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Thread: Petzval lens question to the experts

  1. #1

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    Petzval lens question to the experts

    So I got this lens the other day and am wondering what the experts may think it may have been.

    The specs measure to be 7in f3.5

    As you can see it has had surgery to remove the rack and pinion mechanism and outer collar. When I got it the Waterhouse slot had a 'permanent' installation of a cardboard stop in it, so I don't know if the slot was cut during surgery and then later stuffed up or was the stuffing done during the surgery to begin with and the slot was there originally. There's a 'patent applied for' stamp and nothing else to go by (on the glass either). Also - seems like the Waterhouse slot is adjacent to where rack and pinion used to be - indication of the slot being later cut?

    Two interesting things to note:
    First, and this is not uncommon I guess, the lenses are held in their little inner collars not by screw-in rings but by push-in ones and then that little collar is held in the main barrel by a screw-on retainer. That's not uncommon with manufacturers who are trying to cut costs on cutting threads and materials.
    The weirder note though is that the front two elements (perfect Petzval configuration judging by the cut-away diagrams I see) are NOT cemented together, but are instead spaced apart by an ultra thin (probably 0.1mm or less) paper ring! Another attempt at cutting costs and speed up production or was that what their patent was applied for?...

    Does anyone recognize what's left of the barrel? Any idea of the manufacturer, or was it another no-name?

    Thank you!

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  2. #2

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    Re: Petzval lens question to the experts

    There is a chance it's a lens I know. I'd need to see a pic of the knurling at the base fillet better to be sure. But it's an early lens, I believe. What's left of it.

  3. #3

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    Re: Petzval lens question to the experts

    Hi Garrett,

    What exactly do you mean by "knurling at the base fillet"? I can take some detailed shots tonight.

  4. #4

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    Re: Petzval lens question to the experts

    I wouldn't think that there's any original parts left, it's more of a Franken-lens.

  5. #5

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    Re: Petzval lens question to the experts

    Nah, Jim, I mean the might have taken out rack and pinion and cut the slot, but I doubt they would change out the glass...

    So here are the images from the front - note in the last shot that you can see the Waterhouse baffles (badly corroded) and a white thin strip around the edge of the glass - that's not separation, but the very inner edge of that piece of paper I mentioned that separates the front two elements)
    Attachment 141562

    Attachment 141563

    Attachment 141564

  6. #6

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    Re: Petzval lens question to the experts

    And here's the rear - the inner tube holding the glass comes out a lot smoother from the rear, so that's why I extracted it and not the front, both are made of identical thin metal, too thin to thread.

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  7. #7

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    Re: Petzval lens question to the experts

    Some of the work on the brass reflects non-photographic lens traditions.

    The "patent" note reminds me that I have never such complex markings on early lenses. Started with Dallmeyer around 1865 (patent portrait and RR) I think. The patent is often something that has nothing to do with the optical design - Lancaster was an expert in that kind of misleading label

    Frankenstein is my best guess - access to good lathe work was much easier in the late 19th century in order to combine items from several sources.

  8. #8

    Re: Petzval lens question to the experts

    Frankenstein lens for sure as there is not an inner and outer barrel.

    Lens barrel appears to be from CC Harrison - precisely, the 1853ish model that had "fat focus" which was for fine focusing. Harrison applied for a patent for this focusing feature and the patent stamp words and location match this lens exactly. See http://www.cwreenactors.com/phorum/read.php?2,9900

    Lens cells ?? Not sure - I think Frankestein.

    Here is mention of Harrisons "scroll" focus. Click image for larger version. 

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  9. #9

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    Re: Petzval lens question to the experts

    That's what I was thinking: CC Harrison. They changed designs several times, so they all look a little different. But both the "Fat Focus" and the Harrison Iris had "Patent Appl'd For" on the lenses, written like that.

    The knurling I was talking about is at the base Anton, where you'd grip it to screw in in the flange. Also the knurling on the metal fittings for the brass elements. CC Harrison's usually had angled "ropelike" knurling, as did all early American Petzvals. One of your pics shows that a little, but different. They didn't always use it though. If you look at Petzval Paul's fat focus lens that Steven links to, it seems to have "straight" knurling though, so they did do that some.

  10. #10

    Re: Petzval lens question to the experts

    Garrett

    I believe the patent stamp on the iris Harrison lenses was on the aperture slide, not up by the lens hood - therefore, I am almost certain part of this barrel (at least) is a fat focus Harrison circa 1853-54

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    Also see https://www.flickr.com/photos/267494...7629469422461/





    Dan

    Antique & Classic Camera Blog
    www.antiquecameras.net/blog.html

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