Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Mystery Carl Zeiss Lens - Anyone know what this is?

  1. #1

    Mystery Carl Zeiss Lens - Anyone know what this is?

    Hello friends, I am an amateur photographer and I came accross this lens at at auction.

    It has the words 'CARL ZEISS JENA' rather crudely engraved along with serial number 227780. It has no other information. I do not know what focal length it is. Aperture goes from f/4.5 to f/32. The shutter built goes from 1s to 1/150s. It has another serial number 371939 along with the letters D.R.G.M. It also has a logo that reads 'DF' or 'FD' (one letter is on top of the other). The shutter button looks like a metal pin with a polished metal ball head.

    Please could anyone shed anymore light on this lens?

    Thank you!

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Lens_1.jpg 
Views:	91 
Size:	37.3 KB 
ID:	200200Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Lens_2.jpg 
Views:	72 
Size:	61.1 KB 
ID:	200201

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Oxfordshire UK
    Posts
    974

    Re: Mystery Carl Zeiss Lens - Anyone know what this is?

    This looks as being one and the same lens in last week's Flint's Auction - hope you didn't pay over the odds but if you didn't it could be an interesting lens for 4 x 5 or 5 x 7.............................................

    good luck and regards

    Andrew

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    7,608

    Re: Mystery Carl Zeiss Lens - Anyone know what this is?

    The lens' s/n is, according to P-H Pont's chronology, from 1913. 371939 is probably the shutter's s/n, looks like a Compound and FD (for Friedrich Deckel) is consistent with this. Per Pont, the shutter's s/n is from 1914 - 1920. The lens could have been remounted from barrel to shutter.

    f/4.5 suggests strongly that the lens is a Tessar IC. Without knowing the focal length one can only guess about coverage. Assume 50 degrees for an early Tessar Ic, later ones have more.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Central Mother Lode, California
    Posts
    382

    Re: Mystery Carl Zeiss Lens - Anyone know what this is?

    Serial number 227780 falls in one of the gaps in Hartmut Thiele's Fabrikationsbuch Photooptik I Carl Zeiss Jena. Is serial number 371939 the number on the circumference of the shutter? I can't quite make it out. The "F" and"D" make up the logo of "Friedrich Deckel", the company that made the Compound and Compur shutters. They also built high-end milling machines and other machine tools. They continue to build CNC milling machines today as part of DMG Mori. At some point after WWII the shutter manufacturing was spun off.

    And as I expected, as I laboriously typed, Dan provided additional useful information. For more history than you probably want on Friedrich Deckel, especially as a machine tool builder, see: http://www.lathes.co.uk/deckel/index.html

    David
    Last edited by David Lindquist; 31-Jan-2020 at 15:26. Reason: More information

  5. #5

    Re: Mystery Carl Zeiss Lens - Anyone know what this is?

    Wow, thank you so much for this information, Dan and David. You guys are incredibly knowledgeable.

    @Dan: I guess I'll have to find out the focal length of the lens and determine whether it's a Tessar.

    @David: The serial number 371939 is written on the shutter selection dial below the FD logo.

    @Andrew: Haha, it is the same lens indeed. I was the only one to bid on it so got it for 30.

    I'm really amazed by the quality as this is probably the oldest piece of photographic equipment I own and it still works brilliantly.

    Thank you all once again for your help!

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    7,608

    Re: Mystery Carl Zeiss Lens - Anyone know what this is?

    Hmm. Tessars have two singlets in front of the diaphragm and a cemented doublet behind. Air-glass interfaces make strong reflections, glass-cement-glass interfaces make weak ones.

    With this in mind, shine one (1, > 1 will give a confusing mess) at the front of the lens with the shutter closed. If it is a Tessar, you will see 4 strong reflections. Then shine the light at the rear of the lens. If it is a Tessar, you'll see 2 strong reflections and 1 weak reflection. The weak reflection can be hard to see.

  7. #7
    ic-racer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    5,440

    Re: Mystery Carl Zeiss Lens - Anyone know what this is?

    Is the auction over? Did you win it? I'm curious if it covers large format and the focal length. Have you had a chance to use it yet?

  8. #8

    Re: Mystery Carl Zeiss Lens - Anyone know what this is?

    @Dan: I can see at least four very clear reflections in the front and a number of less clear ones. At the back, I can see two very clear reflections and maybe 2-3 minor ones. So I guess this is a Tessar Thank you for this extremely helpful test!

    Do you also know a way for me to measure the focal length? I've heard that you can focus on something at infinity and then measure the distance between the back element and the image formed?

    @ic-racer: Yes I did win it, only because no one else wanted it. I still haven't used it yet as I wanted to figure out what I'm dealing with first.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    7,608

    Re: Mystery Carl Zeiss Lens - Anyone know what this is?

    Quote Originally Posted by photos.on.film View Post
    Do you also know a way for me to measure the focal length? I've heard that you can focus on something at infinity and then measure the distance between the back element and the image formed?
    Its better to measure from the diaphragm. Practically speaking, from the rear of the shutter will do.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Hamilton, Canada
    Posts
    1,644

    Re: Mystery Carl Zeiss Lens - Anyone know what this is?

    Focal length is the Fstop times the measured diameter of the aperture (from the front) at that Fstop. I think so anyway. Assuming the shutter is labelled correctly.

Similar Threads

  1. Identifying a Carl Zeiss Jena Lens
    By Niklas in forum Lenses & Lens Accessories
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 9-Feb-2018, 09:44
  2. Looking for information on odd Carl Zeiss lens
    By RedGreenBlue in forum Lenses & Lens Accessories
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 22-Jul-2017, 12:46
  3. Carl Zeiss 750 mm f:6,3 WWII air-force lens
    By Miguel Coquis in forum Lenses & Lens Accessories
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 13-Feb-2012, 06:14
  4. Carl Zeiss 135mm F3.5 T* Lens
    By LH1H17 in forum Lenses & Lens Accessories
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 30-May-2007, 04:56
  5. Carl Zeiss barrel lens?
    By James Tremills in forum Cameras & Camera Accessories
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 6-Jun-2001, 15:57

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •