View Full Version : Which Camera for this Lens?

Richard K.
22-Jan-2010, 13:30
I asked the fellow running the auction for this item:


if a flange was included with this lens. His answer was:

"This lens is threaded to screw into the camera. I'm not an expert but the glass appears perfect."

Is that correct, there were actual dedicated cameras to some lenses back then?

An auxiliary question: did the older brass lenses come with caps? Were they leather or brass?

Steven Tribe
22-Jan-2010, 15:37
His basic data is OK, but, of course, there was a lens flange. There is a B. French & Co catalogue link which has posted here a month or so ago which I am sure will have this quite well known wide angle. These 3 link apertures are very popular as collectors items. It is a standard rapid rectilinear/aplanat design and nothing to do with the earlier optical design of the "Globe" in spite of the name. The very early objectives like pill box simple achromatics often/always had beautifully turned and finished brass caps. They are even more absent than flanges and aperture stops now. Leather caps were very popular for a long time and are often works of art too, with velvet inside.

Richard K.
22-Jan-2010, 18:20
Thanks for your excellent answer, Steven. I'm just beginning my brass adventure and appreciate your input.

23-Jan-2010, 02:12
I think the thing to say would be....
the lens would have had a dedicated flange and that dedicated flange could then be mounted onto pretty much any lens board/ camera

the problem follows when the lens is seperated from its mounting flange because there was little idea of standardisation back then and it's difficult to find a flange for a lens that's now without one

if you were to purchase one or more brass lenses without flanges [as I did, and you amost certainly will] you'll be scratching your head for ways to mount them onto a camera

the best thing I've found is a "universal iris mount" but there are other alternatives such as getting a new flange machined by someone like SK Grimes [if you have the money and think the lens is worth it] and then come all the home-brew solutions

Steven Tribe
23-Jan-2010, 02:18
The link to the BF & Co 1890 catalogue is at antiquecameras.net. There are many other good things there. Unfortunately, the sketch of the hemispherical is about the worst in the catalogue - but the flange can just be seen!

23-Jan-2010, 17:14
That is a pretty neat aperture mechanism; first time I've seen that. Probably a bit more of a pain than the wheelstop, though better than waterhouse stops.

Steven Tribe
24-Jan-2010, 03:47
The missing flange problem can be solved without resorting to the bulky universal iris mount. I enclose a succes story - washer stop Grubb meniscus which has now been fitted with a black flange bought separately on e**y. Some sellers measure inside diameters quite accurately and an overlap in size of about 0.5mm ensures success. The use of a thread tap to clean out threads and change/enlarge the profile a little is recommended. Now I need to make a brass lens cap!

24-Jan-2010, 11:03
i have a darlot lens like that,
and it doesn't have a flange either ..
i just cut a piece of matboard the and made
a hole a little smaller than the threading, and screwed the
lens into the board. it works fine ...

have fun, it's a great lens!


Steven Tribe
24-Jan-2010, 13:24
Here is a Darlot meniscus in the right settings. Not my composition, though - so don't ask me about the other objectives. Note the super turned brass cap!

24-Jan-2010, 14:36
That is a pretty neat aperture mechanism; first time I've seen that. Probably a bit more of a pain than the wheelstop, though better than waterhouse stops.

I actually find the lever stops easier, because you can "jump" stops. With the wheel type, you have to click through, as with an iris. But with my Darlot Wide Angle Hemis I can compose with no stop, then just select the one I want and I'm there.