Need Info on a 12" Jamine LF Lens Circa 1864

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by jd callow, Aug 9, 2005.

  1. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Good Day,
    I am hoping that the lens experts out there can give me some information on a 12" Jamine LF Lens Circa 1864. I have seen about 30-40 prints made with this lens and would like to separate the the characteristics of the lens from the shooter.

    It was used on wetplates of aprox 8x10" in size in a box camera (two boxes fitted into each other opposed to a traditional lf with bellows, standards and movements)

    Here is what was written about the lens in 1890
    Links or references to available publications is greatly desired as well as anecdotal information.

    Thanks
     
  2. JG Motamedi

    JG Motamedi Member

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    I have done quite a bit of research on 19th Century lenses, and have never heard of a "Jasmine" lens, so I suspect that it was a house-brand of a camera store. These were often made locally, and can be of variable quality. Does the lens in question have a focusing rack? Is it slotted for waterhouse stops?

    12" is a bit short for 8x10, but it would be about right for half-plate or 5x7. Perhaps the lens is 12" measured from the flange and 16" from the center? This would be right for a 8x10 lens.
     
  3. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Would that be Jamin of "Jamin & Darlot"?
     
  4. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The lens did appear short for the film size, there was no light fall off but plenty of sharpness falloff.

    It was not a Jasmine , but a 'Jamine’ or possibly a Jamin... The source quoted has not been corroborated for accuracy.

    It was probably british made.
     
  5. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    And a bit more: If it's that Jamin, he retired in 1860 so cannot have made a lens in 1864. Darlot took over, and the lenses were labeled "Jamin & Darlot" for about a year before the name of his former employer was dropped.

    Most of the lenses Jamin made were Petzvals, many in the "Cône Centralisateur" housing.

    (Kingslake again - I haven't put it back on the shelf yet).
     
  6. JG Motamedi

    JG Motamedi Member

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    Ah, sorry, I misread. As Ole suggests, it must be a Jamin Lens (later Jamin & Darlot, and still later Darlot) a well known maker of lenses in the 19th Century, located in Paris.

    If it has the "Cône Centralisateur" and is 12" it is probably a very valuable lens. The "Cône Centralisateur" is a black cone shaped rear element which was designed to increase contrast by reducing flare.

    Most 19th Century lenses were measured by the diameter of the front element. A 3" diameter lens would be about 11", or the proper FL for half-plate. Note however that an 11" Petzval will not come close to covering 8x10.
     
  7. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The shooter started using the lens in 1864 could have been older.

    I will get you exact neg size later it was about 22cm on the long edge. The author could be wrong about focal length.

    Thin DOF, soft outside of center, short for the film size, very smooth/creamy rearward out of focus area, forward of focus it was smooth, but not as. No apparent falloff (as mentioned). There is some indication that the shooters standards may not have been parallel or that the area of sharp focus was not flat.
     
  8. JG Motamedi

    JG Motamedi Member

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    This would be a whole plate, 6.5" x 8.5". A half-plate petzval would JUST cover this plate at close distances, however both fall off and de-focus would be pretty fierce. If the portraits (?) were matted as was typical with an oval opening (covering some of the vignetted corners, fall off, defocus, and swirly bokeh) it would be possible to use an 11" lens.
     
  9. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The shooter shot portraits close (for the time period). During this time the British photographic Society Journal referred to these portraits despairingly as 'photographs of heads"
     
  10. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Didn't Julia Margaret Cameron use a Jamin for a while? Until she got a Dallmeyer to replace "that horrible French lens"?
     
  11. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Yes she did and she is the shooter to whom I refer.
     
  12. bobfowler

    bobfowler Subscriber

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    From the vade mecum

    Jamin, Paris, France.
    Kingslake gives several addressses which can help in dating: 71, Rue St Martin to 1850, then at No127 R. St Martin, and from 1856 at 14 Rue Chapon. He retired in 1860 so all his lenses will rate as quite early ones: and Alphonse Darlot, his employee, took over and for 1 year, ie 1860-1861? the lenses carry both names. (Eg on a meniscus with ANCne Mon Jamin) though FBB seem to attribute this to a year or so earlier, ie 1858. (It is possible that 'Jamin-Darlot' is the 1858 engraving and that 'Ancne Jamin' continued longer).

    Jamin was the maker of a Petzval type lens used by Mrs Cameron: it was 12in on a 9x11in plate and it gave gave imperfect coverage on her format. About 1864, the Jamin's qualities were to lead to interest in soft focus lenses which J.H .Dallmeyer was ultimately to answer with his adjustable Patent Petzval. Jamin was also the maker of a rival convertible lens to Chevalier's "Photograph a Verres Combinee" in the "Cone Centralisateur." (Mrs Cameron also used a 30in Dallmeyer RR on 15x12in). Jamin also supplied an f3.0 Petzval of c7.5in with a 1 dioptre positive in the centre of the tube which could be removed to increase the focal length from 7.5 to 9.5in. (A Darlot lens of this type has been mentioned above.)

    The Kodak Museum has a Jamin Paris c.1860 Portrait lens with Waterhouse stops, about f4/21in focus with 5in dia lenses.

    A large lens, probably a Petzval of his at No231x was sold at auction- it had a stubby black cone at the rear end.

    FBB list a good series of cameras with RR lenses by Darlot from the 1880-1900 period and these were probably the basis of the business then. They also list a achromat for 1893, and a 'Hemispherique'= Globe in 1885. The only trade name noted was a 'Planigraph on cameras about 1888.

    Jamin lenses do seem to be scarce today, and good examples are hard to find. Darlot lenses are much more common and often have both names: and this seems to show that the production must have increased considerably in his time.
     
  13. JG Motamedi

    JG Motamedi Member

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    My JMC books are packed up right now, but I do remember something about a "horrible French lens".

    If the portraits were just heads than a half-plate lens would do quite well. Actually, if the camera was a sliding box type as you describe, choosing this lens makes perfect sense. The box cameras usually only focused from about a meter to infinity, so using a shorter lens would enable the photographer to move closer to make "photographs of heads"...
     
  14. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Glad to hear my memory isn't gone completely - even if I can only remember events from before I was born :smile: :tongue:
     
  15. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    We were there they don't have it.


    See my other thread

    and thanks for the post...
     
  16. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    It was French made originally I believe - Mrs. Callow
     
  17. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    What was????
     
  18. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The lens was..

    As you can see the junior research assistant wears egg for a reason -- mr callow
     
  19. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Yes - since Jamin made his lenses at 14 Rue Chapon, Paris, it's a safe bet that the lens was French. Not only originally, but all the way...