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): the firm 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 camera lenses and even some cameras. A Beck Symmetrical is quite a commonly-seen lens on British folding cameras. Some cameras of the Ensign brand have lenses branded as "Beck Ensign". T. E. Lawrence (1888-1935; '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° 5, 9" f/5.6-f/45
    • 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]


Guided Weapons Lenses

The folowing lenses have been documented


Notes

  1. In 1867-80, 31 Cornhill; in 1881-1900, 68 Cornhill. Factory at Lister Works, Kentish Town, Holloway.
  2. T. E. Lawrence and his Cameras at the Museum of the History of Science, University of Oxford
  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


Links

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