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Distagon 25/1,4 and a Distagon 18/2,8
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 10:22 pm    Post subject: Distagon 25/1,4 and a Distagon 18/2,8 Reply with quote

Hello all! I recently posted to Reddit about my Grandfather being an optics designer for Carl Zeiss, and I was asked to post here as well. So here I am! Like the title says, I own a Distagon 25/1.4 and a 18/2.8. New to me is the fact that these don't "exist", and yet I own both of them. When my grandfather passed away his camera bag was passed on to me, and these two lenses were part of that collection.
I wasn't old enough to ask him much about his work, so I asked my dad to tell me what he could about his work.

Someone on reddit asked about how my grandfather made lenses, so here's what my dad sent me as a response:

"I recall my dad telling the story that when he started out at Carl Zeiss in the 50s they had a little army of employees performing nothing by number crunching by hand. [to optimize a lens you have to trace rays of light through the lenses and calculate the refraction at each optical surface.]
then the first computer became available somewhere in the more northern part of germany - several hours away by train. he wrote the code and had to punch stacks and stacks of cards (each card could hold one line of code).
he then reserved some computing time, traveled to the computer, feed in the cards and then quite sometime later (not sure if he had to stay over night...) the computer produced stacks of large print outs that he than took back to his office [in a suit case] to analyze.
he had to do that repeatedly [perhaps once a week?] to optimize a lens."

Anyways, my dad and I will try to answer questions if anyone has any, although he mentioned he can't say too much about the lens designs. I'll get more pictures of the two lenses up, and I'll search for some shots with the 18, but for the 25 I'll have to shoot a few and get them developed.

Here's a bit of info on my grandfather's work.

http://www.zeisshistorica.org/Glatzel.html

Here are links to the collection he left me.

http://imgur.com/JiNLV
http://imgur.com/vxsdR
http://imgur.com/0l5Li[img][/img]

Edit: More photos http://imgur.com/a/kJNxI#kYFmVqn


Last edited by raspberryrob on Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:33 am; edited 2 times in total


PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 10:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Distagon 25/1,4 and a Distagon 18/2,8 Reply with quote

If you post another time the links will show up.

Thanks for the info! (And I'm curious for the follow-up.)


Last edited by Fabian on Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:29 am; edited 1 time in total


PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 10:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Will they? I'm not understanding how to make them appear :/


PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 10:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome to the group! Your grandfather is something like a god for me and others in this group Very Happy


PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Rob (I guess Rob's your name) thanks for showing up here. I guess most of us here are very interested in pics of said lenses. I at least can't wait to see more !


PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 12:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great story indeed!

Thx for sharing this with us. Very Happy

I would love to hear more stories and see samples of these beauties Wink

cheers
Lars


PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 12:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

welcome Rob, have a nice time with us !


PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 5:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A warm welcome Rob. Keep those lenses safe!


PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You will be warmly welcomed by this forum and many here will avidly follow anything you can tell us about your grandfather and his work. What other magic was in that bag?


patrickh


PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 7:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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.

If you ever decide to sell those 2 lenses then do so very slowly and do a lot of research first. Consider the Zeiss 50/0.7 lens made for NASA and made famous by Stanley Kubrick. There are very few of these and they sell for 10's of thousands of dollars, if you can find one. The last figure I heard (can't confirm) was approx USD$60,000.

And thanks for posting here.


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

Welcome to the forum. Is it possible to post more shots of the above two lens? Are they C/Y mount? And do that great care of both of them.


PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey all. Yes I'm uploading the shots as we speak. They are C/Y mounts, and I use them on my Contax RTS, which I was also given by my grandfather. If I remember correctly, he was given the RTS as a gift when he met some of the heads from Contax. Something like that. Photos should be up in a few..


PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a link to the album. I couldn't figure out how to post the pictures directly here..

http://imgur.com/a/kJNxI#0


PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 9:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I usually use the "Upload picture" button. There is also a "Drag and Drop upload" button which I suppose should be easier to use. You only see the buttons when you click "Post Reply". Putting the photos straight into this forum (server) means the photos will be here a long long time. Other servers, might delete the pictures after few years.

After clicking "Upload picture", click "Choose File" and choice which file/photo you want to upload.


PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hi Rob

Welcome to the forum and thanks for posting these rare images.

so this is a proof of that the 'holy grails' = Distagon 2.8/18 and Distagon 1.4/25 do exist.

tf


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.
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