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Thread: Oscar Zwierzina Plasticca - Who has more technical data?

  1. #1

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    Oscar Zwierzina Plasticca - Who has more technical data?

    The last thread about the Plasticca was mostly about offers on ebay so this is a new one! I am seeking more information about coverage or the various sizes, which because of the nature of the wanted effect, may be a question of artistic taste/subject rather than a technical given. Cameraeccentric´s short "sales" brochure in English gives very little technical information but presnts the coverage for the largest size 600mm (24") as 10x12, whilst the next sizes down are supposed to cover full plate size only. In the few professional auction house descriptions I have found, the coverage is given as much more - up to 30x40cm for the next largest size. Galli's and Gandolfi's photos seem to suggest that the Cameraeccentric coverages are wrong? Comments and experiences would be helpful.
    It would also be nice if someone had an idea when Oscar was busy in Dresden making these things? Is it just post WW1? And does anyone have a notion of whether there is a more substantial description (French and German are quite OK) available anywhere?

  2. #2

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    Re: Oscar Zwierzina Plasticca - Who has more technical data?

    hi Steven.
    I can't help you with the scientific facts of these lenses, but I can tell you my experience with my Plasticca.

    I have been told, these lenses was made in the early 30ties as a "cheap" version of the popular soft focus lenses...
    whether this is true... who knows, but to me it makes sense.

    Mine is a 280mm (as I remember), and I have tried it on 18x24 as well as on 13x18.
    While it seems to fit the large negative, I dont recommend to use it for this..
    it will blur/distort beyond interesting..

    I find 13x18 a good negative size for it, but even here, the borders are really blurred!
    Maybe half plate would be the "optimal" size. Or even 4x5.

    you can take a look at my images.

    here is an image on 4x5":
    http://www.emilschildt.com/OLD%20LEN...ca%20sudek.htm

    here on 13x18:
    http://www.emilschildt.com/OLD%20LEN...a%20kris05.htm

    and 18x24:
    http://www.emilschildt.com/OLD%20LEN...a%20kris03.htm

    on the last image, you can see, that the borders aren't dark, so it canbe used in this size.
    depending on the background I think. this is a calm background, but if I had made this image outside, I think the background would have turned up so messy, it would ruin the negative...

    hope this makes sense.
    I'd like to get some more infor on the lenses too.....

    regards
    emil

  3. #3

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    Re: Oscar Zwierzina Plasticca - Who has more technical data?

    By the way.
    I also have an Oskar Simon "Kronarette" (and a friend of mine has the Oskar Simon "Kronar"..)
    Similar to the Plasticca (not quite so wild), but I'd love some info on these too....

  4. #4

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    Re: Oscar Zwierzina Plasticca - Who has more technical data?

    I can help a little with info on the kronarette which was Simon's shutter fitted version of the Kronar. Look in VM! As they are mentioned in the Frerk book from 1926 they must be from before this date. Probably not a coincidence that that the 2 Oskars were based in Dresden.
    Nice to see some pictures with focal length and format size given! Yours must be the 12" version - which as you say - looks right for half-plate. And this matches with the data given in the short guide produced by B&J. Which says:
    8"- 1/4 plate, 12" -1/2 plate, 14" - 1/2 plate, 16" full plate, 18" full plate, 24" 10x12".

    About the dates, I can't help thinking that it must have been earlier than the 30's as even niche products had a bad time from the late 20's. And they still have the brass finish which became old fashioned at the start of the century.

  5. #5

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    Re: Oscar Zwierzina Plasticca - Who has more technical data?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Tribe View Post
    I can help a little with info on the kronarette which was Simon's shutter fitted version of the Kronar. Look in VM! As they are mentioned in the Frerk book from 1926 they must be from before this date. Probably not a coincidence that that the 2 Oskars were based in Dresden.
    Nice to see some pictures with focal length and format size given! Yours must be the 12" version - which as you say - looks right for half-plate. And this matches with the data given in the short guide produced by B&J. Which says:
    8"- 1/4 plate, 12" -1/2 plate, 14" - 1/2 plate, 16" full plate, 18" full plate, 24" 10x12".

    About the dates, I can't help thinking that it must have been earlier than the 30's as even niche products had a bad time from the late 20's. And they still have the brass finish which became old fashioned at the start of the century.
    thanks Steven.
    About the period. You are proberly right. I have just been through some auction descriptions about these lenses, and the all state the twenties... early twenties maybe?
    maybe that's closer.

  6. #6

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    Re: Oscar Zwierzina Plasticca - Who has more technical data?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Tribe View Post
    I can help a little with info on the kronarette which was Simon's shutter fitted version of the Kronar. Look in VM! .
    about this.
    The VM mentiones the Kronarette as a 25cm - mine is a 300mm...
    And the Kronar is a much bigger lens (makes sense as it is a 3.8) in a barrel.
    The Kronar has the yellow filter as the Plasticca - the Kronarette doesn't have the filter.

    I've (again, and maybe faulty) been told that the kronarette proberly was a "cheap" version of the Kronarette..
    (I don't know whether that makes sense, as the finish of the Kronarette and the shutter in which it is fitted, looks much more "finished", as the Kronar I have seen...)

    I must try and borrow the Kronar from my friend, so I can try it and look for differences/simmilarities...)

  7. #7

    Re: Oscar Zwierzina Plasticca - Who has more technical data?

    The March 1921 Photo Minature Magazine had the following text ( attached )
    Dan

    Antique & Classic Camera Blog
    www.antiquecameras.net/blog.html

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    Re: Oscar Zwierzina Plasticca - Who has more technical data?

    Now this information, short though it is, is very useful! The early date (pre-1921)doesn't surprise me - nor does the Scandinavian connection. All of the auction house listings in Europe during the last 10 years were either in Germany or Sweden. My own 24" also comes from Sweden. Many thanks! I suppose there is additional information lurking in Frerk's German Annual yearbooks from the 20's.

  9. #9

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    Re: Oscar Zwierzina Plasticca - Who has more technical data?

    Whilst waiting for technical imput I thought I might post an image of the enormous "pill box" - almost 7 1/2 diameter - that my 600mm plasticca was sold in. I note that others were sold in mini casket type boxes. Whilst the images they take are the most important thing about lenses, they sometimes provide in their design and packaging an insight into the period in which they were made. I think it is a good example of late Central European Art Nouveau!



    I think the serial number is very strange! Could Zwierzina have made over 20,000 of the Plasticca? Perhap the various sizes had different base starting numbers?

  10. #10
    Claudio Santambrogio
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    Re: Oscar Zwierzina Plasticca - Who has more technical data?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Tribe View Post
    an image of the enormous "pill box" - almost 7 1/2 diameter

    […]

    I think it is a good example of late Central European Art Nouveau!
    Indeed, even the box is very beautiful, and elegant!

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