View Full Version : Goerz Hypergon question

10-Dec-2015, 10:51

I was wondering if anyone has any information on this lens?

I recently acquired a Goerz Hypergon, and I've looked through the information I could find on the web myself, but I haven't found much on this specific version.

It's a Goerz Hypergon 88.5mm with serial number 776xxx mounted in a B&L Volute No. 3 shutter. I've seen other versions with different lengths, but not this one. Can anyone help me out? Trying to figure out date of manufacture, and anything else I can find out!


10-Dec-2015, 11:32
There is a lot on the internet on them, I just looked. Maybe not that particular focal length, but pleanty of info. In a Volute, I'd say from about 1910.


11-Dec-2015, 08:52
Well...I was really looking for info based on that particular focal length and serial number. As helpful as they are, I've actually already seen those pages.


Mark Sawyer
11-Dec-2015, 11:19
Definitely an odd focal length listing for a Hypergon. The 00 Hypergon is listed in the 1913 and 1915 Goerz catalogs as 3.5 inches, which converts to 88.9 millimeters. I suspect that's what you have, and most others just round it up to 90mm. It's also very unusual to see one in any sort of shutter. The fan used for fall-off compensation was only on the original Goerz barrel, so I assume you don't have that. Modern center filters are made for less-extreme wide angles, so may help a little, but won't even out the fall off perfectly, so you may have trouble getting an even exposure across the frame.

I'm not too familiar with the Goerz serial numbers/dates thing. The Hypergon shown in the early catalogs I mentioned (I assume you've seen them on Seth's site) has a serial number of 111144. A 776XXX serial number would put yours post WWII (and coated), if it was a Dagor, but I doubt that applies to yours.

Sorry, not much help...

Dan Fromm
11-Dec-2015, 11:45
That the lens is in a Volute suggests that it may have been made by Goerz' US branch.

11-Dec-2015, 11:49
Interesting. Have any pictures of your lens? Have you used it?

Steven Tribe
11-Dec-2015, 13:24
The Hypogon cannot be mounted in the usual way in a shutter as there is hardly room even for an iris between the lens. It must be mounted in front of the shutter.
00 is given as a 90mm in early European catalogues, but the real focal length may have been less. I would guess this is one in a batch of retro produced lenses (or special order from a powerful client, like the military or FBI) where it was decided that the exact focal length should be engraved. Some process lenses I have focal lengths given to 2 decimal points on extra paper stickers.

Dan Fromm
11-Dec-2015, 14:56
Steven, one of the Volute shutter's charms is that its shutter blades also form the aperture. So mounting lens cells that need to be close together in a Volute is somewhat more feasible than mounting them in a shutter with diaphragm and shutter blades.

Goerz American serial numbers posted here: http://www.largeformatphotography.info/classic-experts.html date the lens to the late 1940s-early 1950s.

The lens could well have been a special order. It is, though, too slow to make sense as an aerial camera lens and anyway there are other ways, e.g., three cameras arranged in a "fan" and swing lens/prism panoramic cameras to get high angular coverage without resorting to a very slow lens.

11-Dec-2015, 17:01
front-image 90mm hypergon
how he made

11-Dec-2015, 22:16

11-Dec-2015, 22:17
Hopefully, those might help a bit. It's a bit dusty and dirty, so I'll send it out for a CLA before I use it, but the shutter seems functional as is. As you can see, the engraving looks to be of the "newer" Goerz design, but the Volute shutter appears to be much older.


Steven Tribe
12-Dec-2015, 02:35
It looks like a very professional installation.

It was mounted in an antique Volute as it was the most reliable of the generation of early shutters which had the aperture and shutter combined in one set of leaves.

I would have thought a conversion back to just an iris would be better solution for long term usefulness!

12-Dec-2015, 17:44

Tiny "Hypergon" ~