View Full Version : Ebay 75mm Biogon gets premium price.

Richard Boulware
20-Dec-2005, 10:20
EBay auction 7571048816 brought a winning bid of $2,31.00. Quite a piece of change for this lens. It appears to be a Biogon produced in one of the first or second production runs of the three production runs for the Biogon.
Yes it is a fine lens. I own one from the third and final generation...but Two Grand?

Well good luck and good shooting to the buyer...as he deserves all the good furtune he can find with this fine lens...considering what he paid for it.

Richard Boulware
20-Dec-2005, 10:24
Make that price...$2,031.00

David A. Goldfarb
20-Dec-2005, 10:33
Well, that looks like a perfectly functional saw, but for $2031, I think I'd rather have item #7571408816, or maybe I'll just keep my 75/4.5 Grandagon-N, which was around $10/mm second hand.

Steven Barall
20-Dec-2005, 11:03
I guess if you buy a saw and it's not sharp you just have to change the blade but what can you change on a lens that's not sharp. I guess that's why that saw is so expensive. All this time we've been in the wrong business.

Steve Hamley
20-Dec-2005, 11:11
I'm all for vintage glass, especially if it has some functionality in size, coverage, or image quality, but I've never understood the Biogon: doesn't have much coverage for 4x5 and pretty large and heavy. The only thing I've heard that might be considered "special" is that it is sharp (although moreso than other modern offerings seems debatable) and it has more even illumination because of the design (which some other lenses have too).

All in all, I'll take a Schneider 80mm SS XL thank you.


Donald Brewster
20-Dec-2005, 11:50
That is about retail price for the lens -- at least the few I've seen in camera stores over the past couple years -- maybe a little higher, but it is a collectors lens. Yes, a bit heavy and yes, limited coverage. However, I will say the "special" Zeiss LF lenses, the 75mm Biogon, the 135mm Planar, and the 250mm Sonnar, were very fast lenses that performed unusually well even wide open. I can't think of modern glass that compares in those particular attributes. That said, I'd probably take a Schneider 80mm SS XL too.

20-Dec-2005, 12:11
The Biogon is a special lens that does not pretend to compete with lenses with greater area of film coverage. It's virtues are sharpness and lack of distortion. There is nothing like a Biogon. If you make it large enough, a 75mm will cover 4x5 with no discernable distortion and very little light fall-off, and it will be sharp wide-open.

Someday, time and $ permitting, I want to do a side-by-side comparison of at least three 75mm or 3" Biogons on 4x5 in the field (no military targets, please!) All I need is THAT Biogon that went for $2031. All I need is a grant. :)

"Will work for lenses",

Neal Shields
20-Dec-2005, 12:36
Look at the bid history!

It always raises an eyebrow with me when someone with very few completed transactions plays such a significant part in a high dollar auction.


I have one at least that nice as my lens board has the mickey mouse cable attachment which should come with it.

I love my lens and hope I never meet anyone with two thousand dollars to offer me for it.


20-Dec-2005, 14:15
I must say I've been very favorably impressed with the sharpness, brightness, and lack of distortion when I've used a Hasselblad SWC. Not that it's worth the price, but it's a dang good lens...

Jack Flesher
20-Dec-2005, 15:23
Neal: I'll give you $2000 for yours...

CP Goerz
21-Dec-2005, 00:53
From what I understand about Biogons is that you don't want to buy one in a Copal, those have been retro mounted after manufacture. Apparently some glass was allowed to melt inside the barrel to seal it up and when it was mounted the seal had to be broken etc and the fear of damage and stress to the remaining cells/elements was always there. The ones in the Compur shutters were MADE to be that way and were quite a bit rarer.

Thats my 1.3cents!

CP Goerz.

Ted Harris
21-Dec-2005, 07:01
A small addition to Andreew's post. I know that Steve Grimes purchased quite a few of these around 1999 - 2001 to fit into Copal shutters. I remember seeing one in his shop sometime in 2000. We talked about the lens and the amount of work required to fit it into a shutter. It was a lovely piece of glass. I also recall Seve's wonderful smile when we were talking about why folks spent so much money on the lens .... not sure he understood it either, but it sure was good for his business.

Dan Fromm
21-Dec-2005, 07:16
Ted, I have a very different recollection of Steve and his 75/4.5 Biogons. When I had an opportunity to buy a small heap of 38/4.5 Biogons in AGI F135 shutters, he warned me fairly strongly not to gamble on them. He told me that he'd bought what he thought were the last three pallets of USAF surplus 75s in the hope of remounting them and making a killing. But after he'd bought his, more surfaced and he was stuck, his monopoly evaporated. He was somewhat bitter about the adventure.

Adam, who bought SKGrimes, 75 Biogons and all, has characterized preparing them to go in shutter as "rainy day work." I think that SKGrimes-remounted 75s are safe to buy, Andrew's warning notwithstanding.



Ted Harris
21-Dec-2005, 07:22
Dan, nope same recollections. Timing. When I first talked to Steve about them it was before the other batch surfaced. I was also being too obtuse in my original post, his 'smile' was a sardonic one. While he was hopeful of making $$ my impression was that, to the extent you could ever get Steve to say something bad, he was not as impressed with the lens as others were.

I do agree that the ones he remounted are likely safe to buy although I never bought one and am perfectly happy to keepworking with my 75mm SA.

22-Dec-2005, 13:22
come on guys...if you found your Biogons 20 years for a buck...good for you. A nice vintage lens as the 75 Biogon is of course worth 2K, anything else would be degrading the lens in any way as a high-end classic.
A new Grandagon N 75 is more expensive, a SWC as someone mentioned is more....an Alpa Biogon 38/4,5 1st version is worth USD 20.000 to serious collectors.
We should not disguard the value collectors set on some of our beloved lenses, even though it might be more that some in this foru mis willilng to pay. We all have our strange ideas...personally I thing USD 2600 is way out of range for an banged up dagor 30"....catch my drift ??!!

22-Dec-2005, 15:10
the 75 Biogon is of course worth 2K, anything else would be degrading the lens in any way as a high-end classic.

What do we care what other people think? If all of a suddent the Biogons went into the public toilet of opinion, it wouldn't change the glass and I, for one, would be tickled pink to get them cheap.

6-Jan-2006, 18:36
That's an outrageous price. Who in his right mind would spend so much for a 75mm Biogon?


Nature Photo
6-Jan-2006, 19:02
Strange behavior occasionally does happen on eBay. Occasionally there is the 'winner's curse' (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winner's_curse" target="blank); then, as noted above, there is the occasional mysterious bidder with a slim record but eagerness to pump up the bid.