Although many books contain lists of lenses, these tend each to be a snapshot of a given period and none covers the whole history in the sort of detail a collector might wish. A collector needs to know about the minor products as well as the major ones and the most important developments. And the focal lengths and mountings are valuable information. Thus this list has been very much influenced by the experiences of lens collectors and purchasers. It is not and cannot be definitive in any way and must be used with caution. Initially it was compiled from the documents in Matt's files: later other items and information have been added by reading the older books and catalogues available. Items have also been added from the estates of the late J. Adams (the eminent lens worker) and R. Burnet of Maidstone. And most of the books in the Bibliography have played some part, mainly using sources published before about 1960. This date has been chosen as some sort of cut-off point for the list as it is aimed at collectors rather than users of new equipment, due to the vaste expansion in lens design which followed the increased computing power available after that date. Later items are included, but on a much more selective or perhaps random basis. But then it is probably still too soon to judge the long term interest of items as fresh as these.
Books seen have been:D. van Monckhoven, "Photographic Optics", Robert Hardwicke, 192, Piccadilly, London, 1867. Translation from the French 259+16
Lake Price, "A Manual of Photographic Manipulation, etc", John Churchill, New Burlington Street, London, 1868, 304+V111pagesJ. Traill Taylor, "The Optics of Photography and Photographic Lenses", Whittaker and Co, 2 White Hart St, Paternoster Sq., London, 1892, 244+V111 pages.
H. Orford, "Lens Work for Amateurs", Whittaker and Co., 2 White Hart St., Paternoster Sq., London., 1894, 229+XV pages. (It may have gone through several editions up to No5 in 1957, judging from an advert seen.)T. R. Dallmeyer, "Telephotography", Pitmans (?), 1899 This was the first edition followed by 3 (?) others as follows:C.F. Lan-Davis, "Telephotography", G. Routledge, London and Dutton, New York (1912), 127+X1 pages.
H. A. Carter, F.R.P.S., "Telephotography", Sir I. Pitman, London, 1936, 117+X111pages.
O. Lummer, "Contributions to Photographic Optics", translated and augmented by S.P.Thomson, Macmillan and Co, London, 1900, 135+X1 pages, based on 3 x 1897 articles in Zeitschrift fur Instrumentenkunde. He cites two base texts in German:(a) Czapski, "Theory of Optical Instruments" and(b) O. Lummer's article in Muller-Pouillet's "Physics" 1895. C. Beck and H. Andrews, "Photographic Lenses" published by Beck, 68, Cornhill London EC, 1900 etc. The editions vary, and especially an early to No 3,c. 1903 (Orthostigmats)and a late No7, c. 1910 (Neo- and Iso-Stigmars) are useful.
E. Marriage, "Elementary Telephotography", Iliffe, London, 1901, 118+5pages.
Capt. O. Wheeler, "Modern Telephotography", Ross Optical Works, Clapham, London, 1910, 95 pages.
T. Bolas and G. E. Brown, "The Lens", The Photogram for Dawbarn and Ward Ltd, 6, Farringdon Ave, London, 1902. 176 pages.
Sir W. de W. Abney, "Instruction in Photography", Iliffe, London, 11 edition 1905, esp. 108-144 pages, of 676 pages.
P.N.Hasluck, "The book of Photography", Cassell and Co, London etc. 1905, 743 pages total.
- Schmidt, 1909.
A. Lockett, "Camera Lenses", H. Greenwood, London, 1925, 111+x pages. also reprinted as:A. Lockett revised by H. W. Lee, Pitman and Greenwood, both of London, Second Edition 1937, 113+X pages. The revision was fairly light but Lee's stamp is evident.
R. Kingslake "The Development of the Photographic Objective" in "Handbook of Photography" Eds K. Henney and B. Dudley, McGraw-Hill/Whittlesey House, 1939. This has an outstanding list of makers and lenses as of 1938-1939 or before in the iterwar years, running to some 13pp of Tables, and only was available for use in late in the study in 1998. Some points are especially indicated by a code "H&D" to indicate this source.
Eder, J.M. "History of Photography", also "Geschichte der Photographie", 1932, translation 1945 for Columbia University Press, NY, USA. and 3 original German editions to 1905. The translation has a biographical note about Herr Prof. Director Eder (b. 1855, ) and publications, including the yearbook "Jahrbuch fur Photographie" from 1887 on.
C. B. Neblette, "Photography, Its Principles and Practice", Chapman/Hall, 865 pages, esp 90-123.
A. Cox, "The Technique of Definition" The Focal Press, London and New York, 1943, with editions and revisions to 13 Edn 1966 at least. Especially the first, eleventh and sixteenth editions give almost a history of
R. Andreani, "L'objectif Photographique", Editions de Francia, Paris, 1958, 254 pages.
R. Kingslake, "Lenses in Photography", A.S. Barnes, New York, 278 pages, 1952 on, esp. Edition 11, 1963.
A. Cox, "A System of Optical Design", Focal Press, 1964, 661 pages.
F. Twyman, "Prism and Lens Making", Hilger Publications, 1943, 1952, etc. 629 pages.
C. B. Neblette, "Photographic Lens Manual", Morgan and Morgan, New York, 1960.
Newnes "Photographers Handbook" 1955,A. E. Conrady, edited and compiled by R. Kingslake, "Applied Optics and Optical Design", Dover Publications, New York, 840 pages, esp Vol 11 p777 onwards. Vol 11 includes a forward by H. Conrady-Kingslake and a biographical note on Conrady. SBN 486-60612-0.
M. Pirenne, "Optics Painting and Photography", Cambridge U. Press, 1970.
A. M. Carlsson, "Getting the most from your Praktica Lenses", Adpress, 1977.
S. Ray, "The Photographic Lens", Focal press, 1979.
S. Ray, "Applied Photographic Optics" Focal Press, 1988.
R. Kingslake, "History of the Photographic Lens", Academic Press, 1989, 334 + X1 pages, ISBN 0-12-408640-3.
N. Channing and M. Dunn, "British Camera Makers", Parkland Designs, 1996, 160 pages, ISBN 0-952430-0-8. (This has an extensive listing of UK camera makers- and thence an indicator of subcontracted lenses.)Index, of P. Ariel, for Deutsches Filmmuseum Frankfurt am Main, Schaumainkai 41, D-6000 Frankfurt am Main 70, Germany.
W. Frerk, 1926.
W. Kerkmann, "Deutsche Kameras", (adverts.) Vol 1, 1900-1945; Vol 2, 1945-1986. Published 1987-1900.
P-H Pont, "Chiffres Cles/Benchmarks", ISBN No2-906840-06-8 of 1994, from Photo Saga, Flassy, F-58420 Neuilly, France tel 86 29 63 13 fax 86 29 05 07. This is a list of key points in dating equipment and included dating tables for Deckel shutters, so in principle a serial number/date table for most makes can be developed.
P-H Pont, "Angenieux", (book), from address as above.
P-H. Pont et J-L Princelle, "300 Leica Copies" FotoSaga, 58420 Neuilly , France, ISBN2-906-840-03-3 1990.
M.J.Small, "Non-Leitz Leica Thread Lenses" Wittig, D-41836, Hueckelhoven, Germany, ISBN 3-903-359-47-2., 1997.
Two books on WW2 and air surveillance are:C. Babington-Smith, "Evidence in Camera", Chatto 1958.
R. Conyers- Nesbit, "Eyes of the RAF", pp335, Alan Sutton, 1996, ISBN 0-7509-1130-1
Two legendary hard-to-find books which have not been seen yet are:Merte, Richter and von Rohr, "Das Photographischen Objective" in Vol 1 of Hay, Handbuch.
Flugge, "Das Photographischen Objective" in Vol 1 of Michel, "Die wissentschaftliche Photographie".
Some very useful reviews were made at intervals and three especially were:W. Taylor and H.W.Lee, Proc. Phys. Soc., 47, p502, 1935.
H.W.Lee, Reports on the Progress in Physics, 7, p130, 1940.
C.G.Wynne, "New Lens Systems" in Reports on the Progress in Physics, 19, p298, 1956.
There are several very impressive books showing what many camera look like, and these can be very valuable in showing how lenses were originally used. Some used in compiling the Vademecum are listed below. One point is that Indexing does not always list the lenses so that some examples of cameras fitted have been added to the Vademecum.
Vial, Bernard, "Histoire des Appareils Francais" Period 1940-1960, Edited by Maeght, ISBN 2-86941-156-1, May 1991.
J.-P. Francesch, M. Bovis, and J. Boucher, Edited Maeght, "Les Appareils Photographiques francais", Collection Photo-Cinema, 1993. (This has been coded as FBB in the text to save space.)P-H. van Hasbroeck, "150 Classic Cameras" Sotheby's Publications, London, 1989, ISBN 0 85667 363 3.
Much use as sources was made of the adverts. and text of the British Journal of Photography Almanack's (abbreviated to B.J.A.+year+ page) as available from 1900-1960. These are a unique long term history and almost all issues after 1900 have been consulted in some degree. The references may save a lot of searching through what are now rather delicate volumes with a high value. Note that Traill Taylor, one of the early editors,
had an especially deep interest in lenses and that lens related features were written in the issues for 1870, 1871, 1872, 1897 among other items. Also a run of Modern Photography from 1958- c.1980 was scanned as was the English Miniature Camera Magazine. It is worth mentioning that B.J.A. up to about 1956 had a regular list of books old and new worth reading including a section on 'Optics and Perspective' which is worth considering.
It is hoped to make more use in future of data bases from museum catalogues and collections, and permission has been obtained to use a unique source of data: this is the Auction Catalogues of Christie's of South Kensington, London. (Christie's, 85 Old Brompton Rd, London, SW17-3LD (Tel 0171 581 7611), where serial number data has accumulated for many rare lenses over the generation or so they have already auctioned photographic equipment. Numbers from this source have the last digit coded as a c to indicate the source.
However it is stressed that when possible the basis was original brochures and catalogues, either directly or in
reproduced form, and that the drawings of lens layouts mainly have been based on them, all being redrawn for
the sake of consistent style. These drawings are not exact, and are not suitable as a basis for lens making as
some distortion resulted from the redrawing and in general the originals were made for publicity and
recognition rather than to be exact for confidentiality reasons. This is also true of patents which are designed
to illustrate a principle but do not have to disclose a fully working design. Some 1300 such drawings were
made and a fair proportion were used. But even so, many lenses are only known to be of a generic type,and a
group of the most common of these types are given as Q lenses at the beginning of the text. These may not
be just like the lens in question, but should indicate the general type. Incidentally the list has been aimed at
the needs of the reasonably well informed collector or dealer, rather than the lens designer at one extreme or
the complete novice at the other.Hint: Locate the makers name from the list -or the lens- and open the appropriate file, and then use "find" by
mousing the prismatic binoculars in the surtitles, and type in the lens name required. Unknown maker lenses
are under A= Anonymous.
A LIST OF LENS TRADE AND RELATED NAMES.A
ApoGerminar, Wide Angle DocterApoheligonal
Atelier Schnell Arbeiter MeyerAutograph RR
Componon, Wide Angle SchneiderCompound Homocentric RossComputar
Lynkeiskop, wide angle GoerzLynkeiskop, Rapid
Photograph a Verres Com.ChevalierPhotometon
Rectigraph, Combination LancasterRectigraphique
Compiler's Note: It has been a rare privilege to work on Matt Wilkinson's documents, and hopefully this Vademecum has made a fair use of them. Inevitably coverage of total lens production is still uneven since it reflects a collection which was still being formed. It is hoped that the coverage can be improved in future editions, errors be corrected, and that more experience will be gained in the use of the older lenses. The readers understanding is requested for the present.
Incidentally it is the belief of the compiler that lens makers have consistently maintained a very high standard in their production, far more so than in other comparable industries. It seems likely that the majority of cases of so-called "bad lenses" are in fact due to attempts to use lenses in ways for which they were not intended or designed. Where there seems to be criticism in the text, it should be read with this comment in mind.
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