Old 1869 Voigtlander lens was the worlds first fast lens!

Friend and fellow blogger Uncle Gordy (aka Gordon Coale) just loves hunting down interesting old stuff, one day it’s old typewriters then the next old cameras or lenses. Must have something to do with living on an island! Though this time I think he has found himself some buried treasure!

The early Petzvals were shot wide open.
In the late 1850s John Waterhouse invented the interchangeable diaphragm with a hole that was dropped into a slit in the lens tube.

Gordy goes on to tells us:

“It was a Voigtlander lens designed by mathematician Joseph Petzval in 1840 that made commercial photography possible. Until that time a fast lens was around f17. The Petzval design was a blazing f3.5 and very sharp in the center.

I picked up this beauty from Eddie Gunks. Beautiful glass, a flange, lens hood, and a Waterhouse stop. It’s a 9” suitable for 4×5 and 5×7. I have a hole saw ordered to drill out the lens board. In the meantime I need to pull the lens tube out and replace some felt and then lock the lens tube in the mount. The focusing knob is missing and that is what usually keeps the lens tube from falling on the floor.

Now that’s what I call serial number engraving!

The big Voigtlander will be mounted on my Toyo View D45M. Petzval images have their own look. The center is sharp but the Petzval design has a curved field so the sharpness falls off away from the center.”

Very cool find you have there Gordy, can I borrow it for a while? Now I wonder if it will fit on a Micro four thirds camera?

You can follow Gordon’s adventures in photography, collecting stuff and politics etc… here

New Linhof Digital Outdoor field camera! The TECHNO..

Well Leica are not the only German company pulling a rabbit out of their hat this year at the 2008 Photokina. Linhof have as well with the all new digital ready TECHNO a modernised large format field camera ready to take any digital back!

The New Linhof TECHNO

With its all new use of carbon fibre and magnesium alloy the Techno draws on the highly successful M679 studio camera. With 40mm of vertical shift and wide angle lenses of 23mm the camera is highly to suited to the digital capture of Landscapes. The camera accepts std Technika lens boards and is compatible with many of the M679 accessories.
Movements are:
Front standard – Horizontal shift 10mm L & R, Vertical shift 20mm up and down
Rear standard – Vertical parallel shift 20mm up and down.
Swing and tilts – 10 degrees
Maximum extension 240mm, Minimum exension 20mm
Weight is 1900 grams.
Retail price: TBA ( we are taking pre orders now)

The Mainline Customer Web Photographic Gallery!

Finally I have got around to organising something I have been wanting to do for a while and that is start an online gallery of our customers photographs.

We are using Flickr as the web base application for the Gallery and each photographer accepted into the gallery will get their own sets within the matching subjects collection. You will have a short bio and your contact details so that folks interested in purchasing/commissioning your work can get in contact.

All images on our Flickr gallery will be locked so they cannot be copied. This is a great opportunity to promote your photography and maybe make some money. If you are interested contact me for the fine details here. To check out the Gallery go to the Mainlinephoto gallery.

World’s oldest Camera goes up for sale! “1839 Daguerreotype”

Well it is amazing what turns up in old sheds ( it just never seems to be mine). This 1839 French Daguerreotype camera goes up for auction on the 22nd of May with German Auction house Westlicht.

No only has it been authenticated as the oldest camera in existence it has a pretty cool history too.
Owned originally by the Godfather of the founder of Schneider optical works!


Ready to bid, the sale price expected to be around 2-4 million dollars!

What a beauty. Homemade 45 Point and Shoot camera.

Mainline customer and photographer Rodrick Bond has put his hand to a litte bit of camera manufacturing. Apart from producing great photos he has produced the “Darth Handy” a 45PS camera that takes roll film backs. It is pretty cool, you can get the full story and photos here at Mister Bend .

The Darth Handy

I have also heard on the grapevine that the folks at Fotoman will have a similar 45PS that accepts rollfilm backs out soon. It will be the 45CT. Stay tuned…..