View Full Version : 12 inch f/4.5 B&J Tessar

Steve Hamley
11-Aug-2011, 14:34

I recently glommed a 12" (305mm) f:4.5 B&J Carl Meyer Tessar in Betax #5, mostly for the shutter since it was an attractive price. The glass is actually very nice, single coated and almost perfect, with the original black crinkle front metal lens cap. The aperture scale is engraved and not an added plate, so the shutter is probably the original. The serial is 79428.

Does anyone have any information on who made these? B&L? Are they recycled WWII lenses or something else? I always thought that the Betax shutters were mostly pre-war, although B&J could certainly have had a bunch of them laying around.

jpeg attached, and TIA.

Cheers, Steve

Mark Sampson
12-Aug-2011, 18:40
Somewhere on this site, quite a while back, one of the experts explained to us that 'Carl Meyer' lenses were assembled from assorted pieces & parts by Burke & James, with results of variable quality. This is the first picture of one I've ever seen. Perhaps someone who knows the real story (Lynn Jones?) will speak up.

Dan Fromm
13-Aug-2011, 04:25
Mark, I've seen the same story and believe it is true.

However, not long before he died my late friend Charlie Barringer bought a very pretty B&J-badged Sonnar and after looking at it closely decided that it was echt Zeiss and a good example of a good lens. He urged me to take advantage of the prejudice against B&J, said it was often incorrect.