9-1/2" f6.8 Goerz Dagor AMerican Optical Co. for 8x10?

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I am just delving into 8x10, and looking for a good moderate wide angle. Does anyone have information or experience with the 9-1/2" f6.8 Dagor, in regards to image quality and coverage? Or perhaps a more suitable recommendation? Thank you.

-- John McDonald (jmcd@napanet.net), May 04, 2002


The 9.5 inch will offer modest room for movement. Some have said there is a slight focus shift from 6.8 to 22. Contrast is good for a classic lens as there are only four air-glass surfaces, and these lenses are very sharp. It will be more than suitable for contact printing.

My advice is to make sure it is in a good shutter if this is your first experience with large format; you don't want to waste a lot of film getting to know a finnicky shutter when you are just learning. If you already use a large format camera, then you already know what you are willing to put up with. Also, if you intend to use filters, consider how you are going to do that with this lens. For $75 Steve Grimes will make you an adaptor to take modern filters. It's kind of pricey but I bought one and love it. I can now put filters and even a lens shade on an old Artar I have.

I ended up selling my 9 1/2" dagor because I got a modern lens in that focal length, but it was an outstanding lens. I still use the 7 inch dagor on 8x10 often. It just barely covers the format at infinity, with some fairly noticeable image degradation in the corners.

-- Erik Ryberg (ryberg@seanet.com), May 04, 2002.

John, How much do you want to spend? Robert White has(last time I looked)excellent deals on recently discontinued G-Clarons, 240mm 270mm and 305mm in new copal shutters. When the price of new stuff (excellent new stuff) approaches the price of really old stuff it is certainly worth considering. Dagors have excellent reputations of course, but take a look at Robert White too. Cheers!

-- John Kasaian (www.kasai9@aol.com), May 04, 2002.

> recently discontinued G-Clarons,


-- John Hicks (jhicks31@bellsouth.net), May 05, 2002.

Discontinued! Thats the word. By the time I'll be able to afford a new lens they'll probably be long gone and the used ones will have achieved cult status. I think Badger Graphic was dealing on G- Clarons as well.

-- John Kasaian (www.kasai9@aol.com), May 05, 2002.

The Dagors are nice lenses. I have a 168mm Ser. III, which just covers 8x10", an 8-1/4" Gold Dot in barrel, which covers with a little movement and is soon to be shutter mounted, and a 12" Gold Dot in barrel, which covers with plenty of room for movements and which I use on the front of an Ilex #5 shutter. They are compact in design and very sharp with good contrast and smooth tonality.

In the range you are considering, I use a 10" Wide-Field Ektar, which has a huge image circle. It's not as snappy as the Dagors, but it does offer huge coverage. I suspect the two facts may be related--huge coverage resulting in more light bouncing around inside the bellows, so I'm building a compendium shade for use with my camera which should improve contrast with this and other lenses.

Here's a suburban landscape in B&W with the 12" GD Dagor:


and here's a color portrait with the same lens. I included some details under the main image, but the scans aren't really as sharp as the original chrome under a loupe:


-- David Goldfarb (dgoldfarb@barnard.edu), May 05, 2002.

There is abolutely no coverage problem with the 9 1/2 inch Dagor. You have to stop down -- f22 is optimum for resolution and I have no trouble woth 40 by 50 in prints. The 10 3/4 is also nice -- a little bit more 'formal' and awesome coverage. The American Dagors, usually factory mounted in Ilexes are the best -- try to get one with a serial mumber 77XXXX and above.

-- geoffrey james (geoffreyjames@symptatico.ca), August 15, 2002.

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