View Full Version : Phönix-Doppel Anastigmat/Müller &Wetzig, Dresden lens construction

Tom Keenan
23-Jan-2012, 12:12
I have this wonderful little lens labeled as in the title 21cm. f4.5. I made one image this weekend wide open and what a nice surprise. Nice detail with a nice creamy transition to background. I would like to learn more and use the lens more. I cannot find anything on Müller and Wetzig. The front element reflections are (from the front) bright-bright faint-faint. The rear element has one bright reflection. That's it. I can't see anything else. What does the one bright reflection mean? Am I simply seeing through to the other side of the element? Any help interpreting this would be appreciated.

The mounting flange says "Aristoscop Satz No.2" I can't find anything on that. Does anybody know what that means?

Kinglake says that after the Dagor, Goerz developed two additional double anastigmats. One ended up as the Celor and Dogmar at f4.5 The other was a name I cannot remember. So is this lens an E. German manufactured Celor/Dogmar type? What about that rear element with only one reflection?

Tom Keenan

Dan Fromm
23-Jan-2012, 12:45
The VM, as it sometimes does, steps on itself. First it says that the Phonix Doppel Anastigmat f4.5 210mm seems to be a tessar type. Not possible, Tessars aren't double anastigmats. Then it says "Doppel Anastigmat f4.5 135mm An older lens, possibly a symmetrical such as "Dagor" or "Plasmat" type."

Satz is a tipoff. Most probably a dagor or plasmat type. Your report on reflections from the front cell spells dagor type. Your report that the rear cell has just one bright reflection can't be right, there have to be at least two, one from each air-glass interface. Look again, also unscrew the cells and check their focal lengths. If they're unequal (not likely, but possible) you have a triple convertible.

E. Germany was invented after WW-II. If the news from these http://www.praktica-collector.de/Pentacon.htm http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filmosto after the war M&W specialized in making enlargers. So your lens is probably German, not East German.

Ole Tjugen
23-Jan-2012, 14:09
"Aristoskop" was made by Meyer, and was a set of Aplanat-type lenses including a "Satzobjektiv" - a casket set.

I think your flange is not original to your lens.

Hartmut Thiele's "Deutsche Photooptik von A - Z" is of no help for a change, neither Müller & Wetzig nor the Phönix Doppel-Anastigmat is mentioned.

Focal length marked in cm instead of mm generally indicates a date of manufacture in the 1920s or 30s.

23-Jan-2012, 14:11
after the war M&W specialized in making enlargers. So your lens is probably German, not East German.

Müller&Wetzig was a major professional projector and enlarger maker before the war - obscure in consumer circles as they did not bother with lesser gear until GDR times (when they already had renamed). They could be said to be the company that invented the professional autofocus enlarger type Agfa and Leitz later became famous for in downscaled format. I rather doubt they ever built their own lenses.

According to the Wikipedia article they used Double Anastigmat type lenses on all their enlargers, but that might be a case of circular reference to E. Busch (whose most famous product was the Doppelanastigmat) being their regular lens supplier, as Tessar types certainly were far more widespread for enlarger use.

A Satzobjektiv doesn't make that much sense on a mechanical AF enlarger - it is more likely that that one is from one of their projectors.

23-Jan-2012, 14:16
Maybe the mounting flange was for a different lens entirely and just happened to work with the lens in question? Hugo Meyer made a lens called the Aristoscop which was a wide angle RR. Is the flange brass? Does the metal match the lens?

Tom Keenan
24-Jan-2012, 06:26
As suggested, sounding like a projector lens. Would a projector lens have a diaphragm?

Found this translated from German by Google...
Wetzig & Müller, Enlargers VEB-Dresden
John Wetzig and Robert Mueller, opened in 1899 a small "special factory for Projection and magnification devices." The production profile comprised different projection, magnification and cinema equipment: Projection apparatus "Dresdensia" (1903), projector I to V (from 1905), VI enlarger Fam (1935). In 1938, the sons took over the company founder Willy Müller and Georg Wetzig operation. In 1945 the plant was completely destroyed. A production could be resumed only at a new location and after seizure. From 1946 the new company was called M & W enlargers plant. After the nationalization of the company in enlargers factory was renamed VEB. Until the annexation to Filmosto in 1951, the enlargers Multifoc I and II produced.

24-Jan-2012, 11:20

You said, "after the nationalization of the company in enlargers factory was renamed VEB." Makes me wonder: VEB what? Could it be Aspecta?

Dan Fromm
24-Jan-2012, 12:41
Seele, see the links in post #2 in this thread.

24-Jan-2012, 20:48
Thanks Dan, brain not working.

By the way Aspecta also carried on building enlargers, possibly in smaller quantities. A friend had a "briefcase enlarger" by Aspecta with an original enlarging lens by Meyer; too bad we lost touch a long time ago.

Tom Keenan
26-Jan-2012, 08:05
Thanks for the interesting comments and links. I learned from them. I assume then that this lens is probably a projector lens and that the lens and mounting flange are probably two different animals. I intend to use it as a taking lens nonetheless. A couple of images attached. Sure looks like that brass matches but I guess brass is brass.
Tom Keenan

Dan Fromm
26-Jan-2012, 09:44
Tom, projector lenses rarely have diaphragms. The images you posted -- thanks for that -- show what look like aperture scales.