View Full Version : What is this lens?

11-Mar-2016, 20:51
I just got a camera at Ebay, and the sale had no identification for the lens. Here's the best picture of it in the sale: http://img.auctiva.com/imgdata/1/9/6/6/8/0/4/webimg/883738825_o.jpg

I figured it would just be some sort of boring rapid rectilinear, but today when I unpacked the camera and took the lens off the board, it seemed unusually heavy and too nicely made, with a very cleanly-machined blackened brass mount. After a bit of checking, I see that it's approximately symmetrical, four elements on each side, eight total. The FL comes out to about 210mm, at f/10. The individual components work differently when turned around--one direction is longer than the other, and throws a bigger image, but they're around 13-14" FL each, f/16. The lens almost looks as if it's coated, and it's in perfect condition except for some schneideritis. Disassembly is from the inside of each mount, and the faces, not the sides, of the threaded rings are a bit wide and knurled around with an unusual pattern somewhat like this: >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>. I took it apart, and the elements look like this:


Before I took it apart, I was thinking some kind of protar, which I don't know much about, but it's too slow, and all of the protar photos I find show all of the individual lens elements as the same size.

Anyone have any ideas what it is??

I haven't had a chance to check coverage, but I don't think it's going to be very wide.

Jim Noel
12-Mar-2016, 09:37
What do you mean it is too slow for a Protar? One of mine is 6 3/8", f18.

12-Mar-2016, 12:21
I thought the basic concept for a normal protar was f/12.5 components that sum to make f7 or so two-component lenses, whereas yours sounds like a wide-angle protar, which mine isn't? I guess what I'm saying is that within what I understand as the definition of a protar, I can't find a place to fit my new lens.

Dan Fromm
12-Mar-2016, 15:25
I don't think there are any eight element Protars.

Since the lens is in a Betax (Wollensak made it) it is probably a Wolly lens. Go look in old Wollensak catalogs.

12-Mar-2016, 16:20
Series VII is eight elements--Zeiss Doppel-Protar.

Dan Fromm
12-Mar-2016, 18:09
Michael, believe it or not I checked before coming here, came here to tell you that I was mistaken.

13-Mar-2016, 08:40
Well, I've been doing some more digging and looking at pictures, and I think that maybe what I have is some sort of early double anastigmat on the series VII model, that was taken apart, coated, recemented, given a new mount, and shuttered by someone like B&J. The whole thing is an unlikely combination of parts, but virtually brand new, and seems like something they'd have done. The reason I showed the inside, above, is that the whole job seemed too neat and modern, but the B&J thing would possibly explain things like the coating and the anonymous mount on an older type of lens. Since no one here has any specific ideas, I'll keep trolling the web . . .