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Ross Portrat Petzval 3C 220mm F2.75

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History: Ross was one of the earliest manufacturers of photographic lenses in UK, and also one of the most reknowed. His lenses were held in high regarded among the wet palte community back then as well as today. It is well known that Dallmeyer worked for Ross and honed his skills there, before opening up his own Dallmeyer workshop. 


This quite early portrait petzval is a small mystery. Ross overed severall series of portrait petzval lenses, Carte De Visite, Cabinet and others. But this specimen is marked with 3C, which i didnt see so far at all. Sure one could assume that the C stand for Cabinet, but on the other hand any other 'Cabinet' lens that i ever saw so far, is engraved with 'Cabinet' and not 'C'. Also the focal lenght here is around 220mm, which would be shorter then the Cabinet No 3. The one thing that comes to my mind here is the infamous Dallmeyer 3C lens, which offered almost similar specs (200mm F2.3). One possible theory here is that Ross experimented with faster glass and this was a prototype which could emulate Dallmeyers C series. Another clue is also the strange position for the waterhouse slot, which is not in the center, but rather way up. I would assume that this waterhouse slot was added at a later point (which might put the lens pre 1858), or that it was really somekind of a prototype for a new series, which never came. 


In any case a very intriguing lens.



Condition: The brass looks a bit rough here, it is clear that the lens went through rough times. The rack & pinion mechanism is there but doesnt really move (you can slide the outer sleeve by hand though). It coes with a (retrofitted) waterhouse, no stops included. The really massive glass elements look mostly good, there are quite some cleaning marks and also some smaller scratches front and back. Still im sure that those are to small to affect the image quality here.

The lens has a focal lenght of 220mm (measured from the center) at a speed of F2.75. It will cover 5x7 and might even work for fullplate format at portrait distance.


Lens comes with a fitting flange.



height: 18cm
width: 11cm
weight: 2100gr




Insured and tracked shipping cost:

Germany - 15 eur
EU* - 30 eur
Worldwide - 90 eur


*(the site offers only 2 shipping variations, DE and worldwide. buyers from EU please either contact me beforehand for a reduced EU cost, or after buying so i can send a refund over the difference)




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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