View Full Version : lens for 12X20 view camera

william kirchoff
8-Nov-2005, 18:56
hello all-
i am in the market for one overall good lens for my 12x20 camera. i was set on saving for and buying new the nikkor450m. but now i find that most vendors are not stocking new 450ms'. i have now been looking at the fujinon 600c. is one lens superior to the other, or are they closely matched in performance, contrast, image circle, etc. any advice or guidence would be appreciated!!

Steve Hamley
8-Nov-2005, 19:02
Nikkor 450m new, Midwest Photo Exchange - www.mpex.com

Contact is Jim Andracki.


John Kasaian
9-Nov-2005, 00:02
I'll "second" the 450 M. I got mine from Midwest too. It was used but it looks like new and the price was certainly right.

The 19" Dagor is the lens many 12x20 shooters lust after ( and for good reason) but they are usually very expensive and getting harder and harder to find. I really lucked out with mine (its not for sale!)

What make camera do you have? If its a Folmer and Schwing you may not have enough bellows to get much out of a 600mm lens.

Mike Cockerham
9-Nov-2005, 09:04
I have a Folmer 12x20 and an Apo Ronar 600 and just not enough bellows. I also have a B&L Protar IV that works great.


Mark Sampson
9-Nov-2005, 09:18
This does bring up a semi-relevant question. Since these cameras were used for photographing large groups of people at banquets, what f.l. lens would have the cameras have been designed for? I assume the lens would have been a Dagor or a Protar. Probably with a solenoid attached to trigger the flashbulbs?

John Kasaian
9-Nov-2005, 22:17
I think you're correct---most of the old timers I'm aware of seemed to use either B&L Protars or Dagors. I don't know how they triggered bulbs----it might be a little too interesting to illuminate a banquet hall with flash powder, but I'd like to see it (at a safe, comfortable distance!)

The 450M is a terrific lens on these cameras BTW. They've been discontinued by Nikkor but you should easily find clean used examples around $5-600. A good 14" 16-1/2" or 19" Dagor in shutter will cost will easily 2-4 times as much. The big coverage Protars, IMHO, aren't much, if any cheaper plus all these classic lenses require a bit of a hunt to find one and will probably need a cla added to the cost, while you can get a 450M in a copal from Midwest Photo or other dealers and be shooting with your ULF within days.

Clayton Tume
10-Nov-2005, 01:24

run that by me how you lucked out on the 19" Dagor...........I'm jealous!........and in the market for one too.........and the rarer 24".

looking forward to a good tale..........


John Kasaian
10-Nov-2005, 08:06

A tale it is! On eBay no less! A studio (somewhere in the mid-west...Wisconsin?) was selling some gear and had a barrel lens. It wasn't marked as a Goerz f/7.7 Dagor series III but as a Goerz Double Anastigmat series IV #8---a smaller, slower version of the same lens. Tracy Storer has the same lens and encouraged me to bid. That was great advice---even adding the #4 Acme shutter and mounting it comes to less than half what 19" f/7.7 brings on eBay:-)

Struan Gray
10-Nov-2005, 12:17
Are all the 19" Dagors this valuable, or only the later ones? I recently picked up a 480 mm f8 Doppel-Anastigmat Serie III in nice condition as a user lens. I don't want to sell it, but if it's worth thousands I'll baby it a bit more carefully.