View Full Version : Deguerreotype lens? Need the experts

Dan Dozer
15-Mar-2010, 13:43
I picked up this lens a short while ago on the auction site. Have not had an opportunity to shoot with it yet because I still have to figure out how to mount it to a Linhoff lens board. I've been told that it might be a Deguerrotype lens. Size is about 2" in diameter x about 3 1/2" long. The lens has a flange mounting piece that the lens slides in and it has the brass flap on the front. There are two lens elements spaced about a half inch apart and an internal iris in front of the front lens that is about 1 1/4" in diameter. I've tried to do a little reserach on it and from the info on AntiqueCameras, it seems to be similar to the Chevalier type. The front of the front lens element is pretty flat (reverse telescope?), although the lens can't be disassembled to check out the front lens element. The rear element unscrews.

I stuck it on my 8 x 10 Deardorf and the image circle is much small than the camera back so it appears to be for a quarter plate (or slightly smaller) format size. I couldn't get it focused on the deardorf back so the focal length appears to be about 4" or a little less.

There are no markings on the lens at all.

BTW - the seller thought this was a "microscope lens" and I ended up getting it for $10.

As I said, I haven't yet been able to check it out on my 4 x 5 camera yet. Any thoughts on what I might expect from it and how old it might be?

15-Mar-2010, 14:11
looks like a projector (magic lantern) lens to me.

Steven Tribe
15-Mar-2010, 16:20
My guess would be it is from a toy magic lantern.

Mark Sawyer
17-Mar-2010, 16:26
I agree that it's likely a magic lantern/projection lens. You might try shooting with just the rear elements to increase focal length and coverage.

Dan Dozer
17-Mar-2010, 21:55
You know, I thought this was likely a magic lantern lens when I got it, but the more I look at it, the more questions I have. For example, why if it was for a magic lantern would it have an internal diaphram/iris in front of the front lens element? Wouldn't that just reduce the overall image size and also darken the image on the projection screen because of a smaller F-stop?

Also, the front lens element is not removable - the rear element is however.

Hopefully, I'll figure out how to put it on one of my 4 x 5 cameras and try it out this weekend, or at least see what the image on the ground glass looks like.