View Full Version : Wollensak Series 1

1-Jul-2017, 06:49
OK, so I have a dangerous addiction to odd Wollensak lenses. I recently have bought two of these Series 1 lenses--13" or so, can't remember exactly--and cleaned them up, but haven't taken pix yet. Neither shutter has flash sync and I only work inside with strobe, so it will be a while before I get to shooting outside with one (waiting for my 8x10 Intrepid for that!)

I'm wondering if anyone is using one, and has examples of results to show. I'm curious what they'll do, but anything at all about them on the web is scarce. Series 1 is the predecessor to the 1a, four elements, I think, a very early convertible double anastigmat.

I'd love to see pix from one if anyone has any.

I should note that this is a completely different lens from the Series 1a. I think the Series 1 may be a Royal product inherited from the Rochester Lens Co.?

1-Jul-2017, 10:55
Yes, the series I is the Royal Anastigmat renamed. Each cell has two cemented doublets separated by an airspace. The only other commercially produced LF lens with the same arrangement is the Cooke series XV, which came much later.

I have two series I Wollys, and they have great coverage, like a Dagor. I have an image up in the paper negative thread from several years ago.


Mark Sawyer
1-Jul-2017, 11:27
I haven't seen the layout on the original Series 1. Here are the arrangements of the Cooke and Wollensak 1a Triple Convertibles:

1-Jul-2017, 11:46
Thanks to both for the great info.

Just found this:
Since I already have the 6-1/2" f9.5 w/a, I guess I have a set, now.

1-Jul-2017, 11:54
Here's a diagram of the Royal Anastigmat from a German photographic annual from 1903. The cemented interface in each group is hard to see. I have taken apart both of my series I Wollys for cleaning, and can verify they are the same design. The lens layout looks a lot like the Ross Homocentric, but each element in the Homocentric is replaced with a cemented doublet with similar external curves.



Mark Sampson
2-Jul-2017, 10:16
FWIW, any repair shop can add x-sync to an old shutter. I had SKG add sync to the Ilex #5 that held my 12"/4.5 Wollensak Velostigmat (so this post is on-topic).

2-Jul-2017, 10:41
Do you remember how much that cost?

Mark Sampson
3-Jul-2017, 08:09
I had that done probably fifteen years ago, as part of a CLA. It wasn't outrageously expensive or I wouldn't have. The lens is long gone, and sadly, so is the documentation. I would contact SK Grimes... but there must still be good repair people in Chicago. It can't be complicated, at least in the big #5 shutter.

Jim Galli
3-Jul-2017, 09:31
I have an old page done over 10 years ago here (http://tonopahpictures.0catch.com/Conley/1114Conley.html) where I show some 11X14 images done with one of those. It was a Conley rebrand but identical to the Wollensak Series 1

I mention the Seth Broder catalog that has sadly vanished and is no more.

Mark Sawyer
3-Jul-2017, 10:14
You can get to Seth's old catalogs here, Jim!


3-Jul-2017, 15:56
I am starting to feel lucky! :-)