Early Portrait Lenses - Antique and Vintage Cameras

Shepherd Portrait Lens

c. 1857

C. Shepherd

London

England

Image of Shepherd Portrait Lens

Lens Type:
Petzval.

c. 10". Washer stops. 3" diameter lens. Brass mount.

Serial Number:
4314 .

Notes:
Address: 97 Farringdon St. London. Shepherd was at this address from 1857, in 1859 the company name changed to Shepherd & Co.

With:
One stop. Flange.

This lens can be used as a portrait lens or as a single achromat landscape lens by removing the rear lens group and placing the front lens group at the back of the lens tube. The single lens is of long-focus and will cover the next plate size. For landscape use it is fitted with washer stops part way along the tube.

References & Notes:
Shepherd cat. 1860.

Coiffier Portrait Lens

1857 - 1868

A. Coiffier

London

England

Lens Type:
Petzval.

12" back focus, 3" lens diameter. No diaphragm. Brass mount with rack and pinion focusing (now missing). Signed on the front glass.

Hughes Portrait lens

Jabez Hughes

London

England

Lens Type:
Petzval.

c. 6". Waterhouse stops. 4 " back focus, 2 " lens diameter. Brass mount with rack and pinion focusing.

Serial Number:
537 .

Notes:
Address: 379 Oxford St. (1859 - 1872).

With:
Lens cap. Flange.

Andrew Ross Portrait Lens

Andrew Ross

London

England

Image of Andrew Ross Portrait Lens

Lens Type:
Petzval.

c. 8 ". Later slot for Waterhouse stops. 7" back focus, 3 " front lens diameter. Brass mount with rack and pinion focusing. Engraved 'A. Ross'.

Notes:
This lens has lost its serial number when a slot was cut for Waterhouse stops. The lacquer is a very bright light gold similar to that applied to telescopes of the period. The pinion cover is attached to the barrel by only two screws. On this example the rear positive element has the less deeply curved surface facing the negative element.

With:
Flange.

Ross advertisements from around 1860 list the following portrait lenses:

No.Lens Dia.Back FocusPlate
11 "4 "4" x 3"
22 65 x 4
2A2 7 5 x 4
33 8 or 106 x 5
3A3 / 4126 x 8
44 1510 x 8
4A3 / 5 2016 x 14
53 6 4 x 3
61 x 1
1 carte4
2 carte2 1/104
3 carte6
Stereo1 3/103
Models 3A and 4A had larger lenses at the back than the front.

Ross Portrait Lens

Thomas Ross

London

England

Lens Type:
Petzval.

c. 4 ". Waterhouse stops. 3 " back focus, 1 " front lens diameter. Brass mount with rack and pinion focusing. Engraved 'Ross'.

Serial Number:
8997 , (1860s).

With:
Lens cap. Flange.

Ross Portrait Lens

Thomas Ross

London

England

Lens Type:
Petzval.

c. 6". Waterhouse stops. 4 " back focus, 2 ⅛" lens diameter. Brass mount with rack and pinion focusing. Engraved 'Ross'.

Serial Number:
8582 , (1860s).

With:
One stop marked 7. Flange.

Dallmeyer Portrait Lens

J.H. Dallmeyer

London

England

Image of Dallmeyer Portrait Lens

Lens Type:
Petzval

c. 6" Waterhouse marked 'serial no.', X, 2, 3, 4, 5, X, 6. 4" back focus, 1 " lens diameter. Brass mount with rack and pinion focusing. For 4 " x 4 ".

Serial Number:
7166 , (c. 1864).

Notes:
On this example the rear positive element has the more deeply curved surface facing the negative element.

With:
Waterhouse stops in Dallmeyer pouch.

In the early 1860s Dallmeyer produced several portrait lenses of different apertures.

  • Extra Rapid with an aperture of around f2.5, only produced in short focal lengths. In catalogues these have model numbers such as 2C.
  • Quick Acting with an aperture of f3. These have model numbers such as 2B. The model 4B covered whole-plates and had a back focus of 12".
  • Ordinary Rapidity with an aperture of f4. These have model numbers such as 2A. The model 6A covered 20" x 16" and had a back focus of 22".
  • Group with an aperture of f6. The smaller aperture gave better correction over a wider angle of view. These have model numbers such as 6D. The model 8D covered 22" x 20" and had a back focus of 30".

The Petzval portrait lens had two cemented elements at the front and two un-cemented elements at the back. The shape of the rear positive element i.e. which face has the deeper curve, changes between examples. In 1866 Dallmeyer proposed (BP 2502/1866) switching the two rear elements so that the negative glass was at the back, this arrangement was used in his Patent Portrait lens, variable softness (spherical aberration) was introduced by altering the separation of the two elements. Other designers also used this configuration.

Burr Portrait Lens

Charles Burr

London

England

Waterhouse stops. Brass mount. 4 " back focus. For quarter-plate.

Serial Number:
4904 .

References & Notes:
BJA 1905, p. 297.

Unnamed Portrait Lenses

Image of Unnamed Portrait Lenses

2 " back focus

Lens Type:
Petzval

No diaphragm. Brass mount with sliding focusing. From a multi-lens camera. For 2" x 2".

3 " back focus

No diaphragm. Brass mount with rack and pinion focusing.

3 " back focus

No diaphragm. Brass mount with rack and pinion focusing.

3 " back focus

No diaphragm. Nickel plated Brass mount with rack and pinion focusing.

Early Lenses

Sutton Panoramic

Actinic Doublet

Grubb Aplanat

Triple Achromat

Early Portrait Lenses

Single Achromat Lenses


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