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Thread: Online Reference for overview of Darlot Lenses?

  1. #1
    Drew Bedo's Avatar
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    Online Reference for overview of Darlot Lenses?

    I will soon get,along (with some other stuff, a smallish brass lens, marked Darlot No. 2

    I don't know much about these old brass lenses except that the old Petzval formula is now trendy for the "swirly Bokeh". . . .what the next 50-100 years of lens design tried to eliminate.

    Is there an online reference that might give an introductory overview of the various models and configurations of the lenses from Darlot?
    Drew Bedo
    www.quietlightphoto.com
    http://www.artsyhome.com/author/drew-bedo




    There are only three types of mounting flanges; too big, too small and wrong thread!

  2. #2

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    Re: Online Reference for overview of Darlot Lenses?

    Not that I know of. There is a good book written by a nice lens scholar in France.

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    Re: Online Reference for overview of Darlot Lenses?

    If you want to read it, write it. The references I cited in my Berthiot article and the on-line libraries that have them are a good place to start.

    If you just want to know much of what can be known, buy the book. http://www.lereveedition.com/en/doss...4-jamin-darlot

  4. #4
    Drew Bedo's Avatar
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    Re: Online Reference for overview of Darlot Lenses?

    Thanks Dan.


    Related but tangent question:

    How should I care for this lens' brass finish? I know what to do for my modern LF lenses and how to store a vintageknife or firearm. what is the best way to maintain or preserve the cosmetic appearance of the brass after using or just handling the lens?
    Drew Bedo
    www.quietlightphoto.com
    http://www.artsyhome.com/author/drew-bedo




    There are only three types of mounting flanges; too big, too small and wrong thread!

  5. #5

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    Re: Online Reference for overview of Darlot Lenses?

    Brass lenses originally had lacquer. There should be no maintenance required for the finish, just dust them. Over time, many start to lose their varnish. It thins or chips. Often people will have polished the brass over the generations. When you find a dark patina on a brass lens from the 1800s, you know it's been polished so much that the varnish was all removed. Or if it's "bare brass" it's been polished. I think all companies used a varnish, some held up better than others. For example, I have an early Dallmeyer from about 1863 that has all it's original varnish, and is shiny like the day it was made. Interestingly, many early American makers used thin varnish, and it's usually all worn off.

    You can see on this one that handling or polishing removed the lacquer from the top of the lens, but it's remaining in other parts that are more protected.


  6. #6

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    Re: Online Reference for overview of Darlot Lenses?

    I don't have any of these lovely lenses, but if I did, I would do what I could to preserve the patina as it is. I particularly like the way this one looks. I'd just rub it gently with some Renaisance wax and then put it to use

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    Re: Online Reference for overview of Darlot Lenses?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sanford View Post
    I don't have any of these lovely lenses, but if I did, I would do what I could to preserve the patina as it is. I particularly like the way this one looks. I'd just rub it gently with some Renaisance wax and then put it to use
    Once purchased a brass Petzval lens that the owner had removed all the patina from. Owner honestly told me that he didn't like the image that the lens produced after he had "polished up" all the brass, so sold it to me at a bargain price. Tried the lens out and he was right. About a year later, on a whim, took the lens apart and found out that the elements and spacer were put back incorrectly. Once everything was correctly re-assembled, the optic had that "Petzval" Bokeh. Previous owner was more concerned with how cosmetically the lens looked and not with its performance.... Have a couple of brass lenses that I have cleaned the glass but otherwise do nothing else to them.

  8. #8
    Drew Bedo's Avatar
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    Re: Online Reference for overview of Darlot Lenses?

    The wax suggestion seems to make sense. Is there any reason nOT to use a light film of wax?
    Drew Bedo
    www.quietlightphoto.com
    http://www.artsyhome.com/author/drew-bedo




    There are only three types of mounting flanges; too big, too small and wrong thread!

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    Re: Online Reference for overview of Darlot Lenses?

    Do you know what a wax will do to 130 year old varnish? Neither do I.

  10. #10
    Drew Bedo's Avatar
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    Re: Online Reference for overview of Darlot Lenses?

    Quote Originally Posted by goamules View Post
    Do you know what a wax will do to 130 year old varnish? Neither do I.
    No I do not . . .which is why I asked the question .

    I tend to look on the possession of these vintage bits of photographica more as custodial, or stewardship rather than soverigne ownership. Sure I am using my gear, but I also look on it as holding my Kodak 2D for some one else, a future photographer, perhaps someone ot yet born.

    The suggestion has been made to apply a wax coating to preserve the finish on an antique brass lens. A doubt about the advisability of doing so has been expressed. The question is whether or not this is a good idea.

    Does anyone have experience of this, good or bad?
    Drew Bedo
    www.quietlightphoto.com
    http://www.artsyhome.com/author/drew-bedo




    There are only three types of mounting flanges; too big, too small and wrong thread!

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