View Full Version : Classic Lens Series designation - what' it mean

Michael Filler
21-Mar-2006, 21:18
I see all kind of lenses, and don't know what it means to be a Series IV or V or III, etc.

Is a Series IV the same in some characteristic across makers and formats?

As an example, I just bought a Grunlach 11x14 Series IV f6.8. Why don't they just tell you what the focal length is?

I assume the 11x14 part means it is intended to cover that format. Is a f6.8 Series IV a normal lens, a WA, what.

Can I transfer any of that to the Plasmats Dagors or others?

Does anyone know of a link to a data table, that has Maker and Series on one axis, and format/max aperture on another, that would indicate FL and image circle at mid-aperture (Boy, I'm not asking for much am I).

I would appreciate any help I could get. Thanks.

Kind regards,


Michael Gudzinowicz
21-Mar-2006, 21:46
Check the catalogs:


Ole Tjugen
22-Mar-2006, 05:18
Each lens maker had their own "Serie" designation, and there is no consistency across makers. Where someone made lenses under licence from someone else the Series are mostly the same, as e.g. B&L / Zeiss Protars. Except that Zeiss never put "Serie V" on the wide angle Protar lenses, while B&L always did...

It gets even better: Things like "ROJA vorm. Emil Busch Wide Angle Aplanat Ser.C No.2". That's a very nice little brass lens, but that's about all you'll find out about it without access to contemporary literature or catalogues. It turns out to be a 150mm F:16, which covers 24x30cm at small stops. About the same as a Goerz Serie F No. 4...

Suter's "Serie B" is a "Universal Aplanat f:8" or Rapid Rectilinear, Serie A was a faster version (f:6) of the same. Steinheil used "Serie A" for the Satz Orthostigmat, sold as convertible lenses or casket sets.

That's just from glancing quickly through a nice little German photography textbook I happen to have, published in 1910. With examples from my own collection.

Ernest Purdum
22-Mar-2006, 10:55
"Series" just tells you the design, but sometimes you will see "Series II, No. 5" and the five would tell you the focal length if you had a catolog in which to look it up. Probably your best about bet a specific lens is to ask here, someone surely can and will provide the information unless it is a terribly obscure item.