View Full Version : E.francais to identify

eric antoine
14-Mar-2012, 01:29
Hello everyone, Anyone would know what this E.francais is. It's very hard to get informations about those lenses, especially when you live in france, as soon as you type this name in Google, you get many many pages about lens(that is a city in france) and french stuff...here is what it looks like:70171

Steven Tribe
14-Mar-2012, 01:54
Bonjour Eric!

Yes Francais and Lens are not a good search criterion! Perhaps you could use "laiton, objectif" instead!
Whatever it is, it looks to be in good condtion.
I'll make a summary of E.Francais's optical history and post for you in a while. He was active quite early in Photographic history and was a major exporter too. Unfortunately, I don't know of any comprehensive catalogues of his products.
Oh yes, glass dimensions and more photos, please.
There are are a number of Francais owners here, fortunately.
Did you do a search here too?

14-Mar-2012, 04:00
Bonjour Antoine,
Jean Pierre Emile Français, young optician formed by Charles Chevalier, get associated with Auzoux in 1863 and created his own compagny in 1866.

I'va had a Petzval a few weeks ago, producing sharp and bright image
a very good lens from a very good maker
Your lens looks like a RR more than a petzval.

14-Mar-2012, 04:01
Bonjour Eric!!

eric antoine
20-Mar-2012, 02:04
Sorry I was away for a while, here are More informations (fabrice c'est toi luphot?)
this is a e.francais rectilineaire 4A bis. 8cm.
It's very hard to find informaiton about this lens as when you type français and lens in the french google you get 10000 pages about the footbal club from lens in france...
I don't see anything about the lens.

Steven Tribe
20-Mar-2012, 04:00
Is "8cm" the barrel width?
4a bis would suggest a large size ( greater than 18x24cm).
The squatness would also suggest a fast RR (F7 or less).
Measure the diameter of the glass (lentile) and the focal length.
The "bis" means a size above the usual 4a size - but less than the 5a (if there was one!).

eric antoine
20-Mar-2012, 11:50
8cm is the length, I mounted it today and it is very very bright. i compared it to a f4 extra rapid Goerz lens and it was so much brighter. It's also definitely a portrait lens, the focal length seems pretty long. i can't really mesure it, I don't know the aperture.Diameter is 6cm. from what I see in the ground glass it seems to me that it opens less than 7.

Steven Tribe
20-Mar-2012, 12:01
"f4 extra rapid Goerz lens".
I think you talking about a lens with the old Goerz scale where "F4" represents about F6. The dagor (series III F.6.8) is marked "F4.6".
Once again, the focal length and the lens diameter is the most important information required!?
A guess, based on data up to now is:
Aperture 5cm/F5 - F6/ focal length about 25cm -30cm.

eric antoine
20-Mar-2012, 12:36
well on the goerz extra rapid portrait lens there is an iris and the apertures are written from 4 to something like 172...
I think 30cm is more like it, minimum, because I had to extend my bellows sooo much and it zooms in so much (sorry I don't know how to say it in english)

Steven Tribe
20-Mar-2012, 12:50
The standard Goerz sequence is 4.6, 6, 12, 24, 48 96, 192 and 384.
Perhaps your goerz is the series C extra rapid (lynkeioskop) which varies from "modern" F5.5 to F6.3 ( depending on focal lengths).
I think your Francais is exactly the same kind of lens - a fast RR like the Euryscope design (up to F4.5) and Suter (up to F.5).

eric antoine
20-Mar-2012, 13:01
yes, lynkeioskop it is. but it starts at 4 (at least it is written on it)
the E.français looks the same yes, much brighter, I need to use it though. I didn't try yet. It's got perfect holders for collodion.

Steven Tribe
20-Mar-2012, 14:53
A lens by Goerz (at this time!) marked F4 is really a modern F6.3.
The Francais lens you have is a "cheat copy!" of Voigtländer fast Aplanat series III (F4.5) or IV (F.6). If you can see a big difference it may be around F5 (like one the Suter copies). All these are very nice lenses!