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Thread: Rare early Carl Zeiss Jena lenses

  1. #1

    Rare early Carl Zeiss Jena lenses

    Saw this trending on Facebook and several camera collecting forums yesterday. David Silver, big collector and historian in San Francisco, completed his lengthy research into Zeiss' beginnings in photographic lenses. I'm aware he was a longtime major collector and writer, but somehow he accumulated the largest chunk of lenses from the original Carl Zeiss Jena patent museum that anybody has seen since Burleigh Brooks stupidly broke up and sold off the entire lot over 40 years ago. What Silver collected and assembled again is astonishing. I mean, how in the world do these experts find things like this? Now that he's done with the research he put up a webpage to share images of many of the lenses here:

    http://www.photographyhistory.com/ze...ollection.html

    Don't stop at the top. They really are treasures and you got to scroll through the entire page. The best is the one at the bottom. Holy grail indeed! I have to say I'm looking forward to whatever he publishes on this early Zeiss history. I have photocopies of some of his old articles on 19th century cameras. Very good stuff. I'm also wondering what if any of these lenses he's going to put back on the market. You'd think some of them should go to Westlicht or whatever. That No. 1 must be worth a fortune. Can you imagine fitting some of those ancient LF wide-angles on a modern Sinar?

  2. #2

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    Re: Rare early Carl Zeiss Jena lenses

    I've got a replica Lewis Daguerreotype camera made by David Silver. He seems to be a nice, knowledgeable guy.

  3. #3

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    Re: Rare early Carl Zeiss Jena lenses

    Hey, Garrett, what are the odds that schneideritis is David Silver's screen name?

  4. #4
    (Shrek)
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    Re: Rare early Carl Zeiss Jena lenses

    It does seem a tragedy that the Zeiss collection was broken up and sold off. I say that despite the fact that I bought 3 of them myself, one of which I still haven't been able to identify.

  5. #5

    Re: Rare early Carl Zeiss Jena lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Fromm View Post
    Hey, Garrett, what are the odds that schneideritis is David Silver's screen name?
    What?

    The odds are zero. I'm Carl Winters, retired studio photographer, living in Virginia.

  6. #6

    Re: Rare early Carl Zeiss Jena lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Jody_S View Post
    It does seem a tragedy that the Zeiss collection was broken up and sold off. I say that despite the fact that I bought 3 of them myself, one of which I still haven't been able to identify.
    From what I've learned that was really the military's fault for not maintaining the collection themselves. I'm not sure we can blame Burleigh Brooks for selling off the collection when the military didn't care enough about it in the first place. BB was a business after all and not a museum. It's 40 years I think since BB did it and almost 70 years since the collection was moved from Germany. Yep, a tragedy, but maybe we should be thankful a few people are still willing to reconstruct that lost history for us. Isn't that the important thing? What 3 lenses did you get? If you can't identify 1 of them maybe you could ask Silver for help?

  7. #7
    (Shrek)
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    Re: Rare early Carl Zeiss Jena lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by schneideritis View Post
    What 3 lenses did you get? If you can't identify 1 of them maybe you could ask Silver for help?
    I got the back half of a large Voigtlander Steinheil's Periskop, a Projection Hypar 150/3.5 (hand-written around the front element), and an unknown 140/3-ish dialyt-type with a layout diagram penned on the barrel. The latter is mounted in a straight, unfinished brass barrel, no aperture or slot. I have shot the latter 2 with a 4x5 speed graphic, they cover the format and are quite sharp at their max apertures (not that I had the option to stop them down).

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