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View Full Version : Taylor Hobson Cooke 18 1/2 inch 470mm anastigmat lense?



Anette
16-May-2017, 14:02
Hi guys!

I have an old huge hunter penrose camera that I bought on ebay years ago. Totally insane thing to do, as I hardly know anything about photography. Even more insane that I imagined I would be doing collodion photography on it one day. Oh, what I would do to be young and optimistic again... :D

Anyway.. 10 years later I still have the camera. And I have been googling all day to find out any (any!) information on the lense that is attached to it. I have also looked through what I could find of old catalogs from Cooke without any luck. It has a black coating/enamel, and the only engravings I can find are:

18 1/2 INCH 470MM Patent No113590 (or M3590/H3590) Made by TAYLOR-HOBSON England COOKE ANASTIGMAT No 273608

I would be so grateful if someone had any info or tips that would help me. I'd love to know what year it is from and any information at all :)

I've attached a few pictures I took with my phone. Sorry about the quality

164953164954

Mark Sawyer
16-May-2017, 18:36
It's a Cooke Aviar. You can read about it here:

http://www.gtc.org.uk/media/fm/Zerb%20articles/Cooke%20history%20lr.pdf

"TT&H Ltd in 1912, took on the task
of designing a new lens superior in
performance to German lenses; the
Cooke Aviar was patented in 1916
(British patent 113590). It appeared
at about the same time as William
Vinten’s Model B aerial camera, and
was adopted by the Royal Flying Corps
and later the Royal Air Force. A
post-war visit to the Stoughton Street
factory by King George V and Queen
Mary on 10 June 1919 recognized the
company’s contribution to the war
effort. In 1924, the Aviar, generally
considered the finest Anastigmat
ever to be produced, was adapted
as a general photographic lens and
continued in production in various
focal lengths until the early 1960s."

Anette
17-May-2017, 07:08
It's a Cooke Aviar. You can read about it here:

http://www.gtc.org.uk/media/fm/Zerb%20articles/Cooke%20history%20lr.pdf

"TT&H Ltd in 1912, took on the task
of designing a new lens superior in
performance to German lenses; the
Cooke Aviar was patented in 1916
(British patent 113590). It appeared
at about the same time as William
Vintenís Model B aerial camera, and
was adopted by the Royal Flying Corps
and later the Royal Air Force. A
post-war visit to the Stoughton Street
factory by King George V and Queen
Mary on 10 June 1919 recognized the
companyís contribution to the war
effort. In 1924, the Aviar, generally
considered the finest Anastigmat
ever to be produced, was adapted
as a general photographic lens and
continued in production in various
focal lengths until the early 1960s."

Brilliant! Thank you so much!!

Jim Andrada
17-May-2017, 09:05
What's amazing is how it hangs from the ceiling in the second photo. It's wonderful that they could design aerial lenses that were so light they flew by themselves!

Just kidding, of course! Welcome to the (sometimes grouchy) Old Guys with Older Cameras club!!!

Anette
17-May-2017, 10:19
Jim, Thought I'd make an extra effort on the attached photos. This is a photography forum, after all. Hehe. Thank you ;)

As an update I can tell you that I got a reply from Bara Lowry at Cooke. Apparently this lens was used for copying and photoengraving. It was made during WW2 specifically for military use which is why there is no series number on it, because it was not made for consumer use. There was a process prism that was supplied with the lens that was s/n 262701. Both were shipped to Photostat Ltd., London, October 2, 1941. These ultra sharp lenses were use for copying maps.

Peter De Smidt
17-May-2017, 12:59
I have a shorter focal length Aviar. They are very nice lenses, especially for portraiture. They're plenty sharp but they have less contrast than modern lenses, due to all of the uncoated glass-to-air surfaces. I really like mine.