View Full Version : Goerz serie 1b 270mm, worth fixing?

Paul Ewins
29-Sep-2006, 06:06
I've got a lens identified as "Serie 1B No. 5 F=270m/m C.P. Goerz Berlin No. 129780 Doppel-Anastigmat Typ.B D.R.P No. 109283 ". Quite why it has two serial numbers I don't know. In fact I haven't been able to find out anything about it at all.

It needs to be pulled apart for cleaning, but the rear cell is stuck fast in the mounting and I want to know whether it is worth perservering with this. Part of the problem is that the rear cell is deeply shrouded by the barrel and it looks like I may need to cut the barrel away to get the cell.

I paid very little for the lens so I don't have a lot to lose, but don't want to waste my time if the lens is nothing special.

Steve Hamley
29-Sep-2006, 06:48
The number after DRP is the patent number, the other is the lens serial.

You can date it to about 1902-1903 from this site's home page:


Sounds like you have a Goerz Celor, a 4/4 dialyt that was probably the uncoated predecessor of the Artar process lens. The Lens Collector's Vade Mecum has some info, and suggests that the faster f:4.5 and f:5.5 lenses were intended for portraiture, the slower f:6.3 Celor and Syntor was for group and outdoor work. George Hurrell allegedly used a 16-1/2" Celor on 8x10 to create those classic Hollywood portraits for which he is famous.

You don't have to cut the glass out of the cell - if you do you'll likely destroy the lens - better just to sell it. It will come out, but you may need a competent mechanic like S.K. grimes or FocalPoint to do it. Is it worth it? I doubt it from a monetary standpoint. If you like the image qualities (contrast, out of focus rendering, sharpness) and have specific plans to use these qualities, it might be well worth it.

You also don't mention on what format you would be using it.


Ole Tjugen
29-Sep-2006, 06:58
Serie 1b f:4.5 to f:5.5 was the "ordinary" Celor, there was a Porträt-Celor f:3.5 and f:4.5 for poritrait work. And a Serie 1c, f:6.3.

The Artar f:9 was sold at the same time (1910 is when my list was compiled) for process work, so the Celor is not a predecessor of that.

Steve Hamley
29-Sep-2006, 07:36

Thanks for the update on the portrait Celor. I may be wrong in the Celor being the Artar's predecessor, but just because they were both sold at the same time does not mean that the Celor was not the predecessor of the Artar. The above lens dates to 1902-1903 if you believe the LFinfo page, and if you believe the Vade Mecum that W. Zschokke designed the Artar and worked for Goerz from 1902-1920, that's a reasonably good circumstantial argument although not proof positive.


Ole Tjugen
29-Sep-2006, 13:38
The Vade Mecum is an irreplaceable resource, but the information of German lenses is frequently misleading or worse. I have somewhat more confidence in the information from Hans Schmidt's "Photographisches Hifsbuch für ernste Arbeit", 2nd edition, Berlin 1910.

The dialyte was well known before W. Zschokke came to work for Goerz, as was the flat field improvements possible when limiting the maximum aperture to f:9 for copy work.

Paul Ewins
29-Sep-2006, 16:45
I wasn't planning to cut the glass out of the cell, rather cut the barrel away so that the cell can be unscrewed. The front cell unscrews into two parts so I was able to give the inner surfaces a gentle wipe, I'm hoping that the rear cell will be the same.

To add to the confusion, the maximum aperture is f4.8. It actually has two scales, one marked 4,8 5,5 6,3 8 11 16 22 32 45 64 and another set 2,5 3 4 6 8 12 24 48 96 192 384.

I've (hopefully) attached a couple of pictures that should make things clearer

Ole Tjugen
29-Sep-2006, 22:54
The Celor Serie 1b had, as I said, a range of max. aperture from 4.5 to 5.5 depending on focal length. f:4.8 for a 270mm is entirely consistent with that.

The second aperture scale is the Stolze scale, a doubling of the number for each stop.

Paul Ewins
30-Sep-2006, 00:36
Thanks Ole, I misread that as f:4.5 and f:5.5, it makes sense to me now. Oh well, I can start googling on "celor" now which might give me some more useful information.