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Thread: Dating 24" Darlot Pill Box and your thoughts about it

  1. #1
    Jon Wilson's Avatar
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    Dating 24" Darlot Pill Box and your thoughts about it

    I acquired this Darlot Pill Box a while ago and recently took it apart.
    Looking to learn more about it. Any clue when it was made and your thoughts. I believe it is a 24" lens which has had its rack and pinion removed and a waterhouse slot installed. Thanks.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_2510 (1).JPG   IMG_2515 (2).JPG   IMG_2517.JPG   IMG_2518.JPG  

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    Jon Wilson's Avatar
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    Re: Dating 24" Darlot Pill Box and your thoughts about it

    More pictures
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_2512 (1).jpg   IMG_2521.JPG   IMG_2515 (2).JPG   IMG_2525.JPG  

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    Jon Wilson's Avatar
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    Re: Dating 24" Darlot Pill Box and your thoughts about it

    even more pictures
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_2516.JPG   IMG_2523.JPG   IMG_2526.JPG   IMG_2528.JPG  

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    Re: Dating 24" Darlot Pill Box and your thoughts about it

    Dare I say Frankenstein?

    There are features which suggest this is a (very useful!) made up piece from two barrels. The raised area on the wider barrel looks like it covers the focussing track section and there are traces of track inside. The WHS stop in the pillbox comes from a much small lens barrel, I think, that started its life as a smaller lens (after 1858).

    The cap looks original and making this- and the threads - would require professional skills. French landscape lenses with sleeves do exist, but they are uncommon. Darlot made landscape lenses, but his main efforts (again it must be after around 1862) were with varieties of Petzvals. The other 1850s and 1860s makers made lots more large landscape lenses - often without their name on the brass.

    Considering the skill which went into covering the focussing track, I think you might consider that this is a cut down old Petzval lens, where the real cell is lost/damaged and the front achromat has been mounted in the rear. The is nothing odious about this Petzval achromat is identical to the Landscape achromat. I have a Lerebours Petzval and a Landscape lens of the same period and the achromats used on these two are completely identical. In fact, the lens cells can also be swapped between the two lenses.

    The fact that the covered track covers almost the full length of the barrel suggests a previous life as a Petzval. I think I can see solder around the cap inside where there is usually a cap thread?

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    LF/ULF Carbon Printer Jim Fitzgerald's Avatar
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    Re: Dating 24" Darlot Pill Box and your thoughts about it

    Here is mine. The focal length is about 12-13". The lens is engraved Darlot and has one washer stop and the original brass cap which is marked AD on the inside. The lens has the same Darlot markings and is about 2 3/8" in diameter.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails fullsizeoutput_388f.jpg   fullsizeoutput_3890.jpg   IMG_5806.jpg  

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    Re: Dating 24" Darlot Pill Box and your thoughts about it

    Jon, what is the diameter of your lens - around 81mm perhaps? This is an almost standard diameter for a 10-12" French Petzval. I have a pill box landscape, in the sleeveless version which is also about 20". And the second is the early Hermagis convertible in landscape mode (The flange thread is at the base of the lens hood) which has a 30" focal length.
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  7. #7
    Jon Wilson's Avatar
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    Re: Dating 24" Darlot Pill Box and your thoughts about it

    Hi Steve,
    The lens is approximately 93.472 mm or 3.68 inches in diameter. The waterhouse slot has a "pocket" or "sleeve" the for the aperture stop to be held in place. So could use a post-it paper to construct a small aperture opening.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_2674 (1).jpg  
    Last edited by Jon Wilson; 10-May-2018 at 19:43. Reason: added picture

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    Mark Sawyer's Avatar
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    Re: Dating 24" Darlot Pill Box and your thoughts about it

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Tribe View Post
    Dare I say Frankenstein?
    I tend to agree with Steven; I've never seen that barrel configuration before. The front is designed for washer stops, so cutting it for Waterhouse stops makes no sense. BTW, the longest Darlot Landscape Lense I've ever seen listed is a 20-inch. Here's mine, a 20-inch Jamin Darlot.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Jamim Darlot 20 inch Landscape.jpg  
    "I love my Verito lens, but I always have to sharpen everything in Photoshop..."

  9. #9
    Jon Wilson's Avatar
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    Re: Dating 24" Darlot Pill Box and your thoughts about it

    I agree it is a professional cobble. I may not have calculated its FL correctly. Need to get it on lensboard and try it out. Attached more pics for analysis....I appreciate everyone's input.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_2666.JPG   IMG_2670.JPG   IMG_2672 (1).JPG   IMG_2668.JPG  

  10. #10
    Jon Wilson's Avatar
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    Re: Dating 24" Darlot Pill Box and your thoughts about it

    If the FL is measured from the Waterhouse slot to the image on the wall it would be 28 inches and 23 inches from rear of lens.

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