Beck

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R & J Beck was a renowned British optical company based in London.[1] It was founded in 1843 by the nephews of J.J. Lister, Richard Beck (1827-1866) and Joseph Beck (1828-1891) who were in partnership with a famous instrument maker, James Smith (d. 1870). It started as Smith and Beck. In 1854 the company was renamed to Smith, Beck and Beck. After Smith's retirement in 1865 the company became R & J Beck. It produced a wide range of optical products: microscopes, telescopes, trench periscopes for army officers in the First World War, eye test glasses for opticians (optometer lenses), other optical equipment, and last not least camera lenses and even some cameras. Best known in the camera area are some cameras of the brand Ensign which bear lenses branded as "Beck Ensign". Another highlight in the company's camera engagement is the fact that T. E. Lawrence, better known as 'Lawrence of Arabia', used a plate camera made by Beck.[2]



Cameras

  • Dai Cornex (1905)
Folding camera for 123 rollfilm 4 x 5 inches. Fitted with a Beck-Steinheil Orthostigmat lens, Series I and a Bausch and Lomb unicum shutter [3]
  • Frena (1894)
  • Hill Sky Camera (1924)

Lenses

  • Asymmetrical[4]
  • Autograph Wide Angle Lens (100°) (~1888)[5]
  • Beck-Steinheil Orthostigmat
    • Series I[6]
    • Series IV No.1, 2.87"[7]
  • Biplanat
    • N° 2, 5"
    • N° 3, 6"
    • N° 6, 11"[8]
  • Convertible Double Apeanat 9" f/7.7[9]
  • Enlarging Anastigmat 2 1/4in f/4.5[10]
  • Ensign Anastigmat Series VIIn nº 0
  • Isostigmar
    • 4.75"[11]
    • 7.2" f/7.7[12]
    • Variable Softness Portrait Ser.VI f/5.6 (1908)
  • Microstigmar
  • Multiflex Lens f/8[13]
  • Neostigmar Series IIIn No.3 5" [14]
  • Rapid Rectilinear 11 inch f/8 (~1910)[15]
  • Symmetrical Lens
    • 11" (1900-1910)[16]
    • 12" f/8 (~1907)[17]

Beck Guided Weapons Lenses

The folowing lenses have been documented

* GW Type 2 Mk 3 (on a Dekko GW 1 Mk1A and a Beck GW 2)
The lens is similar to the Type 2 M2, but is surrounded by four diodes for @@@

Links

Notes

  1. 1867-80: 31 Cornhill; 1881->1900 68 Cornhill.—Factory at Lister Works, Kentish Town, Holloway.
  2. T. E. Lawrence and his Cameras at Museum of the History of Science, University of Oxford [1]
  3. NMSI - Objects Cornex rollfilm camera
  4. See this image set
  5. Beck's Wide Angle "Autograph" Lens at Antique Wood Cameras
  6. NMSI - Objects Cornex rollfilm camera
  7. NMSI - Objects Beck-Steinheil Orthostigmat lens
  8. NMSI - Objects Biplanat N° 6
  9. Online auction Dec 2011
  10. Online auction Dec 2011
  11. NMSI - Objects Folding bellows hand camera
  12. British half plate camera , with Isostigmar 7.2" f/7.7 sn. #19042 Online auction Dec 2011
  13. NMSI - Objects Multiflex Lens
  14. NMSI - Objects Neostigmar Series
  15. NMSI - Objects Rapid rectilinear lens
  16. NMSI - Objects Symmetrical Lens
  17. Beck Symmetrical 12 Inch F8 from Markus Glück on Flickr
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