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Thread: Trying to sort out Dagors

  1. #21
    IanG's Avatar
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    Re: Trying to sort out Dagors

    E., there's no reason why the Independent NUS based C.P. Goerz American Optical Company shouldn't have bee the sole agents for William and Otto Goerz's father company C.P. Goerz Berlin, it was fairly normal before WWII. William & Otto had become US citizens by 1905. After all Kodak Ltd in the UK was indepenent of Eastman Kodak in the US although they had some common shareholders.

    In fact the term "Sole agents" in itself indicates they are two seperate companie.

    There is or was a detailed article online on the early years of C.P.Goerz Am Opt which included quite recent photographs of some of their old premises in New York.

    Ian

  2. #22

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    Re: Trying to sort out Dagors

    Quote Originally Posted by IanG View Post
    E., there's no reason why the Independent NUS based C.P. Goerz American Optical Company shouldn't have bee the sole agents for William and Otto Goerz's father company C.P. Goerz Berlin, it was fairly normal before WWII. William & Otto had become US citizens by 1905. After all Kodak Ltd in the UK was indepenent of Eastman Kodak in the US although they had some common shareholders.

    In fact the term "Sole agents" in itself indicates they are two seperate companie.

    There is or was a detailed article online on the early years of C.P.Goerz Am Opt which included quite recent photographs of some of their old premises in New York.

    Ian
    Ian, read the thread. Research the Custodian of Alien Properties seizure of the firm in 1917. It was not independent until that seizure, at the very earliest.
    One man's Mede is another man's Persian.

  3. #23
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    Re: Trying to sort out Dagors

    The Report indicates it was Independent but dependant on Patent Licences for some of is products that could be revoked by the German Goerz company. As the report's talking about dates a week before the end of WWI (Nov 4th 1914) it's possibly academic and we can't be certain that the Goerz company didn't remain under the same ownership after WWI. The relevant section is mostly about Bayer.

    Ian

  4. #24
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    Re: Trying to sort out Dagors

    Here are some of the views that I've adopted, based on what I've heard and read.

    I avoid Berlin Dagors. They're older, non-coated lenses. I like coated lenses. I tend to stick with the American Optical Co. Dagors, when I've purchased them. (SN 75x,xxx and higher?) I've heard that there wasn't that much difference between the golden or gold-rim Dagors and non-golden, or non-gold rim Dagors of the same age. But, the gold-rim and golden Dagors draw higher prices. The f7.7 Dagors, typically uncoated, have greater coverage than the f6.7 Dagors. It's been my observation that the f7.7 Dagors are usually uncoated; but, coated versions exist. I currently have a 16.5 f7.7 Dagor that's factory coated. The gold-dot Dagors are more recent, and are highly prized lenses.

    I spoke with someone who knew a Goerz factory worker, and this individual indicated that at one point, Goerz converted from aligning the elements by eye to laser alignment. So, I wonder if some later lenses might be sharper for this reason?

    The f8 355mm Swiss Gold-Dot Dagors are much more recent and were manufactured into the mid-1980's. I attended a Photo West in Los Angeles in about 1987, and Schneider was selling them new. I've heard two stories about how these lenses came into being. The Schneider salesman at Photo West told me that the lens elements were made from the same equipment Goerz used to make lenses. When the equipment could no longer hold tolerances, Schneider stopped making them. A second story I read is that, when Schneider acquired Goerz, they received a pallet of lens elements. They aligned, coated, and mounted these lenses in modern shutters and sold them. The Swiss f8 355mm lenses have less coverage than their f7.7 or f6.8 cousins.

    I had one of the multi-coated versions and sold it a few years ago for a lot of money. Frankly, while it had high contrast, I didn't think that it was that sharp. I spoke to a well-known photographer in Placerville, CA., who had had one. He sold his for the same reason. I've since wondered if perhaps my lens might have been exhibiting some focus shift as I stopped down. I've heard that this can be the case with Dagors.

    These views are not authoritative and are based on tidbits of information that Ive picked up over the years. (It would be nice if Kerry Thalman could join this thread.) As such, they are open to question.

  5. #25
    Whatever David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Re: Trying to sort out Dagors

    Later coated Dagors have more contrast than older uncoated ones, and they may be sharper for other reasons (like more consistent glass manufacturing), but one of the reasons the Dagor was such a successful design is that it only has four air-glass surfaces, so it benefits less from coating than more complex designs. The older ser. III Dagors often have more coverage than the later versions (my 168mm ser. III covers 8x10"), and even if the sharpness may not be so great at the edge of the image circle with the older versions, I'd rather have the option of using it, because it's not always important to have sharp detail in the corners. Imagine, for instance, a landscape with a lot of front rise and a clear sky, so you want illumination in the top corners of the frame, but there's no detail there, so it doesn't have to be sharp.

    The ones to avoid are the postwar "Berlin Dagors" assembled in the US by B&J from German lens cells, but not matched, shimmed, or aligned with any particular care.

  6. #26

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    Re: Trying to sort out Dagors

    Quote Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb View Post
    The ones to avoid are the postwar "Berlin Dagors" assembled in the US by B&J from German lens cells, but not matched, shimmed, or aligned with any particular care.
    This from Graflex.org:

    Zeiss continued to make Dagors and they were in the Zeiss catalogue at least up to the middle thirties. These are known as "Berlin Dagors" and carry the Zeiss-Goerz name. A lens marked Goerz Berlin will be pre-merger. U.S. made lenses are marked "C.P. Goerz Am.Op.Co." Older ones will usually also be marked Series III. [Alternate view: About 1950 the Burke & James company assembled some Dagors from parts they obtained from somewhere and sold these as "Berlin Dagors.'' These do not have a good reputation, and are rare.]

    It seems there are "Berlin Dagors" that are not the dreaded B&J "Berlin Dagors". The "Berlin Dagor" below looks far too early to be a post-WWII B&J Berlin Dagor. This is the sort of thing I want to sort out.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails $(KGrHqF,!lcE6htclz4KBOpTl0O)4!~~60_35.jpg   $(KGrHqIOKjQE6VDM1G7SBOpTmelLHw~~60_35.jpg  
    "I love my Verito lens, but I always have to sharpen everything in Photoshop..."

  7. #27

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    Re: Trying to sort out Dagors

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Sawyer View Post
    ...

    It seems there are "Berlin Dagors" that are not the dreaded B&J "Berlin Dagors". The "Berlin Dagor" below looks far too early to be a post-WWII B&J Berlin Dagor. This is the sort of thing I want to sort out.
    That's what I remember researching in 2007 when I bought a couple Dagors. If I recall, the undesireable ones were only engraved Berlin Dagor or vice versa. Others that have Berlin, Dagor, and some additional engraving (perhaps Goerz, or Series, I just can't remember) are earlier and fine.

    I like all Dagors, even the very early ones are very sharp and contrasty compared to their contemporaries. I was interested to read that 1800s catalog linked above, there are some test charts comparing a Euryscop, Dagor, and some Zeiss anastigmat. The Dagor is much flatter and sharper.
    Last edited by goamules; 14-Apr-2012 at 19:24.

  8. #28

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    Re: Trying to sort out Dagors

    Not an authoritive website, but still a good short summary on Dagors can be found at
    http://graflex.org/speed-graphic/lenses.html (scroll to the last paragraph)

    Cheers,
    Andreas
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  9. #29

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    Do those early dagor-type g-clarons count as dagors for the purpose of this thread?

  10. #30

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    Re: Trying to sort out Dagors

    Um, Dave, while you're at it, have you thought about early dagor-type Symmars, Berthiot Perigraphes (VIa and VIb), Boyer Beryls, Zeiss Amatars, ... ?

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