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Thread: Bausch & Lomb Lens Date Code

  1. #1

    Bausch & Lomb Lens Date Code

    Many of you are aware of the code Kodak used to indicate date of manufacture*. It has been suggested that Bausch & Lomb used a similar code in their serial num bers - but the "key" seems to have been lost. Maybe we can reconstruct it. Her e's what I propose: 1. Those of you who have a B&L lens with a coded serial number (2 letters follo wed by some numbers) send me the _complete_ lens info. For example, I have a le ns labeled "Bausch & Lomb Optical Co. - Rochester, N.Y.,U.S.A. - Gold Dot - Mage nta Dot - Protar V. - 90mm E.F. - f/18 - UF3271". The rear element has a matching serial number (only). Pl ease also include any other info that might help us date the lens: if you are th e original owner, when you purchased it; if your lens is still in its' original box, any other labeling info on the box; any sequence info such as "must be afte r x because of ... but can't be after y because of ...", etc., etc. Please also include any pieces of B&L history or "lore" that might shed light on this proble m.

    2. I will collect all your submissions for a few weeks and then re-post them h ere and to the rec.photo.equipment.large-format newsgroup (and perhaps also the cryptology newsgroup)

    3. Hopefully a pattern will develop that will help us decode at least part of the sequence.

    As you'll notice in my example, I included every piece of info on lens with a "-" between parts of the label. I don't know if there will be any changes in the labeling structure that might help us decode the sequence but, just in c ase, please send it all.

    Also it has been suggested that, if the lens is in a shutter, we might be able t o use the shutter info tohelp date it so, if yours is in a shutter please also i nclude; shutter type, size, description, serial number.

    If the code is like Kodak's, it's fairly simple - two element, direct substitution, with the second element 1-9 or 0 and the first element 4-9 (the co de isn't reported to have started until after WWII --- anybody know otherwise - or when it stopped?). If we're lucky it might be fairly simple -- like if the s erial numbers don't reset to zero each year. Sound like fun?? Please take a second to help. The larger the "example pool" we have, the better our chances of success. Thanks Brian Downey

    * The Kodak code is CAMEROSITY where C=1, A=2, etc. (e.g. a lens with a serial number beginning with RA was manufactured in 1952).

  2. #2

    Bausch & Lomb Lens Date Code

    Hello Brian:
    I found your B&L serial # post in the archives, so I don't know if you ever got it solved.
    Anyway, I have a f/5.6 508mm (20 inch) B&L telephoto anastigmat that I'm using on my Agfa/Ansco
    8x10. It has the serial # MS7137R, and I'd love to know its history. It looks like it was made for
    a military or space operation, is huge, and weighs a ton.

    Thanks,

    MM

  3. #3

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    Bausch & Lomb Lens Date Code

    Mark, what do you use for a shutter on that monster lens and how well does it shoot?

    Cheers,

    Dan

  4. #4

    Re: Bausch & Lomb Lens Date Code

    Wow, someone else has this lens. I have the same Bausch & Lomb Opt. Co Telephoto Anastigmat Focal Length 20 inch (508MM) f/5.6. Serial number of mine is US1616R.

    I have read that this lens is from a Korean War era bomber camera. Unfortunately, mine came from a junk yard and although externally is not bent up, it is dirty on the inside and the aperture ring does not work.

  5. #5

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    Re: Bausch & Lomb Lens Date Code

    baush & lomb telephoto anastigmat 20'' (508mm) f/5.6 #5 universal shutter..app. 2 1/4 lb not to bad. sn# vf7879r. ??? my studio partner of years had this lens, it seems to cover 8x10. I really havent used. all clean and works, only a 1/50 speed. lou.@ photo gizmo, called it a 3rd bace lens. pre-focus and shoot. any way ? any news about this (elvis) hunk a hunk a lens ? thanks

  6. #6
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    Re: Bausch & Lomb Lens Date Code

    If not too late:
    B&L Tessar 1c 164mm f 4.5 UF152 in a Betax No 3 shutter
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Bausch & Lomb 165_4.5 .jpg  

  7. #7

    Re: Bausch & Lomb Lens Date Code

    @Maretzo: Well, your lens is from 1942 and the #152 made in that year
    @pin-register: your lens is from 1944 and #7879 made in that year
    @robotnumber10: your lens is from 1942 and #1616 made in that year
    @mark: your's is from 1942 and #7137 made in that year

    Hope that helps a bit,

    Cheers,
    Klaus

    http://www.macrolenses.de for macro and special lens info
    http://www.pbase.com/kds315/ for UV Images and lens/filter info
    http://photographyoftheinvisibleworld.blogspot.com/ my UV diary

  8. #8

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    Re: Bausch & Lomb Lens Date Code

    Ok, Klaus, share the code, direct us to the magic table, or share the magic table with us.

    Cheers,

    Dan

  9. #9

    Re: Bausch & Lomb Lens Date Code

    If your neighbor, the "Zeiss Historical Pesident" does'nt do it, giving a great role model - why should I...??
    .
    .
    .
    give me a bit, I'll make it available, I'm not that type....
    Klaus

    http://www.macrolenses.de for macro and special lens info
    http://www.pbase.com/kds315/ for UV Images and lens/filter info
    http://photographyoftheinvisibleworld.blogspot.com/ my UV diary

  10. #10

    Join Date
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    Re: Bausch & Lomb Lens Date Code

    But Klaus, you're not my neighbor. Unlike you, he's never consigned me to the outer darkness.

    Cheers,

    Dan

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