View Full Version : Lens Karma ?

Bernice Loui
13-Apr-2013, 09:33
There is a bit of history to this lens. It is Goerz America Red Dot Apochromatic Artar. 81/4" focal length, f9, Compur Shutter, made some where during the early 1960's.

Some time in the early 1990's a commercial photographer friend was curious about older lenses. As we yaked, I offered a lens virtually identical to this one as a loaner so he could try it and see if it would fit his needs. One day he calls me up to tell me there was a fire in the building where his studio was located and the loaner lens was toasted in this fire. While he apologized for the lost and assured me the insurance company would pay for a replacement, I told him losing that lens was OK, the much greater lost was his work and much of the contents in his studio.

In time some of his work was recovered, some of his imaging tools were replaced and the insurance company did cover the lost of the loaner lens.. Did what I can to help him get his studio back together and help him during the recovery process. At the time, I was not really motivated to find another for a host of reasons..

Fast forward to last week, this lens appeared on evil-pay. It looked ok and based on the sellers description it was not perfect, but fine as a nice user so, impulsively I put in a bid with zero expectation that the amount would end that auction. Much to my surprise, the auction ended at $49 with free shipping. Lens arrived in fine condition, glass is fine, shutter works fine, it is not a beauty winner but that is not important to me.

What occurred to me was how a series of events brought this lens to me at this time as if it was intended and meant to be.

Life can be surprising at times.



13-Apr-2013, 11:24
hi Bernice

i have ( but don't have it photographed here in this thread ) a 15" wollensak tele-optar.
i bought it for, maybe 100$ back in the 1990s i can't remember the exact number ..
back in around 1993 i was living in south boston with 2 friends in a house that belonged
to the parents of one of the people -- we were like house-sitting tenants i guess ..
i do not look irish by any stretch of the imagination and the folks that lived around me in
the neighborhood weren't fond of me, so after about 2 months i found a place to live in somerville
(across the charles river ) ... it was a nice run down industrial building ...
it used to be a newspaper plant, but was sold and renovated ( if you can call it that ) back in the 1970s
by a bunch of wacky artists who really didn't know much about renovating ....
i used to work in the city at an environmental firm and i would stop at EP Levines from time to time
to find a telephoto or long focal length lens for the speed graphic i had purchased from the same store maybe 10 years before ...
there were lots of junky lenses, copier lenses, random stuff but nothing that worked for me so i returned every month or so
as was suggested by mike-the guy behind the counter.
one day i arrived and he was showing me the same-old same old, and i was getting ready to leave ..
a tall guy gave me his phone number and said " i have the lens you want for your camera" ..
a few days later i called him
he showed me the lens, shot a polaroid through the lens ( was on his tele graphic ) so i could see what it could do ..
and i bought it ...

i got back, talked to my pal across the hall and showed him the lens: he laughed ...
it turns out, the guy who sold me the lens was the same person who renovated the space i lived in...
which means, the lens was in the same studio-space, sitting on the same shelf as i had it ... 20 years before

yep, live can be surprising ...