View Full Version : two E. Suter Basel lenses

2-Dec-2014, 15:57

I recently bought a fully equipt camera - with it there were two E. Suter Lenses. Who can tell me ab bit more about this lenses (and how to work with them)?

Here are the two lenses:

1. Anastigmat Serie I F6.8 No1 F135mm No. 36716
- Supporting tread has a diameter of 65mm
- The lenses have a diameter of 21mm
- Focal length from 2m to infinity
- Aperture F 6.8 to 44
- The lenses seam to be a bit dirty/greasy, but else in good condition / the front lensbarrel has a small dent...
- There is an aluminiumring fiting/sliding to the front of the lens (it looks like a sun shield), but I'm not shure what's for...


2. I guess it's an Aplanat. But there is some kind of aluminium adapterring on the iris-barrel I cant remove easily and which hides all the information about the lens :-/ The only thing I can read (exept E. Suter Basel) is the word "Engel".
- The two lens-pieces have a thread with diameter 1.5'
- Suppoerting thread has a diameter of 1.75'
- The thread on the aluminium ring has a diameter of 55,5mm and the thread is very fine
- Aperture is (writen on a paperboard glued on the iris) F 7 - 55
- The lenses are not very goot - it looks like there are tiny bubles in there (see picture)


cheers - Chrigu

Jim Noel
2-Dec-2014, 16:01
I know how to use them, but the explanation for you would be very lengthy. How much do you want for them?

2-Dec-2014, 16:04
Hi Jim

I don't want to sell them... I bought an entire equipment and now want to learn as much as possible about it to start shooting Photos. Here my other thread about the camera:

cheers - Chrigu

Steven Tribe
3-Dec-2014, 02:07
The 1st lens is a fairly standard Suter copy of the Goerz Dagor - probably made for the Goerz ango camera (or something similar) because it has a sunken mount. The mount looks odd because the front end, with lens hood, is mounted inside! No problem, though, because the front and rear cells are identical.These lenses have very wide coverage and could have been installed on 9x12, 10x15 or 13x18cm plate cameras.

The 2nd lens is modified with the bulky bronze(?) at the front which conceals some information. The "Engels" engraving has not been done at the Basel workshop! We must remember that many standard lens were modified in the late 1800's and early 1900's to be used in microscopy, spectroscopy and other scientific optical instruments. The "patch" looks like a standard conversion of a old F scale to a more modern one.
Is there a lens at both ends? Suter also made single lens landscape meniscus.

3-Dec-2014, 11:17
Hi Steven

Thank you for the Information on the two lenses! It seams, that the set I bought was refurbished, because my camera is a 18x24cm plate camera :-/ I'll have to test how much cropping there will be with the two lenses.

About the second lens... the bulky thing at the front is made out of aluminium. And it has lenses at each end:

greetings - Chrigu

Steven Tribe
3-Dec-2014, 11:32
The "tiny bubbles" are in slightly concentric ring patterns which is a sure sign of the breakdown of the balsam cement in the aplanat lens. This is very common with all Suter lenses and getting these lenses out of the mount for repair can be difficult ( I've repaired 3 of these!).

The 18x24cm camera is a wonderful size for travelling and film is still readily available from Germany.

3-Dec-2014, 15:38
Hi Steven

Thanks again for your profound information! While searching the forum I found your explanations about how to recement lenses - a masterpiece of a howto! Winter is coming and I'm shure I'll find some time to "repair" my lens :-)

greetings - Chrigu

Steven Tribe
5-Dec-2014, 08:16
The explanation of why the small aplanat is modified is quite simple!

The aperure iris is placed exactly midway between 2 identical lens cells. The new thread on the additional part will match the larger flange thread on another camera - it will perform identically when mounted backwards. 1 lens which fits 2 cameras.

This shows a previous owner knew his/her optics and had access to a friendly machine shop!

5-Dec-2014, 11:15
The Suter Anastigmat in this mount was made for a "Detektivkamera" Suter made their own Detektivkamera which as Steven said is close to the Ango though not identical, the Suter Anastigmat Series I. is a quadruplet lens, not a Dagor at all as the LVM often falsly suggests it seems the US love for Dagors is to blame every non Dialyt Anastigmat is Dagor :). Suter is was one of the premier lens makers of its time and never made a bad lens.

Steven Tribe
5-Dec-2014, 16:16
I know all about the 8 pieces of glass in the Suter series 1 as I have just fixed a no.4, 270mm!

I have also a 270mm series III Goerz - so I'll do a check of performance. I am inclined to believe Lens VM, as Suter made this within the short Dagor patent period.

6-Dec-2014, 07:10
I know all about the 8 pieces of glass in the Suter series 1 as I have just fixed a no.4, 270mm!

I have also a 270mm series III Goerz - so I'll do a check of performance. I am inclined to believe Lens VM, as Suter made this within the short Dagor patent period.

My assumption is based on ana article by Josef Maria Eder who was a contemporary of the lens mfg. The original Suter ad also talks about a quadruplet with very thin lens elements. Furthermore lenses of the same series usually are of the same construction.

6-Dec-2014, 17:09
thx for your answers! Here you can find a scan of the mentioned article from Josef Maria Eder:

It's a google-scan from a german text with many mistakes in ocr... I think my english is too bad to translate it :-/ but I'll giv it a try:

Suter's new Dubleanastigmat:

Suter's new Doubleanastigmat, consisting of two symetric halfs of 4 lenses each.

This lens (Fig. 14) can be seen as a true innovation, as it, deviationg from other similar lenses seen up til now, is based on glases as thin as possible, which makes the entire lens thin and there is considreable reduction of light absorbtion.

The next part is about optimizing of spherical and ?astigmatic? ?aberation? and flatnes of the image.... sorry for not knowing the proper english words...

The order of the different glases is different to the one of other similar constructions.

...etc... probably someone else is better with all the photo-slang than I am ;-)

cheers - chrigu