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Richard K.
31-Jan-2010, 09:17
I'm freezing my as* off here. The good news is that we haven't had ANY snow this winter thus far. Watch it come roaring down now! Anyway...

Sipping on a Tim Horton's© coffee, the thought occurs:

What is the oldest lens that you:

a.) use regularly in your photography?
b.) own?

Tell us why you like it if you want.

My oldest is a Dallmeyer Wide Angle Rectilinear 13” f/15 1867, or it may be an
E. Anthony View 14” f/6.3 (?). I originally thought the Anthony was prior to 1860 since E. Anthony joined with his brother to form E. & H T Anthony in 1860 (?) but that may have not stopped production (or was it rebadging of Darlot lenses) under just the E A name and logo well up to the late 1800s. SO, I don't know its age or any way of telling (it could be anywhere from 1840 on). It's a pill box design with 2 apertures: cap off around f/6.3, cap on (with smaller opening on button), f/19 by my calculations. Here is a photo of it:


http://i300.photobucket.com/albums/nn15/RichardK47/EAnthony3.jpg

I use both in my photography and also a plethora of modern optics.

jb7
31-Jan-2010, 09:32
Good idea for a thread, can't wait to see where this one goes-

As a game of top trumps though, I think I may be out already at 1862-

Marko Trebusak
31-Jan-2010, 09:48
I'm freezing my as* off here. The good news is that we haven't had ANY snow this winter thus far. Watch it come roaring down now! Anyway...

Sipping on a Tim Horton's© coffee, the thought occurs:

What is the oldest lens that you:

a.) use regularly in your photography?
b.) own?


The oldest is probably Hermagis Eidoscope f5 no. 3. Can't date it, but since it still use French aperture system, I guess that it's older than 1912-1914 Cooke I also own.

I was out testing it in 30 cm of fresh snow. I like snow and there is plenty of it around this winter. Great! If forecast stays as it is: cold and snow till the end of next week, I'll be photographing icicles with both of them next weekend; even better!

Cheers,
Marko

Bill_1856
31-Jan-2010, 10:11
Richard, what is the field of "reasonable unsharpness" of your 13" Dallmeyer? Does it cut off sharply, or just fade away toward the edges?
Thanks,
Bill

Wimpler
31-Jan-2010, 10:37
My oldest is probably a Liesegang Globe lens (Kugellinse). It was made in Elberfeld, this dates it to 1854-1971.

Steven Tribe
31-Jan-2010, 10:39
I stop at 1860 (no.1686 Grubb meniscus - first style) but I am sure that there are lots of 3 figure Ross/Rofs out there that will bring it down to the early 1850's. There will no definite "winner" as serial numbers/accurate lists are thin on the ground.

Diane Maher
31-Jan-2010, 10:40
Oldest that I own: Voigtlander & Sohn number 7, I measured the distance as something like 638 mm. The serial number falls within the years of 1884-1885. I have used it a few times.

Oldest lens I use on a regular basis is my Crown Anastigmat 6½x8½.

Emil Schildt
31-Jan-2010, 11:08
my biggest is like my oldest..

a Kranz petzval. Havn't been able to date it, but a guess would be around 1860 (?)..

I also have an old Ross, but the serial number dates it a little younger (between 1860 and 1870)

using both.

Gordon Moat
31-Jan-2010, 11:11
The oldest 4x5 lens I regularly use is actually somewhat modern. It is a Schneider Symmar S 135mm f5.6 in Copal 0 shutter. This lens probably gets used for over half my large format shots.

My oldest lens that I use sometimes is a Holmes, Booth & Haydens dating to 1855. It is absolutely perfect glass, and has a barrel with lots of fine patina. Last year I got a Wollensak Betax 4 that just manages to fit over the barrel, and allows me to have the choice of a few shutter speeds.

Ciao!

Gordon Moat Photography (http://www.gordonmoat.com)

Dan Fromm
31-Jan-2010, 11:33
(a) Carl Zeiss Jena 130/6.3 Tessar in Compound, extracted from a Folding Pocket Kodak. I shoot it on a 2x3 Graphic. Good lens, useful focal length. Probably made in 1912.

(b) Krauss 84/6.3 Tessar in barrel. I've shot it for test with my 2x3 Speed Graphic. Covers 2x3, not a bad lens. Probably made around 1905. It probably came from a Gaumont strereo camera that shot stereo pairs on 6x13 plates; some of the cameras that used the 84/6.3 Tessar were set up to allow shooting panoramas with one of the two lenses centered on the plate. I doubt this lens will put any light, let alone usable image, in the corners of a 6x13 plate.

I don't use the little Krauss Tessar because I have an 80/6.3 Wide Field Ektar. But and however, I've extracted two 85/6.3 B&L Tessars in Compound from Premo 12s and will use one of 'em sooner or later, if only pour epater les bourgeois.

Cheers,

Dan

IMO f/6.3 Tessars are still worth using. I also have a 150/6.3 CZJ in barrel made in 1912 that I've used front-mounted on a #1. A good lens that's been replaced in my travelling kit by a 150/5.6 Zircon in #1.

Jan Pedersen
31-Jan-2010, 11:43
My oldest is this Swift & Son #4 16" Portable View. Believe it is from around 1880 serial # 3159
Instead of hacking the original lens i made a new barel with an estimated f7 instead of the original f11.3
Have yet to use it but it looks interesting on the GG.

Per Madsen
31-Jan-2010, 11:53
Carl Zeiss West Germany Tessar 150 / 4.5 from 1958.

The year I was born.

Frank Bunnik
31-Jan-2010, 12:14
A yellow dot Kodak Aero Ektar from 1944.

jnantz
31-Jan-2010, 12:44
not sure what my oldest are i don't have dates ..
maybe a rectilinear with "laverne" written on it
or a dallmeyer wide angle rectilinear ..
i use them both often ...

David McNiven
31-Jan-2010, 14:21
Earlier today I was checking the image circle of a Goerz Dagor 90/6.8 Mk.111 hoping it might come close to 4x5 - no such luck, just covers 6x9, even at f64. Serial No. is 288233 which seems to date it to around 1914, it's in a shutter unknown to me.
Had it in a box for 20 years plus, came with a 1/4-plate Zeiss Ideal, 105 & 135 Tessars in Compounds & some 6x9 Rada backs.
Now it's back in the box to stay.
Maybe I'll try some oldies one day but for now I like knowing what to expect from my modern lenses.

Dan Fromm
31-Jan-2010, 14:46
David, look here: http://www.dioptrique.info/base/n/n_dagor.HTM Eric, who's a little demanding, thinks that Dagors cover only about 60 degrees. If so, yours should just cover -- put good image in the corners of -- nominal 6x9.

When you say cover, do you mean put good image in the corners or put light in the corner? If the latter, something's wrong with your lens.

In a discussion of what Boyer Beryls can be counted on to do, Eric pooh-poohed Boyer's claim that the lenses cover 85 degrees as exaggerated. In his opinion, Beryls are good for at most 70 degrees, 55 for really stringent requirements. This is relevant because Beryls are essentially Dagors.

Cheers,

Dan

ic-racer
31-Jan-2010, 14:51
This is my oldest. An Anthony landscape lens. Date? Somewhere between 1860 and 1900

Carsten Wolff
31-Jan-2010, 15:23
Nothing like you, guys, but I enjoy using three old lenses, although I have never really bothered trying to find out their ages: The oldest being probably my 1a Dallmeyer (~1880?) brass lens in barrel, closely followed by a lovely, unmarked 7" Landscape lens in a Simplex shutter.
A bit more modern is my 10" Conley Series V (~1920?) which now sits in a #3 Alphax and a couple of Wollensak W.A. lenses in Betax shutters and a 15" Tele in an Alphax #4. All of these lenses get used regularly and for anything up to 5x7.

CCHarrison
31-Jan-2010, 16:15
CC Harrison's Orthoscope Lens of 1857.

Article here: http://www.antiquecameras.net/1857ccharrisonlens.html

Dan

Brian Stein
31-Jan-2010, 18:06
oldest: Rapid rectilinear from a kodak autographic #1 IIRC, so about 1910ish
regular use: 1930s zeiss 135 mm 4.5 tessar in patent etui as a walk around camera using 6x9 back

Ole Tjugen
1-Feb-2010, 00:37
Steinheil Periskop prototype, pre-1865.

Early Steinheil Aplanat, a couple of years younger.

Nameless landscape doublet, age unknown.

And I use these - haven't used the prototype yet, but I'll have to try it. ;)

archer
1-Feb-2010, 00:40
I have a Kodak 177mm f7 anastigmat that is uncoated and extremely sharp but I don't know it age. Does anyone have any idea how old this lens is?
Denise Libby

eddie
1-Feb-2010, 04:41
i have a low 5xxx serial number 11 inch voigtlander that is about 1852 or 1853

i also have three hermagis lenses. 8xxx, 94xx, 96xx that i would like to try and pin down but can not find what years.

eddie

goamules
1-Feb-2010, 11:03
Here are a few of mine. I think either the Lerebours et Secretan or the CC Harrison is the oldest, both about 1851. The Lerebours is hard to date exactly. But I shot with it yesterday.

Armin Seeholzer
1-Feb-2010, 12:28
I have a nice little Ross from around 1900-1910 very small and lightweight!

drew.saunders
1-Feb-2010, 13:28
CZ Jena Tessar, c. 1958-1960. Relatively speaking, it's a young whippersnapper!

Sven Schroder
1-Feb-2010, 13:34
Hi
One of my Petzvals may take the title in my Lens cupboard either a Lerebours et Secretan or one with a crest and J S or a landscape lens Swift & Son View 12x10 No620
which seems low.
Regards
Sven

77seriesiii
2-Feb-2010, 12:29
Too cool! get to see what's in other people's cabinets!

I have 3 fairly old lenses. Two are Jamin-Darlot cones 9" and 13" respectively. The 9" glass has 1860 on the glass and the 13" has 1862 on the glass. My unknown is a 21" Derogy and just checked...no dates...think small canon.

./e

Richard K.
30-Oct-2010, 23:04
I guess this one, a Ross Petzval from 1842/43, is now my oldest. Very sharp (in the center) and amazingly clean glass:

http://i300.photobucket.com/albums/nn15/RichardK47/Ross3-1.jpg

I even made a pair of stops for it:

http://i300.photobucket.com/albums/nn15/RichardK47/Ross5-1.jpg

voigtf64
31-Oct-2010, 04:22
not the oldest , but is this the oldest dallmeyer around , serial no 1204 -1860?(pic of it somewhere on this forum)http://www.flickr.com/photos/voigtf64/

Richard Rankin
31-Oct-2010, 06:29
My oldest is a Darlot with the cone centreliseur from 1864, dated on the front lens element. I use it more than any other lens I won.

Richard

neil poulsen
31-Oct-2010, 20:17
My oldest lens is probably a 16.5" coated f7.7 Dagor in the original Universal V shutter. Being coated probably dates it's manufacture to sometime in the mid to late '40's.

If not this one, I have a "recent model" Wollensak Tele-Raptar 15" lens.

Steven Tribe
1-Nov-2010, 03:10
Dear Richard!
"Ross Petzval from 1842/43".
Very impressive. So it is signed A.Rofs and has a serial number around or under 500? Love to see a image of the engraving?

Dear Sven!
"one with a crest and J S".
This sounds like a J. Lancaster & Son - early type. These have the City of Birmingham crest/shield with the initials J L S at the top. The L is often difficult to see. At the bottom there is often a B for Birmingham. Their distinctive engraving came later.

Richard K.
1-Nov-2010, 06:51
Dear Richard!
"Ross Petzval from 1842/43".
Very impressive. So it is signed A.Rofs and has a serial number around or under 500? Love to see a image of the engraving?

Steven, your wish is my command. :)
But have I got the date wrong (S/N 591) ?!? And here I thought it hailed from the dawn of photography! I would appreciate a more precise estimate of the year of manufacture from anyone who can help!
The glass is remarkably clean (see below) and the lens is remarkably sharp (in the middle) but I'm wondering if the brass could, or more importantly, SHOULD be cleaned up?

http://i300.photobucket.com/albums/nn15/RichardK47/Ross4-1.jpg

http://i300.photobucket.com/albums/nn15/RichardK47/Ross2-1.jpg

http://i300.photobucket.com/albums/nn15/RichardK47/Ross1.jpg

goamules
1-Nov-2010, 07:23
Richard, in the case of this lens, I would not polish it. Leave it as is, even speckled and ugly. I have an early Dallmeyer that is the same way, and won't touch it. The general guidelines are:
Don't polish if it's an early or rare design.
Don't polish if there is more than 75% original varnish.

Possibly polish if it's been polished before and has no original varnish.
Possibly polish if it's badly corroded or has extensive verdigris.

Richard K.
1-Nov-2010, 08:23
Thanks Garrett.:)

Peter Gomena
1-Nov-2010, 08:45
My oldest lens is a no-name rapid rectilinear circa 1895. I suspect it is a B&L lens engraved with a dealer's name. It is engraved only "Rapid Rectilinear, 61/2x81/2, HK and Co SF". Focal length is approximately 12".

Peter Gomena

goamules
1-Nov-2010, 09:39
Here is one that I polished because it looked like it had been dug out of an old barn. I could not tell what the maker was, it was terribly corroded and liable to continue to deteriorate. It was not "patina" but "corrosion". So I tried to restore it, discovered it was an early CC Harrison. Unfortuntately, the corrosion had etched and pitted the metal badly. I'm still not sure it looked better after.

kirkmacatangay
1-Nov-2010, 09:57
I have a small no-name barrel [no appeture] Petzval that is good for 6x9. I took the cells out to clean it up. Written on the side was Darlot 1864.

It is really a fun lens, I like it.

Steven Tribe
1-Nov-2010, 10:13
I think your date of 1843/44 is just possible, Richard. Ross dates for the 1840's are unknown but believed to be under the 1,000 (serial numberwise). Looking at the historical sequence - Petzval - Voigtländer - The great Dispute - Dietzel competition, 1843 is just about the earliest that Ross would have made a clone - even though he was geographically removed from the Central European courts.
Thanks for posting the engraving. I think it is excellent condition!

Steven Tribe
1-Nov-2010, 10:49
This is my contribution to the "age game"!

The maker is Henry Shuttleworth (either junior or senior) of 23 Ludgate Street, London.
They made the whole range of "Scientific Instruments" between about 1765 and "juniors" death around 1810.

It is a standard front achromat from one of their telescopes with focal length of 9", F7..The cement (or oil perhaps) needs changing. The glass is very pale green. When I am brave enough to remove from the mount and reglue, I will be using it regularly!

Richard K.
1-Nov-2010, 11:07
You win...:D

And so far I am resisting temptation to look for telescopes....hmmm....is eBay a good source....what are average prices for circa 1800 telescopes?...no...I'm not going there!....maybe ...just a quick look....

Steven Tribe
1-Nov-2010, 11:45
I have waited to present this until I had got my "quota" of 1780-1850 telescopes.
Before around 1780, the objective was often a single lens. Both crown/flint and flint/crown combinations exist.

My experiences are:

- they are all on sale in the UK - at least those without the "antik" atmosphere which starts anything of brass which has a maritime image at over £100. Often from places like Devon, Cornwall, Liverpool.
- plenty of websites with makers/when active/images of engraving.
- Lots and lots of forgeries - but mostly of Ross and Dolland. For Ross, these are stamped whilst Dollond has copperplate copies.
- Difference between the winning bids is condition dependent rather than manufacture.
Say £200 for a perfect condition for a known/period telescope whilst lens chips/delamination of the objective/lost cladding brings the price down to just 10s of £s or less!
- UK was a favorite market for French telescopes up to Franco-Prussian war (1870) so
Darlot was not alone. Unnamed means imported. Shops made engravings too.
- Focal lengths vary from around 9" up to about 20".
- Dimension of the objective are from 1.25" to 2".
-Threads are surprisingly good - but the objective lens always seen to be burnished in from the rear.

I got into this market to collect/repair a series of telescopes for my many grandsons. I have quite a lot of extra achromats which I draw on to replace the usually destroyed objective lens. My experience is that the erector/eyepiece lens (the difficult area) are in perfect condition. But sometimes the objective lens are OK as well!

Richard K.
1-Nov-2010, 11:51
Steven, thanks for this fine information!! :)

Steven Tribe
1-Nov-2010, 12:07
Petzval projection front achromats seem perfect for replacments in telescopes. Which can't surprise as that is where the design came from (telescope optics to photographic optics). RR achromats I have tried work but introduce a little sharp edge chromatic colouring.

Mark Sawyer
1-Nov-2010, 14:47
Petzval projection front achromats seem perfect for replacments in telescopes. Which can't surprise as that is where the design came from (telescope optics to photographic optics).

Are you sure of this? I've always read that Joseph Petzval designed the lens specifically for the Daguerreotype process, which needed the extra speed.

Steven Tribe
1-Nov-2010, 15:07
Absolutely sure (almost)!
There was a complete link between the opticians of the period who were making telescopes at the time and the first lens makers. Chevalier was making lenses for telescopes long before he did them for the early photo experimenters.
There is an interesting website where a researcher has access to sophisticated optical analyses. He "borrowed" about 30 pre-1820 telescopes from collections around the USA - split them up and did individual studies of the singles lenses and the front achromat. The front objective "achromats" turned out to live up to their description - well almost! I admire Petzval's achievement, but I think he basically accepted the formulation of the well-tried front achromat in his design and then restricted his calcuations to the degrees of freedom available with the double lens pair at the back in order to boost the speed.
I can find the website link if there is interest?

cdholden
1-Nov-2010, 17:48
Absolutely sure (almost)!
There was a complete link between the opticians of the period who were making telescopes at the time and the first lens makers. Chevalier was making lenses for telescopes long before he did them for the early photo experimenters.
There is an interesting website where a researcher has access to sophisticated optical analyses. He "borrowed" about 30 pre-1820 telescopes from collections around the USA - split them up and did individual studies of the singles lenses and the front achromat. The front objective "achromats" turned out to live up to their description - well almost! I admire Petzval's achievement, but I think he basically accepted the formulation of the well-tried front achromat in his design and then restricted his calcuations to the degrees of freedom available with the double lens pair at the back in order to boost the speed.
I can find the website link if there is interest?

When it comes to lens history, you'll always find interest here.

goamules
1-Nov-2010, 17:57
You may be absolutely sure, but that doesn't make it so.

To those who try to downplay what he did, I say again, J. Petzval was the first to mathematically calculate a lens design given the requirements for greater speed and workable photographic requirements. All the lenses before him were slow or had myriad aberrations. They were made by trial and error, and the designs were guesswork.

He got out his pen and paper, and mathematically created a design that was many times faster, and that design was used for 60 years. He built a prototype and it work as he had calculated. Just because part of his design is a cemented doublet, like almost all lenses before or after, doesn't mean he simply tweaked one or invented something obvious. If it were easy someone else would have taken an F16 single element design and created an F3.8 multi element design.

Also, the meniscus lenses at the time were reversed, concave side out, weren't they? Petzvals design is convex out. It was a novel, revolutionary, and lasting invention.

Jim Galli
1-Nov-2010, 19:31
I guess this one, a Ross Petzval from 1842/43, is now my oldest. Very sharp (in the center) and amazingly clean glass:

http://i300.photobucket.com/albums/nn15/RichardK47/Ross3-1.jpg

I even made a pair of stops for it:

http://i300.photobucket.com/albums/nn15/RichardK47/Ross5-1.jpg

Richard, those are tuit's. Anybody knows that. That reminds me. I need to get a round tuit. My wife told me so.

Steven Tribe
2-Nov-2010, 02:31
I couldn't find the site last night! I'll try and remember the search words.
He included an analysis of FL, radii, whether they were crown/flint or flint/crown (yes some did use the reverse system!), convex or concave pointing forward. He included ****ograms of the light coming through which showed the presence of irregularities in the homogeneity of the glass (really cool images) and more.

eddie
2-Nov-2010, 04:18
http://i300.photobucket.com/albums/nn15/RichardK47/Ross4-1.jpg



*wolf whistle*

oh la la! what an old baby!

i love it.....can i have it? har har har!

i would not clean it or polish it.

cowanw
2-Nov-2010, 05:30
Send it to the 11th province: I think not!:D
Regards
Bill

Steven Tribe
3-Nov-2010, 11:51
I still can't locate the website I mentioned earlier. I'll post if google comes up trumps.
Having done a bit of reading, it appears to be the general optical historian view that the Chevalier lens is a front achromat taken from telescope production. Perhaps the "concave forward" is just because the telescope cell, when screwed into the back of a tube, would be that way around! This explains also why it performs so poorly below F16 as there is a restrictive stop in the telescope tube. It was the basis of the "French landscape type". Petzval modified the achromat using maths to push performance up to about F10 before the image is dramatically corrupted.

goamules
3-Nov-2010, 12:35
Maybe you are looking for Kingslake's book. The part on Petzval Here (http://books.google.com/books?id=OJrJrEJ-r9QC&lpg=PA35&ots=YY7pdLu4cw&dq=kingslake%20petzval&pg=PA35#v=onepage&q=kingslake%20petzval&f=false). And yes, it does say he basically used a telescope type doublet to start his design.

Steven Tribe
4-Nov-2010, 03:50
No, this was a modern study.
I have checked my surviving early telescope achromats and I can't get down to F.5 as Kingslake says. I have a F6.6 and an F9. I have a day or night as well and judging the distance to the erector lens and the barrel diameter, this must have been an F9 as well - the big difference here was the absence of limiting stops as in the usual type daylight telescopes. These stops was at the front end of the first extension - In the illustration I have pushed the draws in to show the stops.

Steven Tribe
16-Dec-2010, 13:08
This is an update to a mail I made on the 2nd November!
The optical investigations of the old telescope achromats were rochigrams and focograms.
The study can be found at the Adler Planetarium website under the Dioptrice project.

rjmeyer314
17-Dec-2010, 06:13
CZ Jena Tessar, c. 1958-1960. Relatively speaking, it's a young whippersnapper!

The Tessar was designed by Paul Rudolph in 1902.

dsphotog
19-Dec-2010, 19:40
I have a CC Harrison lens (#7129) that is on a c. 1855 camera, Would one of the experts, please remind me the formula for calculating focal length & f number?
Also if the lens age can be determined by the serial number.
Thanks

john wood
19-Dec-2010, 21:53
A Busch Pantoskop that, though designed in the 1860's I've read, was made...dunno, in the '60's as well, or maybe later on. Maybe Miguel or Ole know...

Steven Tribe
2-May-2011, 04:42
I can't improve on my oldest photographically usable lens, but here is a new one from, at latest, 1825. Of some optical history interest, too!
Fraunhofer had a short and dramatic career within optics, both practical (glass production and telescope/optics making) and theoretic (spectroscopi - Fraunhofer dark lines and defraction).
The manufacturing quality is way beyond anything I have seen before (UK makers!)!
The achromat has a focal length of 45cm, diameter is 3.5cm, giving an F of 12.8.

SamReeves
2-May-2011, 08:31
Oldest lens overall is on a turn of the century big black box camera. For the field camera it's a Nikkor 150mm which I bought in 1999.

tonkhang
4-May-2011, 09:36
55279
My Voigtlander serial no 1585

tonkhang
4-May-2011, 09:43
55280
My oldest Jamin Darlot with cône centralisateur serial No 3387, with Hermagis Eidoscope No1

Andrew Plume
4-May-2011, 11:03
.............some great early lenses here fellow members

my oldest is almost certainly serial no: 2200 by M Lerebours and also bearing the inscription 'Vallantin Opticien de 1840 a 1851', where that places the serial no regarding the likely date, is beyond me but I'm hoping that Steven or Garrett or some others can possibly chip in and assist

no, it's not up for p ex at Bievres next month, that's if anyone desires it............

andrew

goamules
4-May-2011, 12:30
Andrew, I like those Lerebours too, but I've never found a serial number index. I say "1845-1855" in my notes, generally. The Vallantin connection is interesting, and would probably narrow dates down. Don't know off the top of my head.

Steven Tribe
4-May-2011, 12:38
Vallantin IS correctly spelt! I found him on another named objective from the same period /Westlicht auctions. He was also a photographic inventor with french patents at the end of the 1850's. Lerebours was a big import article into the UK during the 1850's at the same time as Jamin and before - but there is no known serial number/date list.

Andrew Plume
5-May-2011, 02:40
Garrett, Steven - very grateful, as ever

best

andrew

alex from holland
6-Jun-2011, 01:53
Last saturday i was able to buy a "new" Hermagis for my Hermagis "collection"

It turned out to be one of the oldest Hermagis Petzvals. :) :) :)
It has no serialnumber which indicates it's an early one, but it is dated on the glass, 1856.
They started using serialnumbers at aprox 1860.
some pictures can be found here : http://collodion-art.blogspot.com/2011/06/great-find-at-bievres.html

Alex

eddie
6-Jun-2011, 03:18
I got a nice Jamin cone centralissuer (sp) serial number 147.

I got some other very old and collectible French lenses that I can not date. One is a Lachlan.

Emil Schildt
6-Jun-2011, 07:24
Last saturday i was able to buy a "new" Hermagis for my Hermagis "collection"

It turned out to be one of the oldest Hermagis Petzvals. :) :) :)
It has no serialnumber which indicates it's an early one, but it is dated on the glass, 1856.
They started using serialnumbers at aprox 1860.
some pictures can be found here : http://collodion-art.blogspot.com/2011/06/great-find-at-bievres.html

Alex

that one looks cool!

FL?

alex from holland
6-Jun-2011, 07:41
that one looks cool!

FL?


It's about 500 mm f5, so a nice potrait lens for my big camera......

Jim Fitzgerald
6-Jun-2011, 07:58
Alex, great find!!

Richard K.
6-Jun-2011, 10:17
Nice find Alex but MINE harks (or maybe hails) from the very DAWN of photography :D . My 1842/3 (or possibly as late as '44) (serial # 591) Ross Petzval that is...(see post 29).
I just don't know if its from '42 or '43 and there doesn't seem to be a way of finding out! The glass is in fine condition and actually very sharp in the center...

I think that it's still the oldest posted..and no counting microscope or telescope optics, just camera dedicated lenses...

goamules
6-Jun-2011, 23:14
My oldest that I can date for sure is an 1851 CC Harrison and a Voigtlander from 1855. But I have a few others that may be a few years older, but are more difficult to date.

Steven Tribe
7-Jun-2011, 02:28
Here are a couple of images from telescope objective achromats.
The first one is from 1790-1800 (Shuttleworth) and the second from around 1825 (Utzschneider & Fraunhofer).
Both need a new cement layer and are only just useable at the moment. They may have an oil instead of balsam.
The last one is a better condition french telescope achromat from 1850+.

William Barnett-Lewis
10-Jun-2011, 17:24
B&L 5x7 Series IIb f/6.3 Tessar in barrel. ~1910-1912 time frame. I've got it hacked up into a Polaroid MP4 shutter and a card board lens board for my Crown Graphic. Fine fine fine piece of glass, capable of much more than I am doing with it.

Filmnut
10-Jun-2011, 18:06
My oldest is from around 1900, a guess only though, a brass barrel lens that has been off of a camera as long as I've been alive! My grandfather scavenged it in the thirties or forties and used it as an enlarging lens. It's about 150mm, with a diaphram. No makers marks are visible, and the glass is in very good condition.
The oldest that I actually use, is a Rodenstock 127mm, 4.7, from a fifties Polariod, that is mounted on my Speed Graphic instead of the original Ektar.
Keith

jss
10-Jun-2011, 19:11
http://schlachet.net/images/2011/gundlach-rr.jpg

I use this for portraits on 8x10. It's a Gundlach Rapid Rectigraphic. It's a triple convertible made for 5x8, patent date of Dec 9 1890. In the background is a Burke & James, the camera it's always used on.

Pete Roody
20-Jun-2011, 12:29
My Latest: Jamin Cone Lens ~8-1/4" fl serial # 2308 1850's?

goamules
20-Jun-2011, 15:51
My Latest: Jamin Cone Lens ~8-1/4" fl serial # 2308 1850's?

It's hard to gauge the date from the serial number on Jamins. They seemed to go all over the place.

Louis Pacilla
20-Jun-2011, 17:03
It's hard to gauge the date from the serial number on Jamins. They seemed to go all over the place.

My cone lens if going by the list for J&D lens manufacture that I found online( don't remember the site at the moment) had it's manufacture date as 1861. I would not trust this list but the dual signature of both Jamin & Darlot plus address & last but not least the year of 1861.

I believe this to be more chance than a pattern . I have seen lenses with earlier serial #'s & dated later than mine & the reverse.

eddie
20-Jun-2011, 23:32
It's hard to gauge the date from the serial number on Jamins. They seemed to go all over the place.

Yeah but if it only says jamin we know it is before 60-65. If it says another address other than 14 rue (whatever....I forgot..... champon?). Then it is even earlier.

eddie
12-Jul-2011, 13:01
okay. i got a "new"......well it is really old Jamin lens. number 148. please note the address on the lens. it is in the middle. the other two are 23xx and 11xx. :)

eddie

Steven Tribe
12-Jul-2011, 13:25
His 2nd address in rue St. Martin so it is 1850 (Kingslake).

eddie
12-Jul-2011, 17:42
His 2nd address in rue St. Martin so it is 1850 (Kingslake).

His first address is?

I have two with no serial numbers but havethe included "3rd" lens in the middle. (it must be removed for photos.....which is why most are lost. Pictures to follow.

Steven Tribe
13-Jul-2011, 07:13
1st address until 1850 - 71 Rue St. Martin, then 127 Rue St. Martin, then 14 Rue Champon. Source is R. Kingslake as quoted by VM.
I know it seems strange that he "moved" as early as before your serial number, 148. But he did not start his optical business with photographic objectives. Perhaps making the Cone made him expand into new and smarter premises?

Rick A
24-Jul-2011, 16:35
I just purchased a Centar series II 5x7 lens in a very dead shutter. I found it fits perfectly on my Betax no 2 shutter. Focal length approx. 210mm and wide open f/8.4. Looks to be an aplanat design, very sharp and clear with loads of room to move around on my 4x5. I am unsure of the age, when were Century cameras made using series II lenses.

Louis Pacilla
24-Jul-2011, 18:39
I just purchased a Centar series II 5x7 lens in a very dead shutter. I found it fits perfectly on my Betax no 2 shutter. Focal length approx. 210mm and wide open f/8.4. Looks to be an aplanat design, very sharp and clear with loads of room to move around on my 4x5. I am unsure of the age, when were Century cameras made using series II lenses.


Well Century Camera Co. started in 1900-01. The turn of the century. Hence the name.

So the lens was made after 1900 & could have been made by just about any lens manufacturers of that time. Probably B&L or Wollensak. Many European lens manufacturers provided US company's w/ lenses & the the company would have their name engraved on the barrel. Supply houses & Camera Company's did this quite often.

Only a few like Gundlach manufactured both.

Rick A
25-Jul-2011, 12:56
Well Century Camera Co. started in 1900-01. The turn of the century. Hence the name.

So the lens was made after 1900 & could have been made by just about any lens manufacturers of that time. Probably B&L or Wollensak. Many European lens manufacturers provided US company's w/ lenses & the the company would have their name engraved on the barrel. Supply houses & Camera Company's did this quite often.

Only a few like Gundlach manufactured both.

It came attached to a B&L shutter, but I can't find anything in B&L literature about the lens. Maybe I'll try Wollensak lit.

Pat Hilander
26-Jul-2011, 10:08
55280
My oldest Jamin Darlot with cône centralisateur serial No 3387, with Hermagis Eidoscope No1

Wow, nice collection!

Emil Schildt
21-Sep-2011, 07:23
I now have a similar lens as Richard.. but not quite as old... But surely my now oldest - and in fine condition - glass "perfect" as Richard's..

1850-ties?

Guestimated to be a 280-300mm F 4- 4.2 ish.

Bigger than I thought when looking at the auction images...

Ross (old spelling)
serial 4465

Richard K.
21-Sep-2011, 08:12
Much nicer than mine (but my glass is amazing!) even though not quite as old (my serial N0. 591) :)
I think Ross hit 3000 S/N in 1850 and 6500 in 1860 (?) So yours is nice 1850s vintage.

Sure would love to pin down the year of my 591 S/N. Anyone?

Jon M
17-Nov-2011, 14:28
I think Ross hit 3000 S/N in 1850 and 6500 in 1860 (?) So yours is nice 1850s vintage.

Sure would love to pin down the year of my 591 S/N. Anyone?

As you said before 1842/43, no way to nail it down firmly. There's just not enough information out there on Ross lenses.

Here's my addition though. Late 1860's Ross No.4 Portrait Petzval s/n 10030 (15"). Of course this is my only old lens and I have no way of using it, but it was a (small) journey finding out what it is.

http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6171/6242491300_8f00fd6dbc.jpg http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6161/6242491496_e7c7eae640.jpg

kirkmacatangay
30-Jan-2012, 21:08
My newest oldest is Voigtlander Petzval No.19xxx from around 1875(?) which is roughly 9"-10". No Hood but it works out so that I can mount a Packard shutter in the front. Fun times, I will be trying it some time this week.

Kirk

Two23
30-Jan-2012, 21:29
I have a Voigtlander Petzval from 1865, a Derogy Petzval that has no serial number and has only "Paris" (no London) on it, and a George Wood pillbox lens that was made in 1855. I've also just bought a Grubb Petzval, serial #359 that I'd like you to take a look at and try to date. I'm hoping 1840s. :)

Link to my thread:
http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?t=86424


Kent in SD

Geoffrey_5995
30-Jan-2012, 23:03
I Have two early lenses manufactured by W. & W.H. Lewis. The first is serial #282. The other Lewis lens has a later serial# but can't find it right now.

W. & W.H. Lewis began manufacturing photographic equipment very early in the USA in NYC, starting in 1840. Lewis is credited with inventing and manufacturing the first bellows camera. In 1852 Lewis opened a factory near Newburgh, NY which failed shortly thereafter and was sold to The Harrison & Gardner Co. in 1852 and then sold to Palmer & Lonking in 1853. I think I have my dates correct. Lewis continued to manufacture equipment in NYC from 1853.

I have a few questions that hopefully some forum members can answer. First, the Lewis lens I have with the serial number 282 I'm assuming was from the early period before being purchased by Harrison & Gardner but perhaps it was manufactured after the sale by Lewis in NYC in 1853 or there after. The 282 Lewis has a radial focus but the other Lewis with a later serial# has a tangential which is odd because I would think the earlier one would have the tangential after the European design like Voigtlander that made the earliest camera lenses. So is the 282 Lewis from the early 1840's which would be my guess.

I also have a Harrison & Gardner but I don't know if the this Harrison is the same as Charles .C. Harrison, known as C.C. Harrison the Daguerreotypist, lens maker and co-inventor of the Harrison & Schnitzer Globe lens of 1962.

Also have a Palmer & Longking. These lenses are some of my oldest American lenses.

Geoff

goamules
31-Jan-2012, 09:06
Hi Geoff, while researching a couple of Lewis cameras I was considering, I found this reference, which may help you: The Men, The Camera and their Factory, Palmer & Longking and Lewis Daguerreotype Factory (1981, Stuart Wilensky). It's pretty brief, but he seems to have done a lot of research on Lewis and P&L back in the 80s.

My oldest lenses are an 1851 CC Harrison, as well as an early Willard, and several other Radial Drive American lenses.

Petzval Paul
31-Jan-2012, 09:39
My oldest is a CCH 'fat focus' circa 1853. Harrison also made some tangential drives (s/n in to, or at least up to the mid hundreds), some square based drives (early 1,000's), round bases, small knobs on the drives... Quite a few variations, so I am not surprised that Lewis made some rack in pinion drive lenses later on. Voigtlander also made radial drives very early on, and some other French manufactures copied them much later... plenty of variety, really.

I also have a Palmer & Longking, s/n 931. I seriously don't know, but maybe Dan can supply some input: I believe that P&L and Lewis may have only sold lenses mounted on their cameras. IOW that they were rebranded lenses not sold with their engravings unless one bought one of their cameras. That is pure speculation, mind you, and I would like to find out if I am wrong or not.

P&L is said to have made 200 cameras a year, from about 1853 to 1859 or so... About 1,400 total. The latest s/n I have seen was around 1300 or so, which seems to support that. In any case, there are precious few of them in comparison to CCH or HBH who made around 11,000 each. What is interesting is that they never changed their design; they only produced Daguerreian cameras and simply folded instead of adapting to the times. That's why their name is so intimately associated with the Daguerreian era.

Vaughn
31-Jan-2012, 09:46
A pair of lenses from 1954

goamules
31-Jan-2012, 10:11
[QUOTE=Geoffrey_5995;840322...

I have a few questions that hopefully some forum members can answer. First, the Lewis lens I have with the serial number 282 I'm assuming was from the early period before being purchased by Harrison & Gardner but perhaps it was manufactured after the sale by Lewis in NYC in 1853 or there after. The 282 Lewis has a radial focus but the other Lewis with a later serial# has a tangential which is odd because I would think the earlier one would have the tangential after the European design like Voigtlander that made the earliest camera lenses. So is the 282 Lewis from the early 1840's which would be my guess.

I also have a Harrison & Gardner but I don't know if the this Harrison is the same as Charles .C. Harrison, known as C.C. Harrison the Daguerreotypist, lens maker and co-inventor of the Harrison & Schnitzer Globe lens of 1962.
...[/QUOTE]

Looking into the dates a little more, there is no evidence Lewis was making cameras or certainly not lenses very long before the Nov, 1851 Patent of their camera, and opening their New Windsor, NY factory. At their earlier Chatham Street address they were probably just selling other Daguerriean supplies, like clad silver plates and chemicals. Their cameras were made in 1851 through May 1852 when they sold to Harrison & Gardner, no relation to CC Harrison (Dec 1852, Humphrey's Journal). During those few months they were in high production, and their new cameras were mentioned in several trade periodicals that year for the first time. So I'd say your lens is 1851-1852. After they sold the factory, the Lewis company was back at a new 63 Elisabeth street address in 1856-1857

Geoffrey_5995
31-Jan-2012, 11:42
My oldest is a CCH 'fat focus' circa 1853. Harrison also made some tangential drives (s/n in to, or at least up to the mid hundreds), some square based drives (early 1,000's), round bases, small knobs on the drives... Quite a few variations, so I am not surprised that Lewis made some rack in pinion drive lenses later on. Voigtlander also made radial drives very early on, and some other French manufactures copied them much later... plenty of variety, really.

I also have a Palmer & Longking, s/n 931. I seriously don't know, but maybe Dan can supply some input: I believe that P&L and Lewis may have only sold lenses mounted on their cameras. IOW that they were rebranded lenses not sold with their engravings unless one bought one of their cameras. That is pure speculation, mind you, and I would like to find out if I am wrong or not.

P&L is said to have made 200 cameras a year, from about 1853 to 1859 or so... About 1,400 total. The latest s/n I have seen was around 1300 or so, which seems to support that. In any case, there are precious few of them in comparison to CCH or HBH who made around 11,000 each. What is interesting is that they never changed their design; they only produced Daguerreian cameras and simply folded instead of adapting to the times. That's why their name is so intimately associated with the Daguerreian era.

Hi Paul, Interesting information and history. I forgot to mention the Willards, Useners, Chapmans and Perrys I have and need to start researching these lenses. I have George Chapman but not Levi.

The other W. & W.H. Lewis I have is serial# 697.

I'm still interested in learning if the Harrison of Harrison & Gardner is C.C. Harrison. Couldn't find any information on this connection. BTW, the Harrison & Gardner I have has no serial# and never had one. It also has a square focus mount and not the usual round ones found on most radial drive early American lenses.

Geoff

Petzval Paul
31-Jan-2012, 11:57
I have seen square drives on HBH (the one that sold with a s/n 80, which should put it at 1853), CCH's from around 1852 or so, and early P&L's which should be about 1853 or thereabouts. For that reason I am inclined to believe that a square mount should put a lens at around 1852/53. That would place the Harrison & Gardner right were it should be, historically, FWIW.

goamules
31-Jan-2012, 12:53
As far as was CC Harrison the same person who formed Gardner, Harrison and Co., I'm seeing conflicting answers. Humphrey's Journal 1852 Vol. IV no. 17 is quoted as saying it was not the same person. But Craig's Daguerriean Registry (recent researcher) says it was the same person.

Geoffrey_5995
31-Jan-2012, 14:10
As far as was CC Harrison the same person who formed Gardner, Harrison and Co., I'm seeing conflicting answers. Humphrey's Journal 1852 Vol. IV no. 17 is quoted as saying it was not the same person. But Craig's Daguerriean Registry (recent researcher) says it was the same person.

I know that CC Harrison was also a Daguerreotypist so it makes sense that he would appear in Craig's registry but I would like to find out definitively. From my understanding, CC first made lenses for himself and then gain a reputation for his lenses from his own use. He then started making them fr other/ It doesn't make sense that he would have partnered to start making lenses but then I've been wrong lots of times. I would like to nail this down. Geoff

CCHarrison
31-Jan-2012, 16:14
Gardner, Harrison and Co. was a Newark NJ firm specializing in iron and iron works. They supplied the Lewis firm with raw materials. Lewis and son went bankrupt in 1852 and GH&Co. was one of their largest creditors. Hence, GH&Co took ownership of Lewis' inventory. In 1853, Palmer and Longking took control of the Lewis inventory from GH&Co. If you have a GH&Co. lens it can be dated precisely to 1852 or 53. P&L Lenses date to 1853 to about 1858.

Its a very complicated history - I do know more and have documents to support what I am stating, but am writing a research piece on this whole story. CC Harrison is not related to the firm of G,H&Co.

Best
Dan

Petzval Paul
31-Jan-2012, 16:46
IIRC, CC Harrison was Henry Fitz's foreman so he knew all about grinding lenses, that's for sure. Fitz was known for doing finishing work himself at his factory (and not leading much of a social life) but certainly CC learned all he needed to in order to make great lenses.

goamules
31-Jan-2012, 17:34
Gardner, Harrison and Co. was a Newark NJ firm specializing in iron and iron works. They supplied the Lewis firm with raw materials. Lewis and son went bankrupt in 1852 and GH&Co. was one of their largest creditors. Hence, GH&Co took ownership of Lewis' inventory. In 1853, Palmer and Longking took control of the Lewis inventory from GH&Co. If you have a GH&Co. lens it can be dated precisely to 1852 or 53. P&L Lenses date to 1853 to about 1858.

Its a very complicated history - I do know more and have documents to support what I am stating, but am writing a research piece on this whole story. CC Harrison is not related to the firm of G,H&Co.

Best
Dan
I can't wait to read it Dan! To me, the brief period of the first generation or American portrait lens manufacturers is a fascinating enigma. Why did they all go out of business before the Civil War? Most of them anyway. They're excellent lenses.

CCHarrison
31-Jan-2012, 17:59
Hi Garrett,

One major reason was the economy in the late 1850's including the "Panic of 1857."

Dan

Geoffrey_5995
31-Jan-2012, 22:37
Gardner, Harrison and Co. was a Newark NJ firm specializing in iron and iron works. They supplied the Lewis firm with raw materials. Lewis and son went bankrupt in 1852 and GH&Co. was one of their largest creditors. Hence, GH&Co took ownership of Lewis' inventory. In 1853, Palmer and Longking took control of the Lewis inventory from GH&Co. If you have a GH&Co. lens it can be dated precisely to 1852 or 53. P&L Lenses date to 1853 to about 1858.

Its a very complicated history - I do know more and have documents to support what I am stating, but am writing a research piece on this whole story. CC Harrison is not related to the firm of G,H&Co.

Best
Dan

Dan, This is very informative and helpful. I'm looking forward to reading your research piece. But what about the Lewis #282? Is it pre-GH&Co. or after? Geoff

CCHarrison
1-Feb-2012, 06:31
Hi GB,

My bet is that the lens dates to the 1845-50 period. While they were making cameras fairly early (before their patented bellow camera), I believe their lenses were a bit later.. Attached is an account from Henry J. Lewis from 1886.

Dan

goamules
1-Feb-2012, 07:20
Hi GB,

My bet is that the lens dates to the 1845-50 period. While they were making cameras fairly early (before their patented bellow camera), I believe their lenses were a bit later.. Attached is an account from Henry J. Lewis from 1886.

Dan

Dan, I'm still not seeing any evidence Lewis made lenses that early. Other than Wolcott and maybe Fitz, I don't think there were any American lens makers that early, but I'd have to do more research. As far as when Lewis started making lenses, there is still evidence they were making cameras only first, then about the time of the Lewis patent bellows cameras, began making lenses around 1851.

New York Court of Appeals. Records and Briefs, 1860. "Henry J. Lewis against Aaron F. Palmer"
(Testimony of John Dunshee, accountant for Lewis firm)

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7170/6801378549_1207738579_z.jpg

CCHarrison
1-Feb-2012, 08:10
Garrett,

You may be correct. I know the younger son, HJ Lewis did start a lens business within the father and older son's firm. I have read the same court documents. The question, which I cant yet confirm, was if the Leiws firm were selling lenses (made by another) prior to HJ Lewis getting into the business (as a manufacturer of lenses). I think they did given their store fully supplied photographers with the complete requirements for Dag taking....

There were others making lenses in American in the 1840's.. John Roach was one such prominent maker that made lenses right from 1840 thru the 1850's.... George Prosch made Morse's camera, but I think he also made/sold lenses...... Chilton, Seaver and Butler and various other Dag studios sold lenses... not sure if they were the makers - doubt it - just resellers. Roach and JG Wolf were makers.... see the ad from 1840 for Wolf and 1845 for Roach..attached...

See here for more clues http://www.dagazine.com/mi/exhibit/camera.htm

Dan

CCHarrison
1-Feb-2012, 08:40
And here is an article from "The Knickerbocker" magazine 1840 regarding Wolf's lens...

Dan

goamules
1-Feb-2012, 09:46
Excellent info on the earliest days. Thanks.

CCHarrison
1-Feb-2012, 09:51
Garrett,

This a fantastic book on the earliest days including information about makers and sellers of equipment, however the emphasis is on images - especially Daguerreotypes... I highly recommend it...

http://www.amazon.com/dp/0300122861/ref=as_li_tf_til?tag=antiquclassic-20&camp=0&creative=0&linkCode=as1&creativeASIN=0300122861&adid=07RFQJR978XJJV71KN4H


Dan

CCHarrison
1-Feb-2012, 11:24
Geoff - can you post a pic of your Lewis lens? I think I have photos of one I owed many years ago to compare it to....

Dan

CCHarrison
1-Feb-2012, 13:19
Garrett,

To follow up Lewis lenses...here is an article from August 1851 mentioning Lewis lenses. Given HJ Lewis really didnt start until 1851, it would seem to me Lewis was selling Lewis marked lenses prior to this...but I dont (yet) have earlier confirmation than this... From The Photographic Art Journal 8/51

Dan

Two23
1-Feb-2012, 19:01
Garrett,

This a fantastic book on the earliest days including information about makers and sellers of equipment, however the emphasis is on images - especially Daguerreotypes... I highly recommend it...




Does the book have any photos of trains etc. in it? I've been looking for some very early railroad photos. Also, anything at all about Grubb lenses? No one seems to have come up with any info for me.



Kent in SD

goamules
1-Feb-2012, 19:10
Good stuff Dan. I wonder, would the earliest Dag supply houses also be manufacturing their lenses in house? Or buying Ross or Voigtlander for resale? Horne and Thornthwait in London had one of the first English supply houses, and eventually they started making/offering their own lenses in the 1840s. That progression was pretty common if you think about EH Anthony, Scovill, and a couple others on this side of the pond. The supply houses at least eventually sold lenses under their own label, made elsewhere. Another interesting consideration is most of these early American radial drive lenses look almost identical. I know Usner and CC Harrison were opticians and made the glass. But the brasswork on many looks very, very similar. anyway, Lewis is a classic, early one.

It would be interesting to know what the tipping point was, but it seems in about 1850 several Americans all started making portrait lenses at once. I suppose the Dag studios were booming.

Geoffrey_5995
1-Feb-2012, 23:23
Hi GB,

My bet is that the lens dates to the 1845-50 period. While they were making cameras fairly early (before their patented bellow camera), I believe their lenses were a bit later.. Attached is an account from Henry J. Lewis from 1886.

Dan

Thanks Dan, Great info. Now I need to read the rest of the posts in this thread. GB

Geoffrey_5995
1-Feb-2012, 23:31
Geoff - can you post a pic of your Lewis lens? I think I have photos of one I owed many years ago to compare it to....

Dan

Hi Dan, Will get a pic posted as soon as I get a moment. GB

CCHarrison
2-Feb-2012, 05:35
Hi Garrett,

There were American made lenses right from the start with John Roach, Henry Fitz (http://www.europa.com/~telscope/fitz.txt)and a few others. You really need to check out the book above. You should also read Images & Enterprise by Jenkins http://www.amazon.com/dp/0801835496?tag=antiquclassic-20&camp=14573&creative=327641&linkCode=as1&creativeASIN=0801835496&adid=1M8D75WD1F41JQDW88N6&&ref-refURL=http%3A%2F%2Fantiquecameras.net%2Fcamerabooks.html
which outlines manufacturers in America from 1839 on.... Very small numbers mind you, and focused in NY City. And yes, Voigtlander's (and Ross) were re-sold by everyone, but were very expensive which is why there were cheaper American made "tubes" made/sold almost immediately.

Lastly, if you are interested, I can send you an article written by Matt Isenberg on early equipment... For those who dont know, Matthew maintains the largest collection of American made Dag Cameras in the world and is the leading authority on the subject (and a heck of a nice guy too !) you can email me at dcolucci AT aol.com

Best
Dan

goamules
2-Feb-2012, 06:46
Sure, I'd love a copy. I sent you an email. I'd read that first book you'd mentioned, when I checked it out of the Center for Creative Photograpy's library a while ago. I'd forgotten. They have a lot of early periodicals too. I go there when I research some of the strange equipment I encounter, like my reversing prism. It turns out Matt said it wasn't as early as I'd hoped. Yeah...he knows his stuff.

Two23
2-Feb-2012, 18:38
Anyone have any info on American lens maker John Dean (1860s?), or a photo of his lenses? Or, have I been asking too difficult questions here? :) There was a stereo photographer named Alfred A. Hart who took a lot of railroad photos in that time period in California, and he used a pair of John Dean lenses. They appear to be radial drive Petzvals. Is that a curious choice for landscapes? Wouldn't the newly available rapid rectilinear lenses have been a better choice?


Kent in SD

CCHarrison
4-Feb-2012, 16:01
Kent

Saw the reference to "John Dean" lenses, but I dont believe he was an optician. The closest match is to John Dean & Co. who was a BIG seller of tintype plates and other "soft" photographic supplies. Perhaps, he resold some lenses in the 1860's with his name on them as was pretty common.

Dan

Two23
4-Feb-2012, 16:19
Kent

Perhaps, he resold some lenses in the 1860's with his name on them as was pretty common.



That would make a lot of sense. Thanks.


Kent in SD

Geoffrey_5995
4-Feb-2012, 21:28
Geoff - can you post a pic of your Lewis lens? I think I have photos of one I owed many years ago to compare it to....

Dan


Hi Dan, Here are the pics of the Large Lewis #282. Pics of other lenses to follow. Geoff

Geoffrey_5995
4-Feb-2012, 21:33
Dan, These are pics of my smaller Lewis #697. Geoff

Geoffrey_5995
4-Feb-2012, 21:35
And these are pics of the Gardner & Harrison. Geoff

Scotty230358
5-Feb-2012, 00:50
The oldest lens I own is an unbranded meniscus mounted in a polaroid shutter. I don't know how old it is. The oldest lens I use regularly is a Series III berlin Dagor (120mm f6.8). The serial number suggests that it was made in the early twenties.

CCHarrison
5-Feb-2012, 05:53
As discussed in email with Geoff, The Gardner & Harrison dates to 1851/1852 and features the square mount drive, which seems to have been found on a few different models during the 1851-1855 period. Its been found on CC Harrison lenses, HBH, Gardner&Harrison and Palmer & Longking, to name a few. Obviously, this G&H lens was cut after the fact for waterhouse stops.

The 282 Lewis is also cut after the fact. This is further confirmed by the 697 Lewis that remains uncut. I do think these may be pre 1852, and perhaps the 282 dates to the late 40's. I am basing that on a later Lewis lens I have seen that is marked "Lewis" NY not W&WH Lewis. I assume these are by HJ Lewis (the younger Lewis son who started making lenses himself in 1852ish), but I cant confirm this 100%.

It would seem to me we have enough evidence to start assuming that these 1850's barrels or at least parts may be made by one or two firms, even if the lenses (glass) were made by someone else. There is too much in common on too may different brands to assume these barrels - or at least some parts (like the radial drive systems) - arent from one or two sources.... Again, some speculation on my part, but I think accurate. Its complicated. We have opticians who made glass, manufacturers who likely made barrels, firms who perhaps did both glass and barrel, we have firms putting their name on items made by other companies, and we have Photographers who also put their names on lenses made by others. Tough to sort it all out...

Palmer & Longking lenses seem to have had both the square and more common circular drive. I assume the early 1852-1854ish Palmers have the square while later feature the circle. This, I assume, was based on parts supplies...Perhaps Scovill, Chapman or, a bit later, HBH supplied barrel parts, if not the whole barrel. And, I havent even brought up Usener and Willard in all this mess but they seem a bit later.

I think with enough of us posting pics of these lenses, and trying to compare side by side, we will find the commonality between these lenses.

P&L attached showing square mount and another P&L with round mount. Also attached is a Fitz of the same time period (cut after the fact)...

Best
Dan

CCHarrison
5-Feb-2012, 06:25
To follow up. Chapman was definitely a manufacturer of lenses in this period. He is likey an important key to some of this. He made lenses for others AND sold under his own name AND was a dealer in other lenses. Check out this 1854 ad from Anthony (1st ad on the left). Whats also interesting is they list 2 different quality levels of Palmer & Longking lenses !! first and second quality.

Dan

JosephBurke
5-Feb-2012, 07:09
When does the French maker Lerebours et Secretan fall into the early period?--I have three or four but no way to date them. I bought one several years ago that is supposedly 1840's and is my largest (physically) of the group.

goamules
5-Feb-2012, 07:16
This is my 1951 wholeplate CC Harrison with the square mount, Ser. 16xx. I have another with the serial number less than 100 more, but unfortunately it's missing the drive. But the way the screw holes look, it may have had a square mount too.

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7029/6822972249_98d75b6fc7_b.jpg

goamules
5-Feb-2012, 07:26
When does the French maker Lerebours et Secretan fall into the early period?--I have three or four but no way to date them. I bought one several years ago that is supposedly 1840's and is my largest (physically) of the group.

They are early too, but hard to date. If you know when a company started making lenses (which is what we're trying to do for Lewis), you can at least extrapolate how many were probably made each year. If they numbered in sequence. The Dallmeyer ledgers are available, so those are very accurately dated. Some companies, like Darlot, seemed to start and restart number sequences and it's very hard to figure a date or even a decade.

But back to Lerebours. I have 1845-1855 as an approximate range for Lerebours et Secretan [marked so]. I believe before the son joined Secretan, the elder Lerebours made very early lenses for the first few years of Daguerreotype cameras. So if you have a pillbox or sliding lenscap Lerebours [no Secretan] I'd say it's the early 1840s. The Petzval portraits are probably from 1846 on. Lerebours were an optical family, and making spectacles and equipment way back into the 1700s. See this post (http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?t=56263) where Dan links some good info.

Look closely at the thin glass in the rear of yours (If assembled correctly, it will be the most rear). Near they very edge, it may be inscribed (actually engraved on the face of the glass) with the serial number in the edge of the glass. It's very tiny, like micro writing. This was something a couple early French Manufacturers did (Jamin sometimes inscribed "jamin" too). Post about French micro engraving http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?t=63733.

Here are two different Lerebours et Secretans with the engraving. The white thing is a grain of rice.
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7172/6823465173_f29a078aa2_z.jpg
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7024/6823463879_e223754bf8_z.jpg

CCHarrison
5-Feb-2012, 08:01
L&S were there almost from the start of photography (Lerebours, first by himself). Wrote 2 books about photography early on, first in 1843 then in 1846 (which shows some of L&S products and lens) which is on google for us all if you read french - see

http://books.google.com/books?id=yKkaAAAAYAAJ&pg=PP14&dq=lerebours+et+secretan&hl=en&sa=X&ei=EZouT5HoCuLr0gGe3pR9&ved=0CEgQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=lerebours%20et%20secretan&f=false

Unlike some on the net, I always try to post my sources to reduce rumor and increase fact.

And here is another source to possibly help date your L&S lenses.... http://www.oldphotographiclenses.com/Lerebours_et_Secretan.html

Best
Dan

CCHarrison
5-Feb-2012, 08:13
And another source to help date things from L&S based on their telescopes

http://historydb.adlerplanetarium.org/signatures/search.pl?search=1&signature=secretan

Heres a telescope catalogue from 1853 http://www.sil.si.edu/digitalcollections/trade-literature/scientific-instruments/files/51737/

Dan

goamules
5-Feb-2012, 08:47
More early NP Lerebours info with sources http://www.marillier.nom.fr/collodions/PM/instantaneEN.html:

On 25 March 1840 he [Claudet] obtained the first licence to use the daguerreotype [in England], paying £200 to the British patentee.
He made many improvements in optics, stereoscopy, and devices for checking exposure and lenses, etc.
In May 1841 he brought in an improvement by preparing daguerreotype plates with an accelerator of iodine chloride (exposures from 10 to 20 seconds).
His friend N. P. LEREBOURS manufactured his objectives, his cameras, etc.
His work, his skill made him worthy to be named photographer to the Court of England.

Petzval Paul
5-Feb-2012, 10:23
Dan, I remember that P&L being on eBay... It was only marked 'P&L N.Y.' with no serial number, IIRC. Do you think, perhaps, that was a 2nd quality lens? At first, I was under the impression that it was a knock off, but the ad which you so kindly posted makes me suspect otherwise. No way to know, really, just a thought.

My P&L is just 67 numbers away from the one pictured and is identical in all respects, except that it is complete with hood and flange, and is much better condition. Don't have it around to snap a shot just now... Milan checked out mine and is convinced that Chapman was the manufacturer of P&L and perhaps some other makers' lenses.

The Fitz pictured used to be in my possession. Since Henry Fitz died in 1863, and the lens is marked 'H.G. Fitz' after his son, Henry Giles, who inherited the business although only 16 years old, I would place the lenses manufacturing date at 1863 due to the early serial number. Again, who can really say...

I, for one, definitely appreciate all of the information you are posting here and on your blog. Thanks!

CCHarrison
6-Feb-2012, 04:30
Hi PP,

If Chapman made P&L's, he must have made the early Lewis (pre Henry Lewis) lenses, Gardner/Harrison and P&L's.... I can believe that. More evidence would be great. I assume all that would need to be done is compare these items more closely for their similarities.

Dan

goamules
6-Feb-2012, 06:49
I've got a Chapman I can pull out and take a look at. While I agree the early lenses are very similar, and the brass work could have been done by one or two companies, I also have noticed the flange diameters vary a LOT between the different lenses, and even between different ones of the same make. I've always thought that odd, since having one size thread machines for each size lens would be the way I'd manufacture something. I've had many half plate radial drive NY lenses, and none of the flanges ever inter mix. Also, wasn't one of the early makers of radials in Philadelphia?

Historynw
22-May-2012, 07:39
Greetings Gentleman...

I'm interested in learning more about the firm that absorbed Wm. & W.H. Lewis here in New Windsor N.Y. (Daguerreville). I have some limited information and research and in fact this weekend crossed paths with a Smithsonian researcher.

Lewis bought a foundry and mill on the Quassaick Creek here...exactly which foundry is presently unknow but I suspect it was the following. I believe this is the one Harrison & Gardner took over after the sale in April 1852.

"According to the map of the town of New Windsor, prepared by Charles Clinton in 1798, there were 2 mills on Quassey Creek. One, nearest the Hudson River, was called the Schultz Flour Mill, and the other Walsh's mill. At Issac's death, his son Issac inherited the mill and he later traded it to his brother Jacob for property in Newburgh. Jacob eventually sold the mill to Peter Townsend, who in 1816 erected a foundry just immediately west of the site of the Schultz Mill, which consisted of 2 furnaces and 4 boring mills."

Locally not much is known about the daguerreotype production here, the local records are silent. My tax assessment records do not include the place. We are going back to review some of the land holdings and mapping for the Quassaick Estuary Trail which identified ruins or previous occupations along the creek.

I would like to erect a historic marker near that place that inclueds both the Lewis & Garner Harrison Co. contribution to the world of photography. I need some finer details for it.

If anyone could help it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Glenn Marshall
Town Historian
New Windsor N.Y. 12553
845-562-5782

http://town.new-windsor.ny.us/About/TownHistorian.aspx

historynw@aol.com

goamules
22-May-2012, 10:49
You might want to try to find the author of this pamplet:
http://books.google.com/books/about/The_Men_The_Camera_and_their_Factory.html?id=JPp6k4UOAUwC

The Men, Their Camera, and The Factory - William Lewis, Wm H. Lewis, Palmer & Longking....
- (1981) Stuart Wilensky

This part may help:
74032

Historynw
22-May-2012, 11:32
You might want to try to find the author of this pamplet:
http://books.google.com/books/about/The_Men_The_Camera_and_their_Factory.html?id=JPp6k4UOAUwC

The Men, Their Camera, and The Factory - William Lewis, Wm H. Lewis, Palmer & Longking....
- (1981) Stuart Wilensky

This part may help:
74032

Thanks much for the article. Palmer & Longking both owned farms in New Windsor I have them in my 1855 & 56 assessment rolls. The author did a good job in fleshing out the area.

CCHarrison
22-May-2012, 11:34
Hi

I have been studying the Lewis family and their businesses myself the last 6 months, but I am not prepared to share my research quite yet..

I assume you have seen these google entries including the 2nd listing which was a lecture just given recently

http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&aq=f&oq=Daguerreville&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1T4SKPT_enUS419US424&q=Daguerreville&gs_upl=0l0l2l88295979lllllllllll0

Best,
Dan

Historynw
22-May-2012, 17:05
Hi

I have been studying the Lewis family and their businesses myself the last 6 months, but I am not prepared to share my research quite yet..

I assume you have seen these google entries including the 2nd listing which was a lecture just given recently

http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&aq=f&oq=Daguerreville&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1T4SKPT_enUS419US424&q=Daguerreville&gs_upl=0l0l2l88295979lllllllllll0

Best,
Dan

Yes, I was in attendance. I've spent considerable time on the issue myself over the past 15yrs...The problem thereof is the lack of local records. I've narrowed down the location. I'm more curious from the Lewis prespective why he chose New Windsor. The period here had a great emmigration of workers from Ireland, England & Germany. We had hundreds if not thousands working in the immediate area. I running down some more leads which I hope are promising.

Moldville
25-Jun-2012, 07:36
Help please!

I bought a Samuel Peck camera on ebay (eek) last week, which I believe (hope) to be appropriate to my target year of use of 1861. (In other words, that it would have been a camera in use in 1861.) What I'd like to do is build a time-appropriate STEREO lens board for it. I own a matched pair of GRUBB B lenses (photo attached), serial numbers 907 and 908. Would these be time appropriate to 1861? Or does anyone know how to approximate the age of these? Thank you!! Bill bollman@mdslaw.com

76088

Steven Tribe
25-Jun-2012, 10:30
Well you have guessed very well!
Are these double aplanatics or single aplanatics (before the pill box design was introduced)?
Or even the landscape menicus (telescope achromat type) before the patent of 1857?
Anyway it is middle to late 1850's.

Moldville
25-Jun-2012, 11:10
7610276103
76102

The reason I’m trying to put together a camera appropriate to 1861 is because I have a photo album taken by a fellow in Newburyport, Massachusetts, US, in 1861. I also have his personal letters, family photos, his description of photos, etc. The wet plate photographer, Philip Coombs, worked under Mosely at one time, and died in 1864. I wrote a book with his story (yet unpublished) which has incredible facets, including two photographs of what I believe to be EMILY DICKINSON (given that her sister-in-law SUSAN is also in the photos, as is ELIZABETH WHITTIER (John Whittier's beloved sister who I believe arranged the gathering, CELIA THAXTER, HELEN HUNT (JACKSON), and LUCY LARCOM. Lots of original wet plate photographs along with the story that goes with them.

Bill

David A. Goldfarb
25-Jun-2012, 12:35
76105

Voigtländer Petzval of around 10"/f:4.5 in barrel with S.K. Grimes flange and 6 waterhouse stops, s/n 14220, which puts it at 1862-84 as best I can date it.

76106

8x10" Polaroid at f:5.6

CCHarrison
25-Jun-2012, 13:57
Hi Bill,

Nice camera, I followed its sale. Please note that this model was advertised over a long period, so precise dating isnt easy; they were still being sold into the 1870's. Pecks badge and stampings remained on the cameras after his being bought out/merged in 1860 by Scovill.

I am curious why there is so little staining on the camera, and I dont see a drip rail/trough ? Matt Isenburg is likley to be the person that could date your camera far more precisely.

Also, the Peck camera would more likely to have used American made lenses,. In fact, Peck cameras were long associated with CC Harrison lenses (Globe and Portrait lenses for stereo work) and those would be more appropriate than Grubb lenses.

See Larry Pierce's Peck camera model which is almost identical to yours....


http://piercevaubel.com/cam/misc/peckstereofield.htm and its sister camera http://piercevaubel.com/cam/amopt/aophilst.htm


Good luck

Dan

Moldville
25-Jun-2012, 15:10
Hi Dan

Thanks for posting. I agree that the lens and lens board are not original - likely indicating to me that the camera was used in the wet plate era and retrofitted when dry plate became popular. I am in the market for a stereo lens board - know of any?!

This Samuel Peck camera is nearly identical to the one you provided the link to (Larry Pierce's). I don't see a drip rail on his either - do I? And this one now on my desk in fact seems to exhibit more staining than Larry Pierce's in that link. 76114
Everything seems beautiful about this camera - I now would like to find a c1855-1860 lens board! If you know of any 3-piece lens boards please email me at bollman@mdslaw.com

Thank you!
Bill

anachromatic
25-Jun-2012, 15:27
LEREBOURS. Pezval lens with radial focus. I think circa 1842-44

http://img545.imageshack.us/img545/5114/20120625232901.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/545/20120625232901.jpg/)

Uploaded with ImageShack.us (http://imageshack.us)

http://img846.imageshack.us/img846/6302/20120625232705.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/846/20120625232705.jpg/)

Uploaded with ImageShack.us (http://imageshack.us)

http://img23.imageshack.us/img23/3058/20120625231908.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/23/20120625231908.jpg/)

Uploaded with ImageShack.us (http://imageshack.us)

David A. Goldfarb
25-Jun-2012, 18:26
That takes the prize for the nicest lens cap.

goamules
25-Jun-2012, 18:51
Wow, nice Lerebours, I've never seen one like that. And I've seen a lot of Lerebours!

anachromatic
26-Jun-2012, 07:11
May be one of the earliest Petzval(know in France as Systèm Allemand)lens made by Lerebours. I think is more 1842-43 than 1844....but it's difficult to know.

Scott Walker
26-Jun-2012, 07:47
http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/gg90/Beecool/3c108f92.jpg

Absolutely no idea what it is or how old it might be. Bought it from Garrett and it is my oldest lens by a long shot.
Very sharp with great swirls, would probably cover 5x7 but not quite 8x10 which is fine, I kinda like the black corners.

http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/gg90/Beecool/Wyle.jpg

Not the best example of what it is capable of but the only example I have scanned, as crappy as the scan may be.....

goamules
26-Jun-2012, 16:47
Absolutely no idea what it is or how old it might be. Bought it from Garrett and it is my oldest lens by a long shot.
Very sharp with great swirls, would probably cover 5x7 but not quite 8x10 which is fine, I kinda like the black corners.



Not the best example of what it is capable of but the only example I have scanned, as crappy as the scan may be.....

Hey, I'd forgotten about that one, it works as good as I'd expected. Glad you like it. It's from about 1898 I'd say.

Jon Wilson
29-Jun-2012, 20:29
I just acquired this lens which is apparently a pillbox design and although it is not marked on the barrel, the edge of the single lens appears to read "Darlot Paris / (s) 48" I don't know how to describe the scribble "(s)" The overall length of the barrel is 4.5 inches +/- and the lens has a 3 inch diameter.
I think it may be from the 1850's, but I don't know. Any thoughts? Jon

Steven Tribe
30-Jun-2012, 01:36
The Darlot script looks correct. Ir would be a mistake to assume the 48 is the year. Some even have the name of a person (polishing/assembly/inspection) and micro engraving/etching of letters/symbol codes on the outer rear surface.
Darlot was a big supplier of unmarked lenses to retailers who often put their name on them. I have a "Marion" vesion where the flat inside of the brass lens hood as a tiny AD stamping.

Jon Wilson
30-Jun-2012, 21:28
The Darlot script looks correct. Ir would be a mistake to assume the 48 is the year. Some even have the name of a person (polishing/assembly/inspection) and micro engraving/etching of letters/symbol codes on the outer rear surface.
Darlot was a big supplier of unmarked lenses to retailers who often put their name on them. I have a "Marion" vesion where the flat inside of the brass lens hood as a tiny AD stamping.

Steven, do you believe this Darlot would have been made in the 1850's? Here are a couple more images of the barrel/pill box.
Jon

Steven Tribe
1-Jul-2012, 01:28
Can't have been made in the 50's as Darlot evolved from Jamin/Jamin-Darlot in the early 1860's.
There is a "slot" in the small washer stop housing and apparently a "pressure strip" system (or is this just a brass strip which has been soldered in, in place of an F adjustment system?).
Could be any time from 1861 - 1890's.

goamules
1-Jul-2012, 06:11
Jon, the early ones are labeled Jamin on the glass edge and barrels. Since yours reads Darlot, it is later, the dates Steve gives are the period Darlot made this. Yes, they made them up until quit late, into the dryplate period. Jamin and Darlot are at this time difficult to date accurately. Their serial numbers seem to have started and stopped several times with gaps, overlaps, high starting numbers, low restarting numbers, etc. The ones engraved with an address can help.

Jon Wilson
1-Jul-2012, 09:49
Thank you Steve and Garrett. Then this one is definitely newer than my HBH lens.
Steve, it appears to be a "brass strip which has been soldered in." There probably had been a focus adjustment knob that was removed and covered up with the "brass strip" for the inside of the barrel reveals a screw hole and small rectangle where the gear/teeth could have fit. In any event, it is another one I will be trying out. Thank you again. Jon

Steven Tribe
1-Jul-2012, 14:43
I have looked at all the photos once more.
I don't understand why the barrel has signs of an earlier rack & pinion track in something which can only be called a sleeve. A "track" placed here would make no sense as the barrel has the usual thread system to be attached to a flange. It cannot be a focussing device. I thought perhaps it might be part of a larger Darlot Petzval/Landscape set - where the extra barrel and "rear" lens pair have got mislaid. This could explain the lack of engravings - they are on the other barrel section! I have never seen of these, and they exist in many variations. If this is the case, then we are probably talking about the 1860's. Darlot dropped these designs quite early.

Two23
1-Jul-2012, 18:05
Maybe either Darlot or a lens owner made a meniscus lens out of a broken Petzval? The rack & pinion were clearly once there.


Kent in SD

goamules
1-Jul-2012, 20:07
I have looked at all the photos once more.
I don't understand why the barrel has signs of an earlier rack & pinion track in something which can only be called a sleeve. A "track" placed here would make no sense as the barrel has the usual thread system to be attached to a flange. It cannot be a focussing device. I thought perhaps it might be part of a larger Darlot Petzval/Landscape set - where the extra barrel and "rear" lens pair have got mislaid. This could explain the lack of engravings - they are on the other barrel section! I have never seen of these, and they exist in many variations. If this is the case, then we are probably talking about the 1860's. Darlot dropped these designs quite early.

No, a focus knob was a common part of some pillbox lenses. Here is one I had:

http://farm5.staticflickr.com/4074/4802180016_7ab102d4d2.jpg

And here are more: http://www.photographica.nu/unk257.htm, http://thenewpictorialism.blogspot.com/2011/11/smaller-mount-for-old-lenses.html, etc.

Jon Wilson
1-Jul-2012, 20:46
Steve, here are a couple more pictures of the "rack & pinion slot" patch. Picture 1 shows the exteriod side of the barrel patch, while picture 4 shows the slot and screw hole which were closed with the patch. On the opposite side of the barrel is a "weld" or "braze" line, inside (picture 2) and exterior (picture 3) of barrel.

I don't know if there was another sleeve with lens that are long gone, but I hope you and others can educate me while shedding light on this large achromatic landscape lens.

I was able to finally place this lens on a 6x6 board. It appears that the focal length of this lens is around 16 inches. I was able to take a couple of images with the barrel removed. Those images on the gg created an ethereal glow/diffused image that one typically finds with a meniscus/achromatic lens. Then, I was able to take a couple of images with the barrel in place, but the "pill top" removed. That landscape image was calculated to be f12 +/- while with the barrel removed, it calculated to be f5 +/-. I hope to develop those WP negatives later this week.
Jon

Steven Tribe
2-Jul-2012, 01:29
I assumed there was no inner barrel and all the brass we can see was just a one piece and the front piece just screwed into this.
Looking at the interior finish, it could be the barrel and sleeve have been turned in relation to the various cut out holes for the rack and pinion mechanism and then soldered together.

Jon Wilson
2-Jul-2012, 06:22
I assumed there was no inner barrel and all the brass we can see was just a one piece and the front piece just screwed into this.
Looking at the interior finish, it could be the barrel and sleeve have been turned in relation to the various cut out holes for the rack and pinion mechanism and then soldered together.

Yes, there is only one piece. Although it does appear that the front piece use to screw into the barrel, but it too has been soldered in place.

Jon Wilson
2-Jul-2012, 06:29
No, a focus knob was a common part of some pillbox lenses. Here is one I had:

http://farm5.staticflickr.com/4074/4802180016_7ab102d4d2.jpg

And here are more: http://www.photographica.nu/unk257.htm, http://thenewpictorialism.blogspot.com/2011/11/smaller-mount-for-old-lenses.html, etc.

In re-reading these posts and comparing your lens to mine, I would agree with Steve and yourself that my lens has had the original sleeve barrel removed, the rack in pinion hole patched and the mechanism removed. I believe it was designed with only the one lens, but someone altered its original design to its present configuration, i.e., a Darlot pillbox which has had its original sleeve and focusing mechanism removed.

Thanks everyone. Jon

Emil Schildt
22-Oct-2013, 12:26
another old Ross sold on the auction just now... fantastic condition as far as I can see, but what a price....

$ 1624...

serial nr 2621..

It was actually sold from here (Denmark of all places) so I wanted to keep it here, but...

Steven Tribe
22-Oct-2013, 12:59
You forgot "Tom" from Odense's earlier Ross Petzval #1351 which ended about a week ago.
He says this was from 1842, but realistically, it is from 1845 +.

There is/was an active "Historical Photography" Club in Denmark and I guess that "Tom" is/was a member.
They were active long before the internet era.

goamules
22-Oct-2013, 13:09
I'm now in possession of a couple early ones too. One is a 3 digit serial number (5xx range) and one is 185os (47xx range).

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8372/8491061446_916121a985_z.jpg

Emil Schildt
22-Oct-2013, 13:25
I'm now in possession of a couple early ones too. One is a 3 digit serial number (5xx range) and one is 185os (47xx range).

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8372/8491061446_916121a985_z.jpg

crap... ;)

Steven Tribe
22-Oct-2013, 15:28
F2's?
5XX can't be Petzval, though?

goamules
22-Oct-2013, 15:35
They're both traditional F3.7 Petzvals.

Brassai
22-Oct-2013, 20:42
another old Ross sold on the auction just now... fantastic condition as far as I can see, but what a price....

$ 1624...

..


Why did the newer lens sell for more than the older lens? Is it significantly bigger, or was it just ebay whim?

Steven Tribe
23-Oct-2013, 01:50
I would say a mixture of:

Chance/Whim plus realisation that the seller was not a punter!

Neither Gandolfi or I knew anything about this person/collection.

The 5XX is by far the earliest Petzval identified from Ross - by a couple of years! The next one is the #1351 from Denmark mentioned above.

goamules
23-Oct-2013, 06:26
Steven, perhaps I don't understand your point. Voigtlander, Ross, Lerebours, and a few others were the first to start making the Petzval design in the 1840s. In 1841, Andrew Ross made a non-petzval portrait lens for a customer, Henry Collon. It had a lot of problems, and he probably didn't make many more. In the early daguerreian days of lens production, there where very, very few customers. Just a handful on each continent were learning the process and taking daguerreotypes. I would be surprised if he made 100 of his own portrait design.

But he learned of the Petzval design shortly after this, and concentrated on making the first Petzvals in Great Britain, probably in 1842. So using my deductive reasoning from above, I'd guess there are some A. Rofs Petzvals out there in the 100 serial number range. If they haven't been lost to the sands of time.

Dan had provided this link to me which is written by A. Ross' grandson, TR Dallmeyer, corroborating the above: http://books.google.com/books?id=DLZIAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA26&dq=ross+petzval&hl=en&sa=X&ei=lIszUuKTDZi34AOHr4DwBA&ved=0CDkQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=ross%20petzval&f=false page 26

Steven Tribe
23-Oct-2013, 08:53
I get the impression from reading the lengthy text in Lens VM that Petzvals were not the first product made by Ross. As you mention, the experimental "double lenses" and single achromats, Cone and the early triplet must have taken quite a few of the early serial numbers. The earliest Ross Petzval that Wilkinson & Glanfield found was # 142X - but that is obviously incorrect.
There is also the time problem. In 1840, Professor von Ettinghausen spread the information about the need for a faster lens for the daguerreotype process down to Vienna. In 1841, Petzval passed the results of his calculations on to Voigtländer (and Dietzel). I think the likely date for arrival of this knowledge (and lenses) in London, would have been late 1841. By which time quite a lot of serial numbers would used by Ross. Full publication of dear Prof. Petzval's calculation was publicised in 1843.

I am aware that Voigtländer themselves have always used the date of 1840 (May) for their first Petzval lens, but I have used the sequence of events described by Traill Taylor. We must remember that, at this time, Voigtländer was involved in a life and death struggle with Dietzel about use of the Petzval design.

goamules
23-Oct-2013, 14:57
OK, all I can say is my lens, with a late 500 serial number, is a petzval. So maybe that's the earliest known. Respected lens scholars have suggested that would be 1842 or 1843. Andrew Ross's grandson wrote in 1901 (above link) that "shortly after" 1841 he made Petzvals. So the question is, how long is "shortly after"? From August to November of 1839, Fitz was in Europe studying lenses, then came to America and immediately started making Dag cameras. I know of one Petzval lens by Fitz. Horne and Thornthwait were involved in Britain very early too and have an 1845 catalog with "fast" lenses, probably petzvals. I see no reason why the non patent protected (except in Vienna) amazingly fast lens would sit on peoples shelves for 5 years waiting for someone to decide to copy it. Daguerre's process was replicated within weeks of his discovery, even in America. Which is why Voigtlander started immediately making Petzval clones in Braunschweig, outside of Vienna's patent protection. I doubt Voigtlander would have copied them right away, but Ross would have waited years.

I would delve deeper into the records for more proof if a 1 to 2 year variation mattered to me, but it really doesn't. Also, I think Dan is doing that extensive research right now anyway.

Brassai
23-Oct-2013, 17:10
OK, so Voigtlander was the first to make Petzvals. No suprise there. Who was second--Rofs? Lerebours? Did Dietzel ever start making Petzvals, and if so when? That's not a lens maker I remember seeing.

Steven Tribe
24-Oct-2013, 01:19
Sorry - Dietzler!
This a previous post by CCHarrison:


About 1856, Petzval made an agreement with Dietzler ( An optician from Vienna ) to produce both Petzval and Orthoscopic lenses. Dietzler passed in 1862. I would venture your lens is c. 1858/9 assuming the cut for stops is original. Dietzler also produced some parts for Voigtlander's brass tubes previous to this time period (http://books.google.com/books?id=SSM...etzval&f=false)

You can learn lots more by searching google and "petzval dietzler"

Now I always thought this was much earlier!

Steven Tribe
24-Oct-2013, 05:19
Anyone interested in the early competitors to Voigtländer in Austria can get eye candy at http://photohistory.at/objektive1.htm

Brassai
24-Oct-2013, 22:08
OK, I can play again. Up until today, my oldest lens was a Voigtlander Petzval Nr. 2912, making it 1847-ish. Today I received a lens in the mail with funny stamps. It says, "A. Rofs, London, No. 1351" on it. A Petzval, 1845-1846-ish. That makes it my oldest by maybe one or two years. Lens is in good shape--everything works. I don't like the shiney finish--would rather have a nice old patina but what do you do. I taped the flange to a lensboard and stuck it on my Chamonix o45n. Hey, it looks pretty good! It's right at 130mm focus. The seller says it's f2.8, and I'll take his word on it. The circle of light going through is huge! I checked the GG on my Chamonix and clearly this lens doesn't really cover 4x5. It's probably quarter plate. I'll shoot some Efke 25 and see what it looks like. There were a few more scratches on the glass than what I thought there might be from reading the description, but it's not unacceptable. No separation. The surprise is the lens is a convertible! I didn't think they had them that early. The cemented pair gives me a 10" inch lens (I think it was.) All in all I'm happy with the new lens and intend to shoot it tomorrow. I need to sell off some stuff I'm not using now. Like I said before, I'm a user not a collector. I think I'll concentrate on buying lenses from the 1840s from now on, maybe finding one a year. I will keep my really cool Derogy Combines Petzval from 1857. It's just too fancy for me to let loose of!

Steven Tribe
25-Oct-2013, 03:03
So you are the lucky owner of the lens from Odense (see post #174).
I don't know the "local" seller - but I suspect he was a collector, rather than a user.
Sounds like a Carte de Visite lens, which were typically between 4 and 6".

CCHarrison
25-Oct-2013, 04:08
"Rofs" is "Ross" the first "s" before a second "s" was written in script in a way that makes the first "s" look like an "F" Late CC Harrison lenses have the same script feature.

And what do you mean that the lens is "convertible" ?? The front group screws in the rear ?

Thank you
Dan

Brassai
25-Oct-2013, 05:32
"Rofs" is "Ross" the first "s" before a second "s" was written in script in a way that makes the first "s" look like an "F" Late CC Harrison lenses have the same script feature.

And what do you mean that the lens is "convertible" ?? The front group screws in the rear ?

Thank you
Dan


Yes, the front pair reverses and can be screwed into the rear. I didn't realize they were doing this in the 1840s! My Voigtlander Petzval from that time does not do that--the front group has larger diameter than the rear. As for the f/s, I have a King James Bible from 1620 that has a lot of that in it. Apparently the "f' isn't really an f, it was a "soft s", sort of like how the letter "c" can make two sounds (e.g. "come" and "piece.") I will screw the lens onto the lens board today and take it with me to Omaha for the weekend. I'll see how it does!

CCHarrison
25-Oct-2013, 06:36
This may sound odd - but I dont think its a purposeful convertible but rather the barrel threads are of identical size allowing the front to screw into the rear... this is common on many, many Petzvals....I have never found Ross advertising their early Petzvals as having a convertible feature. However, the net effect however is almost the same.

Petzvals purposely made to be convertible ensured that the achromat doublet of the front group closely resembled the French landscape lens (Chevalier type)... a subtle difference.

As far as "f" and "s" I think its more of a writing issue/style than a pronouciation issue at least in the US. You will find many civil war records written with a scrolling "f" in place of an "s"

Early Harrison lenses are engraved with a common "s" while a bit later it went to a fancy "f" looking "s" - see attached.

Dan

Brassai
25-Oct-2013, 07:47
I have two Derogy lenses from the 1850s, and on these the groups aren't threaded at all. They go into the barrel with a "twist & turn" bayonet type mount. I think these were definitely designed and marketed as a dual purpose lens. One of the Derogys is even called something like "Paysage Combine". Like you said though, these are French lenses. Maybe at the time the people doing photography tended to be the better educated and they already knew you could reverse the lens group so there was less need to advertise that.

jesse
26-Oct-2013, 02:34
My Voigtlander Petzval, year 1863 103620

Petzval Paul
26-Oct-2013, 06:42
Since Dan just posted a pic of my oldest lens, I might as well chime in... that's my 1853/4 C.C. Harrison half-plate fat focus lens. They only made these between the serial numbers of about 2,500-3,500. The design was unique and no other companies seemed to follow their lead but the lens- buying public wasn't too impressed, one can presume, so they switched back to the regular radial drives quite quickly. Inside, the drive mechanism is kind of a nautilus design. At 3,000 or so they switched to an engraved serial number which wasn't quite as elegant, IMHO. so I really lucked out with this one :) The fact that it's complete makes me really happy, too. It's 9 1/2" and f/4.5.

davehyams
26-Oct-2013, 17:32
I have a similar fat focus CC Harrison, Paul, but mine is not in as beautiful shape as yours is. Nice glass for sure.

Petzval Paul
27-Oct-2013, 10:33
Yeah, great glass! What is your lens's serial number? Stamped or engraved? Thanks!

davehyams
27-Oct-2013, 21:59
#2866 stamped. She's a beauty with lots of character!

Petzval Paul
28-Oct-2013, 09:05
Thanks! That narrows down the point at which the serial numbers were switched over from engraved to stamped. Mine is #2723 so it had to be between our two lenses that they switched over. HBH didn't start stamping until maybe #10,000, which was probably right at the end of the civil war, so not sure why CCH made the change so early, unless it saved any money??? They did start the fat focus production to save money so many the timing is not a coincidence.

alex from holland
30-Oct-2013, 15:48
My oldest lens (I think....) is a Voigtlander petzval serial number 677.
focal length 10" f3
103866

Steven Tribe
30-Oct-2013, 16:41
Do you know the origin of the bored holes around the rear thread, Alex? Perhaps there was a serious problem with jammed thread at some time. A better solution than a pipe wrench, with oil inserted at intervals!

Vaughn
30-Oct-2013, 16:50
I have use of a Sutter Basle Aplanat B No.6 (No. 3531), Allen Bros. sole agents.

Around 480mm or so. Anyone know the approx. year? Actual focal length and max aperture?

Used it with the 11x14 for a portrait of one of my boys -- have not developed the negs yet.

alex from holland
30-Oct-2013, 22:14
Do you know the origin of the bored holes around the rear thread, Alex? Perhaps there was a serious problem with jammed thread at some time. A better solution than a pipe wrench, with oil inserted at intervals!

Steven. These holes are original. The very early voigtlanders had 4 screws around the back element. We had to take them out as the back element was mounted wrong and now I have to put in new ones.
Would love toknow the exact age of the lens.

Steven Tribe
31-Oct-2013, 01:33
Suter was a late starter, so this is around 1890. There is no serial no./date list that I know of.
Series B is F8 and the number 6 is listed as being .... 48cm!

jesse
31-Oct-2013, 03:54
Steven. These holes are original. The very early voigtlanders had 4 screws around the back element. We had to take them out as the back element was mounted wrong and now I have to put in new ones.
Would love toknow the exact age of the lens.

Your Petzval should be around 1841

alex from holland
31-Oct-2013, 04:23
Your Petzval should be around 1841

In that case I think it's my oldest lens.

CCHarrison
31-Oct-2013, 04:29
Hi Alex,

My best research to date on the earliest Voigtlanders is that your # 677 dates to late 1842 or 43.

http://antiquecameras.net/voigtlanderlenses.html

I love the fact I know Alex via the internet and I own # 611, a close relative of his # 677.

Dan


http://antiquecameras.net/images/837_611final-web.jpg

Haapalahti
31-Oct-2013, 13:21
My oldest lense that i use regulary is Voigtlander & Sohn Portrait-Euryscop III No. 5A (Sn:48742)

103904

103905

Vaughn
31-Oct-2013, 13:51
Suter was a late starter, so this is around 1890. There is no serial no./date list that I know of.
Series B is F8 and the number 6 is listed as being .... 48cm!

Thanks! So the lens is about the same age as the camera I use it on! Neat!

Brassai
31-Oct-2013, 19:50
Steven. These holes are original. The very early voigtlanders had 4 screws around the back element. We had to take them out as the back element was mounted wrong and now I have to put in new ones.


My Nr. 2942 Voigtlander (1847?) does not have the holes. Dang though. 1842? I was hoping my ~1845-46 Ross might be the second oldest lens here. Looks like it's only third or fourth oldest. I have had it out shooting. It's a sweet lens to use!

goamules
1-Nov-2013, 08:12
Hey, you should be proud of what you have, they're very uncommon going back that far. Remember, daguerreotype studios were few and far between the first few years after the process was invented. The few companies making Daguerreotype lenses probably only made a few hundred, the first 2-3 years. Most have been lost to the sands of time. By the 1850s, there were many studios. I was reading a Matthew Brady biography the other day, and when he started his NY studio, there were dozens of others already there. I'll have to go back to the reference to get the dates and actual numbers. But in 1843, there were very, very few photographers. People like Samuel Morse that had the money and time.

Steven Tribe
1-Nov-2013, 14:02
Another factor influencing the number of early Chevalier and Early Petzval type lenses in the market place now is that many of these have been donated to or acquired by Photography/Technology museums as early as the late 19th century. Some of these museums/collections have been broken up - but quite few early lenses (100's ?) remain in public collections.

Steven Tribe
8-Aug-2017, 05:46
.............some great early lenses here fellow members

my oldest is almost certainly serial no: 2200 by M Lerebours and also bearing the inscription 'Vallantin Opticien de 1840 a 1851', where that places the serial no regarding the likely date, is beyond me but I'm hoping that Steven or Garrett or some others can possibly chip in and assist

no, it's not up for p ex at Bievres next month, that's if anyone desires it............

andrew

Perhaps this thread deserves another go?
Anyway, I have some more information about Vallantin.
Andrew, the usual engraving is ".. de 1840 a 1856..". This obviously the period he worked (or was employed) by Lerebours.
So his production was in the period following this.

There is another "French" maker who employs almost the same engraving "eleve de Lerebours" L.F. Colas. His lenses appear on quite a few early English sliding box cameras from the late 1850's. Strangely enough, he seems to have spent most of his time in London with various endeavours - not France. And all "his" lens edges are covered with the "Vallantin" name!

So we have another UK importer of French lenses in the 1850's.

goamules
8-Aug-2017, 07:54
I remember researching a London importer who was the only one that imported a certain French lens, I believe. But can't recall any details. I think it was Mark's lens, and I was helping him research it. Do you remember, Mark?

UPDATE: disregard, I was confused. Found my notes. We were researching L. Puech who was Dallmeyer’s sole agent for a while in France.

Back to The French Connection and Steven's question. Since the French were the first making daguerreotype lenses (Chevalier and Lerebours), it stands to reason that someone in London would have started buying these new things right away. Later, British makers like Shepard, Cox, Thornthwaite, Ross that had been making nautical and astronomy telescopes, branched into photography lenses.

anachromatic
8-Aug-2017, 13:39
I'm not 100% sure, but I think Andrew Ross is in a different category than other manufacturers like Shepard, Thornthwaite, Cox... Andrew Ross was a really early manufacturer and certainly the first one to make Petzval lenses in U.K. almost at the same time than Lerebours in France.

Jac@stafford.net
8-Aug-2017, 14:34
Wow! This thread has adjusted my concept of 'old'!

Two23
8-Aug-2017, 16:38
I've read of guys taking eyepiece lens from old telescopes, essentially an achromatic doublet, and using those as camera lenses. Some of these are from the late 1700s! Anyone want to comment on that?



Kent in SD

Steven Tribe
9-Aug-2017, 00:38
I think you mean the objective lens, which is a cemented, air spaced or an oil joined approach to an achromat - the lens at the front of the telescope.

I wish the first photographic lens makers had continued to the light card/wood construction of early telescopes, so we would not have to struggle with heavy brass!

RedGreenBlue
9-Aug-2017, 16:11
There is another "French" maker who employs almost the same engraving "eleve de Lerebours" L.F. Colas. His lenses appear on quite a few early English sliding box cameras from the late 1850's. Strangely enough, he seems to have spent most of his time in London with various endeavours - not France. And all "his" lens edges are covered with the "Vallantin" name!

So we have another UK importer of French lenses in the 1850's.

I've enjoyed following this thread.

I have a Colas lens on a sliding box camera. The engraving goes "L.F. Colas Eleve de Lerebours Paris". Difficult to make out, but the serial number appears to be 502. I took this photo some years ago and it is not the best for viewing the engraving, which is faint. I also posted a photo of the quarter-plate camera. There are collodion stains on the back.

I located an 1857 advertisement for L.F. Colas lenses. What I don't know and perhaps I can learn from someone here is - did Colas make these lenses or was he an importer of Lerebours lenses? Why does he refer to himself as a "student of Lerebours"?

Scott

http://www.vintagephoto.tv/temp/colas_lens.jpg

http://www.vintagephoto.tv/temp/sliding_box1.jpg

anachromatic
10-Aug-2017, 00:37
"Élève" is closer to "disciple" than "student".
And "disciple of Lerebours" is because Lerebours was one of the most renowned makers at that time.

Steven Tribe
10-Aug-2017, 01:28
Most Colas lenses found through searches appear together with delightful sliding box cameras like yours (1856-60?).

Here is a link to a slightly earlier Colas, that has been "undressed"! This is not my lens. Plenty of Vallantin writing on the lens edges.

https://drive.google.com/drive/mobile/folders/0B2036WQArCqxQTA1WldBVl9HYTg?usp=sharing

For me, the most significant link to Vallantin is what he engraved on his lenses - this is very similar to that found on Colas lenses.

So I think the likely scenario is :

Colas discovered a UK market for sliding box cameras around 1856. He had the cameras made and had an agreement with the newly independent maker Vallantin (ex-lerebours) to supply lenses to be engraved in London. The "light" engraving is very typical of UK brass engravers. It is in French and says Paris - France was still regarded as the home of Photography.

I would imagine that Colas's serial numbers are taken directly from Vallantin's stock ledger! Just as J.F. Shew used Lerebours' serial numbers at exactly the same period.

RedGreenBlue
10-Aug-2017, 08:49
For me, the most significant link to Vallantin is what he engraved on his lenses - this is very similar to that found on Colas lenses.

So I think the likely scenario is :

Colas discovered a UK market for sliding box cameras around 1856. He had the cameras made and had an agreement with the newly independent maker Vallantin (ex-lerebours) to supply lenses to be engraved in London. The "light" engraving is very typical of UK brass engravers. It is in French and says Paris - France was still regarded as the home of Photography.

This is such helpful information. I hadn't considered disassembling the lens before so I did and I found that you hit the nail on the head, Steven. The front element is marked Vallantin. Here's a photo.

I also appreciate anachromatic's clarification the Élève is better translated as disciple.

Scott

http://vintagephoto.tv/temp/vallantin_element.jpg

Steven Tribe
10-Aug-2017, 10:17
A bit carelessly written - but recognisible as Vallantin when you know what you are looking for!

Vallantin as a known maker - with his link as a Lerebours employee right back to the beginning in 1841 - is a bit more exciting than Colas!

I think I just found your photographica website and previous research, Scott! Now you can write an update about Vallantin. I think you can be pretty certain that Colas made the box camera at his shop/workshop at 105, Cheapside, London between 1854 and 1861 when he moved over into stationary!

Taija71A
10-Aug-2017, 11:18
My Nr. 2942 Voigtlander (1847?) does not have the holes. Dang though. 1842?
I was hoping my ~1845-46 Ross might be the second oldest lens here.
Looks like it's only third or fourth oldest. I have had it out shooting. It's a sweet lens to use!

I just noticed this Thread...
--
My 'Oldest Lens' therefore is:

An early, Petzval Lens by French 'Optician'...
ALEXIS MILLET Paris -- No. 508 . .(1847).

RedGreenBlue
10-Aug-2017, 13:42
A bit carelessly written - but recognisible as Vallantin when you know what you are looking for!

Vallantin as a known maker - with his link as a Lerebours employee right back to the beginning in 1841 - is a bit more exciting than Colas!

I think I just found your photographica website and previous research, Scott! Now you can write an update about Vallantin. I think you can be pretty certain that Colas made the box camera at his shop/workshop at 105, Cheapside, London between 1854 and 1861 when he moved over into stationary!

Yes, you found my site. I'll work up an update now that you've helped fill in gaps. Truly appreciated. Had I even noticed that writing on the edge of the lens in the past I doubt I would have made out the name or connection. So many mysteries...

Scott

moltogordo
12-Aug-2017, 22:33
My oldest lens is a Kodak Commercial Ektar of 8 1/2" mounted in an Ilex #3 shutter. I just bought a Rittreck 5x7 field camera, and am going to permanently mate the two. I think it'll be a marriage made in Heaven.

Randy
13-Aug-2017, 05:10
I believe my oldest is a B&L 11X14 1C - perhaps from the 1920's...? Every example of the 1C's I have seen have "1903" stamped on their barrel, but I am guessing that is unrelated to when the lens was manufactured.

neil poulsen
13-Aug-2017, 13:22
My oldest lens (now sold) regularly used lens was a small, inconspicuous Goerz coated 7" Dagor in a Rapax shutter that took excellent photos. Probably shouldn't have sold it.

Jody_S
13-Aug-2017, 20:43
Currently my oldest is a Darlot pillbox 14" f22 landscape lens from the 1860s. Wonderful lens, one of my favorites on 8x10 especially if I uncork it (remove the front reducer) and shoot it at f9. Next oldest could be a Ross Ordinary Angle Actinic Doublet from the 1870s. I sold my Ross C-de-V petzval that was a little older.

goamules
14-Aug-2017, 07:57
My oldest lens was pre-photography, a Dolland nautical telescope. Dolland invented the cemented achromat lens, before daguerreotypes. It was about a 1820, if I recall.

https://c2.staticflickr.com/4/3432/3397080776_3cf48d903b_z.jpg?zz=1

russyoung
20-Mar-2019, 20:40
I'm late to the party. There are older lenses in my collection but none as pristine as this Gardner & Harrison. Its basically mint. Great user.

A look at the NYC Directory for 1852/53 (page 233) clarifies which Gardner and which Harrison are partners: Samuel H. Gardner and Ira N. Harrison. Yes, the information in the Dec 1852 Humphrey's Journal was correct.
Russ
189055

goamules
21-Mar-2019, 09:10
Wow, nice lens Russ! I vaguely remember there was another American radial drive maker, now I know!