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Thread: Any information on Camille Desmoulins lenses?

  1. #1

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    Question Any information on Camille Desmoulins lenses?

    Anyone have any information on Camille Desmoulins lenses? A search on here for Desmoulins comes back with absolutely nothing, which surprised me. Google is no help thanks to the name being associated with a famous historical figure. The Vade Mecum only has the line "FBB list an RR from Desmoulins on a 9x12cm in 1895, but none has been seen."

    Anyone have any information on this maker? I can find a few examples that have a strange shutter built in with an iris diaphragm which suggests 1890+ timeline. My guess is a short lived company from ~1880s to no later than 1910s, if even that far, but I'm having a hard time finding anything to corroborate that theory.

  2. #2

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    Re: Any information on Camille Desmoulins lenses?

    OP, you're a relative newcomer here and may not be aware of this site's resources. One is a list of links to useful sources of information. A link to it is in the first post in this https://www.largeformatphotography.i...mainly)-lenses discussion.

    If you read French, the literature cited section of my article on Berthiot lenses may take you to sources that contain the information you're seeking. I took a quick look in Fabre's Traité encyclopédique de photographie. Nothing there, if the Acrobat Reader search function works for those documents, but his Aide-mémoire de photographie is worth searching. So is the Bulletin de la Société Française de Photographie.

    Hop to it!

  3. #3

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    Re: Any information on Camille Desmoulins lenses?

    Camille Desmoulins is included in volume 16 of the recent A to Z booklets by le reve.
    He has 4 columns on pages 14 and 15. Started around 1880.
    Sounds like either "le fait vite" or "obtutateur central Guilbert".

    Some poor images to protect copyright!

    A photo would help!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails image.jpg   image.jpg  

  4. #4

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    Re: Any information on Camille Desmoulins lenses?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Fromm View Post
    OP, you're a relative newcomer here and may not be aware of this site's resources. One is a list of links to useful sources of information. A link to it is in the first post in this https://www.largeformatphotography.i...mainly)-lenses discussion.
    I did look through those that I could find (possibly too quickly, given the lack of a search function) and didn't find anything, but thanks for pointing out a couple specific to check more thoroughly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Tribe View Post
    Camille Desmoulins is included in volume 16 of the recent A to Z booklets by le reve.
    He has 4 columns on pages 14 and 15. Started around 1880.
    Great information! Thank you! I've circled the lens type I'm fascinated by and trying to find more information on.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    The irises appear to be quite quality, but close the aperture down a lot. And then the shutters are just absolute garbage by comparison, so it's something of a dichotomy.

    When I first stumbled across those booklets I was interested, but speak and read no French at all. And over a dollar a page is just painful. Would you still recommend picking them up?

  5. #5

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    Re: Any information on Camille Desmoulins lenses?

    I can't resist buying these booklets, but only those that have makers whose products I own. It is a lot of money, but getting hold of original sales catalogues is far more expensive and difficult. They have become family xmas and birthday presents to me!

    Here is more about the lens you circled!

    All shutters from that period are/were junk!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails image.jpg  

  6. #6

    Re: Any information on Camille Desmoulins lenses?

    Steven, can you show us where these booklets are available? My googling goes terribly wrong when I try either Camille Desmoulins or A to Z booklets by Le Reve.

  7. #7

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    Re: Any information on Camille Desmoulins lenses?

    here!

    http://www.lereveedition.com/en/

    The booklets are entered through the "groupings" on the left hand side on their website.

  8. #8

    Re: Any information on Camille Desmoulins lenses?

    Thanks! Very helpful and interesting.

  9. #9

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    Re: Any information on Camille Desmoulins lenses?

    Thank you very much! 1895 lands pretty much exactly where I was guessing based on the design. Was hoping for a little more info on the shutter mechanism, but given the short run I'm not surprised there's very little. Looks like I got my hands on a No. 1, though I disagree with the image dimensions.

    EDIT: Redoing the math, it looks like I've also managed to get my hands on one where the iris is indeed an after market addition as I suspected. Thank you again for the info.

  10. #10

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    Re: Any information on Camille Desmoulins lenses?

    Hello from France


    Well, if combined keywords "Desmoulins lens" do not yield any result with your favorite web search engine, trying "Desmoulins objectif" in French immediately yields a first reference.
    I found some information about Camille Desmoulins, lens manufacturer in Paris at the end of the XX-st century, here on Sylvain Halgand's encyclopaedic web site
    http://www.collection-appareils.fr/p...pic.php?t=6273

    First I cut-paste the text in French, it comes from the discussion forum, on Sylvain Halgand's web site

    -----------------------

    Re: Ensemble optique/obturateur - infos ?
    bernard P mer. 22 avr. 2009 07:49
    Bonjour,
    Bien que ce ne soit pas un obturateur à guillotine, le constructeur s'appelle bien Camille Desmoulin. Certains objectifs portent la mention Esthégènographe ou Esthégraphe et un D vertical croisé par un C horizontal. C. Desmoulin était opticien constructeur 9 ou 10 rue des Lions (quartier St Paul) à Paris dans les années 1880-1900. Il a pris quelques brevets :
    DESMOULINS, Nouveau système d'obturateur photographique, 257 091, 15 ans,
    09/06/1896
    DESMOULINS, Obturateur photographique, 278 986, 15 ans, 17/06/1898


    Translation into English
    lens + shutter combination - infos?
    bernard P mer. 22 avr. 2009 07:49
    Hello! Although it is not a guillotine shutter, the manufacturer is actually named Camille Desmoulins (note to understand the joke: the manufacturers' name is Camille Desmoulins, just like a famous character from the French Revolution of 1789.)
    Some lenses are marked Esthégènographe or Esthégraphe and a vertical D crossed by a horizontal C. C. Desmoulins was an optician and lens manufacturer 9 or 10 rue des Lions (St Paul district) in Paris in the years 1880-1900.
    He took some patents:
    DESMOULINS, New system of photographic shutter, 257 091, 15 ans,
    09/06/1896
    DESMOULINS, Photographic shutter, 278 986, 15 ans, 17/06/1898

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