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The Wollensak Optical Company

Published: December 16, 2015 5:01pm 6885 Views

The Wollensak Optical Company

Another of Rochester's great optical works was the Wollensak Optical Company. Founded in 1890 by Andrew and John C. Wollensak, with financial backing from Stephen Rauber, the Wollensak and Rauber Co. set out to manufacture an innovative shutter design for cameras. Originally located at 280 Central A...

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The Scheimpflug Principle

Published: December 16, 2015 4:40pm 4088 Views

The Scheimpflug Principle

Every photographer is likely, at some point, to encounter issues with depth of field control. The image they want may require sharp focus across its entire field, but stopping down the lens may be impractical for reasons of exposure, or undesirable for the change that diffraction exerts upon sh...

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The Pictorial Lens

Published: December 16, 2015 4:37pm 4339 Views

The Pictorial Lens

While it seems both intuitive and obvious that optical companies would pursue the development of ever-sharper and better-corrected photographic lenses—and, in fact, devote considerable resources in terms of money and time to that pursuit—there is one group of end users whose desire was to achieve ex...

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Paul Rudolph

Published: December 16, 2015 4:34pm 2440 Views

Paul Rudolph

One of the most influential lens designers in history, Paul Rudolph was born in 1858, and raised in Thuringia, in central Germany. He attended universities at Munich, Leipzig, and Jena, graduating from that last in 1884 with a degree in mathematics.  Although his original intent had been to tea...

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Carl Zeiss

Published: December 16, 2015 4:31pm 2074 Views

Carl Zeiss

When he was just thirty years old, Carl Zeiss opened a small workshop in his native Jena, where he repaired a variety of scientific instruments and even made some to order. His talent for optics was undeniable, and before the year was out he produced the first loupe microscope, in 1847. The produ...

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Three Lenses in One

Published: May 1, 2014 4:26pm 1810 Views

Three Lenses in One

Before zoom lenses had been developed (the forerunners of which were being developed early in the 20th century) photographers had use of the triple convertible lens.  The first iterations of these were unsymmetrical rapid rectilinear designs:  when used singly, the front and rear groups wo...

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The Macro

Published: May 1, 2014 4:24pm 1782 Views

The Macro

Macrophotography—the art of the extreme close-up—is a popular and important part of all phases and interest in the field. The marketplace is full of macro lenses, and while there are many excellent ones available, one good alternative to using a macro lens is mounting an enlarging lens o...

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What's In A Name?

Published: May 1, 2014 4:23pm 1793 Views

What's In A Name?

Optics comes with its own etymology, traceable name words that usually signify something of the development of a lens, a camera, even, sometimes, a company itself. In the 1890’s the eponymous C.P. Goerz Optical Company (founded in Berlin in the previous decade) developed a lens that was, in ac...

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The History of a Photographic Lens

Published: May 1, 2014 4:20pm 2570 Views

The History of a Photographic Lens

No discussion of the history of optics in Rochester would be complete without noting the considerable contributions made by Rudolf Kingslake to the field.  Although he was born and educated in England, he came to America while still in his mid-20’s, invited here for the express purpose of...

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The Classics

Published: April 8, 2014 5:43pm 2011 Views

The Classics

Here at Westech Optical, we’re passionate about engineering, innovation… and about history. We can’t get enough of that, and luckily for us, located as we are near Rochester, NY, we’re surrounded by artifacts of the history of the optics industry, both home-grown and foreign...

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Vintage Bausch and Lomb

Published: April 8, 2014 5:39pm 2248 Views

Vintage Bausch and Lomb

Here in Rochester, the two German immigrants whose partnership started the Bausch and Lomb company were interested in the manufacture of monocles; over the years, of course, the range of products they developed changed as the world and its needs changed. Materials became scarce, alliances shifted, m...

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