View Full Version : Wollensack lens question

Ben Calwell
28-Aug-2004, 09:41
I have an old Kodak 2D 8x10, and it has a "Wollensack-Rochester Voltas F-8 8x10" lens on it. I believe it must be a convertible lens, because it has three sets of aperature listings on it, one for 12", one for 20" and one for, and I can't make it out, but it looks like 28 1/4" focal lengths. The shutter (it no longer works) is an "Autex" shutter. I've taken a few photographs with it, and they look great. Does anyone know anything about this lens?

Ernest Purdum
28-Aug-2004, 11:25
I have two Wollensak catalogs liting the Voltas. Neither gives the construction, though one says it is "an improvement on the Three Focus Symmetrical type" without specifying what the improvement might be. I am, however, fairly sure that it is basically a Rapid Rectilinear type. The focal lengths for the 8" X 10" size are given as 12 1/2", 20" and 28 1/2". The longer cell should be used on the front. It was marketed as a lower cost alternative to the faster lenses of the Wollensak line. If you care to email me your mailing address, I will send you copies of the catalog pages on the Voltas.

CP Goerz
28-Aug-2004, 11:40
The Voltas lens was considered the lowest of the Wollensak line, it was made at the same time as the anastigmat(or as the Wollensak folk called theirs the Velostigmat) was making inroads into popular use. I remember the catalogue giving it short shrift and advising smaller stops for groups and scenics. If I remember correctly its a rectilinear design and came in all kinds of sizes for all plate formats the largest of which was a 26-44-60" combo for the 17x20 inch plate.

If you are quite careful regarding the stops and using a moderate filter(15 or 22) the images aren't so bad in contact form, wide open gives somewhat flat results I found.

CP Goerz

Ben Calwell
28-Aug-2004, 20:31
Thanks, guys, for the information. Looks like I have a run of the mill lens, but still, I like the results I've been getting with it on black and white contact prints. Ernest, thanks for the kind offer, but don't go to the trouble -- you've given me enough information.