View Full Version : Any info please!

22-Dec-2006, 05:58
I bought a few lenses to experiment with, they weren't very costly but the glass isn't exactly pristine. They arrived today with freezing cold barrels and condensation clouding every possible bit of glass. Apparently TNT couriers don't have temperature control! Cleaned up they look more than usable.

The four lenses are as follows:

-Aldis Uno Anastigmat, 6inch, f/7.7 this lens is tiny!
-Un-named 8inch (approx) f/7 - see attached photo
-Cooke 10.5inch (270mm) Aviar Anastigmat Series IIIb f/6 'D' No459453
(Taylor Taylor and Hobson, Patent 312536)
-Cooke 13inch (330mm) Apochromatic Process Lens Series IX f/10 No 290060
(Taylor-Hobson, Patent 113590)

My guess - the Aldis is an enlarger lens, then Un-named is a home-made or private lens, the first Cooke is the Air-force type lens they produced, and the Process is a later lens for graphics (from the Taylor-Hobson versus Taylor Taylor). I've no idea past that, so any help on image circles and further tips or things I should watch out for when using these lenses would be brilliant. Since I'm new to LF, any info would be great!


22-Dec-2006, 07:26
Hi Ash,

When receiving optics in cold weather, it is best to let them warm up to room temperature for hours before opening a package and having the condensation and/or clouding of the lens. The same holds true if you have been photographing in cold weather. Let the camera bag of equipment warm up slowly before opening and accessing the equipment to avoid this problem


Dan Fromm
22-Dec-2006, 08:25

The Uno is a taking lens. I have and sometimes even use a 4.25"/7.7 Uno. The Vade Mecum says Unos are sharp and contrasty and with good coverage. Mine is contrasty, covers 2x3 very well, but isn't the sharpest lens I have. "Not the sharpest" does NOT mean unusable. Odd design, made only by Aldis. Cemented doublet in front of the diaphragm, singlet that's nearly flat on both sides behind.

The theory that the Cooke Aviar is an aerial camera lens is widely believed. The story as I understand it is that the Aviar was originally designed during WWI as a replacement for a tessar type aerial camera lens but never seems to have, um, seen action. It is a dialyte type lens and was sold for use in general photography. AFAIK, during WWII there was only one Aviar type used in UK-made aerial cameras, a 14"/4.5. I have one, ex-Air Ministry; it is large, heavy, very sharp wide open, and quite flary. The Air Ministry also bought 14"/4.5 tessar types. The VM has only good to say about f/6 Aviars. Yours is post-1950, should be coated, and is a taking lens, claimed coverage 8 1/2" x 6 1/2".

The Ser. IX Apo is a dialyte type, until you get better information assume it covers 45 degrees.

Ole Tjugen
22-Dec-2006, 10:23
The un-named one looks like a rapid rectilinear. Two cemented elements each end, both look the same, the weak reflection moves the same way as the others, only slower.

Image circle is a matter of definition - and how much definition you want before you'll call it "image". About 30 degrees at full opening, increasing to 50, 60 or 70 on stopping down depending on your criteria for "image".

22-Dec-2006, 10:44
I think you're right Ole. I just pulled it apart and it looks as you suggest. Below are the photo's of the lens elements.




Thanks for the informative response Dan and Rich :)

Ole Tjugen
22-Dec-2006, 10:55
I think you're right Ole. I just pulled it apart and it looks as you suggest. Below are the photo's of the lens elements.

I think I was wrong. :)

1) The lens cells are different - diameter, thickness and curvature look different.
2) The barrel is too short for a "universal" RR
3) A wide-angle RR should still be symmetrical, and f:7 is very unlikely. More like f:12 for a WA RR.

So I think you have an anastigmat of some sort!

Both cells of a RR will have about the same focal length, while many anastigmats will have a larger difference. In some anastigmats only one of the cells will focus light at all.

22-Dec-2006, 10:59
Ah, well when I removed the pieces they looked quite similar, so I just went with what you were saying ;)

Looks like I have a bunch of anastigmats on my hands then!

It'd be nice to identify the lens, but other than '15' on the inside of one of the elements there are no markings. The diaphragm aperture engravings look very 'fancy', well like handwriting really. So maybe the original maker will never be tracked down..

Ole Tjugen
22-Dec-2006, 11:12
Unknown lenses are not exactly unfamiliar to me...

Sometimes the choise of aperture steps can give a clue, the type and design of lettering, and the type of lens can together give at least a country of origin and an age, and sometimes even a good hint as to the maker. And sometimes it's just hopeless, but the lens may still be good.

22-Dec-2006, 11:33
I think I'm a sucker for old/vintage/ambiguous camera things. I'd love to try a lot of un-named lenses as I'm sure there are a few great performers hidden away in the 'bargain' area!

As the photo's show, there are spots on the lens, as well as scratches, so I'm not hoping for an excellent performer (that's the Aviar :D :D in great condition).

The f stops are:
7, 8, 11, 16, 22, 32, 44, 64

I can't find that table from the main page links that has the comparison chart, could anyone link me to it please?

22-Dec-2006, 11:39
Oh found it here: http://www.largeformatphotography.info/shutters.html#apertures

So Ross/Grundlach? Or Collinear? ... Or am I reading the table wrong?

Ole Tjugen
22-Dec-2006, 11:39
That's a sadly standard f-stop scale - the only thing is that it's 44 instead of the more common 45. But rounding up to 45 was "optional" for a long time.

The "nice" ones are the Stolze scale, the Rudolph scale, the Lancaster Time-scale, the "French" scale and the US...

22-Dec-2006, 11:46
Oh ok. So no closer to working out the maker then...

The f and stop numbers are visible in these photo's photo:



Ole Tjugen
22-Dec-2006, 12:02
Hand engraved numbers, generic barrel, possibly British, if so it's after Lancaster's patent on the adjustable iris aperture expired. There were several makers of barrels at that time, and they all disagreed on the sizes and threads which should be used. But that only leads to the maker of the lens barrel, and no further. Unless there was an optician around the corner...

22-Dec-2006, 12:22
Oh I lied, it's possibly not 15.. it could be "L5" on that inside of the front element

My calipers measure the threads as follows:

front/rear element: 39.1mm onto barrel
flange on barrel: 49.6mm

12 aperture blades.

Ernest Purdum
23-Dec-2006, 10:26
Ole, I think you have forgotten that a few RR types were made as triple convertibles. The Wollensak "Three Focus symmetrical" and later "Voltas" seem to be examples.

I don't suppose that applies here, though, since, as you say, the barrel is too short.

Ole Tjugen
23-Dec-2006, 11:36
And also, the difference in thickness and curvature would indicate a wholly asymmetric construction... The difference is less than in an Antiplanet, but more than an Aplanat. No, I don't think it's an Antiplanat - that anyone should copy that is a little too unlikely.

I happen to have a convertible RR or two, as well as a "Rapid Convertible" which seems to have three elements in each cell...

23-Dec-2006, 12:56
Well I'm completely lost.. I'll just go with Anastigmat, British maker, until you wise people can prove otherwise :)

Ernest Purdum
25-Dec-2006, 16:33
Ole, somehow I'm not surprised to find out that you "happen to have a convertible RR or two".