View Full Version : Wollensak 9.5" 241mm f/4.5 Raptar Series II

Peter De Smidt
3-May-2018, 19:14
Anyone use one of these? One came with a camera I just bought. Looks like it covers 6.5x8" and is a tessar formula. It's in a Alpax shutter.

4-May-2018, 10:03
I don't have that particular lens, but based on similar lenses I do have, it should cover 6-1/2 X 8-1/2 and give reasonably good definition in the corners at f22 and smaller.

It will easily illuminate 8X10, but definition at the edges and in the corners will suffer. At f45 or f64 it might give passable definition in the corners for contact prints.

Peter De Smidt
4-May-2018, 11:17
Thanks, Desertrat.

Louis Pacilla
4-May-2018, 11:53
Hey Peter

I have and use two different focal length Series II Velostigmats/ Raptars a 12" in Betax#5 shutter and a 15 1/2" in #5 Studio shutter and both have the SF front end w/ the pins removed so LOADS of diffusion can be added if desired. I LOVE the Tessar Ic design in general and that's what the Wollensak used for their Series II Velostigmat.

It's a great lens whether or not it has the SF feature just more useful w/ it IMHO but either way you'll enjoy the Series II Peter. Great addition to any lens stable.

I'll add that Wollensak had the lens renaming game after WWII and the winner was RAPTAR and Velostigmat vanished from Wollensaks lexicon. But a Series II whether Velostigmat or Raptar is still a Tessar Ic design.

4-May-2018, 12:07
I removed the SF limit stop as Louis did. I followed directions posted somewhere on this site. It was easy and quick! If you can't find the post, I'll try to search it out. Enjoy!

Peter De Smidt
4-May-2018, 13:01
Thank you, Guys. Mine doesn't have the SF feature. Does that feature move the front cell in and out, as in I could try unscrewing the front cell a bit to get a similar effect?

4-May-2018, 13:16
Thank you, Guys. Mine doesn't have the SF feature. Does that feature move the front cell in and out, as in I could try unscrewing the front cell a bit to get a similar effect?

I dimly recall a post here where someone made a spacer to move the front element forward - another search challenge.

5-May-2018, 06:28
I think that was Jim Galli. His plan was to remove the front, unscrew the back element of that, put a spacer in behind it, then reassemble, for a permanent SF lens. I think you can do this with an O-ring of the right size. If I'm remembering right. That's basically the Wollensak SF plan, backwards--the SF Wollys move the front lens forwards, away from the element that Jim moves backwards. Screwing the whole front outwards won't do it--that just shortens the lens FL, focusing closer (the same strategy used in front-focusing folding 120 cameras). Quality will suffer, but not so much that they didn't focus folding cameras that way.

Regarding Tessars in general: my favorite lenses, in rendering. Very sharp in the center, creamy, not so sharp around the edges until you stop down a bit, and then fine. Not a big image circle if you care about quality, but will "cover" a larger area. My favorite 5x7 lens is a 190mm Raptar or Paragon. . . . don't remember which, so a 9.5" would probably almost cover 8x10 if you didn't care about the corners too much. For 8x10 you really should have a 12". Your 9.5 would be perfect for 5x7, and on 4x5 you might prefer it to your modern lenses, since you would use only the best center area--they're incredibly sharp there, more so than Plasmats, some people say.

I've got Tessar-type lenses in every FL between 165mm and 380, and prefer them to anything else for B&W portraits.

Peter De Smidt
5-May-2018, 08:36
Thanks, Michael. I like tessars as well. Paragons are some of my favorites. I look forward to trying the lens. It cleaned up better than I hoped. It has a few light coating marks on the front, but otherwise it's good. The Alpax shutter is a bit sluggish, with the lowest 1/2 second setting being more like 1 second, but that shouldn't matter for strobe use, where I will use it at 1/50th. If that's only 1/25th, that shouldn't be a problem. It came with an Agfa studio camera. The photographer used it to take two pictures on a 5x7 piece of film.