Needle in a haystack ? Petzval Lens Hunt

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by SteveH, Jul 10, 2006.

  1. SteveH

    SteveH Member

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    All,
    For the last couple of months I've been keeping my eye open for some old lenses to experiment with; perhaps even the famed petzval lenses. I haven't had much luck on sleezebay, etc. I did find one through the APUG classifieds, but it was around 140mm in focal length. Did they ever make a petzval designed lens in a 200-280 focal length ? Or were they all usually shorter ?

    Thanks !
     
  2. JG Motamedi

    JG Motamedi Member

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    There were tens of thousands (maybe more) of quarter or half plate lenses made from the 1840s to the 1930s. These lenses run from 8"-11", and will do fine for 4x5. An 8" model will illuminate 4x5 with some fall off, I prefer an 11" lens, but these might not fit on your lensboard. Keep on looking, they aren't hard to find, however they are a bit pricey at this particular moment in time.
     
  3. tdeming

    tdeming Subscriber

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    keep an eye out for unmarked brass lenses. You might be able to get a steal and it will likely be a petzval or rapid rectilinear, both of which should be fun to use. I picked up an approx. 12" Darlot Petzval this way --it wasn't marked on the barrel, but the glass was marked on the inside. The price was significantly less than what Darlot's usually go for.

    cheers

    Tim
     
  4. SteveH

    SteveH Member

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    Thanks for the help.
    As far as what to look for goes, say I find a lens...'x'. How would I be able to tell what construction it is ? Is there a resource for such things ?
     
  5. tdeming

    tdeming Subscriber

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    If you are going by a picture, unless the description states the type of lens, you'll have to go by either looking up the specific lens (in the vademecum, for example -available on e-bay), or by taking the lens apart or counting reflections in the glass. There are a lot of discussions here on the construction (numbers of elements and groupings) of the different lens types, and can be searched pretty easily.

    cheers

    Tim