Leicester-based makers of fine optical products. Now Cooke.
Taylor Taylor & Hobson VAROTAL 1
from the full 1950's to the beginning of 1960's
1 specimens available
The TTH Varotal Mk 1 zoom lens was designed in the mid-1950s for use with Image Orthicon cameras, (Marconi Mk III, Pye Mk 3 etc.) The Varotal Mk 1 had an optical range of 4" to 20" inches and with an adapter, 8" to 40" inches at f/4.5. The zoom was mounted using a dedicated camera bolt-on front plate or sledge. Controls were by enclosed linked rods fitted to each side of the camera. The example pictured was owned originally in 1955 by Associated-Rediffusion at their Wembley studios. Initially, A-R only had this one zoom, which was shared between the studios and ob dept.
The TTH 'Studio Varotal' 2 appeared in the late 1950s and was designed for use with Image Orthicon cameras. It could also, with an adapter be used on Vidicon cameras. The zoom range was only 2.5" to 8" inches at f/4.5 and as the name suggests, this zoom was for use primarily in studios. The zoom was manipulated mechanically by using Bowden cables (sometimes with jerky backlash) attached to the pan head, or could be powered electrically by using a servo add-on unit. The basic mechanical unit with controls cost approx 800 UKP in 1960. The larger picture shows the lens fitted to a Pye Mk 3 camera.
The ORTAL range of TTH lenses were designed for 4.5" Image Orthicon cameras. All fixed-focus, a usual Ortal turret set of four would be 2"inch 3"inch 5"inch & 8"inch. The lens pictured in the larger image is a 5"inch f/4. Lenses were attached with a TV88/2 bracket and lock-mount. The lens had a rim iris cog connected to a dedicated iris motor mounted on the turret. These lenses were usually inscribed 'Taylor-Hobson' or later as 'Rank Taylor Hobson. Leicester'