View Full Version : ancient brass "Enterprise" lens

David Van Gosen
29-Jan-2006, 19:37
I picked up an old brass lens recently that has no markings at all beyond "Enterprise" engraved on the focusing mount. It barely covers 4x5, and is around 6" focal length. The focusing mount has about 1" of travel; the lens is 4" overall with about 3.5" between the lens elements; front and rear elements are both approximately 1.5" diameter.

Does anyone have any information about this lens? Has anyone used one or a similar lens? A Google search has been worthless, since "Enterprise" is such a common word. I'm guessing it'll perform better than a pinhole, but maybe not by much.

Also, the lens doesn't have a slot for Waterhouse stops. Can someone explain why? And is there any way to add stops? Behind the lens, perhaps? I'll hang this on my Speed Graphic, so at least I won't need a shutter.

Thanks, David

Joe Forks
29-Jan-2006, 20:24
If you put quotes around "Enterprise Lens" a couple of the first google returns are for Projector Lenses dated from the late 1800's to early 1900's.

Try it and see what you find.


Bob Fowler
29-Jan-2006, 21:01
Joe's answer of projection lens makes sense. The lack of a slot for waterhouse stops reinforces that...

David Van Gosen
29-Jan-2006, 21:35
A projector lens makes sense. Mine looks a little like the one in the search results, so that's probably it.

Guess we'll see how it works for taking photos. Didn't cost much, so I don't mind.

Jim Galli
30-Jan-2006, 08:36
Depending on what you like, or what you're after, you may enjoy it. Here (http://tonopahpictures.0catch.com/4InchGundlachPetzval4X5Pics.html) are some I did with a similar lens.

30-Jan-2006, 10:11
This only shows how fickle Google really is as a search machine. If I Google "Enterprise lens" I get results, but not the ones you are referring to. Meaning Googles finds different things for me than for you. That's not good. The only useful result came when I did a Google image search - one link! Now how to work around this glitch? Same goes for eBay - the same search terms inserted under the same search criteria do not yield the same results from computer to computer or even from search entry time to search entry time. Really annoying if you're hunting for lenses and learn you just missed a bargain since the auction didn't show up in your search results.

David Van Gosen
30-Jan-2006, 13:28

I like your examples. Now I guess I'll have to knock out a lensboard and get shooting.

Did you try to add stops, or just shoot it wide open?

Thanks, David

Jim Galli
30-Jan-2006, 14:31
Wide open all. You may not get similar results as this 4" f2.4 had a huge oof area. Always fun to see what you will get though. Hope you'll share some. Jim