View Full Version : Purchased this old brass lens a few months back, have a question

12-Jul-2016, 00:43
Would anyone be able to identify this lens? Perhaps its maker and what format it'd be for? As seen in the pics below the only markings are "James Bunde (Buncle?) Optician Edinburgh" and the f/stops (8-64).

I was just curious and any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!


12-Jul-2016, 01:05
I was wrong, there's one more marking on it. "Lightning REGP (REGB?)".

12-Jul-2016, 01:27
Looks like a typical British RR (Rapid Rectilinear) lens. James Buncle was an Edinburg optician and photographic retailer 21 Maitland Street. An 1898 advert says late of Hope Street, and optical, photographic and scientific instrument maker.

He had a large warehouse so chances are he bought the lenses in by then and put his own name on them.


12-Jul-2016, 03:19
I don't know who made it, but I have it's twin and I did a little research last year. At first I thought it was made by Ross, as the diaphragm knob and pointer look rather similar to period Ross pieces, but I didn't think they sold unmarked lenses for retailers to engrave. Then I discovered a French manufacturer whose lenses looked very similar, I think Clement & Gilmer, who did sell unmarked lenses. And it's possible they were purchasing barrels and irises from 3rd party manufacturers and simply making the glass, so this could have been made by anyone. Hope that helps.... :cool:

12-Jul-2016, 04:30
It's unlikely James Buncle would be importing from France, Edinburgh was an important city in early photography, there were a few manufacturers in the city, and Lizars (the largest Scottish manufacturer) who's factory was in Glasgow had two (later three) shops in the same street.


Steven Tribe
12-Jul-2016, 05:45
"Lightning, registered" is indeed a french lens. Not C & G, though. Memory tells me Aine or Ballbeck - will check.

It is Taverne et cie , Paris. Could well be a third party exporter for other no name makers.

Steven Tribe
14-Jul-2016, 02:45
Never trust just one secondary source!

The Taverne I found is a obvious typo error for Laverne et Cie. Laverne was an intermediate owner of the establishment of old Gasc & Charconner firm.

G&C became Charconnet & Laverne in 1877.
Then it was Laverne alone from the 18th of April 1880.
From 1887 until 1890 it was Laverne - Clement & Gilmer. Eugene-Gaston Clement and Georges-Arthur Gilmer.
Finally, from 1890 to approx. 1907, Clement & Gilmer.

Clement and Gilmer had separate careers in Paris after 1907.

Laverne registered the "Lightning" trademark on the 8th of August 1888. It is described as an F6 (there are other french copies of the Voigtlander series IV Around at this time!).
There are quite a few "Lightning" lenses around, so it is quite possible production continued after the company became just C&G!

Wrong source was the D'Agostini book.
Correct source is the Le reve monogram no. 17 pages 20 & 27.

14-Jul-2016, 08:01
Thanks all! :)