wollensak velostigmat on a 3x4 Graflex

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Anton Lukoszevieze, Oct 29, 2007.

  1. Anton Lukoszevieze

    Anton Lukoszevieze Subscriber

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    Is putting a 9.5 inch Wollensak Velostigmat barrel lens on a 3x4 Graflex slr

    a) a good idea and possible
    b) a good idea, but impossible
    c) a dumb idea and possible
    or
    d) a dumb idea and impossible?


    Thoughts?

    Anton

    Ps i absolutely love this format!

    Here is said Wolly
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 27, 2008
  2. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Which Graflex? They don't all have interchangeable lenses. And some 3x4 models have more draw than others.
     
  3. greybeard

    greybeard Member

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    It will depend on 1) whether or not there is a mechanical limitation (bellows, draw, lensboard size, etc.); 2) what you want to do with the resulting combination; and 3) exactly which Velostigmat you have (the name was used for a considerable number of designs).

    (3) seems to be easy---from the picture, the aperture is 4.5 and it looks to have the variable-softness ring on the front, which would make it a Velostigmat Series II soft-focus lens.

    Having put a non-fuzzulator-equipped 9-1/2 inch Series II on a bellows for 2-1/4 format, I can tell you that enlargement will exaggerate the effects of a given amount of softness in the negative. However, cropping the center two inches out of a field that is at least five inches in diameter has the opposite effect, once you are down to f/6.3 or so. By f/8, the effect is pretty much that of a not-very-good conventional lens, at least for the one that I have. (Wide open, there is precious little depth of field if you are going to 4X enlargment of the negative.)

    You are talking about a rather longish lens for portraits in this format, and the negatives are likely to be fairly soft due to both the lens design and the scattered light from the unused coverage.

    I, for one, would be interested in knowing how this works out, if you go ahead with it---I always wanted to try one of the variable-softness lenses, but never found one at a price consistent with the idea of doing the experiment.
     
  4. Anton Lukoszevieze

    Anton Lukoszevieze Subscriber

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    Thanks Greybeard, helpful info.
    The Graflex is a 3x4 Super D, with a 152mm Ektar on it Dann. Am awaiting said Velostigmat, which is a Series II, as pointed out. I want a portrait lens for the Graflex.
     
  5. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Harryy, thanks for the reply. According to Graphic Graflex Photography, 10th Ed., the 3x4 Super D's bellows extension is 8.25". If I understand this correctly, your camera won't focus a 9.5" lens to infinity, let alone close enough for portraits.

    I see a number of possibilities. Soldier on with your 152 Ektar; remember, it is 20% longer than normal for 3x4. Get a 10"/5.6 TeleRaptar; I used to have one and it focused usefully close on my little 2x3 Pacemaker Speed Graphic. Mount the 9.5 incher on a cobbled-up extension tube. Sell the 3x4, buy a 4x5 Super D. The 4x5's extension is 12.0 inches, enough to focus the standard issue 190 Ektar close enough. 190 is more than 25% longer than normal on 4x5. If you want longer on 4x5, I'm pretty sure that the 4x5 Super D can focus a 15"/5.6 TeleRaptar.

    If I've given you true bad news, I'm sorry. Whatever you do, try the Velostigmat out. Books have been wrong or misapplied before.

    Good luck,

    Dan