View Full Version : Any infos about Kern Aarau Soft Focus Portrait lens?

30-Jan-2013, 15:57
My friend/repairman/life saver, who's a great collector of stereo cameras, just found an uncommon lens.
The engraving says:
Kern Aarau Switzerland Kern Soft Focus Portrait Lens 1:4,5 F-240mm
The pictures are vomit inducing, i know, i know... but i went there yesterday in a hurry, with a badly stuck (and bent!) beauty ring of a 12" SF Velostigmat.
Without a proper light, and without a loupe, i had done the maximum damage a creature with opposable thumb could ever do. So my first thought was not to bring a decent camera with me.
At least i have learnt that any decent work can't be done blindfolded :(
For the curious ones, the ring had to be cut. At least, now the lens is "uncorked"!
As the previous owner painted the ring in black, now i have to restore it, and the i have to refit the front glass using the ring as a retaining spring...
After that, the choice is between soldering the ring, applying a drop of liquid metal, or just hide the cut with black stucco.

Back to the Kern now.
Fortunately i had my low-low-cost Android phone with me, which is better than nothing.
Unfortunately it has no proper focusing adjustment, which is a fair excuse for the blurry images i am attaching to this post.
To supplement with words what's lacking in the pics, here is my impression:
the lens looks extremely well made, with a post-WWI looking barrel, similar to some Voigtlander ones.
The upper ring moves the central element, like in Universal Heliars.
What is strange is that there is a central "0", with "+" and "-" signs in each direction.
I was in hurry, so i didn't pay attention to the presence (or lack) of coating.

If you have any information, please chime in.
Maybe the build date could be identified from the serial (No. 26xx).
I'd be very happy to report about some news to my friend. Please be helpful :)