View Full Version : Jamin Darlot lens identification

1-Jan-2017, 12:03
Does anyone here know any good references on the web for information on Jamin Darlot lenses? I've recently acquired one, but I've never seen them and I'd love to find out more about them before I make the decision on whether to use it (and how to use it), or to sell it.

It measures about 6 1/4 inches long w/o the original hood, and about 3 3/4 inches wide. Glass is in nice shape, and it's marked Jamin Darlot, but I can't find any other exterior markings. The rack and pinion focusing mechanism is missing, but I think those can be fabricated and replaced, correct?



Steven Tribe
2-Jan-2017, 01:20
This from a period when lenses were sold to a very limited public, who knew exactly what they they were buying - so the only engraved information was about the maker! There will, almost certainly, be more information written in black ink or pencil around the lens edges. These can often be read without dismantling the front/rear cells.

There is really a lot of information here already if you do searches. Jamin, Jamin/Darlot and Darlot were very big producers of Portrait Petzvals and many of the Jamin products were continued through the company's transition period from around 1860 - 1864 when the content and style of the engraving seems to have changed every six months.

On-line information (apart from here) is probably best from completed auction listing where photographic images are usually very good - but listing descriåtions are not either comprehensive or accurate!

Best source is the booklet from Pont and Princelle ( le Reve, edition )! No. 14 "JAmin et Darlot". These booklets are only 30 pages- but contain very compact information and catalogue details.

The missing rack and pinion is of no consequence, accept to the "Minority" display case collector! Cameras in the 1860's were of pretty basic construction and front fine focussing was necessary - unlike to-day.

2-Jan-2017, 04:28
'Jamin - Darlot' stands actually for 2 parisien opticians Theodore Jamin and Alphonse Darlot. Darlot worked as an employee in Jamins workshop untill 1860, then for some reasons they banded together and for about 3 years they had this seal 'Jamin - Darlot'. from 1863 Darlot took over / opened his own workshop with the seal 'Darlot'.

your lens is very likely from the early part of this coorparation, i would guess 1861. as steven mentioned it, that in the begining there were not much information on the brass. and yes, i also think you might find more information (even the year it was built) on the edge of the glass elements.