Goerz Dagor lense/8x10 210mm lenses

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I was wondering if anyone had any info on the following lense: Goerz Dagor double anastigmat 8-1/4" f6.8 in a Volute shutter. It is a lense I am considering to purchase and I was wondering if anyone had any info on it especially its cover circle. I want to use it with my 8x10. Also, what is a Volute shutter? As I am new to large format photography any info. provided would be much appreciated. Also, anyone have suggestions for a lense (about 210mm) purchase that would cover an 8x10 and allow for some movements, it would be primarily for b&w landscape photography. I am considering barrel lenses as well as those with shutters. Price is also a consideration, looking in the $200-400 range. Thanks for any comments.

-- S. Eidukas (sveiks2u@earthlink.com), November 29, 1998


Dagor is a well respected design/name. I wouldn't hesitate to buy one but I'd want a trial period long enough to get it in a board and make a few negs to check. Dagor is an abbreviation for Double Anastigmat Goerz, by the by. Volute was a French manufacturer I believe. E-mail Stephen K. Grimes, and I imagine he knows everything about 'em. You can access him via the links on this page.

Getting an older 210mm will work for C.U. & EXCU shots on 8 X 10 but for WA shots it'll be a little tight, coverage wise. The 210mm is kind of like a 90mm on 4 X 5, not quite as wide but used the same way usually. The older 210 Angulon f/6.8 has an I.C. of around 382 mm. The Gold Dot Dagor f/6.8 has by comparison around 294 mm (+/-) at f/32.

When I got my first 8 X 10 I tried a 210mm Osaka for kicks. It's a Tessar design, making it quite small. Son of a gun, it worked! There's no movement to speak of, but it works fine for close-ups and medium long shots if I'm careful. Weston used a 210 for some of his vegetable still lifes. Good Luck.

-- Sean yates (yatescats@yahoo.com), November 29, 1998.

Thank you for your quick response to my question. However I am a little confused on part of your answer. First of all what do the abbreviations C.U. & EXCU mean. Secondly how do you mean 210mm will be a little tight coverage wise for 8x10. Unless I am mistaken, the focual length 210mm does not denote the coverage/image circle. I thought it was the image circle of a particular lense design that determined the amount of coverage, not the focal length, in this case 210mm. The reason I am starting with 210mm is because when shooting 35mm my favorite wide angle was a 28mm lense. If I determined correctly this would be the equivalent of a 210mm lense for an 8x10. If I am incorrect in my thinking here, please feel to correct me. Thanks.

-- S. Eidukas (sveiks2u@earthlink.com), November 30, 1998.

Sean's point about possible "tight coverage" with the 210mm Dagor in question is good advice, and should be taken seriously. This lens' image circle may not be large enough to adequately cover the 8x10 format at infinity focus. The 210 Angulon mentioned has a larger image circle, and would be more appropriate for 8x10 WA landscape work at infinity with movements.

I believe Sean's abbreviations are for "close-up" and "extra close-up". Remember, if you were to focus the 210 Dagor at distances much closer than infinity (still lifes, table-top, or any type of close-up work), the image circle would be considerably larger the longer the bellows extension. Thus, you can use lenses with not-so-ample image circles with the 8x10 format when doing close-up work.

You're right, a 210mm in 8x10 would be equivalent to a 35mm focal length in 35mm format.

Good luck, Sergio,

-- Sergio Ortega (s.ortega@worldnet.att.net), November 30, 1998.

The Volute shutter was a Bausch and Lomb design with slow speeds to four seconds. It was designed by one half (can't remember the name) of the duo who patented the clockwork gear train mechanism that all shutter manufactures use to this day. That was in 1914! The American Goerz company was established here in 1898, so you may have a American made lens. Also, Goerz started calling them Dagors after 1904, so you might have one that old. That would be interesting!!

-- Guy Ulrich (spareparts1@rocketmail.com), September 14, 1999.

According to The Goerz American Catalog of 7/1/47 the 210 dagor will cover 10x12 @ f:45, 7x9 @ f:16 and 5x8 @ f:6.8.

-- robert j walsh (rwalsh1@ix.netcom.com), October 07, 2000.

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