View Full Version : New D'Agostini book on German/Austrian lens makers in the 19th Century

Steven Tribe
10-Mar-2017, 13:09
This is a follow on from his book covering French makers some years ago.
This one is from 2017 and I have not seen details of it yet.
It seems to follow the general plan of the previous book, but I hope editing hasn't been forgotten this time.

The main selected makers/innovators given chapters are the following:

Petzval and Dietzler

There is an 11 page chapter on "other makers" which seems to me to be rather brief. I don't know who is included yet.

But I have found other makers here. Note that Goerz is included as one of these !!


10-Mar-2017, 22:26
I signed up for a copy.

Kent in SD

Steven Tribe
11-Mar-2017, 02:59
I signed up for a copy.

Kent in SD

Review as soon as possible, please.

I have a Birthday coming up soon. Distribution seems very well organised this time"

Steven Tribe
10-Jul-2017, 14:23
Anyone read this yet?

Any comments would be greatfully appreciated.

Steven Tribe
5-Apr-2018, 15:09
Still no reviews??

I have another birthday coming up in a month!

Steven Tribe
7-May-2018, 02:47
At long last, I got this book as a birthday present!

This is a very short review, based on a single "normal" reading.

There are quite considerable differences in the structure of the book - compared with the earlier book on Fremch lenses up to 1900.

- there has obviously been an editor involved as the numerous (and repetitious!) errors are gone.

- there are fewer large illustrations of lenses covering full pages with just details of engraving, physical size and basic data. In other words, less like a "coffee table" book!

- The sections of individual makers are better integrated with the background scientific developments (Optics, glass manufacture etc).

- the political, commercial, military conflicts and social developments of Europe in the 19th century are very well meshed into the accounts.

- the development of the new glass at Jena - including both successes and failures! - is the most comprehensive (and interesting) I have seen. But there is some repetition in different section

- there are illuminating accounts of the various good and often strained relationships - both between the main owners and between the different generations within the same establishment. Voigtlander and Petzval were not the only two involved in disputes!

- I found the "other makers" disappointing. There is just a little text for each name. I find the section more of a "Who is Who" in German/Austrian photographic history. I cannot understand why companies like Herbst & Firl, Ernemann and Mentor are included - and there are many others - are included in a book on 19th century lenses!

- Liesegang - who was very innovative in the 1800's - is not mentioned in the book - although he appears in the French lens book! Surely he and C.P. Goetz, deserved sections in the main part of the book?

But the book is generally of very high quality and the text is well supported by well researched references. I think that Corrado should be quite quite proud of book. I am not qualified to comment on the details about Zeiss, Stenheil and Busch sections, but I found the Voigtlander "story" to be a really excellent contribution in gathering from many different sources.

7-May-2018, 06:31
I got the French one from my wife for my birthday, have just sent a message to get the German\Austrian Thanks or the info Steven