View Full Version : No-name Petzval, any clue?

13-Apr-2011, 20:38
I have always been very curious about the source of my unnamed Petzvals.
I even had the idea to take a few pictures and submit them to the forum experts out there, but i couldn't make me do it.
Then, browsing the bay for old lenses, i found the twin brother of one of my Petzvals!
Here it is:
Of course the informations provided by the vendor are not of great help: the inscriptions on the focusing tube report the name of the USA agent, nothing more.
Do anybody recognize a particular construction feature that could point to the actual maker of the lens?
The production must be european, i purchased the lens in Italy. It could be of french, swiss or austrian import, but it could have been made in Germany or Great Britain as well... :)

I have seen a similar focusing knob in Darlot lenses, but i didn't find anything penciled on the outside of the glasses, when i dissenbled the lens for cleaning.

have fun


13-Apr-2011, 21:50
Looks like a Darlot magic lantern Petzval. I've taken apart a bunch of Darlot Petzvals and the odds seem 50/50 as to whether the Darlot name is penciled on the elements. Here's a Darlot of mine from another US optical distributor. It was very common to import Darlot Petzvals uncut for stops and unengraved for use as magic lantern lenses.


14-Apr-2011, 16:53
The focusing knob looks to be the same.
My example was not made for projection, there is a cutout for waterhouse stops.
Inside the barrel there is already a fixed stop, that should decrease the speed by one full value, maybe little less.
Here is a quick picture, done with a flash while i am writing this text.
The reflections from the on-camera flash evidence any flaw of the finish, the overall state of the lens is not so bad as it looks. The original varnish is still there (well, for the most part..).

The pencil marks are definitely not there, but when i disassembled the lens for cleaning i found that the lens was easy to open, and that the glass was obviously cleaned not very long ago. A prolonged immersion on some kind of solved could have erased any pencil mark. Who knows...

There is an handmade "19" inscription on the barrel. I didn't make any measure when i tested the lens with a makeshift attachment (i don't have the right flange), so i don't know if it's 19cm backfocus, 19cm FL, or something else.

Thanks for your input.

have fun


14-Apr-2011, 17:21
It is most certainly a Darlot.