Alexander McKay - Whiskey Bottle Telephoto Lenses!
So I was reading the wikipedia page for 'telephoto lens' and came across mention of this man, Alexander McKay. Here is what it says....
"in New Zealand, Alexander McKay was taking photographs of exceptional quality using home-made telephoto lenses, ground from the bottoms of whisky bottles, probably as early as 1883 or 1884."
Now, if that doesn't peak the interest of an analog photographer, I don't know what will.
I've googled to no avail to find some examples of his photographs. All I can find is mention of his geology & passing commentary on his photography.
If anyone knows where to find any pictures taken with these lenses, please let me know. Or if you know of a good book (besides the ones reference in the wiki), I'd love to hear about it. It sounds pretty awesome IMO.
Hav'nt found any pictures but did come across this link.
Originally Posted by holmburgers
Yeah, I came across that too. Interesting, but I really want to see some pictures.
By the look of these he probably used a conventional lens of the time. The available images are small, but it's the best I could do.
Regards - Ross
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In the late 1880s McKay took up a new enthusiasm - photography. He experimented with designs of cameras and telescopes and with telephotography and microphotography, even grinding his own lenses from bottle ends, and achieved good quality photo-micrographs of thin sections of rocks. He retired from the public service in 1904.
This is a very Kiwi thing to do. New Zealanders take great pride in doing a lot with very little. "All you need is a bit of number 8 wire." is an expression you hear every day down there.
The movie "The World's Fastest Indian", starring Anthony Hopkins, captures this Kiwi spirit very well.
No idea if his photography or not
or if his homemade lenses or not
If you look at contents it seems he and others may have taken em
find.natlib ones are clickable "GO"
you have to scroll around the image in maximized form