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Thread: First year Heliar's

  1. #1

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    First year Heliar's


    With the arrival of the brass #5 today (which by the way I paid at least twice what it's worth for) I have 2 very early Heliar's. Just curious who else has some of the very early ones.


    I was surprised and delighted to get the big No. 8 with SN62208 as the Vade Mecum seemed to indicate that a group of serial numbers between 58000 and 65000 had been withheld for prototypes or something.


    Then when the all brass early style script one at No. 58409 showed up at feebay, I really wanted it to come to Tonopah!

    So who else has got some of the first year or two Heliar lenses? Shout out!

    BTW. the aperture assembly has been completely removed from the #5. If anyone has a empty barrel with an aperture I'd sure love to hear from you. The aperture assembly from my 59000 serial no. Series III Euryscop Portrait is identical. The Euryscop is probably more valuable than the Heliar though. I don't really expect to ever find one, but there must be barrels laying around from lenses that got put into shutters right?
    He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep..to gain that which he cannot lose. Jim Elliot, 1949

  2. #2

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    Re: First year Heliar's

    Dear Jim!

    "a group of serial numbers between 58000 and 65000 had been withheld for prototypes or something."

    I am sure that "something" means that these numbers were presented to the American Voigtländer Organisation for use on American engraved lenses. I think that this means that the usual SN / registered date information doesn't work with these "USA" Heliars!
    How rapidly would they have used up all these 7,000 numbers?

  3. #3

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    Re: First year Heliar's

    Jim:

    Used to have 58868. Peddled it right here on the forum. to Bill Cowan.

    AIR, the patent number on it puts it into a short-run in 1904. Later ones had some sort of improvement in astigmatism.

    Charley

  4. #4

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    Re: First year Heliar's

    Here's what the VM says with a little bit of context either side.

    1894 45,431 Production now includes Collinear and Anastigmat
    1895 46,454 (Anastigmat production will end here)
    1896 47,771 There was now major Collinear production
    1897 49,084
    1898 54,168 New items were the TeleObjektiv and Cooke triplet
    It was in 1898 that F.W.Voigtlaender concluded that as he had no direct successor (he had 4 daughters), he
    must turn the sole-owner concern into a limited liability company under the name Voigtlaender & Sohn AG
    with himself as Managing Director and Dr Kaempher and Dr Miethe as Directors. Dr Miethe left in 1899 to
    work in Berlin, leaving Dr Hans Harting to lead the firm until he retired in 1909. He lead the firm to new
    products such as microscopes, binoculars, and telescopes as well as rifle and gun sights.
    1899 54,896 Collinear sort lens ("omitted 55-61,000") [Some of the omitted lenses in fact
    occur in the Voigtländer Collection, so possibly this block was reserved for prototypes. But it does include
    the Triple Anastigmat below and just could be used for these lenses made under license. Others seem to
    occur from Voigtlaender New York as explained above.]
    About 1900 the business became a limited company.
    1900 65,691 Triple Anastigmat (Cooke ??) Heliar lens produced.
    1901 68,193
    1902 70,682


    And here is the paragraph about New York;

    The Voigtlaender and Son Optical Co. New York, USA.
    This seems to be the USA branch agency selling equipment, but there do seem to be some interesting
    features. Firstly, the serial numbers seem to occur in the "omitted" group at No55-61,000, which may actually
    be one set aside for New York. They do seem to be original Braunschweig items, but the engraving seems
    slightly different as in:
    "No57,09x Telephoto Collinear No4 'The Voigtlaender and Son Opt. Co., New York"
    "No62,43x No2 Voigtlaender Dynar 4 3/4inch in a Wollensak automatic shutter USPat. 765 006"
    "No58,86x Heliar 4.5/141mm Voigtlaender & Son, New York.
    but possibly the details have been slightly changed in transmission. (As usual, the last digit is deleted for
    anonymity.)
    He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep..to gain that which he cannot lose. Jim Elliot, 1949

  5. #5
    renes
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    Re: First year Heliar's

    Jim, I will check it this evening, I am not sure but I suppose I have first year Heliar from 1902 (360/4.5), I was going to put it on sale soon, first need to finsh a "new" lens shade for it.

  6. #6

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    Re: First year Heliar's

    Hi Jim,

    "a group of serial numbers between 58000 and 65000 had been withheld for prototypes or something."

    As noted above, these numbers appear on the US labeled voigtlander lenses (US labeled, made in Germany). As you can see from your own two heliars, this small series of numbers was used for many years as evidenced by the changes in style of the lenses and housings. My guess, based on a seeing quite a few of these, is that the "US numbers" cover a range of lenses from early 1900's through the early 20's. One thing that I'm quite certain of, the US series of numbers, especially the later numbers (above 60,000), do not correlate with the numbers from the non-US voigtlander lenses (those with Germany markings). Because of this, it's really hard to assign a manufacture date to them. For example, I have german lenses in the ser # range of 100000 - 150000 that appear similar in styling to US lenses with ser # in the range of 62000-63000.

    cheers

    Tim

  7. #7

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    Re: First year Heliar's

    Quote Originally Posted by c.d.ewen View Post
    Jim:

    Used to have 58868. Peddled it right here on the forum. to Bill Cowan.

    AIR, the patent number on it puts it into a short-run in 1904. Later ones had some sort of improvement in astigmatism.

    Charley
    yes it is a brass number 6, 14 inch, with modern block script
    The Voiglaender & Son Optical Co
    New York
    it is the first patent of the Heliars US 716035; year 1900

    Now that there is a thread on this I will happily expect the value to take off, eh
    Bill
    "There are a great many things I am in doubt about at the moment, and I should consider myself favoured if you would kindly enlighten me. Signed, Doubtful, off to Canada." (BJP 1914).

  8. #8

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    Re: First year Heliar's

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Deming View Post
    Hi Jim,

    "a group of serial numbers between 58000 and 65000 had been withheld for prototypes or something."

    As noted above, these numbers appear on the US labeled voigtlander lenses (US labeled, made in Germany). As you can see from your own two heliars, this small series of numbers was used for many years as evidenced by the changes in style of the lenses and housings. My guess, based on a seeing quite a few of these, is that the "US numbers" cover a range of lenses from early 1900's through the early 20's. One thing that I'm quite certain of, the US series of numbers, especially the later numbers (above 60,000), do not correlate with the numbers from the non-US voigtlander lenses (those with Germany markings). Because of this, it's really hard to assign a manufacture date to them. For example, I have german lenses in the ser # range of 100000 - 150000 that appear similar in styling to US lenses with ser # in the range of 62000-63000.

    cheers

    Tim
    It may not help but my No.6 12 inch Dynar patent US 765006 1902 has a serial number of 68762 and appears consistant with the first 10 years of the 20th century if not actually 1901
    Bill
    "There are a great many things I am in doubt about at the moment, and I should consider myself favoured if you would kindly enlighten me. Signed, Doubtful, off to Canada." (BJP 1914).

  9. #9
    Mark Sawyer's Avatar
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    Re: First year Heliar's

    Perhaps you gentlemen can illuminate my ignorance, as I've never owned or used a Heliar... As I understand it, there were quite a few different lenses with the Heliar name. Is the early version the most desireable from both collecting and using standpoints? Is this the version Emperor Hirohito of Japan required for his portraits?

    I've always been a bit confused as to the "legendary status" of the Heliar when there were completely different versions and designs with thye same name...
    "I love my Verito lens, but I always have to sharpen everything in Photoshop..."

  10. #10

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    Re: First year Heliar's

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Sawyer View Post
    Perhaps you gentlemen can illuminate my ignorance, as I've never owned or used a Heliar... As I understand it, there were quite a few different lenses with the Heliar name. Is the early version the most desireable from both collecting and using standpoints? Is this the version Emperor Hirohito of Japan required for his portraits?

    I've always been a bit confused as to the "legendary status" of the Heliar when there were completely different versions and designs with thye same name...
    I'll be the first to discount any magic. The magic is behind the camera ~ in front of the lens. As somebody has well quoted, "it's the picture, stupid".

    But for the pictures that we would choose a smoooooth-sharp lens for, a Heliar is awfully hard to beat. Even so, hold a gun to my head and tell me to choose between a Heliar, any vintage, and a Cooke Series II Portrellic, and it's the Cooke I'll keep.

    Better / worse / more value / less value / I'll say, nope. The most valuable and scarce of the Heliar's seems to be the last ~ coated ones. I just like the early ones because I have the 'weird' gene.
    He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep..to gain that which he cannot lose. Jim Elliot, 1949

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