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Mark Sawyer
13-Apr-2012, 13:22
I'm trying to sort out the Dagors, and was wondering if anyone could point me to a specific, authoritative site that tells the differences. A lot of what I've found has been confusing, conflicting, and I'm sure sometimes wrong.

As an example, there are "Berlin Dagors" and Dagors marked "Goerz Berlin". There are also Golden, Gold-Rim, Gold-Band, and Gold-Dot Dagors. I think I'm sorting it out, but is there a reference article that has it right and all in one place? Thanks!

Leigh
13-Apr-2012, 13:37
Hi Mark,

I have a Gold Dot Dagor, labeled Goerz Optical Co. Inc., made in Switzerland:

http://www.mayadate.org/pix/Goerz_Front_DSC_0305.jpg http://www.mayadate.org/pix/Goerz_Rear_DSC_0306.jpg

Don't know if this is what you're after or not.

- Leigh

imagedowser
13-Apr-2012, 14:39
Leigh, Reread your Plato quote. You're as far away from being helpful as you could be.... He's asking about Dagors, plural.... and their history and performance differences in an authoritative single location..... not about a single lens you are fortunate to own. Bill

Leigh
13-Apr-2012, 14:44
Bill,

Are you
1) The OP?
2) A moderator?

If not, my posts are none of your business.

From the research that I've done on the subject, that lens is somewhat unusual in that it appears to carry an American
company name but was made in Switzerland, not Berlin or the US. I presented it as one aspect of the puzzle.

- Leigh

Mark Sawyer
13-Apr-2012, 15:29
I'm looking more for a source with comprehensive information, Leigh. Dagors, labeled as such, were made by different manufacturers, and there are significant differences between them It's hard to sort out, especially with the amount of questionable information out there, and I wondered if someone had put something together in one place. There's enough interest in the lens to justify such a resource...

Leigh
13-Apr-2012, 15:35
Hi Mark,

It would be interesting if an authoritative source existed. I've not found such in researching the lens I posted above.

Hopefully someone will come forth with further info.

- Leigh

cosmicexplosion
13-Apr-2012, 15:41
i think its a good thing that you are doing, mark.

it would benefit all and sundry who buy to use.

it would help keep value in check. but also allow people to know what they are getting, so they dont buy a second rate lens if they are after the real deal.

your list would be the go to source, but you may have to compile alot your self which will mean looking at individual cases like Leigh's.

Also what would be great with the advent of technology would be to have good images made with the lens's, (an advantage of dealing with people not lists, )

so in that way a vague idea of the lens's qualities are on display, why you may do a few pic from a few people if there is argument. bring it on.

Mark Sawyer
13-Apr-2012, 16:15
...your list would be the go to source, but you may have to compile alot your self which will mean looking at individual cases like Leigh's.


Oh, try to stick me with doing all the work! :rolleyes: I don't know enough about them, I just have a bunch of bookmarked pages that have often conflicting, confusing, incomplete information. If I did write up an article, it would be a draft to be corrected by all in a forum thread, but hopefully someone has done it already. I'd be surprised if someone hasn't, given the history and popularity of the lens. I just haven't been able to find it...

cosmicexplosion
13-Apr-2012, 16:26
maybe its all to much like hard work, so no one has bothered.

but you are right in that putting up a wikipedia or goezpedia or wikidagor or cloak and dagor for that matter, as an open source reference is a jolly good idea old chap.

people can add info and pics and images and you could adjudicate.

or we could set up an official board of inquiry.

Louis Pacilla
13-Apr-2012, 18:41
Hey Mark I don't have a the information your after but this is a early C.P. Goerz Belin/ New York catalog that is worth having looking at. It dates to 1895 and It's very cool to see the to interior/exterior of both the Berlin C.P. Goerz Optical Works / New York C.P. Goerz Optical Works.

Check it out - http://www.piercevaubel.com/cam/catalogs/1895goerzlp723.htm

Mark Sawyer
13-Apr-2012, 19:02
Very cool indeed! Thanks, Louis!

Old-N-Feeble
14-Apr-2012, 08:24
OT: RE Louis link...

For anyone interested; The way to avoid dark type or images showing through from the back side of your reflective scans just place a black paper behind your original. This minimizes light reflecting off the white scanner top and coming back through blank areas.

IanG
14-Apr-2012, 08:57
There's a need for a well researched article on Dagors as there's so many variations. CP Goerz (Berlin) licensed production to a few other companies in the early days as well before WWII so in the UK and former colonies you find Ross Dagor's.

There's also Zeiss Dagors because CP Goerz (Belin) became a part of Zeiss Ikon, technically both Zeiss and Schneieder have the rights to make and market Dagors.

Who ever writes something there's a lot of work needed to be comprehensive.

Ian

E. von Hoegh
14-Apr-2012, 09:26
I'd like to know exactly what happened with the Goerz New York branch.I've a feeling that war reparations made it into an inependent company after WWI, but can find no references. Also, there is a gap in serial numbers from the 300,000 range to the low 700,000 range. Goerz Berlin became part of Zeiss Ikon in 1926, Zeiss made the Dagors up to the beginning of WWII. I've been told some of the last ones were factory coated, but again no references.

Edit - The licensed production (Ross and others) of Dagors stopped when the original patents expired and everyone started making Dagor clones.

IanG
14-Apr-2012, 10:01
CP Goerz Am Opt became indepenent in 1905 so well before WWI and ironoically supplied the allies with Binoculars during the war while the original German company supplied the Axis powers, Germany, Austria, Turkey etc.

I think the licensed production by Ross stopped because of WWI at the same time as the Zeiss licenses, the Zeiss Mill Hill Optical works was handed to Ross by the British Government, so another irony was the former German Binocular and lens plant was making equipment for the Allies.

Ian

E. von Hoegh
14-Apr-2012, 10:08
CP Goerz Am Opt became indepenent in 1905 so well before WWI and ironoically supplied the allies with Binoculars during the war while the original German company supplied the Axis powers, Germany, Austria, Turkey etc.

I think the licensed production by Ross stopped because of WWI at the same time as the Zeiss licenses, the Zeiss Mill Hill Optical works was handed to Ross by the British Government, so another irony was the former German Binocular and lens plant was making equipment for the Allies.

Ian

Are you certain it became independent in 1905?? I've never seen a pair of New York made Goerz binoculars, either. I have seen them marked Goerz New York, but made in Germany, and Goerz Berlin and New York, also made in Germany.

Dan Fromm
14-Apr-2012, 10:21
E., seek and ye shall find

http://www.largeformatphotography.info/classic-experts.html

http://www.bolexcollector.com/lenses/40goerz.html

http://www.galerie-photo.org/n2-f1-93011.html My source for 1905 may have been http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goerz_%28company%29

http://www.lostlabours.co.uk/photography/cameras/dagor.htm

Any minute now Lynn Jones will enter the discussion that Goerz American Optical Company, of various locations in downstate NY, was somehow associated with American Optical Company, of Springfield, Ma. T'ain't so, and never was.

E. von Hoegh
14-Apr-2012, 10:31
E., seek and ye shall find

http://www.largeformatphotography.info/classic-experts.html

http://www.bolexcollector.com/lenses/40goerz.html

http://www.galerie-photo.org/n2-f1-93011.html My source for 1905 may have been http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goerz_%28company%29

http://www.lostlabours.co.uk/photography/cameras/dagor.htm

Any minute now Lynn Jones will enter the discussion that Goerz American Optical Company, of various locations in downstate NY, was somehow associated with American Optical Company, of Springfield, Ma. T'ain't so, and never was.

Dan,

The first link claims Goerz N.Y. became independent after WWI.
The Bolex link says nothing about independence in 1905, just that it wasn't absorbed by Zeiss.
The third link, I can't read. No French knowledge.
If Wikipedia said the sky was blue, I'd glance out the window to confirm.

The last link is the first I have seen that states the firm became independent in 1905. This appears to refute that claim,
http://www.cameraeccentric.com/html/info/goerz_2.html

Dan Fromm
14-Apr-2012, 11:22
E., there's a bit of confusion. To add to it, the Custodian of Alien Property took over Goerz American no later than the US' entry into WW-I, put the firm up for bids in 1919. B&L was the high (only?) bidder and their bid was rejected as too low. It isn't clear what happened after that.

E. von Hoegh
14-Apr-2012, 11:30
E., there's a bit of confusion. To add to it, the Custodian of Alien Property took over Goerz American no later than the US' entry into WW-I, put the firm up for bids in 1919. B&L was the high (only?) bidder and their bid was rejected as too low. It isn't clear what happened after that.

If the Custodian of Alien Property took it over, then it wasn't independent, was it? This is what I was referring to in post 14.

IanG
14-Apr-2012, 12:04
E., there's no reason why the Independent NUS based C.P. Goerz American Optical Company shouldn't have bee the sole agents for William and Otto Goerz's father company C.P. Goerz Berlin, it was fairly normal before WWII. William & Otto had become US citizens by 1905. After all Kodak Ltd in the UK was indepenent of Eastman Kodak in the US although they had some common shareholders.

In fact the term "Sole agents" in itself indicates they are two seperate companie.

There is or was a detailed article online on the early years of C.P.Goerz Am Opt which included quite recent photographs of some of their old premises in New York.

Ian

E. von Hoegh
14-Apr-2012, 12:08
E., there's no reason why the Independent NUS based C.P. Goerz American Optical Company shouldn't have bee the sole agents for William and Otto Goerz's father company C.P. Goerz Berlin, it was fairly normal before WWII. William & Otto had become US citizens by 1905. After all Kodak Ltd in the UK was indepenent of Eastman Kodak in the US although they had some common shareholders.

In fact the term "Sole agents" in itself indicates they are two seperate companie.

There is or was a detailed article online on the early years of C.P.Goerz Am Opt which included quite recent photographs of some of their old premises in New York.

Ian

Ian, read the thread. Research the Custodian of Alien Properties seizure of the firm in 1917. It was not independent until that seizure, at the very earliest.

IanG
14-Apr-2012, 12:46
The Report indicates it was Independent but dependant on Patent Licences for some of is products that could be revoked by the German Goerz company. As the report's talking about dates a week before the end of WWI (Nov 4th 1914) it's possibly academic and we can't be certain that the Goerz company didn't remain under the same ownership after WWI. The relevant section is mostly about Bayer.

Ian

neil poulsen
14-Apr-2012, 15:04
Here are some of the views that I've adopted, based on what I've heard and read.

I avoid Berlin Dagors. They're older, non-coated lenses. I like coated lenses. I tend to stick with the American Optical Co. Dagors, when I've purchased them. (SN 75x,xxx and higher?) I've heard that there wasn't that much difference between the golden or gold-rim Dagors and non-golden, or non-gold rim Dagors of the same age. But, the gold-rim and golden Dagors draw higher prices. The f7.7 Dagors, typically uncoated, have greater coverage than the f6.7 Dagors. It's been my observation that the f7.7 Dagors are usually uncoated; but, coated versions exist. I currently have a 16.5 f7.7 Dagor that's factory coated. The gold-dot Dagors are more recent, and are highly prized lenses.

I spoke with someone who knew a Goerz factory worker, and this individual indicated that at one point, Goerz converted from aligning the elements by eye to laser alignment. So, I wonder if some later lenses might be sharper for this reason?

The f8 355mm Swiss Gold-Dot Dagors are much more recent and were manufactured into the mid-1980's. I attended a Photo West in Los Angeles in about 1987, and Schneider was selling them new. I've heard two stories about how these lenses came into being. The Schneider salesman at Photo West told me that the lens elements were made from the same equipment Goerz used to make lenses. When the equipment could no longer hold tolerances, Schneider stopped making them. A second story I read is that, when Schneider acquired Goerz, they received a pallet of lens elements. They aligned, coated, and mounted these lenses in modern shutters and sold them. The Swiss f8 355mm lenses have less coverage than their f7.7 or f6.8 cousins.

I had one of the multi-coated versions and sold it a few years ago for a lot of money. Frankly, while it had high contrast, I didn't think that it was that sharp. I spoke to a well-known photographer in Placerville, CA., who had had one. He sold his for the same reason. I've since wondered if perhaps my lens might have been exhibiting some focus shift as I stopped down. I've heard that this can be the case with Dagors.

These views are not authoritative and are based on tidbits of information that Ive picked up over the years. (It would be nice if Kerry Thalman could join this thread.) As such, they are open to question.

David A. Goldfarb
14-Apr-2012, 16:19
Later coated Dagors have more contrast than older uncoated ones, and they may be sharper for other reasons (like more consistent glass manufacturing), but one of the reasons the Dagor was such a successful design is that it only has four air-glass surfaces, so it benefits less from coating than more complex designs. The older ser. III Dagors often have more coverage than the later versions (my 168mm ser. III covers 8x10"), and even if the sharpness may not be so great at the edge of the image circle with the older versions, I'd rather have the option of using it, because it's not always important to have sharp detail in the corners. Imagine, for instance, a landscape with a lot of front rise and a clear sky, so you want illumination in the top corners of the frame, but there's no detail there, so it doesn't have to be sharp.

The ones to avoid are the postwar "Berlin Dagors" assembled in the US by B&J from German lens cells, but not matched, shimmed, or aligned with any particular care.

Mark Sawyer
14-Apr-2012, 16:56
The ones to avoid are the postwar "Berlin Dagors" assembled in the US by B&J from German lens cells, but not matched, shimmed, or aligned with any particular care.

This from Graflex.org:

Zeiss continued to make Dagors and they were in the Zeiss catalogue at least up to the middle thirties. These are known as "Berlin Dagors" and carry the Zeiss-Goerz name. A lens marked Goerz Berlin will be pre-merger. U.S. made lenses are marked "C.P. Goerz Am.Op.Co." Older ones will usually also be marked Series III. [Alternate view: About 1950 the Burke & James company assembled some Dagors from parts they obtained from somewhere and sold these as "Berlin Dagors.'' These do not have a good reputation, and are rare.]

It seems there are "Berlin Dagors" that are not the dreaded B&J "Berlin Dagors". The "Berlin Dagor" below looks far too early to be a post-WWII B&J Berlin Dagor. This is the sort of thing I want to sort out.

goamules
14-Apr-2012, 18:10
...

It seems there are "Berlin Dagors" that are not the dreaded B&J "Berlin Dagors". The "Berlin Dagor" below looks far too early to be a post-WWII B&J Berlin Dagor. This is the sort of thing I want to sort out.

That's what I remember researching in 2007 when I bought a couple Dagors. If I recall, the undesireable ones were only engraved Berlin Dagor or vice versa. Others that have Berlin, Dagor, and some additional engraving (perhaps Goerz, or Series, I just can't remember) are earlier and fine.

I like all Dagors, even the very early ones are very sharp and contrasty compared to their contemporaries. I was interested to read that 1800s catalog linked above, there are some test charts comparing a Euryscop, Dagor, and some Zeiss anastigmat. The Dagor is much flatter and sharper.

Valdecus
15-Apr-2012, 00:01
Not an authoritive website, but still a good short summary on Dagors can be found at
http://graflex.org/speed-graphic/lenses.html (scroll to the last paragraph)

Cheers,
Andreas

dave_whatever
15-Apr-2012, 00:24
Do those early dagor-type g-clarons count as dagors for the purpose of this thread?

Dan Fromm
15-Apr-2012, 05:27
Um, Dave, while you're at it, have you thought about early dagor-type Symmars, Berthiot Perigraphes (VIa and VIb), Boyer Beryls, Zeiss Amatars, ... ?

E. von Hoegh
16-Apr-2012, 12:16
This from Graflex.org:

Zeiss continued to make Dagors and they were in the Zeiss catalogue at least up to the middle thirties. These are known as "Berlin Dagors" and carry the Zeiss-Goerz name. A lens marked Goerz Berlin will be pre-merger. U.S. made lenses are marked "C.P. Goerz Am.Op.Co." Older ones will usually also be marked Series III. [Alternate view: About 1950 the Burke & James company assembled some Dagors from parts they obtained from somewhere and sold these as "Berlin Dagors.'' These do not have a good reputation, and are rare.]

It seems there are "Berlin Dagors" that are not the dreaded B&J "Berlin Dagors". The "Berlin Dagor" below looks far too early to be a post-WWII B&J Berlin Dagor. This is the sort of thing I want to sort out.

Mark, the lens in your photo is a C.P. Goerz Berlin Dagor from the mid to late teens of the last century.I have it's earlier twin, #226383. It is a real Goerz lens; the B&J bastard Dagors ALWAYS have a joker (such as "series III" when the German would be "serie", focal length in inches, etc.) in the markings that betrays their illegitimate origins.
I also have one of the last CPG Berlin Dagors made before the merger, a 30 cm marked "C.P. Goerz Berlin Dagor F:30cm 657010" in a Compound shutter.

Believe it or not, the B&J bastards are not always junk. I know of a 10 3/4 f7.7 (the f7.7 signifying that it is a very- pre 1895 or so- early set of cells, remounted) that is every bit as good as any Goerz production Dagor. And it is a real Dagor, just remounted by someone who didn't alwys do a great job. The Berlin Dagors had a bit better QC than the NYC Dagors. Goerz NY seems to have had some troubles in that area at one time.

Edit - there are two different lenses in the photos you posted. One has aluminium/alloy cells, the other has brass cells.

Drew Wiley
16-Apr-2012, 14:07
Ron Wisner wrote a brief summary of dagors for View Camera magazine. Perhaps someone
remembers the specific issue. Otherwise, Kingslake's book is good for general patent history
and synonyms for similar early designs. Actual usage pros/cons is best obtained from actual users, like here on this forum. My personal experience is based on late model dagors mfg by Kern of Switzerland for Schneider, including the last multicoated ones which were the end of this nearly hundred year heritage.

imagedowser
19-Apr-2012, 11:49
View Camera Mag, Article on Dagor Lenses May/June 1992...

Two23
20-Apr-2012, 06:37
I had the good fortune to sit with David Plowden during a photo convention in Chicago last Saturday. I mentioned O.W.Link and his DAGOR. Plowden told me that he too liked DAGORs, but was also upset with them at the time. He said that Goerz was once putting a red ring around their lenses as part of the design. They once ran out of red and put a gold ring around the lenses. He said they then realized they could charge a lot more for the gold ring, even though it was the same exact lens. I have a 3 3/34 inch DAGOR made in Berlin in compound shutter, serial dates it to 1906. Looks like the DAGOR has been around for quite a long time.


Kent in SD

goamules
29-Dec-2012, 17:11
The big uncertainty I have is the so called Gold Rim Dagors, which if I'm reading correctly were not called that by Goerz, but they did call some Golden Dagors. Does anyone have a Goerz catalog or advertisement from the Golden Dagor era, with pictures? That title is found in some 50s ads in Google Books, but only snippet view. I want to see what they look like in the front based on the advertisements, not on internet anecdotes. I see a lot of Dagors with various gold rims, probably a dozen on Ebay right now, and find it hard to believe there was a cottage industry of elves polishing paint off regular lenses.

Bernice Loui
29-Dec-2012, 19:47
Gold Rim, Gold dot .... it was marketing by Goerz.

What I learned from using and testing dagors over the years is there are variations to each one that passed my way. Some gold rim dagors performed poorly, while other non-beautified rim and OLD dagors performed great. Better to test yourself before ownership. This turns out to be the only way to really know the personality of a specific lens.

Similar is true for Red Dot Artars, serial number above 78xxx.. is believe to be coated, yet I have a number of non Red Dots serial number 77xxx.. that are coated. The same variations for Artars also holds true, each should be tested before considering ownership.

What I do not understand is why and how Plasmats have pretty much taken over the majority of modern LF lenses, given many times LF lenses are used at apertures f11 and smaller for most work. Exception being portraits and the want for that look in which case a Tessar or Heliar or Gasuss (large, heavy and lots of elements to cause flare, which demands multi-coating to control properly) design may be preferred.



Bernice




The big uncertainty I have is the so called Gold Rim Dagors, which if I'm reading correctly were not called that by Goerz, but they did call some Golden Dagors. Does anyone have a Goerz catalog or advertisement from the Golden Dagor era, with pictures? That title is found in some 50s ads in Google Books, but only snippet view. I want to see what they look like in the front based on the advertisements, not on internet anecdotes. I see a lot of Dagors with various gold rims, probably a dozen on Ebay right now, and find it hard to believe there was a cottage industry of elves polishing paint off regular lenses.

Bernice Loui
29-Dec-2012, 22:02
BTW, Dagors might have focus shift. Be aware of this when testing/evaluating any specific Dagor.


Bernice

neil poulsen
30-Dec-2012, 01:36
Hi Mark,

I have a Gold Dot Dagor, labeled Goerz Optical Co. Inc., made in Switzerland:

http://www.mayadate.org/pix/Goerz_Front_DSC_0305.jpg http://www.mayadate.org/pix/Goerz_Rear_DSC_0306.jpg

Don't know if this is what you're after or not.

- Leigh

Interesting. I've not seen one of these. I thought the "Swiss" Dagors were the 14" Dagors sold by Schneider.

goamules
30-Dec-2012, 07:57
Bernice, thanks for offering your experience. Are you saying you found variation from one of the world's best lens maker, especially ones made in the 50s and 60s at the height of optical science? I know all good lens manufacturers, even in the 1800s, did extensive tests on each lens, documenting it's quality, before letting it out the door. I've also read that the Gold types have been tested on some kind of spin or collomator and had less variation than any other lens made at the time. Finally, some anecdotes say the Gold types were hand selected as the best of best (though I doubt that one - they were all probably good, and the "Gold" was added to make them sell better). If you google, you find the discussions about testing results, from people involved back in the day.

rdenney
30-Dec-2012, 10:57
On the question of plasmats, one should note that a plasmat is an air-spaced dagor, but with more design degrees of freedom. Coatings were required, however, for plasmats to be reach their potential, which explains their rise in popularity starting in the 50's.

Rick "remembering from Kingslake" Denney

Mark Sawyer
30-Dec-2012, 15:18
What I do not understand is why and how Plasmats have pretty much taken over the majority of modern LF lenses, given many times LF lenses are used at apertures f11 and smaller for most work. Exception being portraits and the want for that look in which case a Tessar or Heliar or Gasuss (large, heavy and lots of elements to cause flare, which demands multi-coating to control properly) design may be preferred.

Dagors have a focus shift due to zonal spherical abberation. This gives the "sharp but smooth" look of a wide open Dagor that some like, especially for portraits. The additional design freedom of the Plasmat allows designers to eliminate that focus shift, which is why Plasmats became popular after coatings came in. Wide open Plasmats tend to look a bit harsh due to the lack of aberrations, but that's the price of getting rid of the abberations/focus shift.

Some may prefer the look of a wide-open Dagor while others prefer the look of a wide-open Plasmat, and some may like this for this but that for that... Stopped down, Dagors and Plasmats look pretty much the same, with the Plasmat having slightly less coverage due in part to the slightly longer barrel owing to the additional air spaces.

Mark Sawyer
30-Dec-2012, 15:58
The big uncertainty I have is the so called Gold Rim Dagors, which if I'm reading correctly were not called that by Goerz, but they did call some Golden Dagors. Does anyone have a Goerz catalog or advertisement from the Golden Dagor era, with pictures? That title is found in some 50s ads in Google Books, but only snippet view. I want to see what they look like in the front based on the advertisements, not on internet anecdotes. I see a lot of Dagors with various gold rims, probably a dozen on Ebay right now, and find it hard to believe there was a cottage industry of elves polishing paint off regular lenses.

There are at least two varieties of "Gold Rim" Dagors: The conventional mount with the front rim polished to reveal the gold-ish hued brass, and a later style with a noticeably larger gold-anodized aluminum front rim. I think both came as factory finishes, but a non-gold rim Dagor of the right vintage could be polished to reveal the brass underneath. If it's a coated Dagor from the same manufacturer and similar vintage, there should be no difference in performance.

I tend to agree that there's no "cottage industry of elves polishing paint off regular lenses." If there were, we'd see a much wider variety of Dagors with gold rims. The early gold rim Dagors are always "C.P. Goerz Am. Opt. Co.", while the later aluminum rims seem to be from "C.P. Goerz Am. Opt. Co." and "Goerz Optical Co. Inc." And I've never seen someone polish the rim of an uncoated Dagor.

Bill_1856
30-Dec-2012, 17:39
Ease up there, Hoss. We're ALL guilty of occacionally replying to a thread without having actually first read the whole question.