Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Help with Carl Zeiss lens please!

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Nov 2020
    Posts
    5

    Help with Carl Zeiss lens please!

    New to this forum! I recently "inherited" a Horseman large format camera and equipment. I know very little about cameras but have been gaining an education. You can tell by the reflection in the photos of the lens that I can barely operate a point and shoot! Anyway, I came across this site while researching the lenses in the collection and thought I'd reach out to the experts to help me understand what I have. From what I can tell, this particular lens dates to 1937 if my research is correct? I haven't seen any lenses exactly like this? Does the number of "leaves" in the shutter make a difference - I think this one has 14 leaves (forgive my terminology!). Any information you can share would be appreciated! Thanks and God bless! Mark
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 900-247 (12).jpg   900-247 (10).jpg   900-247 (3).jpg  

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    California
    Posts
    3,402

    Re: Help with Carl Zeiss lens please!

    It is a Carl Zeiss 15cm (150mm) lens in a dial set Compur shutter. A good lens which covers 4x5" well when wide open. Usually users prefer to use at f11-16.
    Many of us prefer 12+ iris leaves, yours has 14. More modern shutters usually have iris 5-7 leaves.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Central Mother Lode, California
    Posts
    458

    Re: Help with Carl Zeiss lens please!

    Yes you are correct, your lens was made in 1937. Per Hartmut Thiele's Fabrikationsbuch Photooptik II Carl Zeiss Jena it's one of a batch of 100 serial numbers 2,025,801 - 2,025,900, production of this batch started 25 February 1937. A US price list dated May 7, 1934 shows this lens mounted in the Compur shutter was $100. The f/3.5 maximum aperture came at a premium, the 15 cm f/4.5 in a Compur shutter was $48. You might run these prices through one of the on-line inflation calculators.

    David

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Nov 2020
    Posts
    5

    Re: Help with Carl Zeiss lens please!

    Thank you Jim and David - all valuable information. So the Zeiss lens is attached to a Compur shutter? That would explain the different serial number on the shutter - 715688. Would they have been "married" around the time the lens was made - 1937? Or does that even matter? I'd like to get the description as accurate as I can so I can list it. Thanks for your help! Mark

  5. #5
    Maris Rusis's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Noosa, Australia.
    Posts
    1,095

    Re: Help with Carl Zeiss lens please!

    Really nice lens! This type of Compur shutter can be easily broken by trying to use the cocking lever when the little function dial is in the Z (=Time) or D (=Bulb) positions. And it breaks the other way too: turning the little ZDM dial to Z or D from M when the shutter is cocked. On the good side this "dial set" Compur shutter is one of the best designs ever made. I have one nearly one hundred years old that works superbly.
    Photography:first utterance. Sir John Herschel, 14 March 1839 at the Royal Society. "...Photography or the application of the Chemical rays of light to the purpose of pictorial representation,..".

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Central Mother Lode, California
    Posts
    458

    Re: Help with Carl Zeiss lens please!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark MC View Post
    Thank you Jim and David - all valuable information. So the Zeiss lens is attached to a Compur shutter? That would explain the different serial number on the shutter - 715688. Would they have been "married" around the time the lens was made - 1937? Or does that even matter? I'd like to get the description as accurate as I can so I can list it. Thanks for your help! Mark
    Absent any evidence to the contrary, e.g. the aperture scale doesn't match the lens, that is doesn't have the maximum aperture as f/3.5, there's every reason to think that lens is in its original shutter.

    It matters to the extent that the distance between the front and rear cells of the lens as well as their distance from the aperture needs to be held to rather close tolerances (though I don't know what those tolerances are) for the lens to perform optimally. The expectation is that the factory will have done this correctly. If the lens has been remounted in a shutter by someone else the buyer might want to know that it was done by someone with a good reputation for doing such things.
    David

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Posts
    216

    Re: Help with Carl Zeiss lens please!

    There's a list of Compur serial numbers here: http://camera-wiki.org/wiki/Compur_serial_numbers

    According to this list, 715688 is 1925'ish. The shutter serial number should be on the outside edge of the shutter-- unless you missed a 4 at the beginning,which case would be 1937.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Nov 2020
    Posts
    5

    Re: Help with Carl Zeiss lens please!

    Thanks again for all the valuable information! I'm glad I found this resource! Stay healthy! Mark

  9. #9
    (Shrek)
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Montreal
    Posts
    1,783

    Re: Help with Carl Zeiss lens please!

    This is a fine lens for 4x5 black & white photography, which will produce beautiful soft images wide-open, ideal for portraits and soft landscapes, and will be nearly as sharp as any modern lens once stopped down to f11 or f16. And the shutter is one of the more reliable designs out there. If you plan on making 4x5 images, you could do a lot worse than using this as a starter lens. I started with the Schneider Kreuznach equivalent from roughly the same period.

Similar Threads

  1. Can I get help identifying this lens - Carl Zeiss
    By 560sdl in forum Lenses & Lens Accessories
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 26-May-2020, 11:53
  2. Mystery Carl Zeiss Lens - Anyone know what this is?
    By photos.on.film in forum Lenses & Lens Accessories
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 13-Apr-2020, 02:45
  3. Looking for information on odd Carl Zeiss lens
    By RedGreenBlue in forum Lenses & Lens Accessories
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 22-Jul-2017, 12:46
  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

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
  •