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View Full Version : Dallmeyer 3B is being reproduced with currently-available glass



Jim Becia
8-Mar-2017, 18:51
http://www.eckop.com

Not sure if this is the right place, if not, please move to the appropriate place. I am not familiar with these type of lenses, but came across this info about this lens being remade. Thought some of you would be interested.

photog_ed
8-Mar-2017, 19:49
This is interesting. I am well-acquainted with the founder of the company. I will contact him to find out what's up.

Ed

Jody_S
8-Mar-2017, 21:39
I really hope this takes off. The price they're charging is right, the quantities are right, if they can get some buzz going there are more than enough working photographers interested in classic lenses to make this worthwhile. There is nothing inherently difficult in reproducing classic lenses with modern tooling and quality control. The real difficulty has always been the fact that one-off reproductions invariably cost far more than just buying a used copy off fleabay.

I hope they plan on reproducing the Cooke knucklers. Simple triplet design, could probably be made with off-the-shelf lenses if the design was adapted slightly, and manufacturing is trivial with modern CNC machinery (for a shop that has the know-how and tooling). I don't see why they would cost more than their Dallmeyer reproduction, which must also be made with off-the-shelf glass given the asking price.

Steven Tribe
9-Mar-2017, 01:37
This is a faster link to the correct page!

http://eckop.com/historical-reproduction/dallmeyer-3b-preorder-information/

As already mentioned, the economics must mean that the project uses optical glass types which are currently available. Which is not the case with the Chance Bros. original optical glass! Which means that owners of "parts" 3bs cannot use Eckop as a source for achromats etc. I suppose this means that each of the 3 separate optical sections (The achromat and the two rear lenses) have each been made to replicate the optical performance of that part. This means totally changed lens surafce curves throughout!

The project has underway for some years, and a pre-production group of 6 were made last year and distributed for testing and feedback (Collodion Bastards). Perhaps this will give a push to Cooke Optics to think again about resurrection of other scarce lenses.

I did have an email correspondence with Eckop early last year and I got very impression of a very reliable individual who was aware of the challenges involved.

Randy Moe
9-Mar-2017, 11:01
Very interesting. We need to pre-order by March 21st this year with delivery in June.

$500 advance payment, the more that order the lower the price!

Hopefully, more people get on board. 5 in now.

I guess I will never find a 3B front 1/2 to match my rear half of a 3B.

So cracking open the piggy bank.

Don't delay!

Steven Tribe
9-Mar-2017, 12:08
But you can see if the new front achromat does perform OK with your parts lens. I know I wrote something different yesterday, but if the three new sections are each equivalent to the original sections, then it might be possible.

Randy Moe
9-Mar-2017, 12:12
But you can see if the new front achromat does perform OK with your parts lens. I know I wrote something diffent yesterday, but if the three new sections are each equivalent to the original sections, then it might be possible.

Somebody needs to find out.

I can't be the only person with 1/2 a lens...:)

Jason Greenberg Motamedi
9-Mar-2017, 12:32
Anybody know if it is coated? It would be really nice to have a multicoated Petzval. I know many of the collodion-crowd think that coatings are bad for color-blind processes like wetplate, but from hours of experimentation I can tell you that they have no notable effect on exposure.

Steven Tribe
9-Mar-2017, 13:01
I have written to Steve Eckop about this current thread - so hopefully, he can answer questions.

I note that extra flanges are available at 25$. Very useful for people with a couple of suitable cameras!

IanG
9-Mar-2017, 13:20
The title is a touch misleading and doesn't reflect what Eckhardt Optics are actually making. They are not, and make no claim to be, re-manufacturing the Dallmeyer 3B, they clearly indicate it's a reproduction and as Steven has said it'll be using optical glasses not available when the originals were in production.

It's a great idea and a lot nicer than the Lomo Petzval, if I had the spare cash I'd possibly be interested. Now that Cooke are building a second factory maybe there''s a chance they could re-manufacture some of their oler lenses.

Ian

photog_ed
9-Mar-2017, 13:48
I spoke to the owner. Apparently someone from the Collodion Bastards facebook page asked him if he could make these lenses, and he said he could. His main business is consulting and making optical instruments, but this is an interesting side business for him.

Dan Fromm
9-Mar-2017, 14:27
Now that Cooke are building a second factory maybe there''s a chance they could re-manufacture some of their oler lenses.

Ian

Where, pray, will Cooke get ancient glasses?

Mark Sawyer
9-Mar-2017, 15:02
Where, pray, will Cooke get ancient glasses?

I'm not sure, but if anyone could, it would be Cooke.

For anyone dreaming of a re-issued Cooke Triplet, there are plenty of cheap imitations available as projection lenses in 14, 18, and 22 inch fast projection lenses, (Beseler, Buhl, Epis...). They're probably better than the imitations you'd get made in small production runs, and far cheaper. But having used those and Cooke's myself, the imitations fall far short of what a real Cooke can deliver.

The Cooke Triplet is perhaps the most elegant lens ever deigned, zeroing out all seven aberrations with three single elements, yet capable of reintroducing spherical aberration with the movement of one element. But it's also one of the most demanding to produce properly.

Steven Tribe
9-Mar-2017, 15:13
I don't know where Cooke got their glass, but Dallmeyer used quite standard optical glass from Chance Brothers of Smethwick, West Midlands. Chance got eaten up by Pilkingtons years ago, but the name continues in a buy-out located in Malvern (where Morgan still make traditional sportscars!

Crown glass was Crown no. 2. refractive index 1.52, disp. index 0.004.
Flint glass was Light Flint no. 1 refractive index 1.57 disp. 0.00473.

Glass in no longer made with these characteristics. But the Chance Brothers' archive are open to the public at a library. There is a register and the papers fill 30 sq. meters.

http://blackcountryhistory.org/collections/getrecord/GB146_BS6/

Perhaps there is a description of the production mixes - or a list of sand pits where they sourced their raw materials?

As to using contemporary glass - I can recall that a number of rectilinears where made in both pre-Jena glass and in later versions with Schott glass.

IanG
9-Mar-2017, 16:54
Where, pray, will Cooke get ancient glasses?

Cooke could re-introduce/re-manufacture one or more of their older lenses with modern glass after all lenses like Tessars (& Xenars) evolved to use more modern glass, that's not the same as a reproduction which implies it's a copy of some sort. Cooke still have all the data on their older lenses.

That's not to detract from this project in the thread title.

Ian

Oren Grad
9-Mar-2017, 17:20
I've edited the thread title to, I hope, more faithfully reflect what's going on here. Thanks to Ian for his comment and Jim for the heads-up.

Very cool project, too - I hope it succeeds!

goamules
9-Mar-2017, 17:32
I've been following this lens since it's inception. While I appreciate using an optical expert to make it, and all the design work to fabricate a body around the ancient Petzval design, it's main claim to fame is that A)It's a Dallmeyer 3B and B) it's going to be cheaper. If you take away the first, because it's NOT a Dallmeyer, all you get is a new Petzval that is $800. Like any fast magic lantern lens, Darlot, or Baush & Lomb projector lens. The hype-meister behind this whole project is a wellspring of energy, but not much experience with Petzval history. If Derogy's or Harrisons had the same current cult following at a Dallmeyer 3B, be assured he would have called it the "new Harrison". Which is probably what I would have done too.

But the real questions remain unanswered. Why was a Dallmeyer considered better than the 20 or so other companies making Petzval Portraits in the day? The JHD patent? Most realize that reversing the elements in the rear and allowing one to have adjustable separation is not really an amazing invention. And it doesn't really do much of anything, certainly not "soft focus" that everyone thinks it does. So why was Dallmeyer a very good lens company? Note how I didn't say "the 3B a very good lens?" ALL of their lenses were very good. Because they had 2 generations of some of the top optical scientists producing their lenses, as well as the confluence of precise, fantastic British Victorian quality control. Dallmeyers are great because they are consistent, every one will be as good as the next, there were no "Monday lemons." The workers were lifetime skilled, their QA checks profuse, their brass fittings heavy and precise.

Which leaves us to ask the other real question. If you just name something a "Dallmeyer" and use a common Petzval formula that is duplicated in hundreds of other lens makes, is it somehow also a very good lens? The story is the optical company "exactly reverse engineered a vintage 3B." How? The Petzval Sum was the first mathematically designed lens in history. It was poorly patent protected so within 10 years it was being copied on every continent by many makers. If you copy a Petzval, you have a new Petzval. Not a Dallmeyer because a slick marketer uses that famous name. Dallmeyer hand ground each lens, making subtle compensations to adjust for glass refractive index variation. In other words, they knew enough to customize each lens, and get it right each time. (no, you can't take a lens out of one Petzval and put it in a missing slot of another, and expect the same, original image quality.)

I've been asking for a year for a side by side, scientific comparison with a real 3B. To see if it stacks up in the important quality realm of a Dallmeyer. Does it have heavy brass fittings? No Same types of glass? We don't know. Same resolution? Same quality control? We don't know. Generations of experience fitting and polishing lenses? It is simply a common Petzval design, put into an aluminium barrel. What makes it of Dallmeyer 3B quality?

Nodda Duma
9-Mar-2017, 18:40
With all due respect, goamules.. the latter part of your post is a disingenuous argument without real merit, which sounds good to anyone not familiar with modern optical design and production. To those who are, it sounds like the outburst of a fresh college recruit overwhelmed by tackling his or her first optical task....Or an unpopular program manager unfamiliar with how designers think and work.

A successful and experienced optical designer will consider every single detail you mentioned, plus many, many other nuances... all of which require careful consideration to produce a real piece of equipment. That attention to detail will have been born from a mix of lessons learned the hard way and lessons learned the easy way and -- most importantly -- from handling real equipment under real world conditions.

An unsuccessful designer who would fall into the simplistic pitfalls you haphazardly lay out will have abandoned true optical design work in frustration shortly after leaving the sanctity of college. They would not be known outside their own place of employment and certainly would not be running a successful optical consulting firm. That's just common sense.

You don't last long in the design world making crap.

Sorry to pick on you and please understand it isn't personal at all...but your argument and others in this thread like it is frivolous and does a real a disservice to interested people outside the optical design community. What those guys did back then wasn't magical, it's just not readily understood by the layman. What people like Dallmeyer did was good, quality work born of their experience. I have a profound, *educated* respect for what they did. But the same can be said of designers today. Optical design is definitely not a "lost art", and the pace of design today means the new masters will have completed and produced more successful optical designs in five years than the old masters will have completed in a lifetime.

Nodda Duma
9-Mar-2017, 19:04
Anybody know if it is coated? It would be really nice to have a multicoated Petzval. I know many of the collodion-crowd think that coatings are bad for color-blind processes like wetplate, but from hours of experimentation I can tell you that they have no notable effect on exposure.

Modern AR coatings can accommodate the full spectral band including that of "normal emulsion". To add, the real limitation in the UV is going to be absorption by the glass itself. Modern exotic glass (high index low dispersion) has issues with this, but the types of glass used for the designs we're discussing here (classic and even modern crowns and flints) will have the same spectral absorption characteristics as the original glass types.

stawastawa
9-Mar-2017, 20:06
Sounds like Uv coatings would be a great addition, though a break from the Original design.

Mark Sawyer
9-Mar-2017, 20:29
A successful and experienced optical designer will consider every single detail you mentioned, plus many, many other nuances... all of which require careful consideration to produce a real piece of equipment. That attention to detail will have been born from a mix of lessons learned the hard way and lessons learned the easy way and -- most importantly -- from handling real equipment under real world conditions...

There are a lot of different types of experience, and I doubt many modern optical designers would have the experience of a nineteenth-century designer familiar with optimizing a lens for that period's materials. There are a lot of design freedoms in a Petzval, and I'd question whether the new designer is familiar with them. Will he position the Waterhouse Stop to minimize field curvature, distortion, or spherical aberration? You can bet Dallmeyer's engineers thought a lot about that, spent untold hours testing different configurations, and talked to a lot of photographers about their decisions every step of the way. The new engineer talked to a Facebook photographer and said, "yeah, I can copy that..."

Yes, it's an f/3.5 Petzval, and will likely give a classic Petzval look, but it's no more a Dallmeyer than it is a Darlot, a Voigtlander, or a CC Harrison.

stawastawa
9-Mar-2017, 20:36
Mark that is probably an oversimplification and an unfair accusation, especially give the fact that it was reported earlier in thread that several prototypes had been distributed (steven post #4 (http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?137738-Dallmeyer-3B-is-being-reproduced-with-currently-available-glass&p=1380911&viewfull=1#post1380911)).
The new engineer talked to a Facebook photographer and said, "yeah, I can copy that..."

Nodda Duma
10-Mar-2017, 05:01
There are a lot of different types of experience, and I doubt many modern optical designers would have the experience of a nineteenth-century designer familiar with optimizing a lens for that period's materials. There are a lot of design freedoms in a Petzval, and I'd question whether the new designer is familiar with them. Will he position the Waterhouse Stop to minimize field curvature, distortion, or spherical aberration? You can bet Dallmeyer's engineers thought a lot about that, spent untold hours testing different configurations, and talked to a lot of photographers about their decisions every step of the way. The new engineer talked to a Facebook photographer and said, "yeah, I can copy that..."



If nothing else, remember: It's not magic, it's deterministic.

I can tell you straight out that those "lost nuances" are studied in detail by the optical sciences student in college, or self-taught such as in my case. For an experienced designer, there's not much to them. The glass periods of the time are well documented and known. As I said above, optical design isn't a "lost art".

You ask questions of the design method in the same way a novice unfamiliar with photography may question the genius of Edward Weston or Ansel Adams. Yet in this case, Petzval's well-documented calculations are easily replicated and evaluated in design software. Perhaps an analogy would be a modern automobile manufacturer accurately replicating the Ford Model T. If the designer was independently wealthy, he could spend the ~$10k it would take to produce a prototype Petzval or Dagor and test. Beyond that -- with 100 years of design history since them -- their shortcomings and improvement methods to overcome those are well-known as well.

By the way, all of these classical designs (and many others from later periods) are compiled into design databases shipped with the modeling software. If you wanted to review them, you could order the ZeBase design catalog from the makers of Zemax. They and their derivatives are important starting points to save time designing new optics for real world projects. Since you mention it, the Petzval is a very flexible design that I've used often as the starting point (actually my own starting point design derived from it) for fast, narrow field of view applications both within and without the visible spectrum.

As I stated above, what those guys did isn't magic and the appeal of their designs at least to me are their minimal sensitivity to manufacturing tolerances and performance in simplicity. It's the same goals I strive for in my designs, and so I revisit them often. They are well-known and documented. Poor or inexperienced designers ignore what they did and end up designing optics that look good on paper but can't be assembled in real life. I'm currently on a design project addressing that exact problem with a design created by another company's recently graduated mathematician who has no business designing optics, providing a poor showing of a new optic technology...but I digress.

If you were inclined to invest the time in study of optical design as a profession, at some point in your career you would understand and then agree (probably grudgingly--I wouldn't blame you).

goamules
10-Mar-2017, 06:15
What I want to say on this is that it was a marketing gimmick to keep calling it a "Dallmeyer clone." It isn't, from many standpoints. It's more what Mark and I said: just another Petzval, made in modern times. Sorry I offended your optics career field. I wasn't intending on doing that. The most important part of my post was the question, "when will we see a scientific resolution and aberration test, compared to a real Dallmeyer 3B? Surely you guys in the industry could do that? All we've gotten on the Facebook page is slick hype that sounds like a carnival barker, from the guy that conceptualized, contacted the company, planned the "prefunding/kickstarter" style of "hurry up and pay so we can build!" business plan, and "PMd" the project. Oh, and the name. I'm impressed by Eckhardt Optics' background, and always have been happy he chose a good american company.

Garrett "former NASA and DoD engineer and current Project Manager"

Nodda Duma
10-Mar-2017, 06:51
Fair enough! I felt compelled to post not necessarily to defend the profession, but because the opinions in the thread expressed an almost mystical awe of the early designs. They aren't magical..they're well documented and well understood. Look elsewhere for magic, like in high power RF design.

Anyways, the mention of nomenclature highlights an interesting aspect. The historical designs have often ended up lending their names to the design families as a whole. Petzval, Dagor, Cooke, Tessar are all good examples of design names in common use amongst the community (i.e. "a basic Tessar with an aspheric surface"). The one great exception is the widely used Double Gauss family...a design of that type is never referred to as a Planar, Biotar, etc. Interestingly enough, the design catalog mentioned above lists the Zuiko 50 f/1.8 as a basic example of the Double Gauss.

For your entertainment, here's a link to the ZeBase table of contents.. you'll recognize some design names in there.

http://radiantsolution.co.kr/en/downloads/ZEBASE_6_TOC.pdf

I seem to recall links on the forum to other databases.

I'm almost tempted to bring up the Dallmeyer in Zemax since it's my day off, but I'm busy setting up my new milling machine which arrived yesterday.

Steven Tribe
10-Mar-2017, 06:55
Gosh, this got a bit heated whilst I was asleep!

I really don't think there are too many points of difference between the two sides and I think good points have come from sides.

I think that the Petzval design from own practical experience is very flexible. I have seen well functioning lenses, where the achromat has been changed (with the proud 19th century gentleman hobbyist name written on the side of the new achromat) and even petzvals with different french makers' names on front and rear lenses!
The distance between the front achromat and the rear cell is also not very critical. Dallmeyer's first soft design moved the outer rear lens away from the inner rear lens, the second design did the opposite. It moved the whole barrel (achromat and inner rear lens) away from flange fixed outside rear lens. These are totally optically equivalents. However, the french had a different approach to soft lenses. They used the original Petzval design with a double barrel so that the distance between the front and rear could be extended at lot. This movement on a Universal Darlot I have is more than 5cm - which is considerably more than the single thread movement for the Dallmeyer patent. This suggests that this distance is not particulary critical for Petzvals.

If each of the three new lenses are mirrored to optically replicate the lenses they are replacing, I can't see why the stop position should be changed, unless there are factors other than focal length (as determined by refractive index) and dispersion that would make a difference.

Of course, it isn't a Dallmeyer. It is a Petzval lens, using the Dallmeyer patent modified rear pair and designed to allow increasing aberrations. I have received some third party feedback about it (The trial lenses from last year) performing well, but not being identical with the original Dallmeyer it was being compared with. But this could hardly be called a definite judgement based on a single original lens. There appears to be some variation in focal lengths of the Dallmeyer through the many decades of production .

Peter De Smidt
10-Mar-2017, 07:34
I make Neapolitan style pizza at home. It is not exactly the same as real Neapolitan pizza, but it has most of the main qualities of such pizza, and so I enjoy it. (I make mine on a 600F steel plate in the oven. I know, that's not the 905F of a wood-fired oven, and so I make my dough with more water than the official formula, as mine takes longer to bake. I also add a bit of malt, as the Caputo pizza flour isn't malted, and it doesn't brown as well at 600f as it does at 905f.) It should be obvious that the buyer's aren't getting a Dallmeyer lens, or a lens exactly the same. It's a lens based on a Dallmeyer lens.

cuypers1807
10-Mar-2017, 08:09
I make Neapolitan style pizza at home. It is not exactly the same as real Neapolitan pizza, but it has most of the main qualities of such pizza, and so I enjoy it. (I make mine on a 600F steel plate in the oven. I know, that's not the 905F of a wood-fired oven, and so I make my dough with more water than the official formula, as mine takes longer to bake. I also add a bit of malt, as the Caputo pizza flour isn't malted, and it doesn't brown as well at 600f as it does at 905f.) It should be obvious that the buyer's aren't getting a Dallmeyer lens, or a lens exactly the same. It's a lens based on a Dallmeyer lens.

+1

DrTang
10-Mar-2017, 08:28
for 900 bucks (maybe) - your getting a 292mm f3.5 Petzval that hasn't been dropped or banged around for 100+ years - sounds like a decent deal to me

Bernice Loui
10-Mar-2017, 10:45
If only designing stuff used as artistic tools were completely determined by math, modeling, and well known technological-industrical processes.

Flat refuse to believe only optical designers from years gone by were the only ones who had a blended technical and artistic sense of what makes an optic special.

There remains active optical designers today that are absolutely capable of designing exceptional optics. Optics from Cooke, Canon, Zeiss, Schneider, and many others have optics design folks who are absolutely capable of creating great and exceptional optics. What users MUST remember there are marketing factors involved with how the production personality of any optic is designed and produced today. Facts are, if an optic is to be profitable and have a market, it must meet market expectations or that design and it's production makes no business sense. Sure, one can produce a design based on an individual's preferences and that design will find a small market, now consider would that be viable for a company like Zeiss that would spend six to seven figures on developing a specific optic. If that design in production did not produce a viable return on investment, why would Zeiss or any other company produce such a design?


Great artistic tools are a blend of art, science, and a deep understanding how to achieve an artistic and creative vision. This takes a LOT more than math, modeling and all technical factors involved to design and produce such a device. To believe this has become a lost art, would be to believe the appreciation of visual art has been forgotten and not recognized anymore.

As for soft focus lenses, there is a HUGE variation of how these optics produce a given image, they are sensitive to lighting, film used, film processing, and printing process. To simply believe a specific soft focus lens alone will produce a specific look on the finished image is to ignore the rest to the image making process and subject matter. Using soft focus lenses is complex and more difficult to master than most would believe.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CM09x8Zk3_k

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PxH4Yzszk1I

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWAp4Fv9RvE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LkgTT6vT1Ns



Bernice

BTW, this thread is an example of how combative LFF has become and the tone of this tends to exclude more moderate folks from participating. Is this kind of combativeness really needed or a good thing?

Bob Salomon
10-Mar-2017, 11:00
If only designing stuff used as artistic tools were completely determined by math, modeling, and well known technological-industrical processes.

Flat refuse to believe only optical designers from years gone by were the only ones who had a blended technical and artistic sense of what makes an optic special.

There remains active optical designers today that are absolutely capable of designing exceptional optics. Optics from Cooke, Canon, Zeiss, Schneider, and many others have optics design folks who are absolutely capable of creating great and exceptional optics. What users MUST remember there are marketing factors involved with how the production personality of any optic is designed and produced today. Facts are, if an optic is to be profitable and have a market, it must meet market expectations or that design and it's production makes no business sense. Sure, one can produce a design based on an individual's preferences and that design will find a small market, now consider would that be viable for a company like Zeiss that would spend six to seven figures on developing a specific optic. If that design in production did not produce a viable return on investment, why would Zeiss or any other company produce such a design?

There is also one other problem. Nobody today makes mechanical, between the lens shutters. Only electronic ones are made today, and those are controlled by a computer.
Great artistic tools are a blend of art, science, and a deep understanding how to achieve an artistic and creative vision. This takes a LOT more than math, modeling and all technical factors involved to design and produce such a device. To believe this has become a lost art, would be to believe the appreciation of visual art has been forgotten and not recognized anymore.

As for soft focus lenses, there is a HUGE variation of how these optics produce a given image, they are sensitive to lighting, film used, film processing, and printing process. To simply believe a specific soft focus lens alone will produce a specific look on the finished image is to ignore the rest to the image making process and subject matter. Using soft focus lenses is complex and more difficult to master than most would believe.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CM09x8Zk3_k

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PxH4Yzszk1I

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWAp4Fv9RvE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LkgTT6vT1Ns



Bernice

BTW, this thread is an example of how combative LFF has become and the tone of this tends to exclude more moderate folks from participating. Is this kind of combativeness really needed or a good thing?

Mark Sawyer
10-Mar-2017, 11:04
for 900 bucks (maybe) - your getting a 292mm f3.5 Petzval that hasn't been dropped or banged around for 100+ years - sounds like a decent deal to me

It all depends on what you want, I suppose. A decent-condition Dallmeyer is still making the same quality of images as when first introduced 150 years ago. It's the real thing, made by expert craftsmen in 19th century Victorian England. Or you can buy a brand-new imitation with "global sourcing" (China) of the parts and lenses. Arguably the same, arguably different. Both are only Petzvals, but we like them.

You can go see the Rolling Stones on tour, still putting on a hell of a show in their 70's with Keith Richards banging away on his '53 Telecaster. Or you can go see a Rolling Stones tribute band with everyone in their 20's playing "global sourcing" (China) guitars, playing the same songs. Arguably the same, arguably different. It's only rock and roll, but we like it...

Choose your own poison... :)

Peter De Smidt
10-Mar-2017, 11:41
Consider that buying a real Dallymeyer lens is no guarantee of getting a good one. A friend of mine has four 405mm Kodak portrait lenses. He has had many exhibits of his traditionally made prints, including in a number of museums. He knows what he's doing, and he uses his stuff. In his opinion, 1 of his Kodak portrait lenses is significantly better than the other three, and he's not all that fond of his sample of a Pinkham Smith Bi-quality. Buying old lenses is an expensive gamble, even amoung knowledgeable people. It's terrific that new options are coming on the market. Of course they're not for everyone.

Bernice Loui
10-Mar-2017, 21:46
How does anyone ascertain what the original artistic image intent of the Dallmeyer 3B might be or any other photographic lens from over 100 years ago?

Consider what the photographic world might have been like over 100 years ago, the imaging materials would be different, water used, chemistry, glass for plates, and more. Many things can change and can happen to a lens over the course of 100+ years. Changes in optical glass (consider the origins of optical coatings), changes in optical adhesives and more can affect the images produced by surviving Dallmeyer 3B and other similar lenses from that era. This does not account for the photographic materials post process and all involved that are all significant variables that will affect the image produced.

Hand made optics will have variations adding another significant variable to the images any Dallmeyer 3B or similar lens from that era produces.

Really a point of reference question here. To simply tar a new design or reproduction of a vintage lens using modern design tools, production methods and materials to being inferior is quite prejudicial of what the possibilities are. To get the most of of this process, lens designer and artist using this new design must work closely together to sort out what results are acceptable -vs- what is not and what is technically and production possible. There will be trade-off along this process and these are a given in any design.

There is HUGE potential to create a truly excellent lens here if all involved work closely together towards a common goal. To simply exclaim the original Dallmeyer 3B will always be superior to a new design is myopic of what is possible in the world of optical design and production today.

BTW, Cooke has an inventory of lens grinding bowls dating back 100 years. They pretty much kept their tooling for just about every lens they produced. Cooke IMO, is quite capable of producing their old designs, if there is a significant market for them. As for glass types, there are variations within each batch of optical glass. This is one of the many factors that is tweaked along the lens production process.


Bernice

Jody_S
10-Mar-2017, 21:50
There remains active optical designers today that are absolutely capable of designing exceptional optics. Optics from Cooke, Canon, Zeiss, Schneider, and many others have optics design folks who are absolutely capable of creating great and exceptional optics. What users MUST remember there are marketing factors involved with how the production personality of any optic is designed and produced today. Facts are, if an optic is to be profitable and have a market, it must meet market expectations or that design and it's production makes no business sense. Sure, one can produce a design based on an individual's preferences and that design will find a small market, now consider would that be viable for a company like Zeiss that would spend six to seven figures on developing a specific optic. If that design in production did not produce a viable return on investment, why would Zeiss or any other company produce such a design?




Given what has happened to makers of LF lenses in the last 20 years, my personal opinion is that we should encourage small, 'boutique' shops who are interested in keeping the craft alive and are responsive to the desires and artistic trends in LF photography. Those who are willing to spend $1200 or whatever on a Dallmeyer copy, however faithful it is to the original, will get what they pay for and will help keep the market active and hopefully encourage more makers to build small runs of lenses.

For the purists who say "But it's not a real Dallmeyer!", well, don't buy one, but don't crap all over the people who do. Please. We need every lens maker out there who is willing to build such a unique item. There are a lot more historical lenses that I would love to see make a comeback. Anyone interested in a copy of the Harrison globe lens? P&S soft focus lenses? None of these are difficult to copy with modern tooling. None should cost more than the offered Dallmeyer, should this venture succeed. What do I care if it says 'Dallmeyer' on the side, if it makes images that I care to make?

brandon13
11-Mar-2017, 00:20
I've seen some pretty nice images made with this new Dallmeyer copy. I've also seen a "ton of shit, and I do mean a ton with authentic 3B's. I think people see them as some kind of magic wand. I personally like shooting the old lenses because of their history and their imperfections. Dallmeyer lenses including the 3B (possibly the most produced of their lenses) are amazingly consistent but there definitely are variations. I have shot two 3B's (not mine) that were from a 10 year span difference one was with water house stops the other had an iris and the images they produced looked quite different. I was surprised because the four Dallmeyer petzvals I own look so similar despite the age differences and maximum apertures. Bottom line is if you are against the new Dallmeyer 3B don't buy one. If you are offended by a new 19th century style lens being produced you need to get a life. "Shut up and shoot!"

Mark Sawyer
11-Mar-2017, 00:28
How does anyone ascertain what the original artistic image intent of the Dallmeyer 3B might be or any other photographic lens from over 100 years ago?

By studying the images, journals, and catalogs of the time, and by using the lens with both modern and perid materials, and comparing notes with others who do the same?



Consider what the photographic world might have been like over 100 years ago, the imaging materials would be different, water used, chemistry, glass for plates, and more. Many things can change and can happen to a lens over the course of 100+ years. Changes in optical glass (consider the origins of optical coatings), changes in optical adhesives and more can affect the images produced by surviving Dallmeyer 3B and other similar lenses from that era. This does not account for the photographic materials post process and all involved that are all significant variables that will affect the image produced.

The lens is actually being produced largely by and for current collodion photographers using materials, formulas, and practices very, very similar to those of the 3B's day.


To simply exclaim the original Dallmeyer 3B will always be superior to a new design is myopic of what is possible in the world of optical design and production today.

As has been mentioned, there are lots of design philosophies possible with the Petzval formula. Which is "superior" depends on personal taste. What I think a few people have been "simply exclaiming" is that the original Dallmeyer 3B is more like the original Dallmeyer 3B than a modern reverse-engineered-and-spec'd-out-to-China copy is.

goamules
12-Mar-2017, 07:01
Exactly. I have no problem with science and engineering creating a new Petzval. I certainly have no problem with vintage antiques. I have a problem with salesmen trying to criticize the original Dallmeyers out of one side of his mouth, saying they're too expensive and not really that much better than any lens, then naming his new Petzval the the 3B and continually saying it was exactly the same and just as good as a vintage 3B. That line was trotted out for the past year and a half, even before any optical engineer had started reverse engineering the Dallmeyer. Posts like "Can't believe someone would pay ($insert any price) for this (insert ebay link) Dallmeyer when soon they can get the a brand new 3B for half that!" were almost daily during the Kickstarter-style prefund period.


Like a lot of marketing, it tries to link a famous name/emotion/era before actually creating anything. I have no problem with retro, like all the Lomo plastic cameras. But they didn't try to say they were as good as a Leica and Summicron before actually producing anything. I prefer to not make an opinion on a lens before it's been tested. I don't usually buy into sales blather.

goamules
12-Mar-2017, 07:11
Oh, good analogy Mark. I saw the Fab Four once, a Beatles re-enactment band. Since I'd never seen the Beatles, it was fun and felt good. But there was a strange inkling that something wasn't genuine, it was somehow cobbled together. For someone that had seen the Beatles, I wonder how it would feel to see a replica? Sometimes my hypocrisy knows no bounds. I am immersed in technology, but I love history/nostalgia more. Is the new 3B a great effort, an engineering success, an economical photographer's dream? Yes. Is it a cheap way to use a Dallmeyer? No.

MAubrey
12-Mar-2017, 08:16
a modern reverse-engineered-and-spec'd-out-to-China copy is.
Nothing wrong with China!

Dan Fromm
12-Mar-2017, 09:30
[thread drift] I've read that a few soft focus lenses were developed to meet a photographer's requirements. Busch Nicola Perscheid lenses come to mind. I've also read that Petzval's goal when he designed the lenses that bear his name was to make a well-corrected fast lens. Where and how did considerations of artistic intent enter his calculations?[/thread drift]

None of this has anything to do with Dallmeyer's Patent Portrait Lens. But there is a Dallmeyer catalog on line that mentions them. I downloaded an 1881 catalog from http://www.thedallmeyerarchive.com/Records/catalogues.html.


Especially constructed for the Cabinet Portraits. Distance between subject and lens for a standing figure, 18 ft. (For Carte de Visite, distance 25 ft.)

What does this have to do with artistic intent? There aren't many lines and I'm not good at reading between them.

With respect to the new lens, if enough people are willing to pay the price it will be made. If it is made I hope the buyers will be happy with what it does for them. What else matters?

Mark Sawyer
12-Mar-2017, 12:25
Nothing wrong with China!

I agree. I own and use an original Dallmeyer 3b, and my only regret about it is that it was designed and built in by pioneering engineers and craftsmen in Victorian England specializing in photographic lenses that became truly legendary, not reverse-engineered last month in someone's garage, and spec'd out to be made in a Chinese industrial plant that takes whatever contract it can get.

MAubrey
12-Mar-2017, 14:41
I agree. I own and use an original Dallmeyer 3b, and my only regret about it is that it was designed and built in by pioneering engineers and craftsmen in Victorian England specializing in photographic lenses that became truly legendary, not reverse-engineered last month in someone's garage, and spec'd out to be made in a Chinese industrial plant that takes whatever contract it can get.
So...your real complaint is really that you were born in the wrong century.

Mark Sawyer
12-Mar-2017, 16:46
So...your real complaint is really that you were born in the wrong century.

No, my real complaint is that the new "Dallmeyer" was born in the wrong century. And on the wrong continent. To the wrong parents. With the wrong method of conception. And given the wrong name.

cuypers1807
13-Mar-2017, 09:20
I support the efforts to bring this lens to production. The arguments against it here are really pointless to me. Don't buy it if you don't want it. There is no reason, other than trollery (if that is a word), to have such animosity towards the manufacturer. The manufacturer took the time and money to try to make a product that would appeal to us. Advertising is advertising. I know it isn't a real D3B. I don't care.

Paul Ewins
13-Mar-2017, 16:16
Oh, good analogy Mark. I saw the Fab Four once, a Beatles re-enactment band. Since I'd never seen the Beatles, it was fun and felt good. But there was a strange inkling that something wasn't genuine, it was somehow cobbled together. For someone that had seen the Beatles, I wonder how it would feel to see a replica? .

From my understanding of the era while a lot of people saw the Beatles very few people heard them. Mostly they heard the fans screaming, if they weren't screaming themselves. So from a listening perspective the tribute band probably sounded way better live than the Beatles ever did.

MAubrey
13-Mar-2017, 17:00
No, my real complaint is that the new "Dallmeyer" was born in the wrong century. And on the wrong continent. To the wrong parents. With the wrong method of conception. And given the wrong name.
[təˈmetoᵘ] ~ [təˈmɑtoᵘ]

goamules
10-Jun-2017, 06:59
I saw the salesman for the "new 3b" was frantically trying to get enough buyers to actually get it into production, and at the touted "low price" that was hawked all during the FundMe period. So far....not much interest in a knockoff. But people warned him, he attacked them. Hype springs eternal, but business is a fickle thing. I think the Hard Sales tactics scared some people off.

cuypers1807
11-Jun-2017, 06:42
He got 65 orders when he only needed 50. Not sure what you are talking about.

goamules
11-Jun-2017, 16:52
I'm talking about what I last read on facebook, how he couldn't get even 50....and kept extending the "drop dead" date. I guess they got there, if you say so.