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Thread: First year Heliar's

  1. #61

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    Re: First year Heliar's

    I think it is pretty well established (mostly by lots of other threads here with "impossible" early serial numbers with late Voigtlander series) that the missing serial numbers were allocated to Voigtlander USA and used by them in, at present, unknown way. The idea about use on prototypes has no evidence to support it - in fact, most industry prototypes do not have serial numbers or even "commercial standard" engravings.

    I think most, if not all, USA "reserved serial number" lenses have USA clearly marked on them and all engraving work is done in a slightly simplied script.

    Yours is definitely from Germany. it is 6xx,xxx rather than 6x,xxx! It is from 1931 approximately. The shutter is earlier, but remember that the enormous recession in the late 20's may have meant that shutter stocks from earlier years may have been used in 1931.

  2. #62

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    Re: First year Heliar's

    Thanks Steven. What a terrible mistake I made! I didn’t see the last digit.

  3. #63

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    Re: First year Heliar's

    You could fill out the last digit - some people have tampered with serial numbers.

    I can this a fun mistake - hardly a serious one!

  4. #64

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    Dec 2013
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    Portland OR USA
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    Re: First year Heliar's

    Guys, I found a Heliar exactly like the one in the first pictures except it has a S/N a few numbers off... so probably somewhere aorund 1898-1900!!!
    I'm new with brass barrel lenses and unsure of its image quality and coverage... 8x10, 11x14, 12x16... more?
    I'm debating keeping it to shoot with (missing lots of gear to do it now so would have to be eventually, after I get way more gear).

    Has someone shot with it and has some test images?
    How sharp/soft is the lens wide open / stopped down?
    Do you guys have an idea of its value...?

  5. #65

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    Re: First year Heliar's

    I think Jim's was the 30cm focal length and Voigtlander wrote it up as being for the 16x21cm format in 1907. This is the original Heliar optical design - not the Dynar redesign. It is, however, identical to all the black enamel 30cm Heliars of the early years of the 20th C. - of which there are a lot!
    Valuation is not something we do in public!

  6. #66

    Join Date
    Jul 2016
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    Re: First year Heliar's

    Quote Originally Posted by Thib View Post
    Guys, I found a Heliar exactly like the one in the first pictures except it has a S/N a few numbers off... so probably somewhere aorund 1898-1900!!!
    I'm new with brass barrel lenses and unsure of its image quality and coverage... 8x10, 11x14, 12x16... more?
    I'm debating keeping it to shoot with (missing lots of gear to do it now so would have to be eventually, after I get way more gear).

    Has someone shot with it and has some test images?
    How sharp/soft is the lens wide open / stopped down?
    Do you guys have an idea of its value...?
    Heliar was patented in 1900, I guess the lens would not be sold before 1900. In 1902 another patent was filed with improvements:

    "According to Rudolph Kingslake's "History of the Photographic Lens," the reason for the update may have been that the first version suffered from excessive astigmatism and a large Petzval Sum (curvature of field). Others mention that Coma was also quite pronounced in this design."

    https://www.antiquecameras.net/heliarlenses.html.

    Heliars are not about extreme sharpness, anyway you have lots of that in any LF negative, including heliars. Heliars are about supreme bokeh for supreme portraits, of course it can be used for other things. I would even prefer having the rare first version, a photographer can be very creative by exploiting those "optical flaws" for a unique look, or you may not like that. YMMV.

    Over time... Voigtländer produced two "super heliars", one is the sharp APO Lanthar and the other one is the +1926 Universal Heliar that is the 1902 version with an special ring to displace the central element out of the optimal position: to produce adjustable amounts of spheric aberration, coma, etc... Amazingly the problem that the first version had


    Perhaps Voigtländer and the market were yearning the 1900 Heliar look when they decided to "invent" that ring, just a guess...

  7. #67

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    Dec 2000
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    Re: First year Heliar's

    Fun to look back after 8 years. I eventually settled on the Cooke Knucklers as the "keepers" in this school of look. I still have a 42CM and a 36CM later version Heliar's from the 1920's in the usual all black barrels. Heliar's are famous for just the right amount of sharpness wide open at the focus point and then excellent bokeh in the out of focus areas. That's also what Petzval's are famous for but the two have very different looks. Your 36CM Heliar will cover 8X10 and no more. They only cover about 50 degrees or a bit less, from memory. Less than a Tessar for sure.
    He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep..to gain that which he cannot lose. Jim Elliot, 1949

  8. #68

    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Portland OR USA
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    17

    Re: First year Heliar's

    Hey thanks Steven and Pere.
    Still would love to get a link pertaining the specific version that I have, or a clear statement like "this version is equivalent to that version".

    As for dates of manufacturing I'm basing it on the tables on the page that Pere share.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    As you can see S/N is 58499, which according to the table is 1899/1900. That said I don't know enough to estimate if this is not accurate...

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