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Thread: 12" Goerz Dagor?

  1. #11

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    Re: 12" Goerz Dagor?

    Thanks for the comments. I'm not so much looking for valuation per se, just was curious for information as why some variations are worth little while others are worth much more. And I suppose I was hoping for a shortcut to the info, what's the difference between all these variations, the rims, the dots, etc.. Yes, there are dozens of threads and I skimmed a few but thought perhaps some kind soul would point me in the right direction rather than spending several hours reading.

    I'm not a collector, and don't get too much caught up in the minutiae of equipment, generally speaking. I just like stuff that works well for the purpose I intend it.

    So based on what I have read and a couple of PM's, mine is dated between 1945 -48, and is coated. Feel free to chime in with more if you wish. And if you were annoyed by the request feel free to ignore and move on with your day.
    Cheers
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  2. #12

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    Re: 12" Goerz Dagor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Sawyer View Post
    Later coated Dagors are the best performers and worth the most. Pricing is iffy as there were many iterations of the Dagor, and of Goerz itself, mostly overlapping.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Sampson View Post
    The Dagor lens design was in production for about 90 years, by numerous manufacturers, not just the various Goerz companies. So their story is long and complicated; probably no one knows all the variations.

    (pure opinion) The ones that seem to be the most valuable, these days, are the 1960s "Gold Dot" and "Golden" versions made by the Goerz American Optical Co., and the later 1970s-80s versions made by Schneider (although manufactured by Kern in Switzerland).

    When I first asked about Dagors at the (sadly-departed) NYC store Lens & Repro, in the late '80s, I was told "they're cult lenses, collector's items; they're all going to Japan". Perhaps they were right. What it meant, at least that on that day, was that they didn't have a used 8-1/2" Dagor in stock. As it happened, I never did buy one.
    Thank you both. I purchased mine on a whim, out of a used gear cabinet at my local shop and think I paid something like 200 or 300 bucks, about 15 years or so ago. Honestly I haven't used it much as I gravitate to wider lenses.

  3. #13
    Mark Sawyer's Avatar
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    Re: 12" Goerz Dagor?

    That's a fine lens. Use it!
    "I love my Verito lens, but I always have to sharpen everything in Photoshop..."

  4. #14

    Re: 12" Goerz Dagor?

    Echoing comments about constant iterations in everything but the name Dagor, my experience with Dagors has been all over the map.

    I had an old uncoated 120mm German-made Dagor that I sold, much to my regret. It was excellent on 4x5 color negative films.

    A 150mm factory coated Goerz American version was pretty good but a less expensive multicoated 150mm Fujinon NWS was noticeably better.

    A factory single-coated 7" American Dagor in Acme 3 shutter is at least as good as my mint multicoated 180mm Sironar N. This 7" Dagor is likely my favorite lens.

    A 12"/ 305mm Goerz American Dagor in Acme 4, with a serial number dated to about 1917, is certainly usable on very large format negatives like 11x14, but I later bought a smaller, sharper 305mm G-Claron to use on 5x7 and smaller, although it should cover (barely) 11x14.

    An early-model, factory-coated Schneider 240mm/9 Dagor formula G-Claron is pretty good, but the comparably priced 250mm/6.3 Fujinon CM-W Plasmat is much superior.

    I've had much the same spread of experiences with four different Protar VIIa sets (when cells combined, sets had 145, 165, 183, and 300mm focal lengths) - some are wonderful and quite comparable to modern optics, some are mediocre. It's definitely try before you buy on these older "classic" lenses.

    In contrast, less expensive Fujinon W series Plasmats and 4-element Dialyte formula lenses like RD Artars and 203/7.7 Ektars in equivalent focal lengths are definitely less expensive but have been consistently better, at least for me.

    None of these lenses showed any evidence at all of misuse nor abuse. All had clean glass and no surface mechanical damage.

    I can't speak from experience on other comparisons.

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