Yoshizen's Blog

Ensign !

Oh my goodness, after 43 years, Britten leave the bunch of Europe.

—– After 43 years mean, a year before I came here, Brit joined EC.

It was just after the oil shock and the time Britten was in a doldrums. 

(Before North-sea Oil boom)

Still, something amazed me of this country then was that as the law 

was changed, the gay couple became eligible to have a council housing

like a married couple. (otherwise, single man was almost impossible

to get it in the priority queue = single mother, disabled, married with

children —- has higher priority) (Though, I didn’t know whether it

was due to the European regulation or trend of the human right issue)


Ensign is a national flag on the (battle) ship, so it symbolize somewhat

patriotic though I’m not talking about the politics here —– but

an old camera called Ensign made by the Houghtons, England.

Ensign Anastigmat Lens 6" (?) F7.7

Ensign Anastigmat Lens 6″ (?) F7.7

( A fog on the photo above was caused by a fungi and no coated lens)

Yet this is just a mediocre old camera made around 1910s and the

lens was a common anastigmat lens.  Nothing special or remarkable.

(If the lens was giving visibly too distinctive image, no one would

buy such camera.   😀 )

My friend Gordon wanted to use this lens to shoot on his

8mm cine camera. (so, I was asked to modify it to C-mount fitting)


The camera got the same design of the then trendy (!) folding camera

of a quarter plate size (4″x3″ = its contact print would make a post card).

The photo above left showed yet another old camera of the same era,

which I have talked about before.

The name of the lens Anastigmat mean, Ana (non) Stigmat (optical

aberration showing  cross-shaped ghost image) and designed to

eliminate not only Stigmat but also the other aberrations as well.

 (only in the certain level — just able to produce good enough

image = like the photo on top)


Strangely this lens doesn’t say what focal length — still, the maximum

F-aperture seemed to be F7.7 and the diameter of the lens is about

19~20mm —> 20 x 7.7 = 150mm —– and the 150mm lens for 4″x3″ 

size will make about 45° angle of view = good for full length portrait shot

on 2m distance.


To dismount the lens (together with shutter unit) it needs to use

caliper like tool from the back of the lens. (Photo above right)


Lens (and shutter together) was stacked on front of the bellows,

and 150mm lens for 35mm camera is a good telephoto lens.

—– but mind you, here only the center of the lens

= best part was used.


So, the image quality is not too bad other than the foggy halation

caused by the fungi.   But, neither the pleasing softness was there

— just an ordinary image.


People might have a false dream toward the old lens which could

create an archaic nostalgic image though, most of them would

make just ordinary image  only with foggy halation, caused by the

non-coated surface reflection if not a fungi. 

Because the visible difference on the image was created by the

uncorrected aberration which has to be (more or less) corrected 

except the very old primitive design such as the Petzbarl lens of

the Dageleo type era.     And, even if the lens happen to have an

aberration, it’s not apparent on the cropped center of the image. 

In fact, the false impression of the nostalgic image was made by 

the low resolution of the old film / plate, it may not be replicated

on a modern DSLR.

(Old film’s latitude was much narrower = shadow details lost but

with the halation inside of film emulsion, edge of the dark part

was eaten and together with the halation on the lens surface

made the image looks rather soft = created the image like a copy

of an old cinema frame = this is the reality of nostalgic image.)



5 Responses

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  1. heroskusanogmailcom said, on June 24, 2016 at 14:55

    Yoshi I read it as I see the market and the consequence of it! cheers my friend for your poetry!!!


    • yoshizen said, on June 24, 2016 at 16:41

      Hi Horos.
      —– M m m ? What do you mean “Market”?
      And does it sound poetry ?

  2. […] At WW gathering in Greenwich, while testing Ensign’s Anastigmat […]

  3. […] 100 years old Lens.  […]

  4. […] a junk shop and brought it to me. I’ve been testing the lenses of many antic cameras, such as Ensign etc etc. In most of the case I just tested those lenses mounted on a DSLR’s body = regardless […]

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