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  1. #1

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    Wollensak Velostigmat 300mm f4.5 advice

    I acquired this lens, in a like-new Betax 5 shutter, with a load of stuff off the bay, but have never used it. I'm primarily a landscape guy who shoots at f45 to f 90, but I have an opportunity to shoot some nudes next month in Carmel.
    Suddenly the thought of moving flesh versus immobile granite makes me wonder about f4.5. Suddenly bokeh is a reality, not just a abstract Petzval curiosity.
    Question: Has anyone experience with this lens, and will I be disappointed in the DOF, bokeh, flare, or other abberations in this lens? Is it worth shooting a few sheets of 5x7 to warm it up for Carmel, or just take the 12" Dagor (half the size and weight of the Wolly) and shoot what I know well?

  2. #2

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    If it were my lens, I would shoot some tests, and then decide for myself if "I" liked what I saw.

  3. #3
    Stephanie Brim's Avatar
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    You know, I keep asking why *I* can't find a Velostigmat in a box of crap off the 'bay. Count yourself a lucky guy, shoot it, show us results, and if you don't like it, send it to me.
    No idea what's going to happen next, but I'm hoping it involves being wrist deep in chemicals come the weekend.

  4. #4
    greybeard's Avatar
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    It's definitely worth testing first, particularly if it is a Series II (soft focus) lens. Below about f/8, the Series II should behave pretty much like any other lens of similar vintage, but near wide open you will probably want to increase development time a bit (all that scattered light has to go somewhere, and some of it acts to decrease contrast). Also, sharp transitions of light-to-dark will look different in soft focus. It's something of an acquired taste.

    I think, but am not sure, that the Series II Velostigmats were marked with focal lengths in inches, not millimeters, so you may have one of the other, more conventional, series.

  5. #5
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    For me, it's a no-brainer. You're lucky to have that lens and the shoot you describe is made for it. There are some things at my web pages done with a Velostigmat Series II wide open.

    Here, and here.

    There are likely others but those come to mind. Definitely worth shooting some test stuff before the important shoot. That's good advice with any lens. Most of the later ones in the Betax shutter don't have the 1 - 5 diffusion control. I never use that feature anyway. It's a lovely lens at f4.5. Smooooooooth
    He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep..to gain that which he cannot lose. Jim Elliot, 1949

    http://tonopahpictures.0catch.com

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by greybeard View Post
    It's definitely worth testing first, particularly if it is a Series II (soft focus) lens. Below about f/8, the Series II should behave pretty much like any other lens of similar vintage, but near wide open you will probably want to increase development time a bit (all that scattered light has to go somewhere, and some of it acts to decrease contrast). Also, sharp transitions of light-to-dark will look different in soft focus. It's something of an acquired taste.

    I think, but am not sure, that the Series II Velostigmats were marked with focal lengths in inches, not millimeters, so you may have one of the other, more conventional, series.
    It is indeed the Series II 12" Focus Velostigmat, and there is enough glass to confuse even the most determined photon.
    I will take the good advice and shoot my barbeque, golf bag, and trash cans in hard and soft light, at f4.5 and f8 and report back before wasting the models' time.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by jimgalli View Post
    For me, it's a no-brainer. You're lucky to have that lens and the shoot you describe is made for it. There are some things at my web pages done with a Velostigmat Series II wide open.

    Here, and here.

    It's a lovely lens at f4.5. Smooooooooth
    Just what I wanted to hear, Jim. I too will be shooting some tailstock with the Wolly, and "smooth and creamy" will do just fine.



 

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