View Full Version : info wanted on 13" Raptar

24-Jan-2019, 17:12
Just acquired a Wollensak 13" (330mm) /6.8 SERIES IA RAPTAR. Convertible to 20" f/12.5, and 25 1/2" f/16. Also a red W with a red circle around it. Alphax shutter. Find a lot of Raptars but not this focal length listed in any of my B&J catalogues. Also wonder if the red W with a red circle around it means anything. I assume that it's a Dagor or Protar copy. No time to shoot some test negatives with it for a week or two. Anyone have any info on this lens?

Dan Fromm
24-Jan-2019, 18:41
Comment on introduction: https://books.google.com/books?id=TF4zAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA176&lpg=PA176&dq=%22raptar+series+Ia%22&source=bl&ots=gh7E8fe6Y_&sig=ACfU3U2Lo1ZggGhx06i5rgqkikP-obb3Vg&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj4vpHQ5YfgAhWEMd8KHe2zBv4Q6AEwAnoECAwQAQ#v=onepage&q=%22raptar%20series%20Ia%22&f=false

Appears to be a Velostigmat Ser. Ia renamed Raptar, as happened with Ser. II Velostigmats. Cameraeccentric has Wolly catalog #43, which describes Ser. Ia Velostigmats very sketchily.

W in circle means WoCoated. Hard coated.

You have it, count reflections and tell what you saw. Weak reflections (glass-cement-glass) interfaces can be very hard to see.

karl french
24-Jan-2019, 18:50
It's a Zeiss Protar VIIa copy. A triple convertible and a fine lens. Two cemented groups of 4 elements. There are many threads mentioning this lens in archive. Some people report focus shift with the single groups, others not. Testing of your sample is required. I've had a number of examples. The last 13" Raptar 1A I had was was great at 13 and 20, but I had a hard time getting super sharp images with the 25" component. I currently have a Velostigmat 1A (same lens) for whole plate that is sharp at all three focal lengths.

24-Jan-2019, 20:12
The W in the circle (usually purple) is for Wollensak’s trademarked “WOCOTE” coating technology. A very fine lens in a very fine Alphax 4 shutter.

Mark Sampson
24-Jan-2019, 21:10
Velostigmats were re-named 'Raptar' after 1945- the name was the winning entry in a Wollensak-sponsored contest (advertised in Pop Photo). Sounds like you have a fine lens.

25-Jan-2019, 07:50
Thanks all for the info. Counting reflections has been always visually challenging for me. Fortunately I have a 12 3/4" B&L Protar and a 14" Goertz Double-Anastigmat (Dagor) to compare with. Definitely the reflections match the Protar optic. Intend on using the lens on my Whole Plate camera. When we have a break in the weather (I do all my lens testings on a 2nd floor exposed deck in the center of our town. Sunny windless day with temps above freezing my criteria for shooting) intend on shooting three 11x14" negatives at what I consider to be my working apertures for each of the 3 focal lengths, and will post the results on this thread. Look forward to using the lens come spring.

David Lindquist
25-Jan-2019, 10:04
See page 52 of the "Wollensak Lens and Shutter Guide, 1957" here:http://www.cameraeccentric.com/html/info/wollensak_14.html for a drawing of the Raptor 1a.

My 1961 ( 1960) Popular Photography Buying Guide lists the Series 1a Raptor available in focal lengths of 165, 210, 254 and 330mm. The 330mm in an Alphax synch. shutter was $252.00.
The next buying guide I have, 1963 (1962) unfortunately doesn't list view camera lenses.


Chauncey Walden
26-Jan-2019, 11:08
And pages 54 and 55 for a write up and specs on the series. Mine is exceptionally sharp at all 3 focal lengths. Don't forget the single lenses go on the back of the shutter. The 25 inch is a real winner but can eat up a lot of bellows.

26-Jan-2019, 23:47
Ok now i'm curious, why is this? And since the mounting threads are different sizes it would require a custom adapter.

Peter Gomena
27-Jan-2019, 01:00
I owned one of these, and it is indeed a fine lens. Mine had a tiny bit of internal haze, but it didn't hurt that I noticed. I concur that at 13 and 20" it was good, but the 25" alone was pretty fuzzy. I attribute part of that problem to the fact that my old Korona 8x10 was a little wobbly stretched out that far. I used a 15Y filter on the 20" component, which really helped increase sharpness.

Louis Pacilla
27-Jan-2019, 08:10
Ok now i'm curious, why is this? And since the mounting threads are different sizes it would require a custom adapter.

Generally the reason for placing the single cell in the rear of the iris/shutter/barrel is for maximum coverage. So when a single cell is placed in front of the iris/shutter/barrel and you implement movements you'll get image cut off caused by physical blockage from the iris/barrel/shutter. However, when a single cell is placed behind the iris of the shutter/barrel you'll get all the image forming light being projected from the single cell.

The thread size for front to back cells are identical so they can be swapped out like any good convertible so NO adapters needed.

I have two 13" Raptar 1A's both in the later coated post WWII type in Alphax shutters and both are terrific lenses but one seems a bit better w/ all 3 focal lengths and the other w/ 13-20" the 25 is so so on that one. I sometimes carry one shutter and 3 cells 2x20 1x25 for different combinations.

15-Feb-2019, 17:14
Finally got the Alphax shutter back from being calibrated, speeds were way off. During a very short break in the weather, was able to shoot 2 test negatives with my whole plate camera, and was more than very impressed with this 13" optic. Plus the image on the GG was amazingly bright and easy to focus with my 71+ year old eyes. This lens along with my 180mm Fuji and 250mm Fuji make one sweet and rather compact lens system for my whole plate. Focal length of 300mm was just too close to my 250mm lens, but the extra 30mm of the 330mm Wollensak compliments my 250mm nicely. Have the feeling that the 330mm lens just might be my main objective for shooting whole plate. Also tried 20" focal length. Focused at infinity really taxed the bellows extension with maybe only an additional 2" of extension possible. I can live with that, being that I would probably only use the 20" optic for distant subjects. Test negative for the 20" lens group also looked great. As for the 25 1/2" lens group, I have a "top hat" lens board that should let me use the optic for shooting distant subject matter, but just not sure if it is worth the trouble.

karl french
16-Feb-2019, 08:20
The whole plate Velostigmat Series IA I have is a 10"-15"-20" combination of focal lengths.