View Full Version : So, what'd I buy?

Scott --
17-Sep-2008, 13:13
Hi, all -

Last week, I picked up Jim Fitzgerald's 12" brass portrait lens. Tried it out today. Beautiful. I love it. I wanna know more 'bout it.

I took it apart yesterday to clean some haze from the inside of the rear elements. The lens is four elements in two groups - front group cemented, rear group spaced. Petzval formulation. But the lens says "12 IN EQUI", which I'm assuming means 12" equivalent. The elements are about 2-3/16", which gives an aperture of about f/5.5, right? Kinda slow for a Petzval.

Anyone able to tell me anything about this otherwise unlabeled lens?



17-Sep-2008, 16:57
I have the same lens but in 18inch. Discussed a tad here: http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?t=37936&page=2
I think these are magic lantern lenses, and are a little slower than some petzvals. Just as a Dallmeyer 3D is about f6 if I recall, and a Wollensak Vesta is f5. They will cover more if they are slower, I believe. I've only used mine once, but will again soon.

Scott --
18-Sep-2008, 14:43
So a Magic Lantern lens is like an early projection lens?

18-Sep-2008, 15:21
Magic lanterns were early slide projectors. Imagine shadow puppets and pages from childrens storybooks. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magic_lantern



Scott --
18-Sep-2008, 16:37
So this should date to, what, late 19th century? Cool...

Scott, rockin' out to Death Magnetic

Jim Galli
18-Sep-2008, 17:21
They were used for projection machines of all kinds well into last century. Eventually they got more drab in appearance, machine black and no shade. They are fantastic for the petzval look without popping for a Dallmeyer 4B. Bausch and Lomb made many although yours looks like a French import. Later B&L discovered they could make a triplet very inexpensively and replaced the petzval's.