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Antique Darlot Lens info

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    A while ago I posted about this stuff that I got at an estate sale:

    After some research I found that Darlot dated his lens pieces in pencil on the sides. Took mine apart and it’s dated ’79’. I own a 131 year old camera lens. Not bad for a $45 investment (the larger lens piece is neither marked nor dated, so I don’t know if it’s a comparable age or if the magic lantern projector manufacturer produced the item contemporarily to the Darlot’s manufacturing.)[/url]


    That’s really quite surreal.
    Some bloke writes the date of his lens in pencil on the inside, and some other bloke finds it 131 years later.

    /no, I have not been smoking weed


    Isn’t it though? And, this other bloke signed it, too. I can’t make it out. I figure the first part is ‘A.D.’, as in A. Darlot (like the logo on the lens, etched in brass). But the name? Can’t get it. Here’s pics:

    The last is a 2nd lens; can’t make it out as well. Maybe A.D. Paris? But it’d be an awefully funny ‘P’. I can’t find anything on his actual craftmans’ names. It’s most certainly not A.Darlot, though.


    I think it looks like Jarvis but thats just my guess. it is rather hard to make out for sure.


    Probably “Jamin”

    -edit ‘Jamin’ was the original manufacturer, from what I can tell. Darlot was the plant manager, and took over the factory when Jamin retired. For a number of years both names appeared on the lenses.


    I’ve seen those links, olavf, and since the year is 1879, it’s far too late to have ‘Jamin’ on the lens (that ended around 1861-2).


    I don’t know then, unless we’re missing something obvious.

    Another good link that explains some of the workings of the lenses if you haven’t seen it.


    I read “Jarvis” “Jovis” “Jaris” or possibly “Davis” or “Doris” But my vote goes to “Jarvis”

    Apparently, there was a Mr. Jarvis in Chicago who (at least once) adapted Darlot lenses. My guess is he didn’t stop with just one.


    olavfVery cool link. It’s the lens configuration I have, I may grab the book cited since it’s inexpensive.
    My lens doesn’t have a ‘vis paysage’ marking, unfortunately, but does unscrew. Trying it, it makes an effective
    macro. I wish I had some of orionid’sskills; I’d try to figure out how to make it mountable by thread to
    my camera (a lot less clumsy than what I’ve done).

    orionid, The Chicagian Jarvis wouldn’t be the maker of the lens; they were in France (in addition to ‘Paris SE III’ on
    the body, the crank gear wheel states ‘A.Darlot Opticien Paris’ and there’s the American stamp of ‘Made in Paris’ on the
    mount flange as well. The projector box gives me The Henderson-Ames Co, Kalamazoo, Mich as the maker, and based on
    the quality/configuration of the large lens, I’d guess they manufactured the rest of the box (it’s pretty inferior to the Darlot).

    Image taken with lens held up to my Canon, 85mm setting but effectively macro’d:

    And another, which is actually my current desktop background (in a bigger res, of course):


    olavf, I think a direct mount would be fairly straight forward; orionid probably would have tips in this regard;
    if I just used the front lenspiece, it would be as simple as finding the right threads to match it and my Tamron 28-55. (I’ve tried
    viewing sans any lens and just through the darlot; there would be no focal adjustment in that context).

    Whatever I do, I don’t want to do anything that would permanently keep me from putting the AD back in original configuration.


    The lens body is 10.3 cm top to bottom. The focal length is 80mm. The gear is attached to the flange, so you can move the lens assembly but not
    the lens focal length. The 4 screw holes are 90 deg. apart, and 7 cm center to center on spacing across the flange diameter.

    The ‘primary’ lenses (glued together somehow) are effectively 40mm in diameter (f/2?) given the opening in the body. The ‘secondary’ mirrors (held
    in position with a spacer) are 50mm. Kinda hard to be precise on the focal length, though, as from which lens part do I measure?

    In taking pics, the assembly is reversable to no ill effect (which helps as I can use one side or the other depending on which lens is on my Canon body
    and not actually hit the Canon lenses.)

    Per Canon’s website and Pythagorus, I get that my sensor diagonal to diagonal is 26.68mm. With just the primary AD portion and my 28-80 set to 80,
    I can get this:

    That’s at about 6 inches away, and is about 6 cm on the diagonal. With the whole assembly, I can get about 3 inches away, with this result:

    May 4 cm on the diagonal. Using my telephoto, though, set at 300, I can get to where the diagonal is 11mm across–but focusing is VERY difficult to do:

    I’d be happy with a setup where I can use the primary lens on either Tamron. I’m sure it would be doable, and light enough to use easily.
    What I need to know is the diameter and threading on each component.
    Would make for one hell of a macro, though, on the 300 if I can get to
    use it easily.


    I might be able to help you come up with a means of operation without needing three hands. Can you get a photo of the back of the lens (the whole assembly, as you use it)? Also, a few numbers would be useful.

    What is the distance from the back of the lens to the slide frame, when the projector is focused at infinity?
    What is the diameter of the end you hold adjacent to your slr lenses? Is it threaded? If so, what pitch?

    Also, if you want to consider mounting it directly to your SLR, keeping the bellows attached will give you focus ability. Answering the above questions for the back of the bellows where it attaches to the box would be helpful in that regard.


    orionid see pic below. Flange with 7 cm c2c spacing is widest part. Unfortunately, the pic shows the fullest retraction of the setup–as pictured, the flange moves
    ‘up’ from there. I don’t use the whole projector assembly; just what you see in the picture. No threads on either side, but the bottom side as pictured is 52 mm (which fits
    well within the 58 mm lens) and up top is 58mm (touches the edges only of the glass on the 62mm telephoto lens.

    If I unscrew the primary assembly from the body, it seems to be threaded at 50mm diameter, and it seems at 1mm per revolution around the lens. Rather hard to approximate
    and I don’t have a micrometer.)

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