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Thread: Manhattan Optical Oddity

  1. #1

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    Manhattan Optical Oddity

    I just picked up a Manhattan Optical oddity. Looked at all the usual sources (and the couple of manhattan catalogs online) and googled and came up with nothing. It's marked as a "single long focus", 5x7, f16, and No 0. It's from NY, not Cresskill so I don't know if that makes it earlier or later.

    Projecting an image on the wall alongside a 12" Dagor, I make it a little it longer and much dimmer. The construction is odd- its a meniscus (cemented doublet), with a half inch fixed stop out front (around an inch or a bit more away). Directly behind the glass is another stop, around 3/4" or a bit more. the glass diameter is around 1 1/2 or a bit more. the barrel and front stop unscrew from the mount. I need to take the mount off the board to see if I can then remove the glass and it's mount. There is a knurled ring which seems to be holding the glass into its mount from the inside.

    Anyone ever seen one of these? Know anything about it?

    Thanks,
    Dan


    Untitled by Fotoguy20d, on Flickr


    Untitled by Fotoguy20d, on Flickr




    Untitled by Fotoguy20d, on Flickr

  2. #2

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    Re: Manhattan Optical Oddity

    From trying it on my 8x10 (it seems to cover), I believe that should be F=16 in.

  3. #3
    Mark Sawyer's Avatar
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    Re: Manhattan Optical Oddity

    It looks like a typical 1880's/'90's landscape lens, similar to the Waterbury and quite a few others, though perhaps a bit longer in focal length. The only thing odd is the restriction of the aperture at the rear.

    If you can remove the restrictions at both ends, these make nice soft-focus lenses! Otherwise, it will give a fairly conventional look at smaller apertures. Have fun with it!
    "I love my Verito lens, but I always have to sharpen everything in Photoshop..."

  4. #4

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    Re: Manhattan Optical Oddity

    It seems odd that it's fixed aperture. The others I've seen have an aperture wheel usually. maybe this was a low cost offering. And, at 16" FL and a half inch aperture, it's far slower. 16" seems very long for 5x7. Doesn't seem too useful for landscape. maybe the aperture was to improve sharpness for portraiture?

    I removed the front aperture - it screws off with the barrel - and it softened up quite a bit. I think I need to remove the mount from the wooden board to get the rear aperture off.

  5. #5

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    Re: Manhattan Optical Oddity

    Quote Originally Posted by Fotoguy20d View Post
    And, at 16" FL and a half inch aperture, it's far slower. 16" seems very long for 5x7. Doesn't seem too useful for landscape.
    ah, people in this day and age.. Books from late 1800s suggested longest possible lenses for landscape work.

  6. #6

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    Re: Manhattan Optical Oddity

    "
    Books from late 1800s suggested longest possible lenses for landscape work.
    "

    Now that is something I agree with.

    There may have been a split ring in the front and a set of stops which could be placed underneath the ring. I did think about the odd looking rear stop being a set of rings - incorrectly mount at the rear. There is another landscape lens that has additional rear stops (Pulligny adjustable landscape from the 1890's). Eddie has an entertaining video on how it works!

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