View Full Version : mystery wheel stop lens

2-Jan-2018, 21:48
I got this lens in a lot sale. It's small, is a wheel stop, and it covers 4 x 5 at least, because that is what I tested it on. I am confused over the aperture numbering system though. It goes, as far as I can read ...64, 22, 16, 512, 256, 128 from 64 as the smallest to the largest 128, which seems all over the map! I've looked on the web for a comparable numbering system, US and European and haven't come up with anything. Closest I've come is Wikipedia where the closest numbers were the Zeiss old lenses, but I don't think they were in the same order.
There are no identifying marks on it. No name, or engraving but at least it came with a battered looking flange that fits fine.

I'm just shooting with it saying to myself " tiny, very small, small, medium, a little more than medium and a bit smaller than f4, because that is what 128 looks like to me.

I would like to know if anyone has seen a numbering system like this. I'm curious.173278173279


Jim Jones
3-Jan-2018, 07:58
I suspect it is an f/16 lens marked in the old U.S. system, and you are reading 32 as 22. The photo is too small for me to be sure, but the number you read may be for the aperture next to the number rather than for the aperture centered in the optical axis. A no-name lens can't be relied on to get everything right.

Steven Tribe
3-Jan-2018, 09:22
You can find your old F scale in the table at the bottom of this link!


These rotary systems work well, but if there is no click at the right positions it needs the adjustable spring (concealed!) to be be adjusted. Easily done.

Jim Galli
3-Jan-2018, 11:48
The number at the top of the wheel corresponds to the hole inside the glass, not the one it's next to. 22 is probably misread and should be 32 16,32,64,128,256 where 16 is in fact f16, 32 is f22, 64 is f32, 128 is f45, and 256 is f64 You can measure the diameter of the '16' hole and multiply that by 16 to find the focal length. Thousands of the small cheap lenses were sold nameless by big New York and Chicago (and others, like Hyatt in St. Louis) photo supply houses 110 years ago.

3-Jan-2018, 20:50
Thank you everyone, the information helps a lot. It's a fun lens, and at least as old as the camera I use it on.

Not bad for a nine dollar lens. Even if it's not the best quality, it's interesting to use

4-Jan-2018, 14:49
i had something like that a long time ago
it was the stoltz system it used .. good luck !

4-Jan-2018, 16:04
thanks, found a chart where the US system goes up to 512 and the Stoltz system does as well. Mystery solved! All this is fascinating