View Full Version : Dallmeyer 5D

19-Nov-2014, 00:09
maybe someone is able to provide some information about a Dallmeyer 5D lens.
At the moment a local trader offers a vintage Eagle camera from New York with a mounted Dallmeyer 5D lens.
Maybe I'm wrong, but schouldn't there are lens groups in the front and in the back of the barrel?
In that lens, there is only one lens element in the front, near to the hood mounted.
Is the Dallmeyer incomplete?

Sorry for the poor quality of the shots, they were taken as sneaky as possible, in the shop, with the phone camera - hahaha




Steven Tribe
19-Nov-2014, 03:22
Looks complete as far as I can see.

Needs shots of the rear. There should be rear cell with marks at the 12/3/6 and 9 o'clock positions.
This is a quite early 5D and I'll look up the date. if the Dallmeyer archive is working to-day!

Lenses mounted on the original ( or Camera no.2!) Studio Camera (which is just as interesting) are usually in very good condition. My guess is that this camera is a lot bigger than 8x10 format.

I can't get the relevant Patent Portrait 5D in the archive to appear to-day.

If it is incomplete, it does still have a value. There is a growing market for "parts" lenses. But you will need a lot of patience before you find the missing part. I believe there were quite a lot of 5Ds (with special mounts, but standard cells) which were sold to the American Armed services at some stage (WW!?).

19-Nov-2014, 03:36
Hi Steven,
yes the camera is a lot bigger than 8x10 format, I wasn't able to get a view on the ground glass, because it's stored on (!) the top of much larger Hunter and Penrose. My guess is something like 11x14 or even bigger. ;-)

Steven Tribe
19-Nov-2014, 03:50
The camera (and therefor the 5D) has probably been used, along with the Hunter & Penrose, in a Graphic arts/Printing studio. The build quality of the camera (note the massiVe intermediate standard) suggest heavy duty use.

19-Nov-2014, 05:18
To answer your question, if it does not have glass in the rear, it is incomplete. The value is as a display item, or about $100 to about twice that. Like Steven implies, you may be able to find the correct rear elements, and they might screw in properly. But you'd have to find another Dallmeyer, missing the front glass, or somehow recognize the correct rear glass, if ever sold separately. Yes, Dallmeyer made a lot of these (I've had a few), but no, it's not likely you'd find the missing glass even if you looked hard for several years. Hence, the lens is only worth 10% of what a complete one is. The serial number is from about 1871.

Unfortunately there is a lot of talk of adding just any glass to a lens that is missing some. That won't work very well, lens manufacturers in that period optimized each piece of glass to the others. In other words, they are a matched set. Even if you find another set, it may not be as sharp as the lens originally was. I was talking to a lady the other day about a rare, early French petzval. Then she mentioned it was missing the rear glass. Suddenly, the deal was off for me. She said "I talked to a guy in Florida who does lenses for a living, he said just get a magnifying glass the same size, and put it in, and it will work fine." I told her all the reasons that was bull, but she kept insisting "he was an expert."

How much is the camera with the lens? If it's larger than 8x10, has good bellows, and isn't priced too high, it would be worth buying for wetplate use. If the seller thinks the lens is valuable, tell him to keep it, and you'll just buy the camera for $200-300!

19-Nov-2014, 05:34
Thank you Steven, thank you goamules,

think both of them came from a Printing studio.

You are right, even as an item for display it might have a value, but I'm hunting for a large portrait camera to use.

The Hunter & Penrose is in a much better condition, but the shop owner will not sell it. ( and it's much too large anyway - hahaha)

Like goamules implies, it would be best to take the camera and go for another Dallmeyer, but the shop will only sell it together with the lens.

Considering the incomplete lens and the work that has to be done to bring the camera back to working condition, I think $ 850 are far too much for this pack...

19-Nov-2014, 09:30
Your post is a bit confusing. Are you telling us that you have taken the Dallmeyer lens off of the lens board and there are definitely no rear elements? If that lens is complete and you get an ULF studio camera with it. then $850.00 is a screaming deal. IMO If the lens is incomplete and the camera needs some work then maybe it's a bit much, but I wouldn't say "way too much." cheers

19-Nov-2014, 14:35
Hi brandon13,
for sure, ULF for $ 850.00, even without lens, sounds not too much, but considering this camera wasn't ment to travel from location to location, the bellows needs more or less repair or even replacement, the wooden parts need some work and at the moment nobody is talking about the condition of the movements. Not impossible, but it is an effort. And after all, I've got no other lens, covering this format, so it's far more than the price of the camera. It's truly a large project. ;-)

19-Nov-2014, 14:37

Steven Tribe
19-Nov-2014, 15:17
The bellows are really heavy duty, so the few mis-folds and corner holes are problems you can sort out without replacement.

Presence of a complete back and plate holders (preferable with multi-formats options) is absolutely necessay with a specialist camera like this.