Seroco Brass Portrait Lens?

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Jim Fitzgerald, Nov 28, 2007.

  1. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

    Messages:
    1,798
    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2005
    Location:
    Ventura, Ca
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    I took a chance on this lens on the bay the other night. The glass needs to be cleaned and I'm trying to unscrew the elements. I got the lens hood off but the rest is giving me some problems. Any suggestions? By the way the seller said there were no markings on the lens but I can see what looks to be Seroco Rapid Portrait F-5 5x8 on the barrel. It has a slot for waterhouse stops and the lens looks to be about 12". About 3 1/8" x 5 1/8" in size. I'm going to look in the Vade, but if anyone has used these lenses I would like to hear from you. I've got to stop buying these brass lenses. This gets addictive!

    Jim
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 2, 2008
  2. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

    Messages:
    2,411
    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    Location:
    Van Buren, A
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    SEROCO.....Se-Ro-Co, This lens was marketed by Sears, Roebuck & Company hence Se-Ro-Co, Seroco. At one time in the early part of the 20th Century, Sears offered all the materials needed to set a person up as a professional photographer. Lenses, Camera bodies, film, plates, chemicals, posing chairs, backdrops, etc. Of course Sears did not make its own lenses, but bought enough of them that they could have the manufacturer put a custom name on them. This could possibly be made by Wollensak, or Bausch & Lomb or another American optical house. The front and back optical groups do unscrew from the barrel, but it may be tough, because it has been together for so many years.
     
  3. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

    Messages:
    1,798
    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2005
    Location:
    Ventura, Ca
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    It also looks like it could have been made by Conley. The Vade shows some Seroco lenses made for Sears were Petzvals. I'm no expert but it is nice to know. Thanks.

    Jim
     
  4. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,571
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Tonopah Neva
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    Jim this is probably an f5 Petzval of about 10 or perhaps 12" focal made by Bausch & Lomb. Fine little lens and nice because it's portable compared to it's bigger brothers. Find an old auto innertube (anybody remember when cars had to have inner tubes?) and cut yourself some 6X6 inch patches. They make great grips. Apply tube and let rip. You can't hurt it. Most of these had secondary threads so the glass elements would come completely out. DRAW yourself a picture so you put it back together right. Amazing how many of these get to me with rear elements put in backwards. Have fun, it's a good one.
     
  5. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

    Messages:
    1,798
    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2005
    Location:
    Ventura, Ca
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    Jim, thanks for the info on this lens. I thought it was a Petzval. It does show the F-5 markings that you can barely see on the front. The glass is not to bad. I did manage to get the lenses off of the barrel using my gaffers tape method! I cut some strips the appropriate size wrapped them around the lens and put it in my hobby vise and viola! It cleaned up pretty nice. Jim, while I'm thinking about it I was going to go into the archives and look up the post you had on making waterhouse stops. The lenses interior diameter is 2" and I figured that if this is F-5 I could go from there but I'm kinda stumbling on this right now. Remind me please of the simple method of doing the stops. The overall length of the lens is about 5" with out the hood. It does seem to be about 12" FL. Any help would be greatly appreciated.


    Jim
     
  6. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,571
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Tonopah Neva
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    Jim, I make my stop's known whole numbers either in mm or inches whatever you like. I never use these lenses at infinity anyway. So if I have a stop with 1" hole and I measure from GG to center of the lens and it's 16", I'm at f16. 1/2" hole and 22 inch bellows, I'm at f44, and so on. No bellows factor to figure that way.
     
  7. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

    Messages:
    1,798
    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2005
    Location:
    Ventura, Ca
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    Jim, thanks that is what I needed. I cut some brass stops and just need to make the holes now. I'll make sure to bring my small collection of brass lenses to Tonapah for you to see when we do the workshop with Per next year.

    Jim