Large format II

Discussion in 'Collector's Corner' started by Hertz van Rental, Apr 21, 2008.

  1. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    Another of my little treasures.
    An 8 inch Ross (London) 'Concentric' lens.
    Brass barrel two element lens with a rotating disk to change aperture.
    Apertures marked 10, 19, 22, 27,32.
    Lens no. 51198
    The Ross lens company was founded around 1830 and produced a range of quality lenses into the first half of the 20thC.
    I believe this one was made somewhere between 1890 and 1910, but it may be a bit earlier.

    [​IMG]


    It needs cleaning (dirt on the inside of the elements) but the glass looks relatively free of abrasion.
     
  2. Antarctican

    Antarctican TPF Noob!

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    Very cool! Where did you get it? (ie Gift? Great score at a boot sale? Antique store?)
     
  3. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    I found it in a garage along with a whole load of other photographic stuff.
    The owner had died and the family was going to dump it all. I sorted, catalogued and got it to a specialist auction house (think it all raised over £1,500). I kept this as my fee.
     
  4. Antarctican

    Antarctican TPF Noob!

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    Ahh, good job saving it all from the trash bin!
     
  5. Mitica100

    Mitica100 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Whoa! An 8 inch Ross! That's a great find Hertz! Congrats.
     
  6. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    What a great project! So - what will you be able to do with such a lens? (Forgive my profound ignorance.) Is it possible it could be used with your existing equipment?
     
  7. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    It just needs taking apart and giving a good clean. There are only two lenses - a front and a rear - and my optician (optometrist) should be able to clean them for me.
    The lens barrel has a screw thread and it wouldn't take much to machine a mounting plate for use on a 5x4/10x8.
    8" is equivalent to 200mm so it would be a good portrait lens for 5x4 or a landscape lens for 10x8.
    Then it would be just a matter of working out the effective f-number for the various apertures.
    Realistically, though, it probably wouldn't be worth using for anything other than academic interest. It's not coated and only has two lenses so it it probably doesn't have much punch. And I may find micro-abrasions when it's cleaned which will soften the image.
    It doesn't have a shutter either so I would have to put my top hat over the lens.
    It's an interesting and beautiful object in it's own right, though. The lens cap is plush lined red leather!
    I did have another slightly older lens. The f-stops were on individual metal strips that slotted into the lens but it seems to have disappeared (along with a lot of other stuff) when I got divorced.
     
  8. Tangerini

    Tangerini TPF Noob!

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    It's really wonderful what you did for that family (and a nice payment you received too).

    How large is your collection?
     
  9. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    I'm not sure. It's still in boxes in the garage. Tends to be a bit quirky as well.
    For example I have 3 Box Brownies - all identical except one was made in the US, one in Canada and one in England.
    I have a camera made by Gevaert and one made by Agfa just before they amalgamated.
    I also have some weird little plastic jobs.
    I just buy cameras I find amusing. All but two work, mind you.
     
  10. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I have a couple different boxes...No brownies though, I see them by the dozen but I turn them down.

    Out of curiousity, have you ever considered taking glass with abrasions to a glass manufacturer and find out if it can be replicated new or do you prefer some thing like that be 100% natural?
     
  11. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    Lenses can always be 'replicated' for a price but...
    Most old lens manufacturers had their own glass 'mix' which would be virtually impossible to duplicate - even if you could get a chemical analysis done.
    And then the lenses were ground by hand. These days it is done by computer using CAM machines.
    In short, unless you had more money than a small African nation any replacement lenses would be nothing like the originals so I think it would defeat the purpose.
    If the abrasions are very slight it is possible to polish them out. Otherwise I would just keep the lens as is to admire the craftsmanship that went into it.
     
  12. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I Know that the creation process would not be the same resulting in a lens that behaved differently, but Like I said, I was curious.

    Thanks.
     

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