Does anyone have info on this lens?

Discussion in 'Antiques and Collecting' started by Removed Account, Jan 3, 2008.

  1. Removed Account

    Removed Account Member

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    I bought a brass lens at an antique shop today and was wondering if you good folks could tell me anything about it. It's a brass lens about 4-5 inches long, and about 1.5" in diameter (not including the built-in flange). It has what seems to be a rack and pinion focusing dealy on top and is inscribed, "A.T. Thompson & Co., Importers, Boston." There is no diaphragm and no slot for waterhouse stops as far as I can see, so this is leading me to think that it is some sort of projection lens. When holding it at an angle to a light I can count 4 reflections. I'll post photos as soon as I can borrow my housemate's digicam.

    - Justin
     
  2. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

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    A. T. Thompson was the US importer for Darlot who made many many early projection lantern lenses. It is very likely about 6" focus and it's probably a Petzval type. They're a lot of fun to do portraits with on a 4X5.
     
  3. Removed Account

    Removed Account Member

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    Thanks Jim! I'll have to rig up a matboard special lensboard for it on my Graphic View and see what she can do. Most of the dust is on the outside but there is some internally. Would it be safe to unscrew it or should I just leave her be?
     
  4. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

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    By all means, take it apart. These are painfully simple. The front and rear group will come out of the barrel readily. There's usually a threaded retainer that you undo and the front cemented doublet will come right out. Same at the rear but draw a picture so you can get the 2 individual lenses put back exactly as they came out. Put the three glass pieces in some hot soapy dishwater and leave them alone for an hour or 2. Then wash with a soft rag in the soapy water, rinse, dry with cotton dish towel and re-assemble. It'll just sparkle.
     
  5. matti

    matti Member

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    Jim, is it safe to put cemented elements in water? (I suppose it is as you said it, but just wanted to be sure.)

    I am having great fun with the little lens you sent me btw!

    /matti
     
  6. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

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    Yes, I do it all the time. Detergent and time seem to loosen gook that just gets smeared otherwise. Glad you're having some fun with that. Got anything from it in your gallery yet? Jim
     
  7. matti

    matti Member

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    Just this one: http://www.apug.org/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=30863&ppuser=6994
    It is cropped and actually really underexposed, probably due to flare in the spotmeter from a Christmas tree lightning in the background. But I really like the smooth glow on the cheeks. I have some new negatives that are waiting to be printed though. Taken out in the woods. It is so dark this time of the year so I can get by with using the hand as a shutter for ASA 100-film at mid day. Made me think about putting this in a real shutter some way...

    /matti
     
  8. Removed Account

    Removed Account Member

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    As promised here are some images of my new friend! Tomorrow I'll pick up some more detergent and get 'er all nice and shiny. My apologies for the flash glare, best I could do on short notice.

    - Justin
     

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