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Alexis Millet Paris 550mm F4.5 Portrait Petzval ULF

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History: A very very rare Portrait Petzval lens made by one of the early photographic opticians in Paris: Alexis Millet. Millet started to make photographic equipment by the early 1850ies, and quickly gained respect due to the overall built and optical quality his workshop offered. In 1856 he became a member of the Societé Francaise de Photographie, and in 1861 he partnered with E. Auzoux for a couple of years.

It is said that Milled did introduce the 'inner Cone' design and indeed, this lens shows that there is an inner cone part, that should help avoid any reflections (and also offers a possibility to mount washer stops). In the last 7 years i had 2 smaller petzval lenses from him, but i never ever even saw a petzval this size made by his workshop!


The barrell is engraved with:

'No. 1097 - Alexis Millet - Opticien Brevete, s.g.d.g. - 160, r. St. Martin - PARIS'


Since the lens lacks the waterhouse slot and and the early serial number this beauty can safely be dated into the mid 1850ies.


Condition: This masterpiece comes in a nice authentic condition. The brass shows some wear here and there but also a fine patina. The glass is mostly good, showing some cleaning streaks in the front, and quite some circular marks in the rear which probably were done by wrong cleaning. Besides that, there is no seperation, not haze or fungus, or anything that would harm the image quality here.

With its fast open aperture of F4.5 and a focal lengh of 550mm (or 22"), this lens will work from 12x15 and even 14x17 format!


It comes with the original leather lenscap and a flange.




height: 38cm
width: 15cm
weight: 7000gr





Insured and tracked shipping cost:



Germany - 30 eur
EU* - 80 eur
Worldwide - 250 eur



Shipping withint EU is less expensive then the international shipping quoted here. If youre withing EU, please contact me about the actuall shipping cost.





Importent Note: This item comes from my private collection and is around 100 years old (antique). I try my best to describe all the faults and major damage which are relevant for the function of this item. But the actuall item can show signs of wear and also some cosmetic blemishes/damage which is not described in the auction text! When buying this item the buyer agrees to this terms.

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