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RE: [woodandbrass] Re: 1900 Nehring lens catalog on eBay?

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  • Rob Niederman
    Hi all; A couple years back I acquired a camera with an accessory Nehring lens extension for 4x5 cameras. It pretty much acts like a telescopic extender that
    Message 1 of 6 , Jun 19, 2011

    Hi all;


    A couple years back I acquired a camera with an accessory Nehring lens extension for 4x5 cameras. It pretty much acts like a telescopic extender that is fitted between a shutter and body. It is a nicely made brass tube with a lens and focusing adjustment. As shown in the attached JPG, the camera now has an odd appearance; perverse thoughts are okay.


    - Rob



    -----Original Message-----
    From: woodandbrass@yahoogroups.com [mailto:woodandbrass@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Marcel Safier
    Sent: Sunday, June 19, 2011 7:01 PM
    To: woodandbrass@yahoogroups.com
    Subject: [woodandbrass] Re: 1900 Nehring lens catalog on eBay?



    Hello Milan

    It's so good to see your name here! I've knocked together some stuff on Nehring for you. It is amazing what I found in just 20 mintues of searching. Ulrich Paul Julius Nehring He was born c. 1872 in Germany, the son of Paul Nehring and Agnes Von Brand and he emigrated at 16 in 1888 to New York and became naturalised in 1899 where he is described as a merchant. He married 19 Jan 1898 in Manahattan to Clara Johanna Britsch. Nehring took out two photographic patents, one for a focussing finder and another for a lens focussing device to eliminate chromatic aberration. Others he took out are relate to motor vehicles. He definitely forewent photography. In the 1910 census he is listed as a florist! I can't find him in the 1900 census. I've uploaded two naturalisation images and the census image to a folder called Nehring. I can't upload pdfs of the patents so will send those directly. Interestingly one says Ulrich Nehring, assignor to Scientific Lens Co. Your attachment came through fine by the way.

    I hope I might see you in Rochester this year.

    Cheers! Marcel -- Marcel Safier PO Box 239 Holland Park QLD 4121 Australia

    On 20/06/2011 3:25 AM, Milan Zahorcak wrote:


    I'm not sure about posting attachments but we'll give it a try.

    Oddly enough, in 20 years or so of collecting lenses, I never saw a Nehring lens - many accesories - but never a true lens of any sort with the Nehring name.  But then, Nehring was big in NYC and advertised mostly in the national journals (still on the east coast).  Some of our East Coast members might have a better chance at spotting one.  I have some dim recollection of one appearing on eBay, but 1900 is past my time period so I didn't bid.

    This is a small US Optical lens that I sold on eBay some months ago - something along these lines will probably be in the Nehring catalog.  This is the description I used::

    US Optical 8x10 Wide Angle Periscope Lens

    This is more interesting piece than it might look. The lens is engraved: U.S. Optical Co., New York; Wide Angle Periscope 8x 10. Few people have ever heard of the U.S. Optical Company because it has a brief, complex and troubled history – and as far as I can tell, U.S. Optical came and went between 1900 and 1905.

    The story starts with Ulrich Nehring, the maker of many lens accessories in the 1890s and early 1900s, and involves the Scientific Lens Company (New York) which no one knows much about. Apparently, around 1900 Nehring buys out Scientific, keeps the name, sells off the remaining stock, and spins off U.S. Optical. However, there is some sort sort lawsuit against US Optical – I don’t know what or why, but US Optical loses the appeal – and then US Optical and maybe U. Nehring both disappear.

    At any rate, this lens appears to be just what the name implies, a 2-element symmetrical meniscus or “periscopic” lens – see the small diagram – and hence the “Periscope” name. It uses 2 single elements, not cemented pairs. Periscopic lenses can’t be properly color corrected, but wide designs have less of a problem than the normal lenses. Might be fun to use with modern film, maybe some interesting fringing and a softer look.

    This is neat lens, pretty good glass, and with the original flange. It’s slotted for stops, but I never had any. It’s a fairly small lens measuring about 1.125” long and about 1.75” across the hood.  I don’t know the angle of coverage, but it has about a 7” focus, claims to cover 8 x 10 and is roughly f/16 wide open – maybe a bit faster.

    The only thing that makes this lens rare is the name and short life – but I suppose those are as good a reason as any. The brass work reminds me of a couple of small “Emil” WA lenses (Manhattan/Gundlach) that I used to own - so perhaps there is a Busch or other German connection. The German’s made quite a few periscopic lenses and it wouldn’t surprise me if this were an import. How many tiny optical companies in NYC could there be?




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