• Members 92 posts
    Oct. 22, 2023, 6:43 a.m.

    And also ffor those who read German, I recommend the 222pages of " Carl Zeiss das Auge unserer Kamera" by the very reliable photo industry historian: Hartmut Thiele.

    The book has diagrams and descriptions af all Jena and Oberkochen optics ever produced including year of production in tables at the end, Both photo optics and their accessories,cine and projection lenses, repro and UV is included but not microscope objectives.

    The book includes detailed histrorical descriptions of the fluctuating business all major Zeiss lens customers, list rebates provided and pictures one of their products for each company, starting at least in 1889 . Also, it does not skip the diffficult years of wartime bombing of Dresden and subsequent communist restructuring.

    A required volume in any photo-historical library (as are Thieles lists of production numbers in separate books).


  • Members 1627 posts
    Oct. 22, 2023, 8:14 a.m.

    Sounds very interesting indeed - thanks for the recommendation! The book is even referenced in the official Zeiss archive, if I remember correctly…

    Will have to take a look. I have several of Thiele‘s books and have also been in contact with him in regard to some unanswered questions, which came up during the research for one of my articles - he was very helpful and certainly knows a lot about the german photo industry.

  • Members 92 posts
    Oct. 28, 2023, 8:56 a.m.

    I cannoty resist posting a copy of what I just wrote on the original DCRsite when someone went on about planar varieties and stated that the name "Ernostar" could not be used by Zeiss since Ernemann owned the naming rights:

    "A remark ad industry history;

    there is no trademark limitation for Zeiss to use Ernemanns nomenclature since they are the same company.

    Abbes Zeiss foundation merged the Jena and Dresden companies about 100years ago when both ICA and the others joined .

    Also; the names and schetchy visual arrangements of glass in the usual diagrams is far less relevant than radii, distances and glass composition plus the precision of the mechanics ,even if historical names does provide a nice warm feeling when judging the results.

    p. "

  • Members 92 posts
    Oct. 29, 2023, 11:20 a.m.

    again, for those who have abandoned the DCR; one well informed correspondent complained that zeiss took pover Ernemann and hence they were not the same company, went on to detail why optical designs differed and also seemed offended at my remark implying irrqationality in judging lenses- below is my reply:

    my point about company identity is the same, a merger leads to ownership of trademarks and even keeping some of the staffl.

    Mr Bertele was active at Zeiss after he designed the Ernostar and went on to design the Sonnar . Al the time before coatings, fewer elements avoiding flare plus contarst loss seemed more important than a flat field.

    As to the PR effect of the name, I presume that dr. Salomons pictures would have helped.

    That lens aficionados praise designs feeling proud of ones own possessions and snaps is undertsandable and common and often overshadows technical considerations.


  • Members 92 posts
    Nov. 26, 2023, 8:29 a.m.

    In order to expand knowledge of Zeiss history i strongly recommend the two volumes of Mühlfriedel&Walter´s history of Zeiss ISBN3-412-11096-5. They not only give details of the birth of the fine-mechanics workshop and the Schottt glassworks, but also of the birth of microscopes and fieldglasses, local and global business conditions, the Jena university and city as well as social conditions at the time. Mr Abbe and the Zeiss foundations´ pioneering role in securing workers rights , pay and conditions is well worth reading about.


  • Members 1627 posts
    Nov. 26, 2023, 8:46 a.m.

    Thank you very much for the recommendation! Regarding Zeiss - even though it is a bit challenging to navigate their own archive is a treasure trove of information as well: www.archive.zeiss.de/

    Because you seem quite interested in literature about the german photoindustry I wanted to ask you: Have you ever stumbled upon any book containing some significant information about C. Friedrich München? The only mention of that company I've seen so far is in Thieles "Die Deutsche Fotoindustrie - Wer war wer?" and it's only a couple of sentences unfortunately. While I've found some information online there seems to be very little documentation on that company, even though they've operated for a significant amount of time and likely until the 80s or later... Would really appreciate any information!