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Gordon Moat
5-Feb-2008, 23:59
I have been doing some research into the history of Holmes, Booth & Haydens lenses and I am looking for users and collectors to kindly submit information about their lenses. If you have an HBH lens in your collection, it would just take a minute to answer a few relevant questions and email them to me at the following e-mail address (mailto:hbh@gordonmoat.com?subject=Holmes, Booth and Haydens Information): hbh at gordonmoat dot com

Here are the questions:

1) What is the serial number?

2) Is the serial number stamped (in block letters) or engraved (in script)?

3) Is your model factory cut for stops? It's easy enough to determine: if it is cut for stops and the inscriptions are on the opposite side of the lens from the focusing knob, with the cut-out for the stops in between, then it is from the factory. If the cut-out interferes with the inscriptions or is on the side opposite the focusing knob, then it is an after-market alteration.

4) What is the focal length, measured from the mid-point between the lenses (where the stop would be placed)?

You can also add any information that is unique to your lens, for example: does yours have an original lens cap or is there some proof of provenance, such as a signature or engraving somewhere on the lens?

You may also include your name and your website/blog address, if you like.

If anyone has some other verifiable information regarding the history of HBH lenses, please make that known as well. Although there is some information about the HBH company, very little documentation seems available about their lens operation.

Thank you very much for your help. I will be posting the results on a dedicated area of my website (http://hbh.gordonmoat.com).

Ciao!

Gordon Moat Photography (http://www.gordonmoat.com)

Gordon Moat
9-Feb-2008, 00:50
Just wanted to add that I have no commercial interest in any of this. My own HB&H lens is not for sale. No contact information, nor other information, will be sold for any purposes. All this is strictly informational, and hopefully will become a resource for others interested in a small segment of photographic history. Anyone submitting information may remain anonymous, if desired. Thank you!

Gordon Moat
15-Feb-2008, 14:53
http://hbh.gordonmoat.com/

Currently up to 13 lenses added to this list. There are a few other information changes. So far many good examples, though still not quite definitive. If anyone knows someone using an HB&H, and not participating in the LF Forum, please ask them to take a look, and consider contributing. Thanks to all who provided information so far.

Ciao!

Gordon Moat Photography (http://www.gordonmoat.com)

CCHarrison
16-Feb-2008, 08:11
Thanks for the good work on this Gordon.

How about adding the category of lens hood type - some are flared like a bell at the end - others have a straight hood. Maybe just the larger sizes had the bell ?

Dan

CCHarrison
16-Feb-2008, 08:27
Here is what the British Journal of Photography (Feb. 1, 1867 p.53) had to say about HBH lenses:

"Who has not used Holmes, Booth & Hayden's lenses ? And yet these gentlemen (all due respect to them) could as soon fly on the wings of Dedalus across the Atlantic as grind and polish a lens, much less compute the curves of their lenses. The lenses of Willard & Co. can scarcely be surpassed for accuracy of workmanship, for definition and depth of focus (all respect for them, too); they can distinguish lenses from looking-glasses, and have tact to discriminate good workmen from bad ones ; and thus they have secured one of the leading opticians of the day. "What's his name? Where does he live?" His name is nowhere found on the lenses — he lives probably in a garret — and can compute the radii of curvature of the most complex combination ; but as to his name . This ought not to be so. Let the workman at least have the honour of his work, and then he will enjoy the more."

Petzval Paul
16-Feb-2008, 10:34
Thats very interesting, thanks for posting it. Actually, I think it's very much a "chevy vs. Ford" kind of argument. Of course, HBH were not opticians, but most everyone in NY had Usner do their lens designs, anyway. Willard (from the precious few I have seen)and HBH barrells seem identical in most respects and I am sure it would hard to distinguish their optical characteristcs. To the best of my knowledge, CC Harrison was really the only optician of the lot and even then, how much input did her have after the first few thousand? For a brief while his name was not even on the barrells. I can't remember exactly whose name was on there (American Optical?) but I saw a photo once. Even today this goes on: most wetplaters and the reenactor crowd specifically adore the CCH's (John Coffer and Bob Szabo are two big name users) but then again, Robb Kendrick seems to keep an HBH pretty much stuck on his camera. Each have their supporters.

I had both and sold my (circa 1864) Harrison. The glass was great but the overall craftsmanship was far inferior to the HBH. I have a 1/4 plate tintype Bob Szabo took of me with his very early CCH when I was assisting him one day and I can't see any differnce between that and anything my humble Darlot can do. Overall, I'd say that Dallmeyer - although most are not "period correct" for CW photogs - had the best workmanship and glass to be found, by a long shot. Who else made an f/2.2 quater plate lens?

- Paul

Gordon Moat
16-Feb-2008, 12:52
Thanks for the good work on this Gordon.

How about adding the category of lens hood type - some are flared like a bell at the end - others have a straight hood. Maybe just the larger sizes had the bell ?

Dan

Some of the e-mail exchange has included that information. Unfortunately, it seems that the straight sided lens hoods are much more common. So far data suggests the majority were not flared lens hoods.

http://www.gordonmoat.com/HBH_on_Linhof.jpg

Here is an image of my 1/4 plate HB&H, which shows the flared hood. The other difference to some is that the barrel machining includes a flared/curved area near the mounting flange. It is speculation, but the earlier lenses might have been machined in a more decorative manner, and later production could have been simplified. There really is not enough data to tell that yet.

Regarding your other post, the name Charles F. Usner came up as part of this research. It is likely he was making the optics, while HB&H were making the barrels. Interestingly, Usner had lived in Paris, home to several Petzval type lens producers of that time. However this aspect works into all this, I can state that the optics are extremely precise in my HB&H, with absolutely no flaws, and no play in the mounting.

Ciao!

Gordon Moat Photography (http://www.gordonmoat.com)

Gordon Moat
22-Feb-2008, 00:44
Just a quick update on the page. One early assumption was based upon comments by Kingslake, which had be believe few lenses were made after 1860. However, I found reference to a Captain A.J. Russell USMRR (United States Military RailRoads) ordering an HB&H camera and lens in early 1863. Apparently that was a 14" by 17" camera, so likely a lens much larger than full plate. Captain Russell used that camera and lens for some of the first footage of an opposing military force (Confederates). Makes you wonder were the camera and lens are today.

http://hbh.gordonmoat.com

Due to that note, and the retirement of Israel Holmes from the company in 1869, I would speculate that lens production might have largely ended between 1863 and 1869. Unfortunately, there is so little information, and so far only two high serial number lenses on the list. Definitely need more information before drawing any conclusions. Thanks again to all the contributers so far, and I hope more send me their information.

Ciao!

Gordon Moat Photography (http://www.gordonmoat.com)

CCHarrison
6-Jan-2009, 17:51
# 2575 has surfaced

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=130279764168&ssPageName=STRK:MEWA:IT&ih=003

Dan

Gordon Moat
10-Jan-2009, 13:30
Thanks Dan! Don't know how my e-mail notification from EBAY missed that one. That now makes 40 lenses on the list, which is still a small sample, but so far so good.

No. 2575 looks nearly identical construction to my No. 1875, though the images on EBAY are small. I am calling it a 1/4 plate based upon the physical dimensions. It should just cover 4x5 film at portrait distance without movements, and only slight darkening of the corners.

http://hbh.gordonmoat.com - Holmes, Booth & Haydens Lenses Serial Number List

Ciao!

Gordon Moat Photography (http://www.gordonmoat.com)

CCHarrison
4-Feb-2009, 13:41
Gordon

On your site: "curved (or bell) shaped lens hoods, while later lenses had straight sided lens hoods, though the period when that changed has not yet been determined"


I have learned that both HBH and CC Harrison lenses with straight hoods were used on lenses for stereo cameras
while the curved hood was used for normal lenses ( and allowed for more shielding of the lens ). If the stereo lenses had curved hoods, the close proximity of the lenses and their hoods, would collide with each other - so they used straight hoods to deal with this issue.

below is a tintype of mine showing a circa 1860's strereo camera to help illustrate the point.


So, I believe if your HBH or CCH lens has a straight hood, it was once part of a stereo pair. If it has a curved, bell shape hood, it sold as a normal, portrait lens.

Dan

Gordon Moat
5-Feb-2009, 23:25
Hello Dan,

A couple other HB&H aficionados got me started on the curved bell or straight lens hood as a possible production change indicator. The idea is that perhaps it might provide some insight into simplification of later produced lenses. Given enough lens samples, the hope was that a specific year might indicate change in production.

Unfortunately, that idea has not been living up to recent examples. I had thought perhaps the smaller lenses became simplified later in production, and thus the straight hoods. Many of the smaller plate later lenses have somewhat simpler finish machining on them, though I do not have a clear indication of when that started. This is also made more difficult in that the larger plate lenses are mostly as ornate in finish work as the earlier lenses.

Your finding of the stereo pair lenses makes more sense than a production change. It also might alter the production figures. One thing that would help with this is knowing when stereo photography started to be practiced. If it was after 1860, then it is not a good explanation for earlier lenses, though it is possible that the lens hood was changed later on by an early user.

My own HB&H No. 1875 has a curved hood. I feel very confident that it is original, since it has a couple scribed alignment marks that exactly match when the hood is screwed on; the scribes being between the hood and barrel edge, and the patina exactly matches. Most of the bell shaped hoods for HB&H lenses that I have seen match closely the style of my early No. 1875.

I don't know that I could claim that all straight hoods indicate origination as stereo pairs. There could be straight hoods on lenses that were not part of a stereo pair, or the straight hood could be a later item, or simply a choice at the time of order. It is an interesting possibility, and I will have to come up with a way to express it, and hopefully find out more when more examples become known. At the moment, there are no consecutive serial number lenses on the list.

Thanks again Dan. You are a great resource of information.

Ciao!

Gordon Moat Photography (http://www.gordonmoat.com)

CCHarrison
6-Feb-2009, 04:44
Hi Gene

Stereo imaging had been going prior to 1839, but stereographic images started with Dags and exploded on the scene in the 1850's with the invention(s) of the stereoscope. By 1860, millions and millions of stereocards were being produced and viewed by Brewster and Holmes style stereo viewers.

see here http://www.rleggat.com/photohistory/history/stereosc.htm


I have confirmed the curved vs straight hood issue, with Pete Schultz, who is a very private person, but an absolute authority on early american photographica.

Here is another supporting document. Here is an 1858 book on photography which discusses the various forms and types of Stereo photography....so stereo cameras/lenses are fully established by the late 1850's...

http://books.google.com/books?id=b3ACAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA198&dq=stereo+pair+lens+date:0-1860&lr=&as_brr=3&as_pt=ALLTYPES


Hope this helps

Dan

Gordon Moat
6-Feb-2009, 12:37
Okay, with the first linked site, it states stereoscope patent of 1853. While I have not seen HB&H lenses with straight sided lens hoods in the low serial numbers, I believe it should be possible for those to exist. Ideally I would find two consecutive serial numbers, and both those with straight sided hoods, but these are still quite rare lenses, so probably not likely to happen in the future.

This brings up another point, which was the radial drive and script placement. So far all HB&H lenses I have viewed have the radial drive placed to the left of the script on the barrel. It would be interesting to find an old HB&H lens where this was reversed, like a stereo paired lens from the right side (viewed from front) of a camera.

Anyway, this is enough information for me to update the list text. I am left with the finish machining and stamped serial numbers as the few subtle indicators of production changes. Hopefully I will continue to find contributers to help me add to the listing. There are just over 40 lenses now listed, which I think is still a small sample. It's still fun and interesting to dig into this early photographic history.

Thanks!

Gordon

CCHarrison
7-Mar-2009, 08:55
Gordon

Here is more evidence regarding "straight" lens hoods being used on stereo cameras, and the "flared" or "bell" lens hoods for use on single plate cameras.

See this auction - LOT 564

http://www.artfact.com/catalog/searchLots.cfm?scp=c&cID=0&catalogRef=WC4C3MP3YZ&shw=50&ord=0&ad=ASC&img=0&houseRef=&houseLetter=A&aID=0&artistRef=&areaID=&countryID=&regionID=&stateID=&fdt=0&tdt=0&fr=0&to=0&wa=&wp=&wo=&nw=&upcoming=0&rp=&hi=&rem=FALSE&row=551

Best
Dan

Gordon Moat
7-Mar-2009, 11:44
Nice. Sequential serial numbers, just as I expected. I still have never seen an HB&H with a right side radial drive, though it would have been simpler to rotate the lens than to change the engraving location. If I ever get a report that puts sequential numbers onto the HB&H list, I will check to see if the lens hood is straight.

The current serial number list is still small at just over 40 lenses. It is possible the few HB&H lenses, with straight lens hoods, on this list are all from a stereo pair. However, without that sequential number paired lens, I don't feel comfortable suggesting that all lenses with straight sided hoods were part of a stereo pair; best I could state would be that they might be part of a stereo pair.

Once again, thank you Dan for sharing this great research. It was a very interesting time in history, and we are now getting a better look into it.

Ciao!

Gordon Moat Photography (http://www.gordonmoat.com)

CCHarrison
16-Mar-2009, 15:11
Hi Gordon,

Here's a pic of a stereo pair of Harrison lenses...notice the left-right drives and the straight, narrow lenshood(s).

Best

Dan
__________________

Gordon Moat
17-Mar-2009, 12:15
Hi Dan,

Any idea on the engraving on those Harrison lenses? I would expect both to be engraved on the bottom.

Thanks!

Gordon

CCHarrison
21-Mar-2009, 06:24
I dont know the location of the engraving since that was the only photo I have of the stereo pair.

Best

Dan

CCHarrison
27-Mar-2009, 04:13
# 632 located on ebay

http://cgi.ebay.com/DAGUERREIAN-LENS-by-HOLMES-BOOTH-HAYDENS-No-632_W0QQitemZ300303482618QQcmdZViewItemQQptZCamera_Lenses?hash=item300303482618&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=66%3A4%7C65%3A10%7C39%3A1%7C240%3A1318

Dan

Gordon Moat
27-Mar-2009, 21:03
I took a look at No. 632, and contacted the seller. One interesting thing is that it is definitely the smallest HB&H I have seen. That leads me to think it is 1/6 plate or 1/9 plate, but I am unsure of the focal length.

Ciao!

Gordon

Emil Schildt
3-Apr-2009, 08:15
nr 5586 is now on the bay..

http://cgi.ebay.com/Antique-Lens-Holmes-Booth-Haydens-No-5586-New-York_W0QQitemZ250399519114QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item250399519114&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=72%3A1234%7C66%3A4%7C65%3A12%7C39%3A1%7C240%3A1318%7C301%3A0%7C293%3A1%7C294%3A200

Emil Schildt
3-Apr-2009, 08:18
...and nr 3888

http://cgi.ebay.com/ANTIQUE-C-C-HARRISON-DAGUERREOTYPE-OR-TELESCOPE-LENSE_W0QQitemZ190297861506QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item190297861506&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=72%3A1234%7C66%3A4%7C65%3A12%7C39%3A1%7C240%3A1318%7C301%3A0%7C293%3A1%7C294%3A200

Gordon Moat
4-Apr-2009, 11:37
Oddly enough, No. 5586 was on EBAY in the past, and I had it on my list. I contacted the seller anyway, and let him know of the serial number list.

No. 3888 is actually a C.C. Harrison lens, which was a competitor to Holmes, Booth & Haydens. The construction is very similar.

I was contacted recently about No. 3889, which from photos I have seen of the lens, appears to be the earliest example (so far) of an HB&H with factory installed Waterhouse stops. The design is quite unique in comparison to the other lenses on the serial list with Waterhouse stops. Later Waterhouse stops construction seems simpler. The owner does have one of the original stop plates. I think this is an important marker, and unless earlier serial number lenses show up with similar construction, I would place No. 3889 as a time marker for 1857 for HB&H production.

Ciao!

Gordon

CCHarrison
30-May-2009, 13:53
Gordon

# 3458

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&item=260419042175

Dan

Gordon Moat
30-May-2009, 17:19
Hello Dan,

I'm the person who gave him the information on that lens. It will be interesting to see how the auction goes. Mine was that dirty and dusty when I got it, though upon clean-up the glass was perfect (No.1875). It is so tough to judge the glass condition of No. 3458 from the shots, though it appears that it might be unblemished.

Ciao!

Gordon

seven
20-Jul-2009, 13:44
here is 10468 (http://cgi.ebay.com/Huge-Holmes-and-Booth-Petzval-lens-Deardorff-board_W0QQitemZ300331732194QQcmdZViewItemQQptZFilm_Cameras?hash=item45ed2a8ce2&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=65%3A1%7C66%3A2%7C39%3A1%7C293%3A1%7C294%3A50) for your database ;)

CCHarrison
21-Jul-2009, 04:10
# 5105

http://cgi.ebay.com/Holmes-Booth-and-Haydens-Lens-Case-Dated-to-Appx-1859_W0QQitemZ250469113668QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item3a511f5f44&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=65%3A10%7C66%3A3%7C39%3A1%7C293%3A1%7C294%3A100

Dan

Gordon Moat
26-Jul-2009, 13:12
The owner of No. 5105 contacted me a couple weeks ago about his lens. It's unfortunate that the optics are missing. I suppose it might be either an interesting conversation piece, or an extra for restoration, but tough to tell if anyone will buy just a barrel.

So far the date estimates of earlier lenses is holding up nicely. With the later lenses like 10468, it is tough to be accurate, due to very low sample count.

Ciao!

Gordon Moat Photography (http://www.gordonmoat.com)

goamules
15-Aug-2009, 08:40
Hi Gordon, 4365 sold on the auction (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=250480602147) site. It has a straight hood even with the barrel diameter, and appears to be about quarterplate.

Garrett

Gordon Moat
15-Aug-2009, 10:56
Really tough to figure out much about No. 4365, even if that is the correct serial number. The image quality on EBAY is barely good enough to see the radial drive is an HB&H style. So we are left with the seller's description. Hopefully whomever bought this will find my listing and provide a little more information, or a better image. Thanks for the head's up on this Garrett; I nearly missed that one.

Ciao!

Gordon

goamules
28-Aug-2009, 17:19
Well Gordon, so much for the theory that the early HBH's had the flared hoods. Here is number 80 believe it or not!
FeeSlay: 170376695622

On a related note, I have two CC Harrisons, the no. 16xx has a straight hood, the later number 36xx has a flared. Perhaps it was an option for both companies? I find it very confusing.

Garrett

eddie
28-Aug-2009, 18:38
regarding the above lens garret posted about. a question you should ALWAYS ask an e bay seller:

Q: Also, is there glass lenses in both front and back? Thanks
A: Hello, This item has only one glass lens. Thank you.

one elementa nd already at 385?!?!!?

goamules
28-Aug-2009, 19:03
Yeah, on it's price, it's beyond reasonable, with missing glass. Also on right now, a magic lantern lens advertised as a Cone Centralizer and already above 300, and I'm sure you noted the 3A that just brought over $1500. Must be a small lens bubble about to pop for a few folks....

Gordon Moat
29-Aug-2009, 13:16
Actually, I don't think that price is out of line, since that is the lowest serial number example I have yet seen. Looks like the seller is an antique dealer, and not a photography enthusiast. Definitely 1854, since HB&H started in New York in March 1854.

I would guess this is for 1/6 plate images, or maybe smaller, based on the barrel size. Without the front element, it would only serve like a landscape lens, so not very usable. It almost looks like there is a pinhole or something at the front of the lens.

Might be interesting to adapt it to medium format, or smaller. Other than that, it would be tough to replicate the front cemented pair on such a small lens.

The other interesting aspects are the flared lens hood and brass lens cap. Both nice items to go with this. It was suspected early on by myself and a few other old lens experts that the flared flange was phased out due to cost or production time issues, though as noted earlier in this thread that does not seem to have been the situation. One definite aspect was that the finish work of the machining on the barrels was simplified on the later smaller lenses, though I do not yet have enough samples to figure out what year that change began.

Ciao!

Gordon

Petzval Paul
4-Sep-2009, 13:49
The interesting thing about the #80 model is that it has a square base for the radial drive shaft. C.C. Harrison had a similar design around 1852 for a short period. I can't recall seeing other HBH's with a square base like this one. Still... it's too much money for an incomplete lens. A missing flange I could live with, but not a lens element.

goamules
4-Sep-2009, 13:51
Could you live with one with no glass? I'm thinking of selling a CC for parts.

Gordon Moat
4-Sep-2009, 22:49
The square radial drive base is unique, but this is the earliest example so far. Perhaps that was the initial design, and it was cleaned up to round and two screws mount later.

If the threaded parts at the front are there, it would be easy enough to place the front elements of another Petzval type lens of similar size into this barrel. I think some of the magic lantern lenses are this small. Replacement optics even close in size should work, though perhaps not ideal. So I don't think it would be too tough to make No. 80 functional, though there is still a question of image quality.

Petzval Paul
5-Sep-2009, 06:00
The elements might be obtainable and it will form an image, but finding the brass ring to hold the glass that will have the same diameter and threading as the barrel-side will be difficult so it would have to be jerry-rigged, I guess.

Dan Fromm
5-Sep-2009, 07:23
The elements might be obtainable and it will form an image, but finding the brass ring to hold the glass that will have the same diameter and threading as the barrel-side will be difficult so it would have to be jerry-rigged, I guess.Wassamattayu? Can't you spell www.skgrimes.com? And there are other machine shops ...

Petzval Paul
5-Sep-2009, 08:28
I can spell $K CRIME$ but I can't afford them!

Gordon Moat
5-Sep-2009, 11:27
Brass threaded parts would probably be $50 to $100 from a machine shop. It would largely depend if a machine shop would be interested in doing the work, or enthusiastic about it. On a separate issue with this particular lens, it is quite small, and it will likely not cover 4x5 except for macro images.

Jim collum
16-Sep-2009, 23:51
Just got the lens mounted, and started playing around. I did a few quick shots for comparison (the HBH vs a Wollensak Velostigmat.. both about 165mm, and it turns out, both about f4.5.. HBH possibly f4)

The HBH has a cone off of the front elements, which makes it a bit slower. These shots are with the cone on. I'll try some more with it off to see if there's much of a difference


I got the focus pretty close in the two shots.. i'll try to get it more precise in future comparisons.

All shots taken using an Ebony SVTi and Betterlight. B/W processing was done the same for both shots (pretty much my standard conversion/tone)


Wollensak
http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/files/1/2/20090915_hbh_007a.jpg


HBH
http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/files/1/2/20090915_hbh_006a.jpg

Jim collum
16-Sep-2009, 23:54
(con't)

Wollensak
http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/files/1/2/20090915_hbh_007a-1.jpg


HBH
http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/files/1/2/20090915_hbh_006a-1.jpg





Wollensak
http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/files/1/2/20090915_hbh_007a-2.jpg


HBH
http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/files/1/2/20090915_hbh_006a-2.jpg

Jim collum
16-Sep-2009, 23:55
Wollensak
http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/files/1/2/20090915_hbh_007a-3.jpg


HBH
http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/files/1/2/20090915_hbh_006a-3.jpg






Wollensak
http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/files/1/2/20090915_hbh_007a-4.jpg


HBH
http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/files/1/2/20090915_hbh_006a-4.jpg

Jim collum
16-Sep-2009, 23:57
Wollensak
http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/files/1/2/20090915_hbh_007a-5.jpg


HBH
http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/files/1/2/20090915_hbh_006a-5.jpg




(upper right corner in the trees/leaves)
Wollensak
http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/files/1/2/20090915_hbh_007a-6.jpg


HBH
http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/files/1/2/20090915_hbh_006a-6.jpg

Jim collum
17-Sep-2009, 00:33
The HBH and the Betterlight and pano setup (works similarly to the Cirkut camera, only digital)

http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/files/1/2/20090915_hbh_011b.jpg

(original is 29,000x6000 pixels)

some 100% crops

http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/files/1/2/20090915_hbh_011b-1.jpg



http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/files/1/2/20090915_hbh_011b-2.jpg



http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/files/1/2/20090915_hbh_011b-3.jpg

goamules
17-Sep-2009, 07:15
Thanks for doing this, you don't often see such in depth comparisons. From the first set of closeups I thought, "yep, we're going to see much more sharpness from the petzval." I was surprised the later ones weren't, but like you say, the focus may have been off, or set on different points. What was your focus point? The second set should really be sharp (if you focused on this part) since it's centered. But the Velo is sharper at this spot. What is the format size?

goamules
17-Sep-2009, 07:22
It's also interesting that the depth of field is almost identical, but you can really see the petzval's curved field. That is affecting sharpness in the foreground and the leaves on the sides, for example. If I recall, the center 20-30 degrees is the sharpest, and a 6 inch petzval would have been for quarterplates (3.25x4.25) at the largest. Though we all use them on larger formats for the interesting effects.

Jim collum
17-Sep-2009, 09:21
Thanks for doing this, you don't often see such in depth comparisons. From the first set of closeups I thought, "yep, we're going to see much more sharpness from the petzval." I was surprised the later ones weren't, but like you say, the focus may have been off, or set on different points. What was your focus point? The second set should really be sharp (if you focused on this part) since it's centered. But the Velo is sharper at this spot. What is the format size?

The Betterlight has a 4x3" capture area, so with no movements, there's very little falloff. i'll try to get a closer focus match the next time.. i think i was a bit hurried just to shoot with it :)

Kerik Kouklis
17-Sep-2009, 10:39
Great comparison, Jim. But you should really clean up your back yard a bit. :-)

Jim collum
17-Sep-2009, 19:26
Great comparison, Jim. But you should really clean up your back yard a bit. :-)

why?.. it provides such subject matter (actually a neighbor's yard.. but if i were single.. it would probably be mine as well....)

Jim collum
17-Sep-2009, 19:29
playing around some more today


HBH
6000x8000pix scan
http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/files/1/2/20090916_hbh_016a.jpg



100% crop
http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/files/1/2/20090916_hbh_016a-1.jpg

Jim collum
17-Sep-2009, 19:31
HBH 165mm

9000x12000pix capture
http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/files/1/2/20090916_hbh_018a.jpg




100% crop
http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/files/1/2/20090916_hbh_018a-1.jpg

Jim collum
17-Sep-2009, 19:32
HBH 165mm

6000x8000 pix capture
http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/files/1/2/20090916_hbh_020a.jpg




100% crop
http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/files/1/2/20090916_hbh_020a-1.jpg

Jim collum
17-Sep-2009, 19:56
The lens that i have has a cone shaped attachment on the front element. It's removable (any other HBH owners find this as well?)

There is a significant difference in flare, contrast, detail with the cone in place. I have some comparisons, but here is a shot with the cone off. I've also shot without the IR block filter on the lens, which gives a combination of IR and visible light in the final image

HBH 165mm
6000x8000 pix capture

http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/files/1/2/20090916_hbh_001a.jpg


http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/files/1/2/20090916_hbh_001a-1.jpg

Jim collum
18-Sep-2009, 01:01
couple more


http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/files/1/2/20090916_hbh_021a.jpg




http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/files/1/2/20090916_hbh_015a.jpg

goamules
18-Sep-2009, 08:47
What a great time you are having. It's pretty amazing using a 150 year old lens, eh? But when you say "removable cone" do you mean the hood? The early petzvals had a pretty long hood, to do as you say, reduce flare. This item doesn't restrict the light (i.e. form an aperature) does it? Here is a pic of mine, do you mean the lower part on this pic?

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3155/2929646366_5207e190f8.jpg

Jim collum
18-Sep-2009, 09:44
What a great time you are having. It's pretty amazing using a 150 year old lens, eh? But when you say "removable cone" do you mean the hood? The early petzvals had a pretty long hood, to do as you say, reduce flare. This item doesn't restrict the light (i.e. form an aperature) does it? Here is a pic of mine, do you mean the lower part on this pic?

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3155/2929646366_5207e190f8.jpg

no.. if you remove the front element, there's a cone attached to it (inside the barrel) this screws onto the inside threads of the front element

Gordon Moat
19-Sep-2009, 22:24
Jim Galli described that cone to me through e-mails, and it did seem to be more of a simple aperture solution than a flare reducer. However, I do not have diameter measurements, which would be the real way to tell. The difference in opening would be the back of the front group glass in comparison to the smallest diameter opening of the cone.

My No. 1875 HB&H is a 1/4 plate lens, though it compares to the field of view of my much more modern 135mm Schneider Symmar-S (perhaps a little bit longer). What I calculated was about f3.8 aperture. So your estimates of 165mm and f4.0 do fall in line with what I would expect from an HB&H 1/4 plate Petzval.

The internal cone is a (so far) unique feature with HB&H lenses. Does it have any markings at all on it, writing, numbers, or alignment notches? The only other similar feature I have seen is a fixed aperture ring for attachment inside the lens, though with the part being unmarked I have no confirmation on whether or not that was an original option. This was early days for photography, and many of these lenses could easily have been custom orders with photographer specified features.

Ciao!

Gordon

P.S. - The sharpness never ceases to amaze me with these lenses.

CCHarrison
20-Sep-2009, 11:39
Hi Gordon

# 2135 is here http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=200381580815&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT

The list is filling out nicely !

Dan

Gordon Moat
20-Sep-2009, 12:07
Thanks Dan. That's an odd one, and looks like it may have been modified for Waterhouse stops. Wonder why the listing ended so early. Anyway, he clearly had the date wrong, though I suppose that is down to so little information available about the company.

Just wanted to comment on the ex Jim Galli, and now Jim Collum, lens. The No. 3514 has an internal cone that functions as an aperture. It was confusing when I got the e-mails and images for that one, but I think that is likely what is internal on No. 5732. It would be great to have some images of the cone, if possible.

Ciao!

Gordon

goamules
20-Sep-2009, 12:47
... Wonder why the listing ended so early...

Probably like always, someone contacted the seller and either made a big, off auction offer, or told him it was very old, extremely valuable, and after all the heavy breathing the seller decided to sell it some other way or time. I wish people would just let the auctions run their course, but about 20% of the more uncommon lenses I watch end early. I know this happens, because every good lens I put up for sale has people asking me "what do you want for it so I can buy it now?"

Jim collum
20-Sep-2009, 13:03
Thanks Dan. That's an odd one, and looks like it may have been modified for Waterhouse stops. Wonder why the listing ended so early. Anyway, he clearly had the date wrong, though I suppose that is down to so little information available about the company.

Just wanted to comment on the ex Jim Galli, and now Jim Collum, lens. The No. 3514 has an internal cone that functions as an aperture. It was confusing when I got the e-mails and images for that one, but I think that is likely what is internal on No. 5732. It would be great to have some images of the cone, if possible.

Ciao!

Gordon

the cone on mine

http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/files/1/2/_dsc5318.jpg



http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/files/1/2/_dsc5314.jpg



http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/files/1/2/_dsc5311.jpg



http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/files/1/2/_dsc5307.jpg

Gordon Moat
21-Sep-2009, 14:34
Cool! Extra threading and it does look similar to the other lens with a cone. I would state that is an aperture change. You could measure the focal length of the lens from then end of the cone, when focused at infinity. Based upon construction, despite no markings, I would consider it an original item. It is very similar to the other cone on that other lens. Now I wonder how they might have marketed that feature, since there are only two lenses on the listing that have that feature.

Do you have the diameter measurement for the inside of the cone at smallest opening? How much smaller is it than the inside of the back of the front group?

Thanks!

Gordon

Jim collum
21-Sep-2009, 14:46
small diamieter 1.25

inside of front element. 1.75"

length is 1.2"

CCHarrison
29-Sep-2009, 02:30
# 664 has arrived.

http://cgi.ebay.com/Holmes-Booth-Haydens-Wet-Plate-Daguerreotype-Lens-664_W0QQitemZ140349021293QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item20ad741c6d&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14

Dan

goamules
29-Sep-2009, 07:21
It's probably a halfplate size. He has a quarterplate for sale too. #4958. These are coming out of the woodwork.

Gordon Moat
29-Sep-2009, 11:08
Thanks for the update. I'm not sure why my EBAY alert e-mail missed those. Taking a look at No. 664, that is a modified for Waterhouse stops lens. Whether it was modified later by the factory is something difficult to determine, but it does not match No. 3889, which is the confirmed first instance of Waterhouse stops specifically constructed with the lens.

I already had No. 4958 on the list, though I think that in light of seeing No. 3889, I need to reconsider Waterhouse stops on some later lenses. While the factory might have gone for a simpler construction, I would tend to think that a more careful contrustion with internal baffling, like on No. 3889, was the more likely result. As emulsions become faster, or a wider usage of the lens was desired, I would think that modifying lenses became more common after 1858.

Ciao!

Gordon

goamules
29-Sep-2009, 11:26
Whether no. 664 is factory cut for stops is critical. If it was, then the manufacture date of this lens would be after 1858, when J. Waterhouse invented them (though others may have done them a couple years earlier, but I'd say not in 1854 where your database places the lens). I think you discuss the date Waterhouse stops were invented on your website.

To me it appears then that the slot was cut later, and isn't "factory cut" as the seller states.

Gordon Moat
29-Sep-2009, 11:58
I agree in that the seller incorrectly lists both lenses as "Factory Cut". Maybe the factory offered a later modification service, but I have no evidence to support that. Based upon the information I have read on early apertures and Waterhouse stops, including patent dates, if the lens lack internal construction to secure the stop, then it is a modified lens.

I don't think a modified lens is bad, since it can be more useful, but it would clearly not be in fully original condition. As these lenses appear, such details might affect the value of these lenses. My personal feeling is that glass condition should be the primary factor in valuation, but then again I see these as being lenses that actually get used by photographers.

Anyway, I update the listing as I have time. I make no income from the listing, and I do not intend to sell my No. 1875 ever. If someone finds evidence of a service from the era that offered Waterhouse stop modifications, then I would like to include that in the text of the page. The more information I get, the more all of us learn about this era.

Ciao!

Gordon

Jim collum
30-Sep-2009, 15:56
ok.. the Betterlight is good for landscape and still life work.. but having someone sit still for 30 seconds is asking a bit much (at least without a head/shoulder brace)

I jury rigged a Copal 3 shutter (wrapped tape around the front of the lens and pressure fit it into the back of the shutter)... then taped the hood onto the front of the shutter. (The MF digital backs need xsync to trigger a shot)


here's the test setup :)

http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/files/1/2/l1022009.jpg


and the first test shot (neighbor out working was the guinea pig)

http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/files/1/2/aptus_016555.jpg

Jim collum
1-Oct-2009, 11:40
since the adapter is a sliding back, it's very easy to get pano format...

From my morning walk this morning.. the HBH & aptus back

http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/files/1/2/20091001_aptus_pano_001a.jpg

Gordon Moat
5-Oct-2009, 15:38
I use a front mounted shutter on mine, though it is a Wollensak Betax #4 without sync connector. One thing I use for the mounting is white tape, also called Teflon tape, or plumbers tape; that stuff does not really stick to the barrel, and it is fairly easy to use.

Ciao!

Gordon

CCHarrison
28-Nov-2009, 05:15
# 1868

http://cgi.ebay.com/Antique-Brass-Holmes-Booth-Haydens-Cabinet-Lens-1868_W0QQitemZ130347897617QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item1e59571311

Dan

Gordon Moat
28-Nov-2009, 13:11
Thanks Dan. That No. 1868 is very close to my own HB&H serial number. Nice patina.

goamules
5-Dec-2009, 07:25
Yeah, but too bad it doesn't have a flange, hood, or front glass (in order of increasing importance)! Someone just bought a nice old paperweight.

Gordon Moat
5-Dec-2009, 12:28
Surprising the price that one went for in the end. Without the front group, it would only be useful as a landscape lens. The description did not point that out, though the last image seems to indicate nothing screwed into the front of the barrel. Perhaps the buyer of No. 1868 will not be happy, unless he already has a front group that would fit.

Jan Pedersen
5-Dec-2009, 13:58
There was a couple of questions posted by potential buyers and it was pointed out that there was only glass in one end. This could easily be missed though. Seller should have made that clear in the description after posting those replies.

goamules
5-Dec-2009, 21:07
I'm glad I saw the fine print, bidder questions at the end of the auction, but probably wouldn't have bid because of the missing hood anyway. The pictures conveniently never showed the front aspect.

On using it as is, it's the front , cemented doublet glass that can be used as a landscape (moved to the rear). I don't believe the rear, air-spaced lenses can be used for anything.

Gordon Moat
5-Dec-2009, 22:34
I have decided to update the serial number listing, indicating that No. 1868 contains only the rear optics grouping.

Early on when I got my HB&H, I tried the front and rear groups alone. I don't recall offhand which set-up worked better, though I seem to remember that the focal length was quite a bit different. I think the Chevalier Lentille paysage (http://dioptrique.info/OBJECTIFS1/00009/00009.HTM) would be the closest example to a front group only Petzval, mounted reversed. Anyone try that recently?

Jim collum
22-Feb-2010, 00:52
Playing around at the train yard with #5732 (6 1/2")


http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/files/1/2/20100220_felton_021.jpg


http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/files/1/2/20100220_felton_028.jpg


http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/files/1/2/20100220_felton_027.jpg


http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/files/1/2/20100220_felton_023.jpg

CCHarrison
30-Sep-2010, 04:11
# 10012

http://cgi.ebay.com/Holmes-Booth-Haydens-Daguerreotype-BRASS-PETZVAL-Lens-/120627878223?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item1c15fb594f


no relation to seller...

Dan

Jon Wilson
6-Oct-2010, 21:05
# 10012

http://cgi.ebay.com/Holmes-Booth-Haydens-Daguerreotype-BRASS-PETZVAL-Lens-/120627878223?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item1c15fb594f


no relation to seller...

Dan

What FL do you estimate this one to be? Aperture? Does the purchase price seem reasonable?

Thanks. Jon

goamules
7-Oct-2010, 14:55
Jon, using the pictures that include his hand, and my calibrated eyeball, it looks like about a 8-11 inch lens.

Gordon Moat
11-Oct-2010, 15:25
Hello LF Forum,

Just a quick note that I am migrating to a different server. The old quick URL to the Holmes, Booth & Haydens lens serial numbers is not working yet, so I have set-up a file for those still following the list.

http://www.gordonmoat.com/hbh_01.html

Once I get things rolling, I will try to get a more permanent URL. Hopefully that will be the same as previous, for those who might have bookmarked the site.

My e-mail is up and running, and the old e-mail address will now function. So anyone with information or questions may contact me there.

Wish I could stay longer, but I have much work to do. See you soon.

Ciao!

Gordon Moat Photography (http://www.gordonmoat.com)

Gordon Moat
17-Oct-2010, 16:09
Just wanted to let everyone know that the previous web address for the Holmes, Booth & Haydens lens serial numbers list, is now back on-line.

http://hbh.gordonmoat.com

So that is the same as it was before, just that the page is now on a different server. My own website is still being built, though the links on the HBH page will click through to the proper areas. Please contact me and let me know if anything is not working.

Also, I am still collecting information on HBH lenses. I recently purchased a very small cone centralizer from that era, which has revealed an interesting aspect of accessories. While the cone centralizer I got is too small for my 1/4 plate lens, it would probably work on a 1/6th or 1/9th plate lens. Incredibly simple device with some elegant construction to it.

Ciao!

Gordon Moat Photography (http://www.gordonmoat.com)

Steven Tribe
19-Oct-2010, 08:17
Dear Gordon,
I am not into early american objectives, but I must say that you have produced a really fine layout for HBH's history!

Jon Wilson
23-Oct-2010, 21:09
Well another HBH (6418) has raised its head.....320607344318

seven
11-Dec-2010, 04:01
No. 324 - 320627479705

Steven Tribe
14-Dec-2010, 15:53
4656 can be added. The usual place.

goamules
14-Dec-2010, 18:31
Gordon's site is down, and he hasn't posted on this board since October, so I'm not sure whomever you believe you are telling this to is doing anything with the serial numbers....

seven
15-Dec-2010, 00:50
Garrett, you should check before posting such things. his site is online - http://hbh.gordonmoat.com/

goamules
15-Dec-2010, 06:40
Believe it or not, I did check! Was down, now up. Disregard.

seven
15-Dec-2010, 16:08
another one - 4656 - 130465904619

Jim Galli
12-Jun-2011, 16:10
I watched this one (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=150614048629&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT), but didn't bid. Can anyone here identify whether this is in fact an HBH? $326 would be a good buy if it is. Doubtless whatever it is, it's in that age group.

Darren Kruger
10-May-2013, 17:13
#172 makes an appearance on craigslist in Santa Cruz, CA. http://sfbay.craigslist.org/scz/pho/3797190029.html (no connection to seller)

pierre506
10-May-2013, 17:18
#172 makes an appearance on craigslist in Santa Cruz, CA. http://sfbay.craigslist.org/scz/pho/3797190029.html (no connection to seller)

No. 172 is really earlier.

goamules
1-Sep-2016, 07:27
Did yall see that HBH 8" Petzval that just sold for $3200? No. 2386. I didn't expect that, though the early American radial drive lenses were only made a few years around the Civil War, and are relatively uncommon. Relative to, say a Dallmeyer 2B that was made for 50 years. I've been surprised at how little interest there is in American radial drive petzvals. They are pretty much all I've shot for several years, for wetplate and film. My first, above, found in a collection of 35mm cameras (several rooms full of glass cases), is still my favorite.