Zeiss Anastigmat - Antique and Vintage Cameras


Carl Zeiss



Image of Protar

Series V. f16, 86 mm

Lens Type:
Anastigmat. 4 elements. Wide-angle.

Wheel stops to f32. Brass mount. For quarter-plate. Made under licence by Ross.

Serial Number:
12441 , Ross no.

Series V. f18, 8 ⅜"

Wheel stops marked in f numbers and Zeiss (old) scales: f18 - f71 and 32 - 2. Brass mount. For 11" x 9". Made under licence by Voigtländer.

Serial Number:
48171 , (1901).


The series V was one of the original anastigmats from Zeiss and remained in production for several years, Ross advertised the lens until World War I. The aperture when first introduced was f18 in the later 1890s this was increased to f16. The range at this time, by Ross, was from 86 to 1660 mm. The lens was intended for interior work and in the larger sizes for copying and process work.

References & Notes:
BP 6028/1890. BJA 1892, p. 1117. BJA 1900, 48. BJA 1907, p. 48. Sinclair Cat. 1910, p. 129. N&G Cat. 1908, p. 66. Abney, Instruction, p. 94. Kingslake, p. 82.


f18, 8.5 cm

Iris diaphragm to f45. Black painted brass mount.

Serial Number:
1547641 (1934) .

Cap. Box.

Ross Wide-angle (Zeiss Patent)

Ross & Co.



Series IIIa Protar. f8, 6"

Lens Type:

Iris diaphragm with external pointer to f45. Black painted brass mount.

Serial Number:
4900 .

Double Protar

Image of Double Protar

Series VIIa. f6.3, 6 ½"

Lens Type:
Anastigmat. Convertible.

f6.3, 6 ½" combined; f12.5, 11 ½" front and back groups. Iris diaphragm to f45. In screw mount to fit N&G Square Reflector, bayonet mount to front component.

Serial Number:
79337, 79338 .

Series VIIa. f6.3, 5 ½"

Lens Type:
Anastigmat. Convertible.

f6.3, 5 ½" combined; f12.5, 240 mm front and back groups. Iris diaphragm to f45. In mount for N&G Square Reflector. For quarter-plate.

Serial Number:
70778, 70790 (1904) .

Lens cap.

The series VIIa is the best known of the Protar range. The series VII is made of four glasses the VIIa or Double Protar is made of two symmetrically arranged groups of the series VII. The two groups need not have the same focal length. In Britain the lens was made under licence by Ross in lengths of 4 - 42" for the VII giving combined lengths from 2 ⅜". Until 1900 the Protar was known as the Zeiss Anastigmat.

References & Notes:
N&G Cat. 1908, p. 42. Neblette, Principles and Practice, p. 117. Abney, Instruction, p. 99. DRP 56109.


Series IV. f6.3, 6.8"

Lens Type:
Anastigmat. Convertible.

f6.3, 6.8" combined; f12.5, 300 mm front and back groups. Iris diaphragm to f45. In mount for N&G Square Reflector. For 5" x 4".

Serial Number:
101235, 101236 (1908) .

This is one of the symmetrical Protars and is different to the earlier Zeiss Anastigmat series IV. It consists of two symmetrically arranged groups, each group can be used separately. In Britain the lenses were made under licence by Ross in focal lengths of 150 - 700 mm for the single group giving 87 - 407 mm combined. The series IV replaced the series VI. For one year - 1908 - Newman & Guardia advertised the Square Reflector with the newly introduced Series IV Protar. This example has an unusual mount fitted with an outside bayonet to attach to the camera. the mount is marked 7" and 14".

References & Notes:
BJA 1909, pp. 47, 82, 721. DRP 196734.

Convertible Anastigmat

Image of Convertible Anastigmat

f6.8, 8 ½" combined; 16" separated. Iris diaphragm with external pointer to f64. Brass mount.

It is not clear what this lens is. It carries the Zeiss name but the engraving does not appear to be by Zeiss and there is no serial number. Possibly the lens is a rapid rectilinear with a fake inscription.

The original Anastigmats were introduced in 1890 and consisted of an old formula achromat at the front and an achromat using the new Jena glass with two or three elements at the rear.

SeriesDateApertureElements in rear group
In 1893 Zeiss introduced fully corrected lenses without the need of the old-style achromat.
VI189314.5Single group of 3 elements
VIa18937.2Two series VI lenses
VII189412.5Single group of 4 elements
VIIa18946.3Two series VII lenses
IV190812.5Single group of 3 elements
IV19086.3Two series IV lenses

Company Details:



Zeiss Anastigmat


Aldis Anastigmat

Unar, Tessar

Xpres, Lustrar

Doppel Anastigmat
Dagor, Holostigmat, Euryplan


Syntor, Celor

Cooke Anastigmat

Homocentric, Isostigmar

Heliar, Medio, Radionar

Wide-Angle Anastigmat

Speed Panchro, Photomaton
CRT lens

M - Componon

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