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Distagon 25/1,4 and a Distagon 18/2,8
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

most welcome here, that's 'some' grandfather and gifts that you are having Shocked
thank you for becoming member here and presenting these mythical lenses, your and even your father's willingness further answer questions and also the story abt. numbers and computers.

jjphoto wrote:
Rob, the 25/1.4 and 18/2.8 may be extremely valuable lenses so take great care when you get a flood of offers to buy them from you. These should be sold at an Auction specialising in exotic camera equipment, probably not ebay. Those 2 lenses may be the only ones that exist, unless Zeiss has some too, so may be far more valuable then you might be led to believe...


most likely they never will be sold, but if they ever were, without wanting to make commercial for anyone, I'd think they would make a 'special' auction at the "Westlicht Auction House" and there is no upper limit to the price


PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks much, Rob!
The serial number of the Distagon 2.8/18 belongs indeed to the prototype serials, as Marco Cavina indicated to me.
Wow, I am thrilled!! Two mythical lenses finally embodied in something tangible!
Now you know what we would wish... some photo samples taken with the 25mm and 18mm lenses!
They would be the very first image samples EVER with those two lenses!


PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome aboard Rob!
Your grandfather is famous here Wink

These two distagons have Contax mount?
We would like to see a few photos taken with them, if you can Smile


PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whenever I have relatives that want to pass on their old camera equipment I always seem to end up with a cheapy canon point and shoot from the early 90s. I can't imagine inheriting something like this. Mind-blowing! Absolutely mind-blowing!

As other have said, welcome to the forum and keep those lenses safe.


PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome Rob.... please get a dslr or mirrorless to use two lenses above. contax will be too long Very Happy


PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow!

The designs did become reality!

I'm dying to see some pictures from the 25/1.4

If you ever want to sell them, please let me know. I'd rather sell my kidneys but keep the lenses between us rather than some rich collector for whom it's yet another nice toy


PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome to Mflenses Rob!!!!

As a fan of Zeiss lenses and your grandfather I welcome you in the biggest Manual focusing lenses forum in the net !!!!

Very interested of what you know about Zeiss history from your grandfather and father Very Happy

Take extra carefull of your lenses since they are uber rare and worth serious money Wink

Alex


PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hari wrote:

If you ever want to sell them, please let me know. I'd rather sell my kidneys but keep the lenses between us rather than some rich collector for whom it's yet another nice toy


If/when Rob and his family decide to sell them, those lenses deserve to go back to Zeiss, for a museum (if they have one).


PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 5:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Orio wrote:
Hari wrote:

If you ever want to sell them, please let me know. I'd rather sell my kidneys but keep the lenses between us rather than some rich collector for whom it's yet another nice toy


If/when Rob and his family decide to sell them, those lenses deserve to go back to Zeiss, for a museum (if they have one).


That's almost as sad as them being in the hands of a collector who will never use them

Theoretically, you have a point but I'm sure Dr. Glatzel would rather see these beauties put to use than keep them locked away

They've been safely protected all these years, about time we show the lenses some light


PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hari wrote:

That's almost as sad as them being in the hands of a collector who will never use them
Theoretically, you have a point but I'm sure Dr. Glatzel would rather see these beauties put to use than keep them locked away


They are unique pieces, if they get damaged in use, there's no going back, no fix, no spare parts.
If there is a museum of Zeiss history, these pieces belong there ultimately.


PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A question on the 25. There are 2 wide rubber rings on the body. Which one do you use for focussing? Does the otherone move as well?
I ask because normally all Contax lenses are built the same way, one broad ring for focus, one narrow one for aperture.

If you are into photography do get a full frame digital camera like the Canon 5D with the best adapter you can get. In case of Canon or Nikon check out leitax.com. That is the only adapter I would trust with these lenses.

Your grandfather obviously used these lenses judging from the usage marks on them. I you can afford to keep them, do keep them. There aren't many grandfathers who leave such special works of his art to their grandsons. It 's like Enzo Ferrari built 2 cars that were never put into production but are the best of the best and were left to Enzo III.
I am sure Enzo III would never sell the cars (i am also sure he has no need for the money) and i am also sure he would drive them. I would say use these lenses. They were built for light.

Envy is something I normally don't suffer from, but in this case.........

P.s. Do ensure them.


PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Orio wrote:
Hari wrote:

That's almost as sad as them being in the hands of a collector who will never use them
Theoretically, you have a point but I'm sure Dr. Glatzel would rather see these beauties put to use than keep them locked away


They are unique pieces, if they get damaged in use, there's no going back, no fix, no spare parts.
If there is a museum of Zeiss history, these pieces belong there ultimately.


As I said, theoretically speaking I see your point but practically speaking I hope the lenses get used

Just because its a prototype doesn't mean you shouldn't have some fun with it


PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Orio wrote:
Hari wrote:

That's almost as sad as them being in the hands of a collector who will never use them
Theoretically, you have a point but I'm sure Dr. Glatzel would rather see these beauties put to use than keep them locked away


They are unique pieces, if they get damaged in use, there's no going back, no fix, no spare parts.
If there is a museum of Zeiss history, these pieces belong there ultimately.


I'm ambivalent about this. I can see both sides. One thing about putting it in the museum, though, is that if it's going to sit there and not be used, it doesn't really matter if it's broken or damaged (to a certain degree).


PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hari wrote:

As I said, theoretically speaking I see your point but practically speaking I hope the lenses get used
Just because its a prototype doesn't mean you shouldn't have some fun with it


Yeah, but they're not "just lenses", you know. They are prototypes of unvaluable rarity and exceptional importance.
They are part of the history of photography, no different than if it was about Niepce's first camera.
To take some photos with them, cautiously, to show to the world the performance capabilities of those lenses, yes, definitely!
To keep them as ordinary photography tools, to carry around here and there, as if they were just another lens... no, I would not do that.

I know what can happen to lenses when they get used. In my 25 years as a photographer, I lost lenses. I had them stolen, twice.
I damaged some, even if I am a cautious user generally. I dropped a few.
It would already hurt me if any of that happened to my Distagon 1.4/35 or Planar 1.4/85, to quote two lenses that Rob also has.
But those are production lenses, there are thousands of them around, although not an infinite number, still enough to have them used with some peace of mind.
But the prototype of the 1.4/25 aspherical Distagon... a lens that was almost an utopia in the time it was designed... no. No, no way.

Of course, the lenses are Rob's, so he will decide what to do with them!
But I can tell you that, if my grandfather was Erhard Glatzel, I would feel urged to honour his memory by paying great respect to those
prototypes, and do everything that I can in order to have those prototypes preserved for future studies
and for a museum of photography history that can preserve those prototypes for the future generations.

rawhead wrote:

I'm ambivalent about this. I can see both sides. One thing about putting it in the museum, though, is that if it's going to sit there and not be used, it doesn't really matter if it's broken or damaged (to a certain degree).


Don't forget they're prototypes. They were not designed for being "enjoyed". They were designed to be tested and studied with a possible future production in mind.
Museums today are in large part not anymore the closed structures they used to be in the past. Today, technical museums are more open.
They have programs of loans, and programs when some selected people -students, mostly- can try and use the objects, of course under surveillance and guidance.
Once in a structure that will safeguard it for the future, the object can still be enjoyed, by many, over many decades if not centuries.
If sold to a private, god only knows what happens, and in any case, only one person will enjoy it, the rest of the world will most likely have it lost forever. You have no guarantee
that the buyer willl treat it carefully or will share his photos with the rest of the world. A museum, instead, will most likely produce professional documentations and photo samples for the public.

Rob does and will care about those lenses, because they're his granddad's heritage, it's about his own family history and pride.
But once those lenses would go out of the family, can anyone be sure of how they will be treated by a private? Where in the world they would end up?
No, there's no logical reason in my mind to have a private sale preferred to a safe museum structure.


PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Orio wrote:
...
No, there's no logical reason in my mind to have a private sale preferred to a safe museum structure...


agreed in theory
but then is there a Zeiss museum, and if there is one, how safe is it, who is the owner?

I still shudder when I think of Hoya closing down the big Pentax museum outside Tokyo in 2009. Where did all go?
So after all what matters most is a responsible person


PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kuuan wrote:
Orio wrote:
...
No, there's no logical reason in my mind to have a private sale preferred to a safe museum structure...


agreed in theory
but then is there a Zeiss museum, and if there is one, how safe is it, who is the owner?

I still shudder when I think of Hoya closing down the big Pentax museum outside Tokyo in 2009. Where did all go?
So after all what matters most is a responsible person


And that's why I'd rather keep the lens in this group of people who really are dedicated and deeply reverent

Better a known devil than an unknown god Smile


PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As for taking shots with the lenses mounted on my Contax, I'll take those today. Hopefully have them developed by tomorrow...
I have a mount for my 7D... but in truth, it doesn't do the lenses much justice.

As for my intentions for the lenses: I have no intention to sell them, probably ever. As for a museum, I may be open to that idea in the future. However they are part of my grandfather's work and I would prefer to keep them in the family. I can't say what will come of these lenses, and I would feel better asking my relatives before giving one of these pieces away.

I'll try to get the pictures soon!


PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How often can we meet a grand son of one of the most prominent figures in optical design? I am glad that you decide to share your experience with these fine lenses. As much as I want to get my paws on the two prototypes to shoot to my heart's content, I definitely believe it should either stay in the family or going back to Zeiss to be displayed as one of the fine achievements by Dr. Glatzel. I'm eagerly looking forward to seeing pictures from these.


PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am speechless. Waiting to see the results.
Shocked


PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 10:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

raspberryrob wrote:
... I have no intention to sell them, probably ever...

right on!! Smile
raspberryrob wrote:
I'll try to get the pictures soon!

thank you


PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 11:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As for my intentions for the lenses: I have no intention to sell them, probably ever. As for a museum, I may be open to that idea in the future. However they are part of my grandfather's work and I would prefer to keep them in the family. I can't say what will come of these lenses, and I would feel better asking my relatives before giving one of these pieces away.

Good for you!


PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 1:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi and welcome to the forum Rob.
You may want to contact Zeiss to see if they are interested in a loan to take them on tour or put them on display at a photo expo.

I would use them once a month to keep them in healthy condition and prevent the lube from drying out, but I would never take them everywhere I go, they are way too rare for that.

Looking forward to seeing your shots.
J


PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 5:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lightshow wrote:
Hi and welcome to the forum Rob.
You may want to contact Zeiss to see if they are interested in a loan to take them on tour or put them on display at a photo expo.

I would use them once a month to keep them in healthy condition and prevent the lube from drying out, but I would never take them everywhere I go, they are way too rare for that.

Looking forward to seeing your shots.
J


The grease dries out at the same speed whether they're operated or not.
If the lubricant has already dried out, then they should not be used until they can be serviced.


PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As grease sits the lighter oils separate out and leach away, in using the lens those oils are remixed back in to suspension, Lithium grease as an example, newer silicone based greases seem to be better.


PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi to all users; I'm new here, although I've been keeping a cordial relatioship with various members for a long time; I also thank Rob for sharing with us these exceptional lenses designed by his grandfather; officially there exist two prototypes of each, with serial numbers 2.595.321 - 2.595.322 for the Distagon 1,4/25 aspherical and 2.595.224 - 2.595.225 for the Distagon 2,8/18 aspherical (realized for the 1976 Photokina); the exemplar of 2,8/18mm shown here bears the number 2.595.022, which lets us guess that some more specimens could have been produced.

Several years ago I wrote a brief article (unfortunately in Italian only) about these lenses, showing also the cross lens sections: here the link; as you can see, the official barrel outline planned for production doesn't match the actual 1,4/25mm exemplar, fitted with two front light shades in place of a wider, round filter mount.


http://www.marcocavina.com/articoli_fotografici/zeiss_prototipi/00_pag.htm


From what I could understand reading the Glatzel patents, the optical formula of the 25mm f/1,4 has much in common with some Zeiss f/1,2 cine lenses, equipped as well with a front member and a rear, relay lens.

I would be glad to use the pictures you shared here to update my article, as in the meanwhile I realized more exact and pleasant optical sketches of both lenses...

By the way, for Zeiss lovers, here you are another link to a comprehensive article upon strange and interesting Zeiss lenses (both DFR and DDR) I wrote last month, with English text:


http://www.marcocavina.com/articoli_fotografici/Zeiss_cute_DFR_DDR_lenses/00_pag_English.htm



Thanks again.

Marco