CP Goerz lens

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Hello, I am hoping someone can help me find an answer to this query. I found in a box of old stuff at a camera store I work at part time a C.P Goerz Berlin lens. It says Dagor 1:6.8 f=15cm. Serial # 438667 It has a Syncro Compur P shutter. It seems to be fully functional. there is no oiling on the aperture leaves and the shutter seems to be accurate. Any idea on age,(i'm guessing early 1920'S) value or most importantly the format this lens was designed for? My guess is that is is for a 4x5 or 6x9. Am I close. I was unable to find any information on this lens in the books at the shop. Any and all information will be greatly appreciated. Thanks jacque

-- jacque staskon (jacque@cybertrails.com), June 18, 1999


Urgh! Jacque, I can't find my citations, so plese forgive what inaccuracies may occur. In general Dagors are known for their large image circles and sharpness qualities. Many folks still use them and Artars even though more modern glass is available. A 150 would probably be for 4 X 5 but may well cover out to 5 X 7. An older catalog I have lists a Gold Dot Dagor and a Golden Dagor of 150mm & f/6.8 with an image circle of 210mm at F/16 for each. I've never owned one so I can't speak for sure on that.

As I recall Goerz went from the standard mm designation to the cm designation around 1910, but I can't recall now. The fact that it says C.P. Goerz instead of Zeiss Goerz of course helps to date it to before that company's purchase by their old rival Zeiss in 1926.

I can't give you a value but you could look it up in McKeowan's or browse many many back issues of Shutterbug diligently to find what the larger retail establishmnets hope to get for one.

I hope this helps some. Steve Grimes and Ron Wisner could both give you more complete and accurate information.

-- Sean yates (yatescats@yahoo.com), June 18, 1999.

p.s. there's more on the L.F. Homepage about these lenses under classic lenses, etc.

-- Sean yates (yatescats@yahoo.com), June 18, 1999.

Hi Jacque:

To add to my friend's Sean's comments in reference to the C.P Goerz Berlin lens, a good friend of this page provided me with some guidance in selecting lenses for 8x10. And while some may seriously disagree, here is what he wrote on this topic:

--------------------------------------------------------------------- "The Dagors are still popular due to their combination of small size and large coverage. Although the collectible market has driven up the prices in general, and especially for the Gold Ring, Gold Dot, etc. varieties, they can still often be found at relative bargain prices compared to equivalent modern glass. In some cases, there just aren't any modern alternatives that don't weigh 5x as much. In general, I have had good luck with Am Optical Dagors with serial number higher than 770xxx and Zeiss made Dagors from the 1930s - 1940s. Many older Dagors can also be quite good (but the quality seems to vary more), and I would avoid anything labeled as a "Berlin Dagor". These were assembled by Burke & James after WWII, and the glass used in them was horribly full of impurities. They obtained all these inferior old elements after the war as part of the liquidation of the German Goerz company, shipped them across the ocean, mounted them in barrels and shutters and sold them as "Berlin Dagors" to distinguish them from the Dagors being made in this country by Goerz Am Optical (A separate company that had split off from the German Goerz sometime in the WWI timeframe).

All Goerz Am Opt. Dagors after 770xxx are of the same design and glass types. You can occasionally find very high serial number Dagors that don't have the gold rim or gold dot. They are every bit as good, and usually priced hundreds of dollars less. I have a suspicion that some of these were manufactured under contract for the US Military in the 1950s and 1960s. I have a 4 3/8" WA Dagor from 1961 that was originally part of a military field photographers kit that has a serial number above 800xxx, and it has a simple black barrel, even though I have an older 6 1/2" WA Dagor (786xxx) with the shiny gold rim and used to have a beautiful 12" Gold Rim Dagor with serial number 790xxx). Guess the military preferred the non-descript black barrels to the shiny brass ones of the Golden Dagors.

Good luck in your search for lenses for your 8x10. Other lenses to consider would be the Kodak Commercial and WF Ektars. They tend to be larger than the Dagors, and the Commercial Dagors have less coverage, but they are usually less expensive due to a lack of collector appeal. Also, in the longer focal lengths, the Red Dot Artars are great. They can be found occasionally in original Ilex shutters, but are more common in barrels (which can be re-mounted into Copal #3 shutters). I had a 16 1/2" Red Dot Artar that was my favorite lens when I used to shoot with an 8x10 Deardorff. Reasonably small, very sharp, and I just liked the focal length." ------------------------------------------------------------------ I hope you and our other friends find this of interest.

-Henry T. Stanley

-- Henry Stanley (HTStanley@prodigy.net), June 23, 1999.

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