View Full Version : Dallmeyer... is this typical?

John NYC
10-Jan-2010, 20:08
Just watched the end of the race on the bay for an...

"Engraved 18275 J.H. Dallmeyer No 2.C. London. Glass is clear with no haze or separation but has some dust specks which would not effect images. The focusing wheel is missing. Uses Waterhouse stops of which one (f6) is included. No mounting flange is included, thread diameter is approx. 2 3/4" across. Approximate focal length of about 4 1/2 inches. I'm not sure of the coverage."

About a half hour before the end of the auction, the bid was at just below $300. I thought about plugging $300 in there, but really have no idea what I'm doing when it comes to those things, so I left it alone and just watched.

Final price? USD $1,026.99. There were 17 bids.

Is this type of price typical?

10-Jan-2010, 20:16
The "C" is the fastest Dallmeyer Patent Portrait Petzval (I think) ...F/2 or 2.2 or something like that......I'd like to have had it myself ...I was watching as well.....my wallet said no.....

10-Jan-2010, 21:43
The Dallmeyer C series lenses are rare and the speed makes them exceptional for wet plate collodion work. Considering that I've seen some very common magic lantern lenses go for over $500, the 2C seems like a better buy. There were a couple of bidders that wanted that lens very badly. I thought it would go for $600-$700.

10-Jan-2010, 22:35
it went to some crazy collector perhaps. $1,026 is too much for a 2c. my guess was also in the 600-700$ range.

Steven Tribe
11-Jan-2010, 02:43
Supply and demand. The C series was called Extra Rapid and was described as being "for children" - fidgety subjects - not junior photographers! Considering how few there are of these and the real usefullness of these to-day, I think the price is very reasonable. Just wait until a 3C comes along!

11-Jan-2010, 04:32
Another watcher here. I was hoping to get in on the action as well but it went beyond my wallet. I suspected it would hit 900's but not cross the 1k margin. The images from these lens shot wide open is incredible, especially if shot as portraits. Also, this is the first time in close to a year that I have seen a f 2.2 (Dallmeyer called them a F/2 near) petzval lens hit the market. combine rare, desire with people and money...Wish it were me gloating that I bought it but not today.

On the 3C bit...I would almost expect $2k at this rate, crazy. the 8" FL of a 3C puts it in the Wholeplate sized image w/ extended bellows portrait shots easy.


Steven Tribe
11-Jan-2010, 05:13
One of the things which I think pushes the prices up is the availability/cost of digital backs. One gets used to the kind of investment needed with the later - and the prices of everything else seems paltry. A scarce, unreproducable at current prices, item which will last another 100 years compared with a mass produced item with an unknown (both technologically and functionality-wise) life.
OK, we are talking about 2 different markets here, but there seems to be an increasing amount of overlap.

11-Jan-2010, 07:47
Steve, that is very true and hadnt thought of that convergence but it is definitely there. I have friends that know I shoot LF film and collodion and they keep asking about the lenses I use, I keep it light and just say some really old lenses...:D as I dont want to bore them with tech details. I didnt think of the digital back folks and their ability to merge two worlds and use a lens that is 130+ years old with a modern digital sensor and end up with something close to what I produce. Granted a digital mimic of collodion, though not there yet, will be if someone really wants to reproduce it.


11-Jan-2010, 15:40
I also wanted the lens, and have not seen any for sale in 2 years of steady watching. Is it that good? Well, I don't know, but it was about the fastest petzval. But I've been surprised at how may other lenses have been closing for 200-300% what they sold for last year. Recession and all, I think we've hit a tipping point where everyone is watching any old lens, and many are bidding.

11-Jan-2010, 16:22
The C Lenses were originally called "Extra Rapid" for [fast moving] "Children" and later called, "Extra" Quick Acting

This lens series is quite scarce...the first ad (left) is from 1874 ( note it only came in 2 sizes )....and the second ad from 1891 mentions the C lenses at "F/2 nearly."


Steven Tribe
11-Jan-2010, 16:36
I agree with this last point about everyone watching anything of interest. It is especialy apparent with run-of-mill petzvals - which also give access to a new dimension of photographic images which interest a growing amount of people. But I think that there already is (or shortly will be) a fall in the listed volume of new (in terms of not being offered in the market in the last 50 years or so), exciting, objectives in the e**y market. There just are not so many grandchildren left who havn't cleared out their Grandfather's attic. This is a depressing prospect.

11-Jan-2010, 17:16
i thought it would go for 600-800. i was in for 825 and i thought that was just stupid....BUT i also thought that it would be worth 1200-1300 in a few months...i guess i was right....it is already worth 1029! based on being a dallmeyer (they get 1.5 times more for the name) fairly rare, very fast and a serial number from about 1870 it stands to be a sought after lens......AND i REALLY wanted to try that baby out! it would be perfect for my 1/2 plate camera black art wood craft is building for me....i was dreaming about 1/4 plate portraits....AND using the f6 stop just for fun........it would have been OH SO SWEET!!!!

just to put it all in perspective, i saw some basic Darlot magic lantern lenses with no water house stops go for 900....TWO of them at that! so if you ask me a 900 ML darlot or a 2c for a bit more....? i would take the 2c.

we know the guy that won......


11-Jan-2010, 22:05
It's amazing how prices for these have skyrocketed, isn't it.

A combination of good advertising by some of the proponents of revitalizing these old lenses, and also some dissatisfaction with the ongoing promises and development of higher fidelity and better resolution from digital photographers, is driving interest I think...

12-Jan-2010, 06:25
dont tell me we are going to see this for sale by our favorite Australian?