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  1. #11
    Ole
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    So a 24x30cm camera? Great size, which seems to have become extinct in all but photographic paper. With that size plate it looks more like a 600mm (24") or longer lens than anything shorter - to me at least.

    Bigger picture: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...unelChains.jpg
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  2. #12
    David H. Bebbington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David White
    I am thinking Petzval definitely, which in turn will dictate the size/type of camera I imagine. what is the imaging circle of one of those lenses? How much are they? I am trying to recreate the aesthetic for my city's Brunel celebrations.

    I am having no luck finding one for sale anywhere.

    Thanks again,
    best,
    David White
    www.nospin.co.uk
    There's plenty about, David! What about this one?

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.d...531879718&rd=1

    This lens would work with 4x5", the ideal would of course be a lens for a big negative, but a lot of the big Petzval lenses seem to have disappeared.

    Regards,

    David

  3. #13
    Andy K's Avatar
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    I have been searching the web on and off since you first posted this thread and have come up with very little, albumen prints from collodion wet plates is about the size of it.

    However, I would like to thank you for sending me on the search and my finding and viewing so many wonderful photographs from the period. I have seen many of them before (my father is a retired engineer, steam buff and Brunel afficionado as well as being an investor in the restoration of the SS Great Britain) but it was great to see them again. One of my favourite Howlett photographs is of Brunel and some of his creditors on the dock as they watched an ill-fated attempt to launch the ship.

    Thankyou.


    -----------My Flickr-----------
    Anáil nathrach, ortha bháis is beatha, do chéal déanaimh.

  4. #14
    David H. Bebbington's Avatar
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    Here's another one - looks like a genuine variable-separation (and thus variable soft-focus) Petzval type:

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.d...sPageName=WDVW

    and here's a complete outfit!

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.d...531615501&rd=1

  5. #15

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    "However, I would like to thank you for sending me on the search and my finding and viewing so many wonderful photographs from the period."

    It is a fascinating journey..don't thank me..thank people like Robert Howlett, who died aged 27 due to exposure to such primitive chemical processes, and Brunel, who was truly, truly amazing.

    I have only been looking into this for a few days, so please excuse my ignorance, but can a 'ross' lens be a 'pretzval' lens, as in a 'nikkor' can be a 'tessar'?
    I am thinking that the shot was taken with an 'outdoor' lens rather than a portrait lens owing to the better edge definition as described earlier.

    I was going to build my own camera to go with the lens anyway, but do we think it would have been a twin box sliding design or a flatter bellows construction?
    For some reason ( well, Brunel's reason really) I would like the camera to be as big as possible, which is why I asked about the imaging circle earlier.


    Thanks all for the links; great.
    I am really enjoying this thread also, thanks everyone.

    best,
    David White
    www.nospin.co.uk

  6. #16
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    The edge softness I'm thinking of is visible in the first image on the NPG site at the top of the frame, although it's unclear as to the cause. If you look at the second image, the chains appear to be on a reel or a curved surface of some sort, so if the lens has a little convex (from the camera's perspective) curvature of field, and if the chains are curved the other way, that could produce that softness.

    One thing that was unclear from the NPG descriptions--there are two similar images, one like the image in the original post and another one showing a slightly different pose (I don't think one is a crop of the other). The second one has a much wider border, but both are listed as about the same size. If that's the case, it might be that the smaller one is a contact print from a smaller negative (maybe half-plate sized), and the larger one is an enlargement (either a direct enlargement or a dupe on a larger plate).
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
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  7. #17

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    as an amusing aside, here's a sign of the times..
    http://www.24hourmuseum.org.uk/conte.../2005_1517.JPG

    .. if we extrapolate this should we be viewing the photos of Brunel owing to the noxious necessity of Howlett's processes?..

    David White
    www.nospin.co.uk
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2005_1517.jpg  

  8. #18
    smieglitz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David H. Bebbington
    ...but a lot of the big Petzval lenses seem to have disappeared.
    It is my belief they are being held in a bunker near Area 51 in Nevada.

    Joe

  9. #19
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smieglitz
    It is my belief they are being held in a bunker near Area 51 in Nevada.

    Joe
    Yes, I think that would be Jim Galli's house.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
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  10. #20
    Andy K's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smieglitz
    It is my belief they are being held in a bunker near Area 51 in Nevada.

    Joe
    A theory which may not be so far from truth if the highlighted area in this image I just grabbed from Google Earth is anything to go by...


    -----------My Flickr-----------
    Anáil nathrach, ortha bháis is beatha, do chéal déanaimh.

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