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Thread: Information Request - Protar 14 1/2" f/7 Lens

  1. #1

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    Information Request - Protar 14 1/2" f/7 Lens

    I recently obtained a Protar 14.5" f/7 in its original Compound shutter. The two cells are 27 3/8" f/16 and 23.5" f/12.5. I have not found any reference to these specific sizes anywhere, including the cameraeccentric site. They do not have conventional serial numbers, but have AF537 and AF535 on them, leading me to speculate on their provenance.

    Would anyone know more?

    Thanks,
    Kumar
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails ProtarVII_01.jpg   ProtarVII_03.jpg  

  2. #2

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    Re: Information Request - Protar 14 1/2" f/7 Lens

    cameraeccentric does list the lens in the "Bausch and Lomb Protar Lenses 1960" catalog on page 13 in the Convertible Protar VIIa f/6.3, f/7, and f/7.7 list of optics available.

  3. #3

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    Re: Information Request - Protar 14 1/2" f/7 Lens

    Greg,

    I did see that reference. It is close, but not exact. The table lists it as a 14 1/2" lens with cells of 27" and 23 1/2". Mine says 27 3/8" on the cell and the shutter. Also, note the unusual serial numbers.

    Kumar

  4. #4

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    Re: Information Request - Protar 14 1/2" f/7 Lens

    The serial numbers aren't unusual. I don't trust it at all and you shouldn't either, but here's a semi-plausible explanation: http://forum.mflenses.com/bausch-and...me-t20524.html Use with care and a mountain of salt.

  5. #5

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    Re: Information Request - Protar 14 1/2" f/7 Lens

    Sometimes marked focal lengths match up with the 1960 publication, or one of the historic ones like the 'What Lens shall I Buy?' one, and sometimes they don't match exactly.

  6. #6

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    Re: Information Request - Protar 14 1/2" f/7 Lens

    I have a 12 3/4" Protar. My cells are marked 18 7/8" and 27". The catalog list the cells as 19" and 27". Little measurement discrepancies as to focal lengths of lens cells have been told were common back then. As for serial numbers, have lenses which what I thought were serial numbers were actually patent numbers. Also have had vintage lenses with a series of numbers (and sometimes letters included) which I also thought were serial numbers but have never been able to determine their significance.

  7. #7

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    Re: Information Request - Protar 14 1/2" f/7 Lens

    Thanks for the information, Dan. So this lens was made in 1941, and they were the 535th and 537th lenses produced that year.

    Kevin and Greg, it would be difficult to change something in a catalog that was already printed, and it is likely that the 27 3/8" length is the actual measured focal length. And since B&L also mounted the lenses in shutter, they would mark that also accordingly.

    I believe Leica lenses were similarly marked with the exact focal length somewhere on the rear.

    Kumar

  8. #8

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    Re: Information Request - Protar 14 1/2" f/7 Lens

    Some of my protars have sequential serial numbers and some are WAY off. On the B&L ones, regardless of the age/production discrepancies, the combined cells work fine for me. You just have to make sure the threads on a single cell are what you need since there is a lot of variety out there. I have heard, but can't personally confirm, that with the Zeiss ones mixing cells marked in mm and CM causes problems, as there was a redesign for the CM ones. B&L supposedly never made that change in their samples. I have had Zeiss ones on which the single cells were simply unsuitable for enlarging negatives no matter what I tried. Sharp in the middle and then mush. My luck with B&L has been better. Just check focus stopped down with the single cells and you may be happy with the result.

    That 1960 catalog on camera eccentric is one I sent him, the original came with a letter responding to a customer question. The letter was from 1960, I think, but the catalog may have been years older. I don't know when these went out of production.

  9. #9

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    Re: Information Request - Protar 14 1/2" f/7 Lens

    Quote Originally Posted by B.S.Kumar View Post
    Thanks for the information, Dan. So this lens was made in 1941, and they were the 535th and 537th lenses produced that year.
    Kumar, that's one theory.

    As I said, I find the list hard to believe.

    I have a counter-observation of sorts in front of me. 158/6.3 B&L Tessar IIb s/n BS1274. This would make it a 1945 something (not a photographic lens 'cos the second digit isn't "F"). But it is coated, so must have been made no earlier than 1946.

    And I've had B&L-made Zeiss Kodak Anastigmat F-6.3 No. 2 s/n 1320044 and ZKA No. 4 F-6.3 s/n 1733784. The highest s/n in Klaus' list is 320000 but the lenses have to have been made no later than 1915 'cos that's the last year in which B&L's products were engraved "Zeiss."

  10. #10

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    Re: Information Request - Protar 14 1/2" f/7 Lens

    So, like most things in life, the definitive answer is "maybe"
    If oldtimers had known that we'd be dissecting every comma and full stop in their catalogs, they'd have written better catalogs!

    Kumar

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