View Full Version : Allen Bros. Eureka Lens

27-Jan-2009, 16:00
Just picked up this lens along with an old EH&T Anthony 8x10 dated 1881, however I can't seem to find any information about the lens.

Lens is marked: Eureka, 6 1/2 x 8 1/2, Allen Bros. Accent

It measures about 2.5" from the first glass element to the lens board. Rear element measures approximately 1.5" and the lens illuminates an 8x10 GG pretty well. Not too sure of coverage yet as I haven't shot with it. Focal length through the ground glass looks to be in the 300mm neighbourhood.

I imagine it was designed to cover whole plate hence the 6 1/2 x 8 1/2, hopefully it will cover 8x10 as well. I'm familiar with the Allen Brothers name, if I recall correctly they were an American company out of Detroit, Michigan and were the importers of the Swiss made Suter series of lenses. Any chance this is a Suter?

Lens is slotted for waterhouse stops but only came with one.

Anyone have any idea as to actual focal length, aperture, and model number?

Gene McCluney
27-Jan-2009, 19:25
There were literally hundreds of vendors that had their own name put on common lenses of the period. It is probably a Wollensack or something relatively common. Probably a RR design.

28-Jan-2009, 04:14
You are both mostly correct...here is a snip of an 1892 ad


28-Jan-2009, 14:17
Thanks for the information guys.

I set up a rudimentary optical bench today, looks like the lens is an 11.5" F/8.

21-May-2013, 03:11
Hi Everyone,
Hey, Thanks for sharing usefull information... Actually My grandpa had a lens, that was so old and i just want to know, How many years was old... but when I searched again as read in this post then I found a something written on the side of lens... but I don't know, what did write on that lens? It was other language. Locksmith Allen TX (http://www.Quickallenlocksmith.com)

Don Dudenbostel
23-May-2013, 04:25
Details of your lens construction look exactly like a Rochester Optical I have. The hood, black ring behind the hood where the elements mount, the back of the lens that threads into the flange and even the flange itself look just like my lens. My lens is marked R.O.Co 3 Excelsior. No guarantee based on details but they're exactly the same physically. My lens isn't marked as to format but I'm guessing it's for whole plate.

I bought an old Seneca 11x14 about 25 years ago and this was on it. Just in the past few months have I shot with it. I'm using it to 5x7 ambrotypes and have been very pleased with it. Nice lens and quite sharp.

When I has the 11x14 I took a look at the GG and it covered most of it. Since I've mounted it on my 8x10 and it should cover just fine. It will darken at the edges some but it could be very nice.