View Full Version : Dallmeyer 10x8 Rapid Rectilinear Lens

Kurtay Photography
25-Dec-2008, 16:53
Hi All

I have just got this lens (http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&item=150316549564) on Ebay and I was wondering if anyone else has one and uses one of these lenses. I have done a test on my 10x8 camera and result was rather pleasing and the image looked quiet sharp and soft in contrast. I believe they are from 1866 and the one I have is a f6 portrait version. I was wondering what the aperture was as there is no indication on the lens and I googled to find it out. Then I noticed that there are no photographs on the net made with using one of these lenses. I was surprised to see that such an history and no samples..!

I am posting my one here and hope to see more of these samples from the other users.



Glenn Thoreson
25-Dec-2008, 18:29
There are lots of posts here on Rapid Rectilinear lenses. Perhaps not the same brand but the Rapid Rectilinear is what it is in about any flavor. I'm a little puzzled about the f/6 aperure, though, which would usually be an Aplanat. I'll bet our friend Ole knows. :D

25-Dec-2008, 19:25
I have the next size up--a 12x10 Dallmeyer Rapid Rectilinear. It's a 16" focal length at f/8. It's a lovely little lens--almost perfect for 8x10 portraits. I find mine very sharp in the center with some very gradual falloff in sharpness and very soft bokeh. Are you sure your lens isn't f/8? Did you measure the focal length from the waterhouse slot?

Brian Stein
26-Dec-2008, 00:59
Id be interested in Ole's expertise but my understanding is that the f6 portrait lens was a petzval, the RR potrait was an f4, and that the generic RRs were f7.7 or f8. The engraving here is pretty clearly RR, so I think you have a 13" f8 RR. In any event you seem to be putting it to good use!

Kurtay Photography
26-Dec-2008, 03:44
Thanks guys for all the input... Well, I have a
210mm Berthiot Paris Stellor 1b Serie No:6 f4 lens (http://i333.photobucket.com/albums/m386/kurtayphotographer/BerthiotParisStellor10x8.jpg) and looking at that I have put the two lens side by side and the diameter of the both lenses are only marginly different RR being smaller. Then I read on the internet that some of these lenses were built in f6 rather than f8 and another information says this lens is f8! CONFUSING! I have done my assumption on according to f6 when I took the photo and the negative looked right (I guess).

I have measured the lens from waterhouse to front is 34mm (1"1/4) and the front diameter of the glass is 45mm (1"3/4). The lenght is 65mm (2"1/2) long.

More info will be useful on this beauty. Also, what is the story on Aplanat lenses?


Brian Stein
26-Dec-2008, 04:07
IIRC aplanat is the designation from most of the European makers for a rapid rectilinear.
These were offered in a variety of forms: wide angle ~f12-16, the standard f7-8 covering about 70 degrees, a portrait aplanat at f4-5.5 with more even coverage than petzvals but narrower than std, detective aplanats at f6 or so, and a portable around f11. You are starting to become a lens vade mecum target audience!

The stellor is an aplanat, so part of the next generation of lenses. Dont know much about them but prob. 1920s onward, triplet design.

Ole Tjugen
26-Dec-2008, 05:29
Rapid Rectilinear was the British name for what Steinheil named Aplanat.

All else being equal, they can be considered to be just the same.

Portrait Rectilinears/Aplanats were often f:6; "normal" or "Universal" anywhere from f:7.2 to f:8, "Landscape" around f:10, and wide angle around f:14 to f:18.

An f:6 portrait lens is likely to be a RR or Aplanat. Much faster than that, and it's far more likely to be a Petzval.

Just remember that there were several different aperture scales in use at the time, so that what is really f:8 can be marked as 4, 64, 1, or just about any other number...

Kurtay Photography
26-Dec-2008, 06:03
Hello Again

Thanks for the further information...

For the record of a lens vade mecum, is this Dallmeyer RR a f6 lens? ;-)


26-Dec-2008, 09:09
Since the 10x8 RR is a 13" (330mm) lens, the diameter you measured makes it no faster than an f/8 lens. If the front glass is 45mm in diameter, once you subtract a bit for the diameter of the Waterhouse stop opening it would probably be closer to 41 mm.

330mm/(45mm-4mm)=~ f/8