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Petzval Lens Enthusiasts

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  1. Colin Corneau
    AARRGGH! Outbid...again! It seems official that these lenses aren't a nice little secret anymore. The prices are getting insane! Yoiks...at this rate it'll be cheaper to build my own time machine and go back to buy one.
  2. Andrew Moxom
    Andrew Moxom
    Ouchm, that Dubroni just went for $380! It looks uncannily like a Darlot. Could be rebadged by them. Mine was not as expensive and was a real darlot to boot. Albeit without the waterhouse stop slot.
  3. Colin Corneau
    Colin Corneau
    Yep, outbid on that one too. Seriously...almost US$400?!?? Oy vey.

    I'd much, MUCH rather buy through APUG...and Andrew, images such as yours and Eddie's are -- despite my venting -- still inspiring!
  4. Barry S
    Barry S
    The Lens Vade Mecum explains that Dubroni is an anagram of Bourdin--the maker. Bourdin made wet plate outfits and sourced the lenses from other makers--so who knows, it might be a Darlot. Colin, the lens I mentioned was shipped to me today and I have a feeling it's going to be "the one" for you.
  5. Colin Corneau
    Colin Corneau
    Thanks, Barry...fingers crossed!
  6. Andrew Moxom
    Andrew Moxom
    Anyone know anything about this Gundlach Optical 6" lens? http://cgi.ebay.com/RARE-Old-GUNDLAC...742.m153.l1262 Looks like it might be a modified petzval similar to the B&L's I have, but am not sure.
  7. Barry S
    Barry S
    I've been doing some research on projection lenses and there were several manufacturers watching each other very closely. I believe the Radiant is a second generation modified Petzval that would be Gundlach's equivalent to the B&L Cinephor II. At some point, most manufacturers switched to a six element (non-Petzval) design that was fast and highly corrected. For B&L, I think the switch came during the production of their Super Cinephor line. It looks like early Super Cinephors were still Petzval designs, but most of the lenses were the newer six element design. I have a 6" Gundlach (see pic) that preceeded the Radiant--it's a big fat classic Petzval and very large for a 6" lens. I think they were trying to find designs that would allow fast, but smaller lenses.
  8. smieglitz
    I just unearthed a Voigtlander 5A no.25851 lens from storage. It looks to be about 12" f/3.8 and maybe from around 1880. I tried looking up some more info from Dan's Petzval pages, but it looks like AOL has shut down all members' pages for some reason. Has he found another host or does anyone know of other reasources to dig up info on this lens? cameraeccentric.com and the vade mecum weren't of much help. Thanks. Joe
  9. Andrew Moxom
    Andrew Moxom
    Joe, I found this on Google:-


    and this at:-

    Seems like the 5A is actually 13" focal length and covers 10x12

    Scott's Photographica Collection
    Voigtlander & Sohn
    Portrait-Euryscop III No. 5A Lens

    This large antique Voigtlander brass portrait lens measures approximately 7 3/8 inches x 5 inches, or 185 x 120mm. The original mounting flange is included. The brass has not been polished and has its original patina. The lens hood is not perfectly round, but it is not badly dented either. Although the lens could be easily restored, I don't think this is necessary.

    The lens is slotted for Waterhouse stops, but none are included. The serial number is 36851, dating the lens to 1889. The focal length is approximately 14 inches or 350mm. The glass is in excellent, clear condition with just a few minor cleaning marks to the front and rear elements. The lens projects a brilliant and clear image on an 8x10 inch camera. Coverage appears to be greater than 8x10 inches.
  10. Andrew Moxom
    Andrew Moxom
    After playing with the 6" Darlot some more this weekend, I stumbled across this website :-


    What is interesting is the history of the original Darlot Cone Centraliseur variant. Apparently, if you remove the front element and place the rear group in it's place reversed, you get a landscape lens hence the phrase Vis Paysage for landscape, and Vis portrait for portrait written on some of them. Similarly, the front element can go into the back reversed and becomes a portrait lens!!!

    As a test, I did the swap with my Darlot 6" and was very suprised it actually works on my lantern lens. You need a lot of bellows extension, but it covers 4x5 really easily (no vignetting) with no really swirly fall off, but more of a creamy/dreamy bokeh. Could be a nice pictorial option for when swirlies are not desired!!! Like I said, it takes quite a bit of bellows, but my Chamonix handled it okay. I am not sure of the effective focal length, but it was nearly at full draw even at infinity. Just thought I'd share. :-)

    These things continue to surprise me!!
  11. smieglitz
    Thanks Andrew & Dan (who responded via pm). It looks like the lens is from 1881. It is not marked as a Euryskop. I believe it is the original Petzval design. I just disassembled it and cleaned the lenses and the rear group is not cemented. Physically it is about 8.5" long with 4" barrel. Flange OD is ~5.25" The rear group is about 3.125" in diameter and the infinity focus is 12" from the waterhouse stop slot (or about 9" rear focus). 12"/3.125" give f/3.8 for the max aperture. I figure it is probably a lens intended for full-plate. The hood & barrel is a little chewed up but the focus is silky and the glass is very clean for a lens of this vintage. I'll have to slap it on my 11x14 and see what it covers and if it is swirly.

    It is marked:

    Voigtlander & Sohn
  12. Barry S
    Barry S
    Andrew-- Very cool. I've read about the "cone centraliseur" and would love to own a Darlot with one, but they usually go for big money. My guess is the cone was a bit of a marketing gimmick, since you don't need a cone to switch out the groups. I've also pretty much decided that the diffusion control on my Vitax doesn't really do much other than defocusing the lens. Wollensak just made a minor change from the Dallmeyer diffusion "feature". Dallmeyer switched the rear group around so the negative element was at the back of the lens and it could be unscrewed to "diffuse" the lens. If you read some of the articles on Dan's site, you can see not everyone was convinced of the utility of that "feature". The Vitax also has the negative element in the rear, but includes a radial drive to move the positive element of the rear group forward. The Vitax is an amazing lens, beautifully sharp in the center, but I'm not finding a lot of use for the diffusion control.

    I'd love to see some photos with your Darlot's groups switched out. It sounds like the Petzvals have some similar properties to the rapid rectilinear lenses in that you can use a single group at about double the focal length, but somewhat uncorrected with a single group. Although since the Petzval isn't exactly symmetrical like the RR, it sounds like you got something on the order of quadrupling the focal length--from 6" to 24".

    Joe-- That sounds like a nice classic whole plate Petzval. If the Voigtlander reputation is true, it should be an excellent lens.
  13. ishutteratthethought
    Very cool site Andrew. I have not seen this one yet. My Darlot has writing on the side which appears to be a serial number, their name of course and another fraction type number which is hard to make out. It is written in pencil.
    I should try the set up you speak of, my Calumet has a very long bellow which should work.
    I also agree with you on the comment of the petzvals. they are truly an amaizing lens and the near 3D effect just floors me... i do not have any other lens that comes close.
  14. gandolfi
    Andrew and others.
    I've known about this site for some time and find it interesting too.
    If you go to the image section here, you'll see Claus' (bluelemon) "new" old Jamin Darlot, which proberly had a cone originally..

    Still a fantastic (big) lens, for portraits and landscape..

  15. Colin Corneau
    Colin Corneau
    What's the deal with this lens:

    That pop-top cover is a new one...
  16. ishutteratthethought
    that cover would be the shutter i believe. i see it is missing the focusing gear. how do they know it's a wide angle? little spendy for a no-name.
  17. smieglitz
    perhaps it is a magic lantern lens. The cover would allow for a quick blank screen when changing slides.
  18. Barry S
    Barry S
    I also think it's probably a lantern lens, but that shutter is interesting and a bit unusual. It looks there's also a slot in front of the lens--maybe used for color filters for effects? If the back focus is 6", that would make the focal length closer to 7 or 8 inches. From the look of the barrel--it's an old lens.
  19. Colin Corneau
    Colin Corneau
    Interesting...well, I really have to beat the bushes to get set up. This is a type of photography I really want to pursue, and especially for a resident artist program with the Canadian Forces. I'd like to do portraits of armed forces personnel serving in Afghanistan - probably one reason Andrew Moxom's portraits with his Petzval really struck me so much. It's a timeless place, and I like the idea of a timeless look and method of photography.
    Soooo -- if anyone has a lens (or preferably lens and shutter) to sell, I'd really love to hear about it. In talking with contacts in the Forces, it seems they will want to see examples of my work before approving any application from me, so...suffice to say I have work to do!
  20. Andrew Moxom
    Andrew Moxom
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