just a thought

  7. #97

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
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    Re: Does anyone actually use cult lenses?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete_6109 View Post
    Thanks for the info Dan.
    Pete, the site I remembered isn't there, but you can find a copy of it here:

    http://web.archive.org/web/200711121...s/cameras.html

    click on links K01 and K02, they're the only ones that point to lists of cameras with interesting lenses.

    Cheers,

    Dan

  8. #98

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Highland, NY
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    Re: Does anyone actually use cult lenses?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Fromm View Post
    Pete, the site I remembered isn't there, but you can find a copy of it here:

    http://web.archive.org/web/200711121...s/cameras.html

    click on links K01 and K02, they're the only ones that point to lists of cameras with interesting lenses.

    Cheers,

    Dan
    Thanks again Dan.

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