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Thread: What Did I Buy?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    South Dakota

    What Did I Buy?

    I've been looking for an 8-10 inch RR lens now that I'm shooting wet plate. Saw this one on ebay last week and loved the look & the engraving:

    It looked small enough to easily fit on a Technika board so I could use it on my Chamonix 4x5, so I bought it. I was wanting either an early Morrison or Steinheil RR lens, but this lens looked old and I was intrigued by it being an "Orthoscope." Now that I have it in my hands I'm wondering just what it is, really. I'm pretty sure McCollin was a reseller sort of like BF French & Co., so I doubt he made the lens. Taking it apart I found each pair of lenses had two arrows " >>" pointing the direction of the light written in pencil on the side of the glass. The elements are the same diameter and do screw into either end interchangeably. They are symmetrical. I'm thinking that this isn't really an orthoscope but just a plain old RR? I was hoping it was something more interesting and exotic. Oh well, it does look nice. I measured it and it's really 12 inch f8 lens. I made an f16 stop for it out of black poster board.

    So, what is it? Any guess what years it's from or who made it? I do intend to keep it. Didn't pay all that much and it is nice looking. Glass is clean.

    Kent in SD
    Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris,
    miserere nobis.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Seattle area, WA

    Re: What Did I Buy?

    Construction and size are similar to the 12 inch RR's I have seen and owner, should be a nice lens. Maybe not as fast as you would want for wet plate, but should work fine in the sun. The writing seems kind of crude, not sure it means anything but most writing on brass lens I've seen are a lot more elegant looking than that.

  3. #3

    Re: What Did I Buy?

    orthoscope is just a marketing/brand name...its a basic rapid rectilinear lens, f/8.

    Antique & Classic Camera Blog

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Oct 2019

    Re: What Did I Buy?

    It is an aplanat lens design, made of four lenses in two cemented elements.
    This lenses were used for a very long time and a lot of portrait photographers love the kind of imaging.
    The lenses are very sharp in the middle.
    The engravings were made by hand.
    It is a very accurate handcrafting work.


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