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Thread: A source of valuable data on French lens makers and their products.

  1. #1

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    A source of valuable data on French lens makers and their products.

    This has been mentioned some time ago in this section in connection with a Hermagis identification.

    This is A-Z series of booklets covering French Lenses from 1839 until 1939. Some makers have their own monogram (like Jamin/Darlot, Berthiot and Hermagis) but most are in alphabetically grouped 30 page booklets. The one I have in front of me includes the following bigger names:

    Faller
    Francais
    Gasc & Charconnet/Laverne/Clement & Gilmer

    as well as dozens of minor makers.

    The booklets have a price of €30 each and it is obvious it is for the collectors market, rather than for practioners. However, the information for identication of specific lenses is by far the best I have seen.

    I bought the above booklet as it contained a photo of an "unknown" Gasc & Charconnet petzval I had just acquired. Thanks to the booklet, I can see:

    - it was made from 1862 and called the 3rd series "Objectif simplifies"
    - the patent with diagrams of usage are illustrated.
    - it was made in 6 sizes (no. 17 - 22). Mine is probably no.18 covering 11x16cm!
    - that it is engraved with 7 rue Chaponn which was G & C's first address.

    Quite apart from specific information I was needing, I can see that the american agents (Bryant, Codman and Swindon Earp Cameras) are identified, as well it gives an extensive description of the history of the change-over to CLement & Gilmer.

    These booklets are produced in a 100 examples each and a whole collection would require an investment. I will probably buy a few more (at last an idea for christmas presents I can pass on!).
    I thought it might be useful to have a list of the copies which have been bought by contributors here. People who would be willing to post data on request about specific lenses and makers. I have a great deal of respect for Patrice Pont and Jean Loup Princelle for making this A-Z which is a unique source. So no reproductions, just content of text.

    Website, with samples of pages from each booklet, can be found through google le reve edition.

  2. #2

    Re: A source of valuable data on French lens makers and their products.

    If anyone is interested - I have one of these for sale that covers makers Boutan to Carpentier. These are really high quality publications. 31 pages. please message me.

    Antique & Classic Camera Blog
    www.antiquecameras.net/blog.html

  3. #3
    Alex Timmermans
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    Re: A source of valuable data on French lens makers and their products.

    I have these for Hermagis and Darlot. Great source!
    "You dont take a picture, it's given to you"

    www.alextimmermans.com
    www.collodion-art.blogspot.com
    email : collodion-art dot onsmail dot nl

  4. #4

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    Re: A source of valuable data on French lens makers and their products.

    Alex, do they list the summary of catalogue listings of the various versions and sizes made, like the Gasc & Charconnet section does?

    I have written to the authors asking whether they have plans for some kind of restricted follow-up, where they could print the data for a single Maker (or sequence of makers, like Lerebours/Lerebours & Secretan). I realise that the original concept was an A-Z coverage of all registered makers in a limited edition of 100. But demand for data sheets on specific makers alone is probably greater and could be met without comprimising the publishing concept.
    Last edited by Steven Tribe; 7-Apr-2017 at 00:58.

  5. #5

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    Re: A source of valuable data on French lens makers and their products.

    I now own volume 16 which covers from Demaria to Duploich. This includes the important names of Derogy and Dubroni (Which I now understand to be an anagram of the owner Bourdin!).

    Information will be freely given to anyone who has need of it!
    Last edited by Steven Tribe; 16-Jan-2017 at 11:33.

  6. #6

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    Re: A source of valuable data on French lens makers and their products.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Tribe View Post

    Thanks to the booklet, I can see:

    - it was made from 1862 and called the 3rd series "Objectif simplifies"
    The name you write is surely not correct. It is either "Objectif simplifié" or "Objectifs simplifiés". Cheers!

  7. #7

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    Re: A source of valuable data on French lens makers and their products.

    I have now added the french language alternative keyboard to include the acute accent!

    The text has the objectifs simplifiés written as obj. simplifiés, so I didn't automatically think plural!

  8. #8

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    Re: A source of valuable data on French lens makers and their products.

    I thought I might mention that the range of publications is increasing.
    But, on the other hand, some of these are now "sold out"!

    A recent addition is no. 24 which includes Lerebours et Secretan.

  9. #9

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    Re: A source of valuable data on French lens makers and their products.

    I have some concerns about the publishing of these comprehensive booklets on French lens makers in the 19th century. The website seems to be
    unchanged for some time and the “booklets under development” section is now completely empty. I know that at couple of years ago there were some entries there and I had some minor editing correspondence with them (Lerebours/Vallantin/Colas) which involved a Little proof reading.

    Can anyone put my mind at rest?

  10. #10

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    Re: A source of valuable data on French lens makers and their products.

    Is there a link that I'm missing? Is there a website somewhere?

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