View Full Version : Bausch & Lomb Date Code

Dr Klaus Schmitt
29-Sep-2009, 11:09
Might be of interest to some here

29-Sep-2009, 11:40
Thanks for posting this.

But I have an early, brass, B&L Zeiss IIb that is 961,542. I always guessed from about 1910. Your list stops at 320,000 - 1942, my lens can't be that new. Am I reading something wrong (just checked the lens itself)?

Dan Fromm
29-Sep-2009, 12:13
Klaus, please check your table for pre-1942 lenses. You may have dropped a digit.

Evidence for this is my three Zeiss Kodak Anastigmats, all made by B&L and all pre-1917. Serial numbers 1320044, 1536868, and 1733784. Per your table, 1917 = 120000. I know that the VM is often wrong, especially about US lens makers, but my lenses are consistent with B&L serial numbers published there and your numbers aren't.

And here's evidence that B&L changed numbering scheme before going to alphabetic prefixes, or, perhaps, ran several different systems in parallel: Eymax Anastigmat Type V 1"/4.5 s/n 359029. IIRC, the Eymax was a 35 mm cine camera and Type V is the USAF designation for cine camera lens.



Chauncey Walden
29-Sep-2009, 14:56
On the one hand, I have a B&L Universal Wide Angle serial 56000 with wheel stops that the chart would say is a reasonable 1905, but on the other I have a IIb Tessar serial 3200000 that I had down as 1920. Maybe the lenses built under Zeiss patent had a different numbering system???

Dan Fromm
29-Sep-2009, 15:31
Um, Chauncey, the 1906 B&L catalog posted on www.cameraeccentric.com lists only Unar, f/6.3 Tessar, f/6.3 Ser. VIIa Protar, and the Plastigmat. No mention of old B&L types like yours. The Plastigmat isn't in the 1910 catalog, it shows only Zeiss types.

The VM mentions B&L Universals and a couple of WARs starting around 1890.

Unfortunately none of the lens pictures in the catalogs show serial numbers.

I have a B&L Tessar IIb (no mention of Zeiss) s/n 3250727, had and sold a 48 Micro Tessar s/n 3215298. Neither fits in Klaus' list of serial numbers. I think he inadvertently dropped a digit. Happens to all of us from time to time.