Single meniscus. Between 1915 and 1926 the standard VPK camera was fitted with a single achromatic meniscus lens located behind its Kodak ball-bearing shutter. In front of the shutter is what appears to be a recessed lens hood, but is not. It is provided to restrict the maximum aperture available to avoid lens flare. In Japan by contrast this flare and soft image focus is much admired! Japanese photographers have removed VPK meniscus lenses and fitted them to quality digital cameras to get this soft focus. Click here for more information.
Cooke triplet. In 1893 Dennis Taylor of Cooke & Sons, British maker of astronomical telescopes, designed and patented his now famous triplet lens design. His concept was a simple and elegant solution to the flaws affecting photographic lenses at that time. He offered his design to Taylor, Taylor & Hobson (TT&H) the British optical manufacturer. The first Cooke photographic lenses was made by TT&H as well as subsequent Cooke designs up to the Series V lens. The Series III focussing Cooke f6.5 was fitted to some Autographic specials and in 1922 the Cooke series III f4.5 focussing lens and Compur shutter was fitted and is much sought after. Today Cooke Optics Limited make unrivalled and award winning cinema and television camera lenses.
Zeiss Tessar. A lens similar to the Cooke triplet anastigmat, with the rear crown achromatized for improved coverage and definition. Was used in VPK Special cameras in its f6.8 fixed focus and f4.9 focussing versions. The Zeiss Tessar is perhaps the worlds most famous camera lens. Very specially, in its focussing f4.9 form, in 1926 it was fitted to the VPK Special camera together with a Compur shutter and is expensively rare.
TTH-Kodak Anastigmat. A lens made by the Taylor, Taylor Hobson Company for Kodak the design of which was based on the Cooke triplet lens. Was used in VPK Special cameras in its f6.8 and f6.5 forms.
Ross Homocentric. Fitted between 1916 and 1926 this British lens was used in its focussing f6.8 form and is quite rare.
Rapid Rectilinear (Bausch & Lomb). A double meniscus system in which two achromatized meniscus lenses are arranged symmetrically on either side of the aperture stop, reducing or eliminating distortion, coma and lateral colour. The lens was fitted between 1917 and 1926 and is often found on VPK Special cameras.
Lacour-Berthiot Olor. In 1917 this f6.8 French lens was fitted to relatively few VPK Special cameras so has rarity value.
Kodak. Beginning with the f8 fitted in 1914 as a more expensive alternative to the meniscus lens in the original VPK, in Autographic cameras Kodak lenses were fitted in f7.7 focussing and fixed-focus types and f6.9 focussing versions. In association with other lens manufacturers, Zeiss Kodak f6.9, Bausch & Lomb Kodak f6.9, TTH Kodak f6.5 and f6.8 lenses were also fitted.