View Full Version : Scratched Aviar and Enlarging Apo-Gerogon

Martin Courtenay-Blake
24-Jun-2007, 07:39
In my never ending quest for low cost lenses for my 5X4 and Half Plate cameras I recently acquired a little gem 6in. (152mm) Cooke Aviar and a 240mm Apo Gerogon...both barrel.

Firstly the Aviar has a long, but not too deep, scratch on the front element probably caused by the ubiquitous T-shirt full of sand cleaning method. There is also what appears a small internal coating fault. These aside the lens is in great condition. It is probably a late version as the focal length is given in both metric and imperial. It is also fully coated. I have yet to manufacture lens boards for either of my cameras so haven't tried it out. I just wanted feelings, opinions or even advice as to wether it may be worth considering re-polishing and coating the front element (by an expert not me personally). It is likely to be used primarily for B&W on the Zone Vl 5X4.

The Apo Gerogon is in optically mint condition but is mounted as an enlarging lens...complete with illuminated f-stops. In fact it looks virtually the same as my 150mm Rodagon. Just want to know if this version may have been optimised for enlarging and is therefore not suited to general photography or if I could use it as many others use this lens model. It stops down to f.64 so I'll most likely use the top hat method of exposure with it left in it's barrel.

Would really appreciate any thoughts.


Ernest Purdum
24-Jun-2007, 08:20
Scratches can be filled with india ink. When done, the only effect left is blocking a tiny amount of light.

Mark Sawyer
24-Jun-2007, 11:40
I have an uncoated 12" Dagor that looks like it had been in a sandstorm; scratched and pitted front and rear. It was a freebie that came with an 8x10 camera, and I just set the lens aside and ignored it for years...

Til one day I was doing lens comparisons, and put it into the mix. It was quite sharp, and had a nice feel to it. The damage to the dagor is so severe it MUST be having an impact, but it's still a sharp and lovely lens to use. I go back to it from time to time, and don't fret so much about little flaws on my other lenses.

You'll have to try them and see for yourself, but I suspect the problems will be more psychological than optical...

Martin Courtenay-Blake
25-Jun-2007, 11:15
Thanks for the info Earnest I'll give it a try.