View Full Version : Anything on City Sale and Exchange Lens?

7-Sep-2013, 09:01
Hi all,
I'd like to ask the experts here for any information on a recent purchase; I found nothing through internet search engines, and I'm hoping someone can chime in.
While I wait for the machinist to mount it to a board, I thought I'd try to find some history on the lens and its manufacturer, who is unknown to me.
This is my first brassie, so please be kind :)

I bought this lens from Scott because I admire the portraits he's taken with it:

http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3747/9694806588_8af36055d2_c.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/zsari/9694806588/)
CitySaleExch (http://www.flickr.com/photos/zsari/9694806588/) by Ari4000 (http://www.flickr.com/people/zsari/), on Flickr

Scott's original ad for the sale stated that the focal length is 16" (roughly 406mm) and he used it on his 10x12 ( I will use it on 8x10).
Aperture ranges from f8 to f64.

The barrel reads the following:
City Sale and Exchange
51 Lime Street
and at 51(?) Aldersgate Street
London E.C.(?)

Thank you in advance for any information.

7-Sep-2013, 09:18
Salex - City Sale & Exhange were a large retailer so would have been buying in their lenses from a variety of manufacturers. I should have some early adverts somewhere.

They usually sold named lenses but did sell an un-named Symmetrical lens as the budget lens with one camera, also Busch, Beck and their own "Blitz" the most expensive (thought to have been made in Italy).

Early 1900's adverts show many British cameras could be bought with cheap old stock early lenses, same way that Petzval taking lenses were used with some early enlargers, Salex included on a Houghton made enlarger carrying their brand name in 1910


7-Sep-2013, 09:24
Ah, so CS&E is the seller and not the maker of the lens; thank you, Ian.
Just read your update, thank you again.

The provenance of the lens is not that important, since my attachment to it stems from Scott's lovely work with it; the background just makes it more interesting.
Thanks again.

7-Sep-2013, 09:59
Salex - City Sale & Exchange - sold some excellent products re-branded with their name and/or trade names, your lens dates from 1898 when they moved to 81 Aldergate Street.


7-Sep-2013, 10:12
Thank you again, Ian.
The lens, from the photos I've seen that were made using it, is excellent; when I will have it mounted on a lens board, I'll get my own chance with it.