Waterbury lens questions

Discussion in 'Antiques and Collecting' started by Whiteymorange, Oct 25, 2005.

  1. Whiteymorange

    Whiteymorange Member

    Jul 27, 2004
    Boston area
    Multi Format
    In a box of old camera stuff left to me by a friend, I found a Waterbury lens, Scoville Manufacturing Co. NY. serial #4467. No slot for stops. There was no glass in the thing, but the box also contained a single cell and the small threaded ring that held it in the rear of the lens. Here's the question: As far as I have been able to find, the Waterbury lenses are listed as having a cemented doublet for glass, not a single lens. Was I incorrect in assuming the lens belonged in the plated barrel since it fit and was in the same box?

    I mounted the thing and shot some 4x5 TriX with it the other day and was amazed at how sharp it was! I was comparing it to some old Rapid Rectilinears and a mystery lens from Wollensak in a low end shutter, mind you, but it looked pretty good. I plan on trying some portraits with it.

    Can anyone point me to a good source of info on these lenses?

    My thanks in advance to the kind and knowledgable sages who haunt these threads and provide information to ignorant and enthusiastic idiots like me who love to play with this stuff. You shouldn't encourage me, but you do!
  2. phfitz

    phfitz Member

    Dec 26, 2004
    Large Format
    Hi there,

    Whiteymorange, you could search here at apug. If memory serves, Jim Galli posted some pics from a waterbury lens 6 months ago. I think he used a deep red filter, looked very sharp, like the 'no trespassing' sign. I think with a waterbury lens the concave side went forward.

    Just a thought.
  3. Photographica

    Photographica Member

    Jul 8, 2004
    4x5 Format
    I have several Waterbury lenes and they all seem to the the single element, meniscus design. Also, the Vade Mecum describes them as a simple meniscus design.
    I've seen two type of apertures - one is a wheel with several diameter holes that rotate into the optical path and a very simple set of washers that fit into the front of the lens held in place by a spring retaining ring.

  4. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

    Sep 7, 2002
    Tonopah Neva
    ULarge Format
    Here's the stuff Paul mentioned that I did with the Waterbury and another antique HalBen Wide Angle. Mine is definitely 2 cemented elements at the back with a washer aperture held in by a springy ring at the front.