I just received a Wollensak Velostigmat 300mm in Betax 5. I didn't realize what a beast it would be! I have some questions. First, I'm not sure how to fire the lens! It looks like it has two different connections. On the left side (when facing) is a small metal tube with threaded end where a cable release would normally go. I'm assuming this is some kind of pneumatic release, like for a poofy bulb? Where would I get a poofy bulb that would fit this? At the one o'clock position on the shutter are two small metal equal sized prongs. Since this lens is uncoated and appears to be pretty early (like from the 1920s?), I'm betting the prongs are some sort of shutter release too and not a sync connection? Exactly what are these prongs and how do I use them?
Second issue is the little aluminum cocking lever, at the ten o'clock position. It will lock the shutter open for "T", but not "B". Is that normal--I need a real "bulb" thingy to hold shutter open on "B" setting? I'm not real sure this shutter works, but then I don't have a poofy bulb to test it. Is the Betax a decent shutter? I'm think I could have an adapter made so I could shoot my 1847 Voigtlander on it.
Third issue is the size of the beast. I think it weighs almost as much as my Chamonix 045n. While it looks really cool on that camera, and it looks like there is enough space on a lens board to mount it, I am having second thoughts about putting these kinds of "elephants" on that camera. I now have about three fairly heavy lenses (300mm Velostigmat, 7 inch Voightlander Petval, 10 in. George Wood pillbox) that really need something more sturdy than the Chamonix. I'm wanting to stick with a portable type camera, and something old that's about 4x5 sized. I have a Cambo 45NX monorail that would easily hold these lenses, but the camera is clunky and doesn't have that cool vintage look. I'm thinking of something like a Thornton Pickard Royal Ruby half plate with focal plane shutter? I shoot 4x5 now in my Watson & Son half plate tailboard. The Watson is too fragile for these lenses, and the lens opening is relatively small. I will likely end up selling it to buy something else that's a better fit for me. I'm assuming the Velostigmat was made for big studio 8x10 such as Kodak 2D, but I don't want to go that route. I'm an outdoor photographer, never shoot "studio" style.
On the bright side, the 6 in. Heliar in Compur dialset I just bought is wonderful on the Chamonix!
Kent in SD