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Thread: Need Grubb Lens Expertise

  1. #71

    Join Date
    Oct 2017
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    16

    Re: Need Grubb Lens Expertise

    Two more to add. 1503 which is an A3 Petzval and is used by its owner (from Rathmines Dublin, near where the Grubbs had their telescope factory) to do lovely wet plate portraits on a Calumet C-1. Also 5045 a 'Howard Grubb/Watson ' Aplanatic Doublet. This may have been part of a pair with 5046. I suspect that these later lenses may have been part of an early exercise in 'badge engineering', but I am not sure in which direction this went. Contemporary Grubb catalogues do not show any camera lenses at all. If anyone has Watson catalogues from the 1880s/1890s it would be useful to see if any of the 'Howard Grubb' lenses appear. The records of the Royal Dublin Society, where I am a member, show some lenses 'by Grubb' for astronomical photography produced around this time. This was a subject in which Howard had a great interest, but it is not clear if these lenses were all produced by Grubb. If I recall correctly, there is a record of at least one lens having been bought in from another manufacturer for astronomical photography. Paul Kay (pgk) told me that 1503 and 5045 brought the number of known extant Grubb lenses to 101 and, so, with 5277, that would make 102. We still have a long way to go.

    The existence of 5045 came to my attention following the publication of the latest version of my article on Grubb and Parsons in the magazine of the Photographic Collectors Club of Great Britain (PCCGB). This latest version features lenses owned by pgk as well as some of my own lenses. I also included a photo of Yosemite taken by Carleton Watkins in the 1860s. He was known to have used a Grubb C lens for his landscapes.

    William

  2. #72

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    May 2018
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    Re: Need Grubb Lens Expertise

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Tribe View Post
    Serial number 5277 Howard Grubb fullplate aplanatic doublet to be added to post #52!

    Just confirms that Howard Grubb's UK relancing was not a great succes as all found serial numbers are very close to each other.
    It may well be that Howard was simply shifting earlier stock ......

  3. #73

    Join Date
    Oct 2017
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    16

    Re: Need Grubb Lens Expertise

    Could be true, Paul, but the later lenses look quite different to the early ones, so if Howard was shifting old stock it was probably the lens elements rather than completed lenses.

    William

  4. #74

    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Posts
    16

    Re: Need Grubb Lens Expertise

    My 4th Grubb lens. No 482 and probably a C Aplanatic. Unlike my other Grubb lenses, this one appears to be stamped on the barrel rather than engraved, but it does have Dublin on it. It does seem to be genuine as it has the usual Grubb micro engraving of 'Grubb Patent ' followed by the matching serial number. Paul (pgk) suggests that this may have been a working prototype which was not originally for sale. He also suggests 1858 or thereabouts as the date for the lens. We have been discussing this by email and I am leaning towards his views.

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    William

  5. #75

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    Jan 2009
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    Denmark
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    5,885

    Re: Need Grubb Lens Expertise

    I think this may be the source of the debate Grubb/Dallmeyer patents. It is about the single aplanatic lens versus the modified landscape lens of Dallmeyer. I seem to remember another discussion about the Grubb double aplanatic lens vs. the Dallmeyer RR patent?

    This is from a collection of Traill Taylor’s articles published in 1892.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 883C324B-5AB2-40FD-BBCB-2F165C1F6B41.jpg  

  6. #76

    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Posts
    16

    Re: Need Grubb Lens Expertise

    Thanks Steven. This more or less reflects what Rudolf Kingslake said in his later book ' A History of the Photographic Lens'. What would really assist with these issues would be some sight of the Grubb factory records. I am still looking here in Dublin where the lenses were made and Paul (pgk) has turned up a lot of material from the UK. Paul has done a list with over 100 Grubb lenses, known to exist today, and a pattern of sorts has emerged from that. The micro engraving of serial numbers on the rim of the front glass is fascinating. All four of my lenses, being Patent Aplanats, have this, albeit it is very hard to read. Thomas Grubb did this to avoid fakes being made, but this did not avoid his design being incorporated into other 'improved' designs.

    Living in Dublin a few miles away from where the lenses were made, I have an obvious reason to be interested in the lenses. The search goes on.

    William

  7. #77

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    Re: Need Grubb Lens Expertise

    And another little bit of information which might be of interest. Classified advertisements from 1888 for used Grubb Lenses - they were still expensive lenses and in the case of the 'C' Patent Aplanatic - 5 - it had probably been unavailable for something between 15 and 20 years. The other two appear to be Petzvals and again were probably uncommon lenses by 1888 and costly used.
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  8. #78

    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Up North, UK
    Posts
    127

    Re: Need Grubb Lens Expertise

    Another B3 - number 2697 - turned up on UK ebay.

    This was missing the front element but had both the rear elements (2680 was missing one of the rear elements and has a stuck front element). I contacted the owner of 2680, and he was successful in winning 2697.

    Today a marriage was made - the rear elements of 2697 fit into 2680, albeit slightly more tightly. So there is now a complete B3 out there. For the record 2697 also contains the two internal plates (either side of where the waterhouse stop would sit) that are missing from 2680.

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    Ooh, I do like a happy ending

  9. #79

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    May 2018
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    Re: Need Grubb Lens Expertise

    Excellent. I wondered if someone with another 'half' B3 would buy this. The only odd thing about the B3 Grubb Petzval is that it isn't listed in the contemporary advertisements I've tracked down so far. Looking at the B1, B2 and C1 and C2 Grubb Petzval specifications it should have around 3" diameter front and back lenses, be around 9" 'back focus' and could just about cover whole plate perhaps/maybe. So if you can post the actual figures they would be interesting to compare to the others.

  10. #80

    Re: Need Grubb Lens Expertise

    Here is an advert for Grubb that lists the B3, from a Richard W. Thomas Catalogue c1875
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