View Full Version : Ross Orthographic from 1859

Steven Tribe
18-Sep-2009, 14:55
I do, I admit, sometimes contact sellers on e**y to help them on their way as well as finding out what actually is. I am sure many of us do. I am pretty sure that there is a Ross Orthographic (f14, 2nd petzval design, landscape lens) in Canada at the moment - it seems to meet all the requirements - and I have told the seller this. But I have no reference photo available. Could someone with more photo reference material, or their own example, have a look?
I have my own guidelines for "ask question" interventions- do others have one too?

18-Sep-2009, 17:06
My guidelines are to ask questions to education myself. I have seen, as recently as this week, someone "inform" a seller of what they have, only to see it removed and listed later with a much higher reserve.

Some of you may have noticed the Pinkham and Smith that dissappeared, even though the seller's ad said; "we'll never end a listing early." Well someone must have contacted them, because poof, it was gone. I registered my displeasure and they responded, "how much would you have bid?" Sheeze, they probably got a high offline offer and then were getting seller's remorse thinking they could have gotten more. I'm sorry, but I'm not into this bidding hobbie to try to help sellers get more for something I'm bidding on.

Jim C.
18-Sep-2009, 19:31
The seller should know what they're selling, there is tons of info out on the web, Google is their friend ;)
if they're too lazy to research the item then it's their loss and the Buyers gain.
If they honestly don't know what the item is and the auction is priced low then the market will adjust accordingly
for them them without buyer intervention, I've seen it often enough on the Bay.

Steven Tribe
19-Sep-2009, 02:29
["My guidelines are to ask questions to education myself"

Yes - this is one of the reasons - and certainly was true in this case of the Ross objective which looks fascinating. So this is what it looks like!

"- there is tons of info out on the web, Google is their friend"

This is not always true. Take this Ross objective as an example again. The seller was able to put a reasonable correct date on it. But the engraving says absolutely nothing as to what it is. Even with a clue orthographic he would have been unable to find much - and certainly no photographs of the insides.

"only to see it removed and listed later with a much higher reserve."

I have never seen this happen. But what I have seen is that a very badly described items often receive an early bid which excludes the seller from changing the listing title! And buyers who rush in with a quick "take it of your hands now" proposal. Sellers are very loathe to change their listing. I once suggested that a seller change his title "Rofs telescope" (very early engraving) to Ross telescope so bidders could find it. He replied that people in the know would find it. They didn't and he had to relist.
Yes, they do ask about value - its only human. What I usually say is that interesting and rare objectives often have little value and their only guide should be completed listings. Most lenses fall into a category between Good Users and Collectable Items were auction prices are totally unpredictable.

19-Sep-2009, 04:26
Here is an article on my CC Harrison Orthsocope Lens


there is also drawing of the Voigtlander version in the article.


19-Sep-2009, 04:31
i am with garrett on this one. i see sellers remove listing regularly to change the price (always higher) and also to sell it around e bays policy directly to a seller (speculation but i would say for sure this is what is going on.).

IMO let the seller do his own home work. if for some reason he can not find something then the market will dictate the price....often higher than he would get with a BIN.

it is hard to get a "deal" on ebay....do not make it harder.

19-Sep-2009, 04:42
I would hate to see somebody directing a whole forum to a little gem I managed to mine all by myself...

Around here, there's nothing but rubbish in the dumpsters...

Steven Tribe
19-Sep-2009, 04:48
Yes, I found the really excellent C.C. Harrison Orthographic site - interesting that patent data was from 1858 - but I don't think it was too helpful in identifying this Ross/Dallmeyer version of the orthographic with a tiny rear lens cell. A seller would have to had the key word orthographic to find it. Vade Mecum is not much help either, unless you go down and look at the typical lens diagrams which show the diminuative rear cell.

19-Sep-2009, 05:21
I still don't get the idea of helping a seller, even by giving them the correct spelling so "others can find it". Why did "he have to relist" if you were bidding? Couldn't you discover your item, bid the minimum, and then bring it to the forum to let us learn?

But you sound like you aren't even bidding, just using OhBoy like a museum with a lot of untrained curators. This isn't what it is. It's a market. Would you go to a yard sale or an antique store and point out all the mislabeled items and the ones that were priced too low? And then leave to go to the next store? What's the purpose of helping sellers while hurting buyers?

I hope this doesn't sound too harsh, I've just been burned MANY times on the auction sites, when I see a great lens I want to bid on, only to see it disappear before the end. This happens extremely often with rare and desirable items that the general public doesn't know much about. I'd rather buy the lens cheap, then bring it out of that sellers environment (who doesn't know what it is), and then discuss with others who are interested in it for more reasons than making lots of money. My best lenses I could not have afforded if the seller got all stary eyed and insisted on an exorbitant price. Instead some rich collector would have read the updated ad, and paid a ridiculous price.

Anyway, this is an interesting lens. Let's see how much it goes for now. Before, I would guess about $150. Now, I bet it hits $450. Good job, maybe we'll all get dividend checks from the seller!

19-Sep-2009, 05:24
maybe i could get some help wth my bay items? mine always gets less than others even though i described it correctly...no buyers helped me on ohbaby....not even by buying for BIG money.....

Steven Tribe
19-Sep-2009, 07:18
"Why did "he have to relist" if you were bidding?"

Well I wasn't bidding - I'm not into telescopes. It turned up on a search after "rofs" using a previous search engine - just like I used to search under "goertz" rather than goerz when I was into series III/Dagors! Even german's make the mistake.

I wouldn't have thought that an Orthographic would have much interest for the high bidder brigade. An ordinary meniscus lanscape lens would suit a modern user probably better with off-centre "effects". Perhaps historical curiosity is the best classification for it? No one knows the real optical condition of this lens after 150 years.
P.S I'm still waiting for someone to say "Yes this must be Orthographic" or "Of course not - its a Ross xxxxx"?

Paul Fitzgerald
19-Sep-2009, 07:46
Good morning people,

Let's see if I can figure this out:

When YOU die and YOUR family is left to dispose of YOUR junk that they have no interest in or knowledge of it will be perfectly OK to F*** them over, right?

Thought so.

Jim Fitzgerald
19-Sep-2009, 20:33
Well, when I kick I have left instructions to give all of my cameras and lenses to my FRIENDS. If they want to sell it more power to them at least they will know what my stuff is worth.

As far as sellers are concerned I don't tell them squat! If you are too lazy to google something then too bad. Hell, you can find almost anything on the net now. If not, then go to a forum like this one and ask. Maybe one of us will do the right thing and give the person an honest answer? If you put it on e-bay then it is your problem if you get less than you deserve. What about the people that get more than they thought?

I have had listings pulled because some nice person wants to educate the seller. Thanks a lot. They do list it for more, usually with a reserve! I'm glad the person who recently listed the APO 610 Nikon lens had no idea what he had and some nice person didn't inform him. Otherwise i would not have gotten it for $15.00. We are all looking for a great deal.


21-Sep-2009, 09:41
"We had a lady who called me one day and said, 'Mr. Naylor, I've just discovered 12 old cameras in my attic. They belonged to my grandfather.' And she was an old lady at the time and didn't live that far away. I was absolutely dumbfounded to find about a dozen of the rarest cameras in the world: daguerreotype cameras. And that was probably the greatest find I've ever had. She gave them to me and [was] happy to get rid of them. And I was delighted, of course, to have them!"

Jack Naylor interview (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/10/18/sunday/main3381987.shtml)

Mark Sawyer
21-Sep-2009, 10:26
Ebay is the seller's friend. All they have to do is get the name right, put it in the right category, and post a decent photo or two and a description of the condition. If it has value, the buyers will bid accordingly.

All the seller of the lens in question had to do was have the words "brass lens" in the title, and the right buyers would find it. A decent photo and they'd have a good idea what it was. And this is true of pretty much any collectible on ebay.

Steven Tribe
24-Sep-2009, 02:28
Well, it went for just over 280 usd - which I think is about right for a non-cult rare early Ross objective. Actually, there was more technical response in the question/answer section on E**y listing than here! The suggestion that it was a period modified Ross landscape lens - by someone who has seen other Ross orthographics - seemed quite convincing. I thought the rear cell looked a bit small compared with the diagrams.