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Thread: Lens maker identification

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Feb 2004
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    Woodlawn, Ontario, Canada
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    273

    Lens maker identification

    I just bought what I believe is a meniscus lens with revolving stops at the front. The only identification is a mark engraved on the barrel - can any forum member identify the mark? Any assistance gratefully received.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Denmark
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    Re: Lens maker identification

    Well I decided not to bid as it was too late here in Denmark and any bid I made would have been overbid! And I, honestly, have enough landscape meniscus lenses already.
    It is an E. Anthony mass produced item. They used the EA symbol even when the company had introduced the brother'd initals into the full name of the organisation. A copy of the Darlot AD. The nickel plating is something I have not seen before - perhaps it is just still brass with lots of varnish and the yellow brass colour has disappeared somewhere in the digital camera?

    The lenses sold by this seller at the same time suggest someone who is/was interested in early optics. One of the other items could have been the rear end of a cone landscape/portrait model by Darlot! With this mind I would think that the two separate lenses shown are the two lenses which make up the rear balsamed achromat. The owner has taken the lenses apart because of deterioration, cleaned them - but never got around to rebalsaming. Other explanations are possible, but to me the lenses look like they are a matching set. Getting an nice achromat out of this, in "as new" condition will be easy.

  3. #3
    loujon
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Western, PA.
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    1,519

    Re: Lens maker identification

    Hi Simon

    Steven is correct that this is a simple mark used on E.& T.H. Anthony house lenses.

    I have a very nice sample of this lens in Chrome so I believe it's correct

  4. #4

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    Woodlawn, Ontario, Canada
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    Re: Lens maker identification

    Thank you Steven and Louis. I have been looking for a meniscus lens for some time and probably paid too much for this one. However I am intrigued by diffused/soft focus lenses and the possible effects so hopefully this one will let me have fun experimenting.
    Are you using your meniscus lens Louis? How does it perform? I see some of the great photographs made by Jim Galli and it encourages me to keep looking for worthwhile scenes.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    AZ
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    Re: Lens maker identification

    If I recall, these were imported by Anthony, and manufactured by Darlot. Anthony had other companies make lenses for them, they didn't make their own.

    And Louis, they did not use chrome in this period, if it's silver colored it's nickle.

  6. #6

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    Denmark
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    Re: Lens maker identification

    As regards prices, Simon, I think this is under the current price range. There has been a big jump during the last year or so. But there is uncertainty about the integrity of the lens.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Feb 2004
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    Woodlawn, Ontario, Canada
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    Re: Lens maker identification

    Steven - when I get the lens how will I be able to check if it is "genuine". The previous owner obviously unscrewed the elements and probably put them back in the wrong order. I am not concerned about misrepresentation or anything like that because I am only too well aware of the risks but I would like to be using a "genuine" meniscus lens to enable me to judge results.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    AZ
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    Re: Lens maker identification

    Menicus is a somewhat "catch all" term for several types of lenses. Typically they are cemented doublets or triplets. They usually aren't a single piece of glass. So if your glass fits the barrel, has a fine line on the edge that shows it's really two pieces (or you can count reflections under a light on the ceiling or a skylight), you probably have the original glass. The flatter surface faces the iris and subject, the curved faces the film.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Denmark
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    Re: Lens maker identification

    The e**y images show two glass pieces. These are either the two halves of the cemented doublet or 2 "foreign" lenses which happen to fit. A landscape which originated with Darlot would have been a cemented doublet.

    First check if there are the remains of marks on the side ( even late darlots sold by others have sometimes marks and sometimes AD is stamped on the flat areas inside the brass pieces).

    Put the thicker piece on a flat soft surface, with the deep concave surface up.
    Put a few drops of fine veg. oil at the bottom (extra virgin olive oil?).
    Apply the second lens with the convex curvature which seems to match.
    The two lenses should "merge" with a excess oil seeping out. Clean up the lens and mount with care.

    The two lenses can very easily slip with thin oil so you have to be careful and never have a hard surface underneath them.
    I think that using oil as a temporary optical join also helps prevent damage to surfaces and thin edges in assembly.

    You can now test optical properties, focal length and fvalues.

  10. #10

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    Re: Lens maker identification

    Steven - looking at the photograph of lens taken apart there are 2 glass lenses, what looks like a lens retaining ring and what looks like a spacer. It could be that this is the back of a Petzval which I believe is an air spaced doublet. Perhaps the glass did come from a different lens. Once I have the lens I will get back to this thread with what I have and how it performs.

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