"Just One More Lens, I Promise!"
We've all heard that line before. Whether it be about a lens, a comic book, guitar, collectible car, this excuse is about as old as "want" itself. The premise goes a little something like this:
Well folks, for me, that one thing happens to be a lens, this little number to be exact:
This, ladies and gentlemen, is a Goerz Hypergon. Specifically, this is the 75mm f/48. According to the only two reliable sources that exist, these tiny spheres of glass actually cover 8x10! Not only that, they are true, rectilinear wide angle lenses. Still not sold on them yet? What if I told you that the tubing in the photo above was so that air could propel the little blades sitting in front of the lens? What for, you ask? These marvels of early 20th century engineering had built-in frickin' center filters!
For those of you out there still scratching your head about this lens, here's a little more insight as to just how ridiculously wide the Goerz Hypergon 75mm is:
Putting it into 35mm focal length equivalents, a 75mm lens on 8x10" film is roughly what a 10mm lens would look like. P.S. That's super-amazing wide! The closest rectilinear example of this wide angle of view here in 2014 is Canon's new lens offering, the 11-24mm f/4 L.
Now onto the tough reality portion of our post. These suckers are a rare find, like high-end estate auction rare. When these pop up, about once every other month in some auction or another, they go on average for what my entire large format kit is worth. Hell, their current market value is right on par with a decent used car! Is it worth it? Probably not. Will I continue to chase this lens to the ends of the Earth? Well, there's worse things to chase. ;D