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Thread: 420mm Dagor

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Boulder, CO

    420mm Dagor

    I recently acquired a f/7.7 420mm Goerz Dagor (serial #33905) and was wondering if I could get some help finding info about it. Is this a single coated lens? Does anyone know how old these are or how much they typically sell for? More importantly, does anyone have experience using this lens on 8x10? How well does it handle color transparencies?

    Any input is much appreciated.


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Van Buren, Arkansas

    Re: 420mm Dagor

    You don't even need "coated" lenses to shoot excellent color transparencies, as long as you shade the lens from direct light.

    All the Hollywood color films shot before WW2 were shot with uncoated lenses. All those wonderful 4x5 Kodachrome transparencies being reproduced over on the web site were probably shot with non-coated lenses...Coating does not correct for color..that is in the optical design of the lens..coating only helps control flare under difficult lighting, and also increases contrast, which in the case of transparency film, is not necessarily a good thing.

  3. #3
    IanG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Aegean (Turkey & UK)

    Re: 420mm Dagor

    Evan, one of the problems with Dagors is there were two CP Goerz companies, the original CP Goerz, Berlin and CP Goerz American Optical Co in the US. The American company was started by Carl's sons William and Otto who had begun selling Goerz lenses in 1895, starting production in NYC in 1899, by 1905 the US company was independent.

    If your lens is an AM Opt model the serial number indicates production between 1918 and 1927, Goerz give the coverage of the 420mm lens as 11x14 @ f7.7, 14x17 @ f16 and 20x24 @ f45. Goerz didn't start coating their lenses until after WWII.

    Putting a value on a Dagor is difficult as they vary so much, good one can fetch high prices.


  4. #4

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    New York City

    Re: 420mm Dagor

    I had one of those in the 80's from Goerz American, and regret selling it. I used it for B&W, only once for color, but the color was good. They are hard to find in good condition today and quite valuable.

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