What are the specs for a 480mm f/10 Boyer Apo-Saphir

Discussion in 'Large Format' started by peter_chiappini, Feb 12, 2004.

  1. Hello, does anyone know what the coverage would be for this lens;
    its a process lens of some kind and has a smallest aperture of f/180
    and a slot for waterhouse stops. There's a note on a scale that
    says its good up to 1:5.6. I haven't tried it out yet, but it
    appears to be coated so I think it would be pretty sharp. Is it a
    tessar design? Any info would be appreciated. -Peter
  2. Peter,

    My guess is that its a dialyte for graphic arts similar to the artar, and maybe like an artar, it will make for a very, very good
    lf lens. Then again, maybe not!
  3. hi Peter,

    the Apo Saphir is a non-symmetrical lens, it is not of the dialyte-Artar-Apo Ronar-etc. design. I believe it is a Tessar derivative. The Apo Saphir from Boyer is a very good lens, that does include landscape photography.

  4. Thank you for the information, I was thinking it was a tessar derivative, if not a tessar, but I wasn't positive; I'm kind of surprised to hear that it would be good for landscape photography. Do you know if it would cover 11x14? -Peter
  5. Hi Peter,

    I tried the 480 only on smaller formats, in that case you only use the very sweetspot of the image circle, performance at infinity was certainly as good as the artar types.

    Best regards

  6. Peter, you seem to have been buying relatively obscure lenses cheaply on eBay. I do the same thing. Good lenses that don't cost much are wonderful.

    But you seem to be working in considerable ignorance. You appear to buy in hope and then seek reassurance that you didn't make a bad mistake. This isn't so good.

    Several years ago I acquired a copy of The Lens Collector's Vade Mecum. This is a rather strange book on lenses and lens makers published on CD-ROM by a couple of crazy englishmen. The Vade Mecum is inconsistent, incomplete, in need of working over by a good copy editor, sometimes incorrect, occasionally infuriating, and overall very useful. Dan Colluci, who posts on photo.net, sells it, so do MW Classic Cameras. I suggest you get a copy.

    About recognizing tessar-type lenses. One does it by counting reflections off the lens' elements. Two pairs of strong reflections in the front cell and one pair of strong reflections and one weak reflection in the rear cell spell tessar. Unscrewing one of the cells helps, so does using a single light source.

    About asking whether a lens is any good. Keep in mind that the answers you'll get report on lenses other people have, not on the very one you have in hand. Yours may be more than typically beat-up or may have escaped quality control before it was shipped.

    Some examples. Everyone knows that Zeiss Luminars are fantastic. Well, I once acquired a 100/6.3 Luminar that had been abused. It couldn't be focused wide open at 4:1. I once acquired a 16/2.5 Luminar that seemed to have been cooked. Literally. Balsam had run out from between elements 3 and 4 and had collected around the periphery of element 1. Poor image quality. Two of my friends collect Zeiss lenses. Each had a 45/4.5 CZ Jena Mikrotar with great cosmetics, as all collectors love. One lacked the middle element (the lens is a triplet), the other had a problem we can't diagnose and produces horrible image quality. Used lenses are a crapshoot.

    The only way to know whether the lens in hand is any good is to use it.


  7. Dan, thank you for the information about the Lens Collectors' Vade Mecum, maybe now I won't buy so many lenses without really knowing enough about them... but purchasing the Boyer wasn't with complete ignorance- you had bid on it, so I at least knew it was a half-way decent lens, but you're right, I wasn't sure it would cover 11x14. The reason I haven't tried any out yet is because I don't have a LF camera to try them on. I'm building an 11x14, but it won't be ready for a while. -Peter
  8. Peter Chiappini wrote "but purchasing the Boyer wasn't with complete ignorance- you had bid on it, so I at least knew it was a half-way decent lens".

    I'd never admit it to anyone, but I make mistakes. And I sometimes bid impulsively on eBay. I'm not always a good guide.


  9. No wonder the sniping tools have become almost indispensive!

    If I really want to expose a 11x17 film, I would certainly make sure I have the right tools before contemplating exposing it through a "cheap"lens.

    Many process lenses such as the Process Nikkor 260mm f/10 are being sold cheaply (many , "new in the box"). They do cover half a room and are very well corrected. A good sample from a reliable maker (No, I do not want any controversy about Boyer Saphirs vs someone else) with the proper (known) specs is more valuable than most of the junk being sold out there.

    (Unless you like to collect paper weights like I end up doing some time!).
  10. I think I'll have to wait until I'm rich to try shooting on film that large - I'll probably end up using paper negatives and contact printing them with a light bulb in my cellar.
  11. If you can unscrew the lens into a front and back cell, a good clue to whether the lens is a Tessar-type or not is the relative power of the cells. In a Tessar the front cell has little power, while the back cell has high power and functions like a strong magnifier. If a lens doesn't behave like this, then it is not a Tessar. Kingslake mentions this on page 87 of his book, A History of the Photographic Lens. He says that the Anastigmat design has the same behaviour. His words: "The front component of the Tessar, like that of the Anastigmat, had very little power, its sole function being to correct the remaining aberrations of the strong new-achromat rear component."
  12. Peter,

    I happens to have a brochure in the German language from the Boyer Apo Saphir that tells lots about the history, the construction, the design, the lensopening (why so low in power), the performance, the use of special apertures for colourlitho?s (printing), the use of focallength related to originalsize, all that written by its factory, or close to that. The brochure, about ten or more pages, shows beneeth useful focallenghts also lenses from about 2500 mm for astronomical us. After reading you can?t probably have still questions! I collected this information in the early 80th, because I bought the Apo Saphir in the focallenght from 135, 180, 240 and 300 mm., f 9, coming with a revolver lenscarrier from a Reinhel 18 x 24 cm. enlarger. This enlarger is still in use, but the lenses rather not.

    I might take the time to copy the brochure by scanning and sending it to you by e-mail.
    But I have a request myself: I am looking after information close to what I have about the Apo Saphir, but then about the Red Dort Artar from Goertz. I have a lens for reproductional purpose (also for architectural photography) from this type in the focallenght from 14 inch, 350 mm. This lens seems to be from a "masterclass" quality.
    Do you perhaps have such information, or do you know someone who want to give me that for sure? Or someone else who reads this?

    Peter Coene
  13. Pardon the late response.

    I recently came by a 360/10 Apo Saphir and have seen parts of a Boyer catalog. According to the catalog, Apo Saphirs have five elements in three groups: cemented doublet, singlet, cemented double. That is, they're like heliars. Mine -- can't address the others -- has the diaphragm between the front cemented pair and the center singlet.

    Most cover 48 degrees, the two longest (1200/12.5 and 2500/12.5) cover 40 degrees.



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