View Full Version : Need Help Identifying Lens

25-May-2012, 12:34
I found an Ansco Studio camera with all the standards in great shape on Craigslist a few weeks ago for 300$. Thanks to Eddie Gunks for the best info & video about the Ansco studio camera I found on YouTube. I am new to large format photography but have long been seduced by Wet Plate photography. I determined this might be a proper camera to introduce myself to the process with. I am unable to determine the maker and year of the lens. Here is a photo gallery: http://flic.kr/s/aHsjzBAARy

The lens has this engraved into the barrel:
Extra Rapid Portrait
f - 4
6 1/2 x 8 1/2
Martin G. Good

I have come across American Regal as a lens maker name but that is the end of the trail. I understand that Martin G. Good was a photography supply house at the turn of the 1900th century and that lenses were branded as such. The lens has the numbers 1-3 engraved on the outer lens. I believe this adjusts the softness. The aperture iris functions perfectly. The outmost lens is a little banged up and I am going to have an excellent local machinist turn it out and chase all the threads. The stop numbers were painted over to make them more visible. F-Stops range from 1-32 which I understand equates to 4-22. Any info about the lens or advice for it's application for wet plate is greatly appreciated.

25-May-2012, 12:43
More detailed photos of the inscription on the lens may be of help. B&L and Wollensak were known to produce lenses for others to rebrand. Others may have also.
The words "extra rapid" tell me it's a Rapid Rectilinear and should easily cover whole plate or smaller. For $300, you have a great starter kit at a great price. Go get the chemicals and pour some plates!

25-May-2012, 12:58
Here is a photo gallery with detailed images: http://flic.kr/s/aHsjzBAARy

Steven Tribe
25-May-2012, 15:07
No special knowledge on these, but it looks like a american copy of the Dallmeyer type with the turnable rear half of the rear pair - hence the markings at 90 degree intervals. Screwing out increases the softness of this petzval.
Regal is just a fancy name.

25-May-2012, 15:50
It's made by Bausch & Lomb, labeled by a reseller. As large as it looks (for only a 6 1/2 X 8 1/2), the speed, and with the rear adjuster, I'd say it's a Petzval, not an RR. If so, it would have a cemented double lens in the front (it will look like just one piece of glass unless you look at the edge), and two lenses in the rear. Does it have that? It will work fine for wetplate, and is from about 1919.

Louis Pacilla
25-May-2012, 16:06
I'm pretty sure like others have said it was manufactured by Bausch & Lomb Universal Portrait Lens Series A

Here are a few pages from a Bausch & Lomb catalog and a Burk & James catalog I believe this is your lens. BTW The B&J is just another supply house rebranding a Bausch & Lomd Portrait Series A lens. Just like yours so all the info applies.

The attachments are kind of small and hard to read so you may want to click one of the three pages I posted then click on it a second time the press in on your ctrl button and hit the + button to enlarge the page so the text is readable.

25-May-2012, 17:31
Thanks for the replies. It appears that the lens as I received it was put together incorrectly. There were two lens sets in the front and one in the back when I picked it up and it should be setup the other way around. Would there be any other explanation why this was setup like this? Should the lens set with the numbering be at the very back?

The local machinist said he is unable to chase threads this fine. Does anyone have any suggestions for chasing or reshaping threads for these large brass lenses?

Any guesses for the year?

Paul Fitzgerald
25-May-2012, 19:07
"Would there be any other explanation why this was setup like this? "

Yes, petzvals are convertible, the front doublet makes a nice portrait meniscus. Your's would be approx. 15" f/5, soft focus is adjustable by aperture.

An instant 'tell' if it is a B&L, on the rear of the aperture assembly there will be 6 or 7 tiny screws holding the 2 halves together., Wollensak did not use this style.

Have fun with it