Wollensak Lens

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by nuckabean, Dec 15, 2008.

  1. nuckabean

    nuckabean Member

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    I just went to the carson camera show and was lucky enough to make my first large format purchase. I picked out a very nice Burke and James Press 4x5 camera. I wanted a lens to experiment with so I found a Wollensak 4x5 Series IIIA EX.W.A ƒ12.5 3.5" lens. I knew nothing about it but I figured that for 40$ with a board and an Alphax shutter I couldn't go wrong. Was this a good purchase? Does anyone know anything about this lens or have any tips for using it? I've never even heard of this brand before.

    Here's a picture, although it's hard to see anything with my crummy computer camera:
    [​IMG]
     
  2. bnstein

    bnstein Member

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    From what I can see you have an uncoated lens as it doesnt have the W in circle. See http://www.cameraeccentric.com/html/info/wollensak_8.html for more info about the series (although they dont list your 31/2" lens in the 1928 catalogue it is in the 40's catalogue http://www.cameraeccentric.com/html/info/wollensak_15.html Most wolly lenses were coated by the late 40s so think about WWII in age). IIRC it is a protar design covering about 90 degrees should give good sharp pictures stopped down IF the years have been kind
     
  3. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    hi there

    i had and used this lens for quite some time.
    it is a nice little wide angle lens ( equiv of 90mm )
    stopped down it is sharp and renders an image with
    nice tonality and contrast ( i used mine to shoot color and b/w ).
    stopped down it will cover a 5x7 sheet of film :smile:

    40$?! great purchase!

    have fun

    john
     
  4. ragc

    ragc Member

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    Enjoy! No matter what lens you use, your first LF shots are going to be so good you will be hooked! A 90mm on 4x5 is great for architecture and landscapes.
     
  5. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

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    Not to discourage you, it's actually a great old lens and a good bargain, I just know I struggled as a beginner with a 3 inch f6.8 lens. Simply to dark for a beginning focuser. Find a nice forgiving old 210mm f5.6 to start with.
     
  6. kirkfry

    kirkfry Member

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    What Jim said. K
     
  7. athanasius80

    athanasius80 Member

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    Congrats on the B&J Press too. I love mine!
     
  8. Crayguns

    Crayguns Member

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    I find this exchange quite interesting as I have a Wollensak 3" f:1.9 Ocillo-Raptar 1:0.9X (coated) in an Alphax non-sync shutter. I've been dormant in LF for some time. I'm getting back into it and my darkroom. I'll have to procure a mount for my old Calumet 4x5. This has been in a drawer for a few years. I'll be glad to get it in service.

    This lens wasn't mentioned in the two aforementioned websites. Can someone give some info about this lens/shutter? When I got it I was suprised at the fast lens speed.
     
  9. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

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    Crayguns, it was made for a Tektronix Oscilloscope camera and is mostly useless for anything else. It won't cover the 4X5 format. Good old shutters though.
     
  10. freygr

    freygr Member

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    It's usable for Micro Photography. The Tektronix Oscilloscope Camera used 4 by 5 film.:smile:
     
  11. rshepard

    rshepard Member

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    Like Nuckabean, I just purchased a Wolly 3.5"/90mm f/12.5 (coated) lens on eBay for just under twice his price. The tiny maximum aperture gave me pause, but the local, much more experienced LF photographers told me that with a good darkcloth I'd be able to see well enough to focus. (As an aside, I bought a couple of pairs of 6x reading glasses to use for focusing. I like them because of the magnification and being able to use two hands on the camera.)

    However, I have a question about my lens that I'll ask here rather then in a separate thread in the hope that it's seen by those who can answer. Where do I find a spanner wrench to unscrew the mounting ring? It's not the more modern type rink with two rectangular notches 180 degrees apart, but a ring with three small holes evenly spaced on the ring's flat surface. The holes are 34mm apart.

    My lens came mounted on a 4" square recessed lens board (don't know for what camera), but I'd like to remount it on either a recessed board for my Cambo SC 4x5 monorail camera or, based on John's comment about coverage, on a recessed board I can use with my Plaubel 5x7 monorail camera.

    Rich