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Thread: Wollensak 15" f/5.6 Raptar Telephoto

  1. #1

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    Wollensak 15" f/5.6 Raptar Telephoto

    Me Lady just discovered this lens amongst some darkroom gear that was her late fathers. It's mounted on a Graflex lens board. I would like to play with it as a possible portrait lens for 5X7. I read someone had mounted theirs into an Alphax #4 shutter. Anyone have any experience with this lens? I would like to know if it will be worth the expense / trouble of locating a shutter, and if there are any other shutter options for it.

  2. #2

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    Re: Wollensak 15" f/5.6 Raptar Telephoto

    It's not a very high value lens, so unless you can find the appropriate shutter cheaply and simply screw the cells into the shutter, the cost of machining the cells and calibrating the aperture would be far more than a shutter mounted version. Or, get a 5x7 Graflex.
    One man's Mede is another man's Persian.

  3. #3

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    Re: Wollensak 15" f/5.6 Raptar Telephoto

    Some of these were sold new in Alphax shutters- we had one in the lens cabinet at my former employer (complete w/original box).
    I've never seen a barrel-mount one so I don't know if your lens could be easily shutter-mounted.

  4. #4
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    Re: Wollensak 15" f/5.6 Raptar Telephoto

    hi randy

    its a great lens ..
    i have and use one on a speed graphic, and it is sharp as nails stopped down if you like that sort of thing.
    wide open it has a nice look to it ...

    i have never used it on anything bigger than 4x5 ( to see how big the circle is ) ... it might project something big ...
    its 10" cousin is a great portrait length lens on a graflex/graphic camera ( again with FP shutters ) ...

    have fun !
    john

    ( the demolition image of the hotel avery, i have a 16x20 and you can read the numbers on the rooms ... it was taken from a half block away )

  5. #5

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    Re: Wollensak 15" f/5.6 Raptar Telephoto

    Thanks for the in-put and images John. Is yours the shuttered version, or barrel version? Apparently they came both ways. If shutter, what shutter is yours?
    I read that it will cover 5X7 at infinity, but that may have been an opinion. Since this has a Graflex lensboard, pretty sure it was used on a Speed Graphic.
    Thatís the trouble with you Americans - you expect nothing bad ever to happen, when the rest of the world expect only bad to happen...and they are not disappointed.
    Svetlana Kirilenko - The Soprano's

  6. #6
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    Re: Wollensak 15" f/5.6 Raptar Telephoto

    hey randy

    mine is a barrel ... on a speed graphic board ..
    i've seen the ones in a shutter, usually an alphax
    ( one sold here or on apug in an alphax just the other day )
    you could easily see how it covers at infinity by making a camera obscura
    out of a cardboard box bigger than 5x7 ... attach your lens to the front,
    and make a sliding focus screen with a sheet of waxed paper.
    point the lens out the window
    slide the focus screen to see the focus .. and measure the image size ...
    the box doesn't need to be black or special, just big with one end cut off ...
    ( it doesn't need to be long either since it is a telephoto lens )

    have fun !
    john

  7. #7

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    Re: Wollensak 15" f/5.6 Raptar Telephoto

    Thanks John. For testing I usually just make a lensboard out of matte board and mount the lens on what ever camera I want to use it on. I just now held it inside the front standard of my 5X7 camera and looked through the corners of the groundglass (while focused at infinity) and it looks like it has plenty of coverage for 5X7. I'll probably go ahead and make a lensboard, mount it and give it a try in low light. If I like it I may make a front mounted shutter with a Packard shutter I have sitting on the shelf.
    Thatís the trouble with you Americans - you expect nothing bad ever to happen, when the rest of the world expect only bad to happen...and they are not disappointed.
    Svetlana Kirilenko - The Soprano's

  8. #8

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    Re: Wollensak 15" f/5.6 Raptar Telephoto

    It's a terrific lens, but HUGE! Easily covers 5x7. I have both versions, I think it takes a series X filter adapter. Only focuses to about 20' on a Graphic or Graflex due to bellows restriction. Much sharper with better contrast than the 360 mm Tele-Xenar.
    Wilhelm (Sarasota)

  9. #9

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    Re: Wollensak 15" f/5.6 Raptar Telephoto

    I fitted one directly from the original barrel into a #4 Alpha for a friend. A very capable lens.

  10. #10
    westernlens al olson's Avatar
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    Re: Wollensak 15" f/5.6 Raptar Telephoto

    Randy, I have one on my 8x10 Arkay Orbit (aka Calumet C-1). The lens covers the format with a slight bit of play to make minor adjustments. This lens is outstandingly sharp. I don't understand why so many downplay its quality.

    Mine came mounted in an Alphax shutter that I assumed was a #5 because it is so large. However, the shutter has no markings that show the size and I have never observed a #4 so I could be wrong. You will enjoy this lens. It should be ideal for 5x7 with plenty of room for movements.

    I should add that my Alphax shutter is the press type (no shutter cocking) and the fastest speed is 1/50.
    Last edited by al olson; 29-Apr-2012 at 18:05. Reason: add
    al

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