View Full Version : others lenses to match a dagor

19-Nov-2004, 10:22
It appears that a stopped down 300mm (12") Dagor will cover 12x20 and 14x17 formats.

Are there other lenses that can do the same?? There are a lot of Rodenstock and other modern lenses that are much more common than Dagors. Without going to far, what is the widest lens available for these formats? Forget the exoctic stuff like hypergons, I am tlaking about affordable lenses commonly found on the open market.


roger michel
19-Nov-2004, 12:12
hi -- the 12" dagors will not reliably cover 12/20 in my experience. however, there is huge sample to sample variation in actual circle of *illumination* with these lenses, and so you may find a 12" that does it for you. usually the 14" dagors will cover 12/20. but, again, testing is required. the widest i have ever used on 12/20 is the fairly scarce goerz 270 rectagon. and f9 or f11 as i recall. lens and repro has/had one.

things don't get predictable really until you get into the 400mm+ range. always test.

best regards, roger

roger michel
19-Nov-2004, 12:16
hi -- i just checked the l&r website. they still list the 270mm rectagon for $500. they will probably take less. i was wrong about the max ap -- it is an f10. my recollection is that the mount is a little ratty, but serviceable.

Donald Miller
19-Nov-2004, 16:58
355 G Claron

19-Nov-2004, 17:08
The best bet for an inexpensive lens is the 12" Dagor, and my experience is that the very early ones 1900-30) cover more than newer one. I have a 12" Dagor from ca 1920, American Optical Company variety, and it just covers the format, though you have to stop down to f/45 or f/64 for decent performance on the edges. However, even stopped down the resolution at the far corners is only about 5 lppm at best, but this is probably good enough for contact printing. On the other hand I have tested numerous specimens from the 1940s and 50s and never found one that would cover 12X20 without some vignetting.

Below 300 mm the choice of old lenses is quite reduced: 270mm or so hypergons, rectagons and Series V Protars. If you really want a nice modern lens with super wide angel coverage the 210 Schneider SSXL covers with a inch or more of movement, but at cost of $2500 or more, plus you really need the center filter because light fall off at the edges is very significant with a lens this wide on 12X20.

In the $500 or so range, if you are lucky, I would suggest a convertible Symmar, 360mm f/5.6. Like the Dagor it *just* covers 12X20, but performance both in the center and at he corners tends to be a bit better than with the old 12" Dagors.

19-Nov-2004, 17:28
Good answers, thank you. I can see my question was not very clear for what I was looking for. Was looking for alternatives for the 12" Dagor. I already have a 360 Rodenstock lens that easily covers the 14x17 format. I was looking for something with a wider view (shorter focal length) at an affordable price. Of course what is the definition of affordable.


John D Gerndt
19-Nov-2004, 17:48
covering the 12x20 for a 12 inch lens is quite a push. If you need even a little less coverage your options open up. I think I am going to back down from the really big stuff into 7x17 for this reason, maybe all the way down to 11x14 to get back to an effecient use of paper.

Protar Vs are the cheapest small older lenses to cover 90+ degrees, the Bausch and Lomb seem to sell for less without any loss in quality that I can see. Thats my recommendation.


Tracy Storer
19-Nov-2004, 18:11
Hey Krieg,
I may have posted this before, but as others have noted, Protar Vs are your best bet, with the caveat that they're not as common in the longer focal lengths...My 212mm Series V covers 14x17. there were 8.25", 10.5", and 12" as well as shorter and longer. Some of the Series IVs may work also, less coverage than the V, but still probably more coverage than a Dagor.

Mike Phifer
19-Nov-2004, 19:11
The Series V protar was reported to cover 100 Degrees and the Wide Angle (series 4)DAGOR covers 90 degrees (it is f /11). Zeiss also called these lenses Anastigmats previously to using the Protar name. The wide angle is the series V and is f/18. The series 111 a is also common however it covers 97 degrees (it is f/9). Carfull of Protars of other apatures, they are not wide angles and cover 40- 75 degrees. (These coverages are from my old "Handbook of Photography", Henney and Dudley, 1939 McGraw-Hill. The chapter was written by R. Kingslake)

19-Nov-2004, 19:57
"Was looking for alternatives for the 12" Dagor. I already have a 360 Rodenstock lens that easily covers the 14x17 format. I was looking for something with a wider view (shorter focal length) at an affordable price. Of course what is the definition of affordable?"

The fact of the matter is that super wide angle lenses in the 210 mm to 270 mm range that will cover 12X20" are far from common, and owners of cameras of this size are nearly always on the look out for them, and often prepared to pay a premium price for specimens in good condition. Demand, and the almost total lack of modern alternatives, except for the 210 SSXL, combine to push make these lenses very expensive. So unless you just happen to luck upon a super wide angle lens for 12X20" at a private auction or an estate sale the major issue becomes "what is your definition of affordable?"

CP Goerz
19-Nov-2004, 20:23
As much as I love Dagors and as many as I've had to play with I never found one that would cover even 8x20 in the 12" focal length. Some folks are happy just to see a blurry and dim image and call it acceptable but thats a stretch in my own wee opinion.

I had about a dozen of the Longer Rectagons a few years ago and one of them went from me to another guy who then sold it to L+R so it may still be the same one. It was called a Goerz Super Rectagon, it looked very impressive but had a look and circle much like the WA Claron. Not that great for ULF and meant only for process photography close up work, the term wide field means something slightly different in that group.

You won't find any cheap alternatives to a Dagor or any lens in the 12" focal length I'm afraid as some have already pointed out. The best way to fake 'wide' is to allow some vignette and falloff to happen. I had a 10" lens that was my holy grail of WA for my 8x20 but when I made my first contact print it didn't look wide at all, no wider really than my standard 14" at the time.

Don't discount the series IV Protar/Anastigmat, they were meant to have less coverage but I found in practical use that the outer edge of their circle was far more acceptable than the series V. The 105/100/95 degree coverage(depending on what catalogue you happen to be reading from) of the IV ended at the 10 1/2" focal length where it was progressively narrowed down to 50 degrees or so for the longer lenses. The 10 1/2" lens only just does 8x20 stopped down so unless you are prepared to do some hyperfocal hi jinx it may not be that way to go. Possibly keep an eye open for a Ext WA Anastigmat Gundlach and various Swiss and Italian copies of the Series IV protar.

CP Goerz

Jim Galli
20-Nov-2004, 09:43
I had a big 310mm f9 Konica Hexanon GRII on the 8X20 on Labor Day. It covers easily and is sharp to the corners. Expensive though. Cost me $60 bucks. Don't confuse with the 300mm f9. I think they are 2 different animals. The 310 is a BIG lens.

Daniele Tanto
22-Nov-2004, 05:16
I have some Swiss and Italian copies of the Series IV protar and other series.
Suter of Basel made under license Zeiss Anastigmat series.
My Anastigmat serie IV f12 185 millimeters has a good coverage, but not incredible. Excellent on 8x10 format, the circle of illumination arrive until 10x12, but not really usefull to take pictures.
Suter Anastigmat serie I 270 f8 millimeters cover well 11x14 and 7x17 without too much mouvements.
Suter Anastigmat serie I 245 f8 millimeters cover easily 8x10 and 10x12 without too much mouvements.
These Suter Anastigmat were of the same series, but the 270 mm. was older and smaller than its younger brother, the reflections are the same. Take note that on a Suter catalogue I had, printed by the English agent "A.E. Staley & Co." they were claimed for 80 degrees of coverage but in the table the 245 was indicated for 8x10 inches maximum and 270 for less than 10x12 inches well stopped down. In my experience they cover.
On the same catalogue a serie IV f18 was offered and the one I hold, 185 mm. is suggested for 8x10 maximum with a cirlce of 16 inches. The bigger in the list a 265 mm. is stated for a 11x14 coverage and a circle of 27 inches. This could be the right one for the 12x20.
Koristka of Milan made in Italy under license Zeiss Anastigmat series, here there are my experiences with lenses of this maker.
The Protar serie IIIa f9 196 millimeters has a good coverage for 8x10 format, the circle of illumination, around 15 inches, arrive until 10x12 but not good to take photos.
I had a small Protar serie IV f12 150 and it had a very huge circle of coverage around 13/14 inches and for both lenses as for the Suter the images are superb.
I have also the "Monster" to cover all the ULF: Koristka Anastigmat f9 820 millimeters with waterhouse n. 306! In a catalogue it was claimed to cover 16x20 inches wide open with a circle of 64 inches!!! If someone have strong arms for some kilos of glass and brass.....the "Monster" is sweet.