Akeley Camera, Inc., 175 Varick Street, New York City            1920's

                                 J. H. Dallmeyer No. 11 Kinematograph


                              No element...may have been a Bausch & Lomb Tessar 4-1/2" f4.5 based on the barrel's proportions






                                                                                 Carl Zeiss Tessar f2.7 3.5cm matched lenses


Various lenses for the Akeley Camera, also referred to as the "Pancake" because of its shape.





As seen in the excerpt below from Akeley's catalog, nine lens options were shown for every range of work. Other lenses could be used, as well, fitted to Akeley's standard 2" mount. The Akeley Camera was born from the desire to capture fast action footage in nature photography. And, Akeley's lens system was no less, offering high-grade optics that were easily accessed and quickly replaced by simply sliding them in or out. Each unit had a viewing and a taking lens. Akeley recommended that lenses less than 4" in focal length be matched, with lenses larger than 4" having a simple finder lens of equal focal length, which yielded a finding image of the exact same size and of the same field.

To give some perspective, according to Akeley's Price List dated April 1, 1929, the Carl Zeiss Tessar f2.7 3.5 cm matched lens set above retailed for $200, or approximately $3,200 in 2021 dollars. A complete Akeley outfit consisting of the camera, lens, two film magazines, tilting and panoramic arms, tripod, ball and socket head and field cases for four magazines and the camera itself, retailed for $1,700 or approximately $27,000 today.


Like their cameras, lenses for the Akeley are very hard to come by.



                                                          From Akeley's Camera catalog circa 1923



                              Akeley Camera catalog circa 1923


                         From Akeley's Camera catalog circa 1923