Dallmeyer Septac Anastigmatic lens – £14,000 at Special Auction Services.

Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

All made in the 1950s-’60s by Dallmeyer – the firm which made the transit instrument discussed in ATG No 2364– one was a Super-Six Anastigmatic, the other two Septac Anastigmatics but affected by fungus. Anastigmatic lenses were made to compensate for spherical and coma distortion and are still used today.

“Users today put them on digital cameras,” Marsh said. “These were Double Gauss lenses that give a wonderful ‘bokeh’, the out-of-focus highlights, and a soft, painterly quality to the general parts that are out of focus.”

Pricing them was difficult. Marsh sold two Super-Six lenses for £20,000 in 2016 but chose to pitch these at around £5000 each. “There are only a handful of buyers for these lenses at these price levels, mostly from the Far East,” said Marsh. “So I put on cautious estimates.”

The Super-Six lens sold at £13,000 and the Septacs at £13,000 and £14,000.