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Thread: Wollensak Lens

  1. #1

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    Wollensak Lens

    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:

  2. #2

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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/...llensak_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/...lensak_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. #3

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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

    40$?! great purchase!

    have fun

    john

  4. #4
    ragc's Avatar
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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. #5
    jimgalli's Avatar
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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.
    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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    What Jim said. K

  7. #7
    athanasius80's Avatar
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    Congrats on the B&J Press too. I love mine!

  8. #8

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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. #9
    jimgalli's Avatar
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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.
    He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep..to gain that which he cannot lose. Jim Elliot, 1949

    http://tonopahpictures.0catch.com

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by jimgalli View Post
    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.
    It's usable for Micro Photography. The Tektronix Oscilloscope Camera used 4 by 5 film.
    It's not the camera......

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