View Full Version : Present Status of Vade Mecum?

Steven Tribe
21-Oct-2009, 02:28
I am aware that Vade Mecum is a copyright document. Does anyone know the current status as regards the holders of this copyright? And, perhaps, whether there are plans for new revised and extended editions?

The reasons I ask are manifold:

1. It is a fantastically useful work which is worth developing even further.
2. At present it is, nethertheless, a mirroring of the objectives physically available in the UK at the end of the 90's. So there is a great deal about Ross, Aldis, and Dallmeyer etc. Many minor German and early american makers are either excluded or not covered comprehensively.
3. There are mistakes/repetitions and ambiguities at present.
4. Our internet age would surely facilitate a comprehensive submission and editing facility involving all with access to original language material?

Another alternative would be to develop the availability online of original catalogues that cameraeccentric and others have done so well?

21-Oct-2009, 04:54

Many years ago, I obtained the rights to distribute the VM from the Publisher and Dr. Neil Wright from the UK. The original authors have both passed away, and I am not aware of any attempt to update the work.

You are correct that US lenses are represented less than other countries. I have a page a few earlier american ads (1848-1875) here http://antiquecameras.net/18481875advertisements.html


21-Oct-2009, 18:03
Yes a Lens Wiki instead of a non-editable PDF document would surely be helpful. The Information wants to be free and really needs to be IMO.

Dan Fromm
22-Oct-2009, 01:34
domaz, there is somewhat of a lens Wiki, filled with nonsense and outright falsehoods.

Be careful what you ask for. You might get it. From the ignorant, ignorance.

Robert Hughes
22-Oct-2009, 07:12
In defense of Wiki's - they tend to improve with time, as knowledgeable viewers re-edit the pages. That's the Big Idea with Wiki's. If you run across a topic that you know something about, your responsibility as a good net citizen is to correct errors and submit the corrections.

If you don't like the errors, fix 'em.

Dan Fromm
22-Oct-2009, 08:57
Robert, I've fixed one set of bad 'uns. I'll be damned if I try to do 'em all.

I once published a book review that said, in essence, "This book is riddled with errors. If you know enough to protect yourself from them you don't need it. If you don't know enough to protect yourself from them you shouldn't go near it." That's Wikis.

Oh, and by the way, I also did this: http://www.galerie-photo.com/boyer-optique-objectif.html (French version) and this (http://www.galerie-photo.com/boyer-lens-optic.html (English). Gathering the information presented took years, required a fair number of lens purchases.

I don't know about you, but IMO the OP probably doesn't have a good idea of what he's asking others to do. As I said, I've done it; until I develop an obsession with another lens maker I'm not about to do it again, especially for free.



22-Oct-2009, 09:01
It would be nice though if some of the outstanding experts, like Chris Perez and Fuji lenses, could add to the Vade Mecum and get some kind of share from a new edition.

22-Oct-2009, 10:25
domaz, there is somewhat of a lens Wiki, filled with nonsense and outright falsehoods.

Be careful what you ask for. You might get it. From the ignorant, ignorance.

And the alternative is leaving all the information as a monolithic non-editable volume that is hard to use? A Wiki can work if enough people want to contribute and you have knowledgable editors. Problem seems to be we are lacking people with knowledge who want to contribute.

Dan Fromm
22-Oct-2009, 10:41
domaz, stop whining, start doing. Make yourself into an expert and go correct errors ...

22-Oct-2009, 18:36
...Problem seems to be we are lacking people with knowledge who want to contribute.

A bigger problem is people lacking knowledge who like to perpetuate errors.

I would much rather buy a book from a lens scholar like Milan (are you listening?!) than read a bunch of stuff that may or may not be true. Still, I guess it's a start, right now you have to sort through a bunch of forums and try to glean the truth....

22-Oct-2009, 21:00
domaz, stop whining, start doing. Make yourself into an expert and go correct errors ...

Your right of course, I should- just wish I had the resources to acquire a bunch of lenses and learn about them. It is frustrating that resources on lens are so scattered and hard to find and as you said not always correct.

Steven Tribe
25-Oct-2009, 04:41
My only attempt to help others, apart from my present activity in trying to solve the Zwierzina Plasticca mystery, was to offer a Goerz Anschutz descriptive brochure in english to Cameraeccentric. No reply but the offer still stands. Cameraeccentric really has developed an exciting and comprehensive list - but obviously this activity must, at least partially, be governed by his own and commercial interests - as well as cost/size considerations. I have checked his (Seth's) website for info about whether he is interested in receiving additional lens catalogues - there isn't any. Does anyone else have any information?

25-Oct-2009, 10:58
Steve, We would LOVE any and all photographers to help us out with our catalogs on our website. We have spent the last 10 years and many hours putting together what we have. Anybody who has a catalog please feel free to contact us and we will put it up.

One of things we found when we started doing photography was a lack of information on old, different, unique lenses and cameras and we started our catalog page with absolutely no expectations. However, we have found over the years that people really love this aspect of our site. It is also the part we are most proud of as we have tracked down hundreds of catalogs, scanned them and then put them up on our site. Please pass along to anybody that we will always take these and we will always give credit as that is the least we can do.

We are so happy to see that the photographic community has opened dialogue and given explanations on cameras and lenses. This way we can all enjoy a wonderful and creative way of expression. Anybody who wants to look at the information page or add something to our site can find our information at the following link:

Thank you all so much and we hope to hear from our fellow photographers soon.
All the best,
Seth and Laura Broder
Camera Eccentric