Alexander McKay - Whiskey Bottle Telephoto Lenses!

Discussion in 'Photographers' started by holmburgers, Jan 26, 2010.

  1. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Hi,

    So I was reading the wikipedia page for 'telephoto lens' and came across mention of this man, Alexander McKay. Here is what it says....

    "in New Zealand, Alexander McKay was taking photographs of exceptional quality using home-made telephoto lenses, ground from the bottoms of whisky bottles, probably as early as 1883 or 1884."

    Now, if that doesn't peak the interest of an analog photographer, I don't know what will.

    I've googled to no avail to find some examples of his photographs. All I can find is mention of his geology & passing commentary on his photography.

    If anyone knows where to find any pictures taken with these lenses, please let me know. Or if you know of a good book (besides the ones reference in the wiki), I'd love to hear about it. It sounds pretty awesome IMO.

    Thanks!

    Holmburgers
     
  2. mdm

    mdm Member

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    Hav'nt found any pictures but did come across this link.
    http://rsnz.natlib.govt.nz/volume/rsnz_23/rsnz_23_00_005460.html

    Regards
    David

     
  3. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Yeah, I came across that too. Interesting, but I really want to see some pictures.

    Thanks though
     
  4. Ross Chambers

    Ross Chambers Member

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  5. sun of sand

    sun of sand Member

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  6. sun of sand

    sun of sand Member

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  7. sun of sand

    sun of sand Member

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    In the late 1880s McKay took up a new enthusiasm - photography. He experimented with designs of cameras and telescopes and with telephotography and microphotography, even grinding his own lenses from bottle ends, and achieved good quality photo-micrographs of thin sections of rocks. He retired from the public service in 1904.
     
  8. vdonovan

    vdonovan Subscriber

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    This is a very Kiwi thing to do. New Zealanders take great pride in doing a lot with very little. "All you need is a bit of number 8 wire." is an expression you hear every day down there.

    The movie "The World's Fastest Indian", starring Anthony Hopkins, captures this Kiwi spirit very well.
     
  9. sun of sand

    sun of sand Member

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  10. sun of sand

    sun of sand Member

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    find.natlib ones are clickable "GO"
    you have to scroll around the image in maximized form
    i think
     
  11. Joe Lipka

    Joe Lipka Member

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    I am very disappointed with the level of comments so far. Nine posts and no one has yet pondered on the type of whiskey bottle used in the tests.

    So sad.
     
  12. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    hey, great replies. thanks so much.

    yes, the "world's fastest indian" did spring to mind!
     
  13. WolfTales

    WolfTales Member

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    Sounds similar to building a Dobsonian!!
     
  14. Ross Chambers

    Ross Chambers Member

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    And, of course, Richard Pearse was well ahead of the Wright Brothers.

    If you can find a copy of the Peter Jackson produced and Costa Botes directed doco "Forgotten Silver" we (I was post production supervisor) prove the case, with a little CGI help.

    This site gives the basics:

    http://www.ctie.monash.edu.au/hargrave/pearse1.html


    Regards - Ross