‘You can put new wine in(to) old wineskins.’:hinting image
Early this year I brought this old lens for AU$10. It looked old and the shutter seems to work, at least it hold open in time mode, so I can use it on my Leica SL2 camera with in body stabilisation.
It was used on bellow type leaf shutter cameras like these:
Series II and III Anastigmats were designed by H.L. Aldis and were the first lenses produced by Aldis Brothers. http://www.earlyphotography.co.uk/site/entry_L159.html
Aldis Brothers was a maker of lenses and other photographic equipment, in the Sparkhill area of Birmingham, England in early 1900. http://camera-wiki.org/wiki/Aldis
‘According to Aldis, three conditions must be observed to obtain a flat field free from marginal astigmatism:
- (1) The converging lenses must be of high, the diverging of low, refractive index;
- (2) the converging and diverging components must be separated by a considerable interval;
- (3) thick meniscus glasses should be used’
In 1902 H. L. Aldis issued the ” Aldis Lens,” f/6, a doublet composed of a cemented meniscus in front and a single double convex back lens. It is a long-focus objective with short back focus, one of the forms is my series II., f/6 lens. https://theodora.com/encyclopedia/p/photography.html
Text from Britannica 1911’s description of photography.
Bausch & Lomb Unicum, speeds 1 – 1/100, B, T. pneumatic shutter. Patented 1891.
Bausch & Lomb was a well respected manufacturer of leaf shutters. Bausch & Lomb’s “Unicum” shutter was one of the best shutters of its time. http://camera-wiki.org/wiki/Bausch_%26_Lomb
Bausch & Lomb introduced its Unicum two-blade shutter in 1897. On top it had a speed dial with speed scale from ½ to 1/100 sec. or 1 to 1/100 sec. plus B and T mode. It had two pistons, one to connect the tube of the release bulb, the other as part of the speed setting mechanics. For aperture setting it had a built-in iris diaphragm. – http://camera-wiki.org/wiki/Unicum
The shutter still works, but I am not sure if I can trust the exposure. I have it set of T, so the aperture holds open when in use. The mechanical design is amazing, for using air pressure to regulate the leaf shutter.
This particular lens is most likely produced in the first decade of the 1900s, so it is about 120 year old.
How to use it on Leica SL2 without a bellow? I use the following:
- Series VI to 35mm adaptor to capture the lens
- M42 to M39 step down ring
- M42 extension rings
- M42 to M adaptor
- M to L Macro adaptor (to focus)
I need to select an Leica R 135mm lens profile to use the stablisation. It is close enough and worked well.
How do this 120 years old lens do?
I am just amazed about the performance of this lens from very early photographic history, working perfectly with Leica SL2‘s 47mp sensor. I process the DNG raw files via Lightroom 6 with minor adjustment in tone, it is standing up very well as a surprise to me.