View Full Version : MC Dagor lenses for color shooting

Daniel Stone
27-Oct-2012, 21:41
Hey all,

Need some Dagor experts here, especially those that use them for COLOR shooting. I have a f/7.7 14" dagor, a wonderful lens, and sharp sharp sharp!

Are there any big differences in final results comparing a modern MC Gold-Dot dagor to mine? I've read that they are more contrasty due to the multicoating, but is it a big difference that makes it really apparent?

I'm shooting mostly transparency film for color, but keep some neg materials loaded for times when a chrome will simply not handle the range of light in the scene.



28-Oct-2012, 01:10
My experience with un-coated, coated, and Multi-Coated lenses isn't with Dagor's, the original owner of my 12" AM Opt FDagor had it coated after WWII.

I have however used both coated & uncoated Tessar's for B&W and colour and there is a difference in the contrast, particularly the micro-contrast. It's most apparent in some images than others, with colour it's like a slight muting. Comparing coated to Multi-coated the difference is very slight.

You need to compare E6 results from your Dagor to similar images (preferably at the same time) made with a modern MC lens to see the differences for yourself. Lenses can also age so no two old Dagors will necessarily behave the same.


neil poulsen
28-Oct-2012, 10:22
Is your f7.7 coated? You can tell; the coating on a Dagor is a blue color. Some f7.7's were factory coated. I sold a 16.5" f7.7 that was factory coated a few months ago. What's the serial number?

If it were me, and if the f7.7 were coated, I'd keep it. The f7.7's have a larger image circle.

Dagors have only four air-to-glass surfaces. That, together with the multi-coating, makes them very contrasty lenses. I had one, and I can remember one image in particular that was high in contrast. It was stunning on a transparency. But, I didn't think that my example was all that sharp.

Don Dudenbostel
28-Oct-2012, 16:59
I had a 14" 7.7 uncoated and several various focal length single coated Dagors and a MC 14" Dagor. The coating adds flare resistance and a slight bit of contrast but it's not a great difference particularly if you use a good bellows shade or keep direct light sources from striking the front element. In reality the lens has such a huge image circle you're more likely to have problems form internal flare inside the bellows vs lens flare.

The 14" 7.7 was so good I used it in studio along with my SC 12" Dagor for product work, all 8x10 E6, with no problems.

In the past couple of years I had a MC 14" Schneider Dagor. It certainly was a sharp lens but was not my favorite lens. I like the slightly softer and more open shadows of the SC and uncoated lenses. Also the 14" MC had a much smaller image circle.

My suggestion is to see how you feel about the lens after shooting E6 under different conditions. Just use the holder slide or a black card to shield the font of the lens.

Daniel Stone
28-Oct-2012, 23:00
hey guys,

well currently my 14" dagor's shutter is in with Carol @ Flutot's, the CLA needed to be re-done, since the B/T functions weren't working correctly. Oh well.

serial # on the lens though is:

Factory Ilex #4 mounted

from looking @ the glass, it looks uncoated since there isn't any blue on it. Still sharp as all get-out though!


29-Oct-2012, 00:22
It's post WWII, 1948-1954 so should be coated.

My experience with LF lenses is that the difference between un-coated and coated lenses is quite noticeable in some lighting conditions but the difference between coated and multi0coated is more subtle.


Drew Wiley
29-Oct-2012, 09:56
I've got quite a bit of experience with these. The latest Kern MC 14" dagor had not only
the least flare of any lens I have ever used, but exceptional color purity in terms of differentiating closely simliar hues, more in fact than any color reproduction process can
actually differentiate in a print. But the contrast level was so high that this lens was hard
to use on chromes, and I hated the buzzy vibration of the 3 Compur it comes in. I replaced
it with a single coated Kern dagor, which color-wise performs very similar to current multi-coated plastmats, except for the distinction of the multi-bladed older 3S shutter, which I like. Unfortunately, these lenses have acquired a cult status and current asking prices are
out of line with actual benefits. I'm even thinking of selling my dagor since I have a couple
of Fuji A's in the same FL. But the dagor is an awfully nice portrait lens for either color or
b&w work, and compact enough for field use, with plenty of coverage for 8x10, but probably not bigger.