Big heavy brass things...

Discussion in 'Plate Cameras and Accessories' started by Ole, Apr 21, 2006.

  1. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    All right, I have a few of these from before. But nothing like the ones that arrived today!

    The first one is simply marked "A. T. Thompson & Co, Importers, Boston". According to the seller, it's 80mm across. Reading more critically, the glass is 8cm across, and 19 cm long... Anyway, it's a Petzval thingy, without aperture. Maybe I should cut an opening in the sleeve (it's got a focusing rack) and make a slot for waterhouse stops? It won't interfer with the engraving, at least... Focal length seems (quick examination, I'll measure it tomorrow) to be around 18-22cm.

    The next one was a surprise. I read up on it in the Vade Mecum before bidding, and thought I got something I could use on a reasonably-sized camera.
    Not so. The Ross Cabinet No. 2 is a monstrum! It's a Petzval too, definitely no RR as the Vade Mecum says. Again, the seller's "85mm" is across the glass, not the hood... Focal length around 25cm, max aperture 3.5 - which, I hasten to add, the seller didn't say. I expected an "Extra Rapid" RR, about f:6...

    So my lens collection has increased by 5 kg. It now outweighs my camera collection, which is extremely bad since I've promised not to buy any more cameras this year after the Carbon Infinity!

    Still, Maybe a "Cabinet size" wet plate camera could manage to sneak below the radar...
     
  2. Kino

    Kino Member

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    Wow.

    What was this, a concert hall sized magic lantern lens?
     
  3. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

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    Ole, I think the AT Thompson imported ones are Darlot. I have a similar magic lantern lens but it's more like 15" f4. I've resisted the temptation to put an aperture in because it's one less decision to make. If I use that lens it will definitely be a head with extremely shallow depth.

    [​IMG]
    Yousef Khanfar

    Wish you were in USA. I now have 3 of the big #4 Century's and need to get rid of a couple of them!
     
  4. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Jim, I have a question for you...

    How the Hell* do you mount these lenses to a camera????

    I have three Great Big Plate Cameras with Universal Iris Mount, but even the biggest one has no chance with these mosters! Even the rigid front of the 24x30cm camera looks like it's sagging!

    Or do you mount a camera to the lens???

    *"Hell" is not an epiteth, but a station on the railway Northwards from Trondheim, quite close to Værnes Airport. One particular sign at that station is very popular with tourists - it says "Hell Station - Gods Expedition".
     
  5. Whiteymorange

    Whiteymorange Member

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    Ole
    According to my research, the A.T. Thompson Company was a Magic Lantern supplier here in Boston around the turn of the last century. All of the lens marked that way that I have seen have been large. Since I believe my own was once used in a college lecture hall at Harvard, I think the company may have specialized in
    machines. I'm happy hear that Jim believes them to be made by Darlot. Mine has only a mark on the flange saying "Made in France", nothing like a maker's mark. I've put mine on a Studio 7A - smallest thing that I could get to hold it. Have fun!
     
  6. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I have a 15.5" lens for my Beseler Slide King, and it is definitely appropriate for projecting a lantern slide in a large hall. In my apartment I can project an image of about 18x24" on the wall with the projector backed up 12 feet using that lens. My shortest lens is 8", and that's starting to get to be a reasonable sized image.
     
  7. Dave Wooten

    Dave Wooten Subscriber

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    Dave,

    Maybe you could do a slide show and lecture series in Central Park? :D
     
  8. colrehogan

    colrehogan Member

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    At least your lens has a slot to put stops in. Mine marked A.T. Thompson importers doesn't even have that.
     
  9. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Mine doesn't either. So it might become a letterpress...

    But the Ross Cabinet No.2 has a proper iris aperture! I just measured the FL, and found it to be about 300mm, or (more likely) 12". SInce the seller didn't know, and the Vade Mecum was wrong, I didn't know I was buying a 12" f:3.5 Petzval!

    Anyway, I found out that the iris on my 24x30cm plate camera is large enough to hold the lens. Time will show whether it's strong enough, too, or if I'll have to use a second tripod just to hold the lens up. Another good thing is that I have a full set of plate adapters for that camera, so I can use any size film or plate from 6.5x9cm up to the full 24x30cm"!
     
  10. Jim_in_Kyiv

    Jim_in_Kyiv Member

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    Ole, I thought 'Hell' was german - as in 'Echt Kulmbacher 28 Hell'. A 'light' beer at over 10% alcohol, great idea.