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Thread: Your Oldest Lens

  1. #1
    Richard K. Richard K.'s Avatar
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    Your Oldest Lens

    I'm freezing my as* off here. The good news is that we haven't had ANY snow this winter thus far. Watch it come roaring down now! Anyway...

    Sipping on a Tim Horton's coffee, the thought occurs:

    What is the oldest lens that you:

    a.) use regularly in your photography?
    b.) own?


    Tell us why you like it if you want.

    My oldest is a Dallmeyer Wide Angle Rectilinear 13 f/15 1867, or it may be an
    E. Anthony View 14 f/6.3 (?). I originally thought the Anthony was prior to 1860 since E. Anthony joined with his brother to form E. & H T Anthony in 1860 (?) but that may have not stopped production (or was it rebadging of Darlot lenses) under just the E A name and logo well up to the late 1800s. SO, I don't know its age or any way of telling (it could be anywhere from 1840 on). It's a pill box design with 2 apertures: cap off around f/6.3, cap on (with smaller opening on button), f/19 by my calculations. Here is a photo of it:


    I use both in my photography and also a plethora of modern optics.
    When I was 16 I thought my father the stupidest man in the world; when I reached 21, I was astounded by how much he had learned in just 5 years!

    -appropriated from Mark Twain

  2. #2
    joseph
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    Re: Your Oldest Lens

    Good idea for a thread, can't wait to see where this one goes-

    As a game of top trumps though, I think I may be out already at 1862-

  3. #3

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    Re: Your Oldest Lens

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard K. View Post
    I'm freezing my as* off here. The good news is that we haven't had ANY snow this winter thus far. Watch it come roaring down now! Anyway...

    Sipping on a Tim Horton's coffee, the thought occurs:

    What is the oldest lens that you:

    a.) use regularly in your photography?
    b.) own?
    The oldest is probably Hermagis Eidoscope f5 no. 3. Can't date it, but since it still use French aperture system, I guess that it's older than 1912-1914 Cooke I also own.

    I was out testing it in 30 cm of fresh snow. I like snow and there is plenty of it around this winter. Great! If forecast stays as it is: cold and snow till the end of next week, I'll be photographing icicles with both of them next weekend; even better!

    Cheers,
    Marko

  4. #4

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    Re: Your Oldest Lens

    Richard, what is the field of "reasonable unsharpness" of your 13" Dallmeyer? Does it cut off sharply, or just fade away toward the edges?
    Thanks,
    Bill
    Wilhelm (Sarasota)

  5. #5

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    Re: Your Oldest Lens

    My oldest is probably a Liesegang Globe lens (Kugellinse). It was made in Elberfeld, this dates it to 1854-1971.

  6. #6

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    Re: Your Oldest Lens

    I stop at 1860 (no.1686 Grubb meniscus - first style) but I am sure that there are lots of 3 figure Ross/Rofs out there that will bring it down to the early 1850's. There will no definite "winner" as serial numbers/accurate lists are thin on the ground.

  7. #7

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    Smile Re: Your Oldest Lens

    Oldest that I own: Voigtlander & Sohn number 7, I measured the distance as something like 638 mm. The serial number falls within the years of 1884-1885. I have used it a few times.

    Oldest lens I use on a regular basis is my Crown Anastigmat 6x8.

  8. #8

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    Re: Your Oldest Lens

    my biggest is like my oldest..

    a Kranz petzval. Havn't been able to date it, but a guess would be around 1860 (?)..

    I also have an old Ross, but the serial number dates it a little younger (between 1860 and 1870)

    using both.

  9. #9

    Re: Your Oldest Lens

    The oldest 4x5 lens I regularly use is actually somewhat modern. It is a Schneider Symmar S 135mm f5.6 in Copal 0 shutter. This lens probably gets used for over half my large format shots.

    My oldest lens that I use sometimes is a Holmes, Booth & Haydens dating to 1855. It is absolutely perfect glass, and has a barrel with lots of fine patina. Last year I got a Wollensak Betax 4 that just manages to fit over the barrel, and allows me to have the choice of a few shutter speeds.

    Ciao!

    Gordon Moat Photography

  10. #10

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    Re: Your Oldest Lens

    (a) Carl Zeiss Jena 130/6.3 Tessar in Compound, extracted from a Folding Pocket Kodak. I shoot it on a 2x3 Graphic. Good lens, useful focal length. Probably made in 1912.

    (b) Krauss 84/6.3 Tessar in barrel. I've shot it for test with my 2x3 Speed Graphic. Covers 2x3, not a bad lens. Probably made around 1905. It probably came from a Gaumont strereo camera that shot stereo pairs on 6x13 plates; some of the cameras that used the 84/6.3 Tessar were set up to allow shooting panoramas with one of the two lenses centered on the plate. I doubt this lens will put any light, let alone usable image, in the corners of a 6x13 plate.

    I don't use the little Krauss Tessar because I have an 80/6.3 Wide Field Ektar. But and however, I've extracted two 85/6.3 B&L Tessars in Compound from Premo 12s and will use one of 'em sooner or later, if only pour epater les bourgeois.

    Cheers,

    Dan

    IMO f/6.3 Tessars are still worth using. I also have a 150/6.3 CZJ in barrel made in 1912 that I've used front-mounted on a #1. A good lens that's been replaced in my travelling kit by a 150/5.6 Zircon in #1.

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