Wollensak wide angle lenses

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Newt_on_Swings, Feb 1, 2014.

  1. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    The information on the net is sparse about wollensak and its wide angle lenses of past. I'm particularly interested in one that I had just purchased on keh which looked interesting. It is a wollensak 108mm 4 1/4" wide angle in a rapax shutter. I have been looking for a wide angle lens for my new 4x5 field setup in the 90mm range, this slightly longer lens popped up supposedly with enough coverage for 5x7 and looks tiny and light so I bought it. My only other lens is a 135mm symmar convertible that has linhof rebranding.

    Does anyone have experience with the wolly lens? Are the focal lengths a bit to close on my lenses? And is a 108mm really wide enough?

    Keh hasn't shipped it yet, so I have yet to try and test it. Hopefully it can fold up into my wista sp too like my 135 symmar.
     
  2. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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  3. mike c

    mike c Subscriber

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    don't have the 41/2" but due have the 159mm wolly wide angle which works great but does not the coating so have to be careful about flair. I think they are nice lens and a good deal for the money.
     
  4. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    Thanks Dan I did see that little ad pamphlet on camera eccentric. I just wish there was a bit more information such as lens design and layout, which surfaces coated or not, or even some images taken with it, etc.

    mike, of all the wollensak lenses that 159mm seems to be the most popular and seems to have a great reputation. I might look into a compendium hood or maybe try and find a correct slip on hood or adapter.
     
  5. Fotoguy20d

    Fotoguy20d Subscriber

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    Its probably an f9.5, like the 159mm. It can be hard to focus a wide lens that dim, I find. if it's anything like the 159, it'll be a fairly sharp lens stopped down. I find I don't use very wide lenses all that often on LF - I almost never use a 75 and rarely reach for the 90. One of my favorites is a 125mm Dagor. 135 to 108, as was said, only you can tell. I don't think I have anything between 90 and 125 myself and haven't noticed that it's missing. At least it's a small light lens so you won't be leaving it at home to travel light.

    Dan
     
  6. desertrat

    desertrat Member

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    Check out the lens diagrams in this brochure:

    http://www.cameraeccentric.com/html/info/wollensak_14.html

    The 108mm focal length is only listed for the f6.8 wide angle, which is an entirely different design from the f9.5.

    The f9.5 is a very old design, starting life as the Wide Angle Royal Anastigmat around 1902. The f6.8 looks like a more modern, but simpler design.
     
  7. outwest

    outwest Subscriber

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    I have one of the 108s and it is a 12.5 like my 159. No problem focusing with a little care. It does cover 5x7. The later 9.5s don't have quite as much coverage but still cover the designated sizes, just. Stop down to at least f/22 and everything will be fine. Check this out for the difference in coverage of the Series III 9.5s vs the Series IIIa 12.5s.: http://www.cameraeccentric.com/html/info/wollensak_15.html. The later 6.8 is a different animal like an Angulon.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 1, 2014
  8. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    The lens that I ordered is a BGN 6.8 version according to keh, there was no picture only labeled "108 f6.8 raptar wide angle, rapax bulb, time (4x5) (35 mount)"

    Looking at Desertrat's link, the lens seems to be a 4 element 2 group double gauss type?

    Outwest, should I expect performance like an Angulon? There are tons of reviews out there on that lens.
     

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  9. Fotoguy20d

    Fotoguy20d Subscriber

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    I have both the 90 and 65 versions of that lens. They're good performers, at least stopped down to f22 (might be fine at f11 but I never seem to shoot faster than f22). The 90 is limited in its coverage of 4x5, and its similar to a 90/6.8 angulon in performance. You should get good coverage of 4x5 with the longer lens.
    Dan
     
  10. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Dan, I'm all for solidarity among Dans but I have to disagree with you about at least one Wolly 65/6.8, mine. I never got a satisfactorily sharp shot from it.

    Thinking of solidarity among Dans, I see that Danny Ortega has forced through a change in Nicaragua's constitution that will let him run for a third term. I don't especially love the guy, he seems to have dictatorial tendencies, but Presidente Daniel has a nice sound to it.
     
  11. outwest

    outwest Subscriber

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    Hey Dan Fromm,
    I'm sure you can answer the OP's description question. Double Gauss covers a lot of territory but can you call 2 air separated elements a group? Wouldn't it be 4 elements in 4 groups? Wolly wasn't a slouch and I'm guessing it will perform like an Angulon but should we tell him about Perigraphes?
     
  12. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    I've never heard of a perigraph before... Do tell! Also what should such a lens layout be called correctly?
     
  13. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Outwest, I believe, could be mistaken, that in the optical engineer dialect of English a lens element is a single piece of glass. A group is one or more elements (if more than one, all cemented into one piece with no internal air spaces) with air on both sides. Lenses are sometimes mounted up in barrel or in shutter with one or more groups on one (or both) sides of a diaphragm. When the groups on one side of the diaphragm are mounted so that they can be removed as a unit -- this isn't the case for all lenses, when my friend Charlie Barringer unscrewed what he thought was a 55/5.6 Lamegon's rear cell from its shutter, the groups fell out -- the unit is called a cell.

    A four element double Gauss type's lenses are laid out this way: ((|)) where ( is a single element and | is the diaphragm.

    The OP doesn't need to know about Perigraphes. Short story, Perigraphe is a Berthiot trade name that was applied to two quite different dagor type (six elements in two groups) lenses. f/6.8, not particularly wide angle (late ones, 65 degrees), and f/14, extreme wide angle (late ones, 100 degrees). I don't recall seeing either in shutter, but the f/6.8ers can be adapted. The gap between f/14ers' cells, especially the shorter focal lengths, is said to be too narrow for them to be put in shutter. Could be, but the cells' mounting -- they're in quite wide symmetrical dished plates -- is another obstacle to putting them in shutter.
     
  14. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    Well the lens arrived today from keh, and I got to check it out before. It's very clean looking besides a bit of dust which I cleaned out from inside, but slow speeds are off, 1 sec is closer to 2, and 1/2 is about 1. I wished for a pc flash sync port, but unfortunately its a bi post which I'll have to get an adapter for. The whole setup does close up very nicely into my wista sp body! And the cells are just tiny and don't really protrude out or into the body much at all. I won't get a chance to shoot with it until the weekend though, hopefully it performs!
     
  15. Hatchetman

    Hatchetman Subscriber

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    Post some results when you get them. I'd be interested to see how it performs.
     
  16. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    Sure will do, I got some azo paper and a mini Yankee contact printer I refurbished with some new foam which I only briefly got to do a few prints with this Tuesday. I hope to get some halfway decent shots as I'm still getting comfortable with the camera this weekend if weather permits.
     
  17. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    I had a little bit of time last weekend to take a few quick snaps in the back yard developed them last night. The 1st with the tree was Foma 400 @ 250 in D76 1:1 @ 75C for 7min. The 2nd is with Arista Ortho Litho 2 in Dektol 1:4 which had 15g/L of KBr in it from a previous printing session, I developed by inspection so I didnt time it. Both were scanned with my HP G4050 today as they were still drying last night when I was printing in the darkroom.

    Both were shot without filters on my Wista SP at f16 and f22, the lens is very sharp at these apertures at both the center and the corners. I tried some close up shots but I totally forgot about bellows factor, so they came out very very under exposed.

    More practice is in order with this lens, especially with testing larger movements (as the regular bellows limits it a little for large movements as it sits close, a bag bellows may work better) but I think its a keeper.
     

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  18. blaine.minazzi

    blaine.minazzi Subscriber

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    I'm know I am late to the party.
    Been lurking a quite a while, but thought I would chime in for future reference when peeps read this. First post here on APUG.

    I too had an (uncoated) 159 9.5 many years ago. I later sent it out and had it coated - a lab somewhere in the N.E. whose name I cannot recall. It was already a reasonably good lens, but the coating made a notable improvement in contrast / color saturation. Pre-coating, it was still nice - or I would not have spent the coin to have it coated to see if I could make a good lens better.

    While it was no Nikkor SW or Super Angulon, it was a darn fine performer, and at 16 and down seemed very fine to my eye. Mostly used it with Ektachrome 50 64 and 100. I was a commercial photographer back in the late 70's through the mid 90's - and this was my go to for wide on 8X10 and also provided decent coverage on 5x7 when I shot that. If you need a wide, and cant find a 165 S.A or angulon, this one will certainly do a decent job.

    I used a 90 a few times and it was certainly decent enough, but the angulons and SA's were much more common and since I used 4X5 far more often for very critical work (architecture and interiors) I had a Super Angulon which has much better in coverage. I have used so many lenses over the years 25+ years ago. I bought, sold, borrowed and traded more than I can remember, and have good memories of a few, bad experiences with a few, and a lot of lenses that were for the most part good, mostly decent performers. A few were spectacular, and there is a lot of good glass out there.

    Occasionally you get a lens that just sings for you. If you do, keep it, or you will regret it. It matters not what the reputation is, what name is on it, or what kind of condition it is in. Just shoot with it and never let it go, except to the shop for CLA.

    My favorite thing about these old gals is they are so SMALL compared to the Huge modern designs. If you are using a field camera a 90 - 120 angulon, and a 203 ektar makes for a super compact setup that will give almost everything you need for 4x5. While you may get one thats a dog, don't judge an old lens based on lack of a prestige name.