View Full Version : Help with lens id

31-Jan-2011, 07:31
Hi all,
I am moving down from 8x10 (KMV) to 4x5 and just purchased a B&J Grover on ebay with an old Zeiss 210mm lens. Can anyone tell me what it is. It might me a tessar but I am unsure. If you use the zoom feature on the lens board shot you can pretty well make out the numbers. Below is the ebay link


Best Regards

Bill Taylor
Tarpon Springs, FL

Bob Salomon
31-Jan-2011, 07:43
It is an old Tessar 6.3. what do you want to know about it?

Jim Galli
31-Jan-2011, 07:49
Tessar's came in 2 flavor's mostly. F4.5 and f6.3. I believe this is the latter. It may have been made for the American market since it's in an American shutter. Have fun. Don't expect much from the shutter. If it works at all at the different speeds consistently, listen to your Nikon FM and then listen to the shutter. You will get closer to what it's really doing that way than what the dial up top is telling you.

31-Jan-2011, 07:53

I assume it is single coat. Should I bother to repair the shutter and use the lens or is it a waste of money and time? In other words... I it a keeper?

Best Regards,

Where you with Topcon back in the 70s?

Dan Fromm
31-Jan-2011, 08:17
Bill, by its serial number, the lens was made before 1912. f/6.3 Tessars are very good lenses. Whether the shutter is worth repairing depends on the cost. If >= the cost of a modern plasmat type 210/5.6 from, e.g., www.keh.com, then replace it.

The lens shouldn't be coated, Zeiss started coating during WW-II.

Nathan Smith
31-Jan-2011, 08:32
That particular shutter is not considered to be very good, though I have not owned one myself. See this page on the S.K.Grimes web site: http://www.skgrimes.com/ilex/index.htm

If you can replace it with a No. 3 Acme then you'd be better off. They're inexpensive and easily repairable. I can't guarantee your lens cells would fit though - if you want to send it to me I can check them in a #3 that I have, or perhaps you know someone in the area who can check it for you. No. 3's are very common so it shouldn't be hard to locate one.

As far as the non-coated lens, just plan to use a lens hood. It'll work fine.


31-Jan-2011, 09:24
Thanks to all,

I noted the Grimes site and will probably chuck the shutter when the camera arrives. I have a #3 acme that it might fit. In the meantime I will shoot with my 190 EKTAR WF until I either get it mounted or buy another lens. I use the WF on my KMV and I will sell it once I get something going on this camera.

Best Regards

Nathan Smith
31-Jan-2011, 13:15
In any case, the 210mm Tessar is probably a good portrait-length lens for 4x5, but you may want to get something in the 135-162mm range for a "normal" lens.

Arne Croell
31-Jan-2011, 13:35
According to the serial no. it was made in 1909.

Kirk Fry
31-Jan-2011, 22:07
My 210mm f6.3 Tessar of similar vintage covers 8x10. Nice lens. Mine had been remounted in a old compur with machined adapters. Someone liked the lens to spend real money on it. K

1-Feb-2011, 06:35
Again, thanks to all for the info. 1909 would certainly be the oldest glass I have ever shot. I am looking forward to trying it. I will be of course looking for a smaller lens and maybe a a really short one. Giving up the 8x10 is hard but the boat isn't big enough.
Best Regards to all

3-Feb-2011, 17:52
The camera and lens arrived today. The shutter is KO'd. I unscrewed the rear element to find a poorly machined adapter and plastic spacer to fit the shutter. I am now in hopes that someone might have the actual spacing dimensions before I machine a new adapter for my #3 ACME as I do not trust the previous machine work.

Best Regards