View Full Version : Lancaster & Son Patent 13 lens help info

29-Dec-2009, 03:36
I have got an offer to buy this lens, but have not found much information about its optical formula and quality used by Lancaster. Hope someone from forum members have/had it. Any info will be appreciated. But most of all I would like to know about image look that Lancaster Patent lenses are giving.

I am not quite sure what is this small part of the lens for - is it a shutter?
There is a ring at front of the lens with numbering - could it be for softering the image?
What the fastes f/stop it might has (looks like its 13 inch lens)?

And last question: what is a resonable price to pay for it?






Steven Tribe
29-Dec-2009, 04:29
This is a very attractice set. The "rubber band" shutter is a collectors item and is usually sold separately from the objective it was fitted to by Lancaster. Flanges are an exception too.

This objective was the most common lens around the period 1885 - 1905. Called the meniscus landscape lens. And lancaster was the biggest maker of this type world-wide. I have just taken one out to compare with yours! The mechanism in front is just an ordinary iris to control the intensity of light on the plate. It is marked with a double set of figures. I can't find an 13" version - but a 16" and a 12". The lens is around F.11wide open.
Jim Galli, and others, have used this sort of lens to produce interesting images as the simple achromat image breaks down in an interesting manner towards the edges of the illuminated circle. Often they have removed the whole iris system to induce even more effects. I wouldn't say that this was a good idea with the Lancaster as they are not really meant to be dismantled without complete destruction (no screws that I can see anyway - but then they were the cheapest makers). So this set is probably for someone who wants a photographic artefact from 1900 rather than a lens they want to experiment with.

There are nearly always Lancaster landscape lenses on that site. As far as prices, mine was around 10 a year or so ago. But, as I said, with the Lancaster patent shutter, flange and well preserved condition, that would certinly not be enough. By the way, I think it is time you invested in a copy of Vade Mecum or begin to use Google!!

Chauncey Walden
29-Dec-2009, 19:18
Here's a shot from my 12 inch Lancaster Landscape Meniscus at f/30. Notice how old it makes things look;-)

Ole Tjugen
30-Dec-2009, 00:45
The Patent that Lancaster refers to on these lenses is not the lens, but the iris aperture. :)

30-Dec-2009, 05:05
Thanks. I thought the 13 mark refers to focal lenght... now have to check what it might be, the owner did not say it.

Steven Tribe
30-Dec-2009, 06:58
Lancaster lenses are not marked with focal length. I am quite sure he has misread B (meaning Birmingham, England!), which is on most Lancaster lenses as 13!! Ask him to measure the back focus. These were made in very small sizes (1/4 plate) which would limited use in large format.

Steven Tribe
30-Dec-2009, 07:05
Yes, I have looked at the photos again. This is a version that has the full word Birmingham - however, it looks to the uninitiated as 13 irmingham.

31-Dec-2009, 03:53
Thanks for all info.