View Full Version : What type of lens is this?

Scott Davis
15-Feb-2007, 07:55
I just picked this one up on Ebay, as it looks like a good option for my Anthony studio camera (I'm going to configure it for doing full-plate wet-plate work). Ebay item # is 150089758812. Is this a Petzval, or is it something more "modern" in design? When used at portrait distances, will it cover 8x10, or will I still get vignetting in the corners?

Michael Gudzinowicz
15-Feb-2007, 08:10
Check the "Details" tab accompanying the following photo:


Scott Davis
15-Feb-2007, 09:00
Michael - thanks. That's a nice photo he took. Any idea what the focal length of such an animal might be? I'm guessing for a 6 1/2x8 1/2 it would be something around 300-325 mm, since they're billing it as "Portrait".

Pat Hilander
15-Feb-2007, 12:25
That lens looks almost identical to a Wollensak Portrait Lens Series A f5 that I have. It probably is the same, just re-branded for Seneca. If it is, it's a 12" lens and will cover 8x10 at tighter portrait distances but start to vignette for half body portraits, which can be a fun look, it'll get that crazy Petzval swirl when used that way. You'll have some fun with it!

Michael Gudzinowicz
15-Feb-2007, 13:36
I agree with Pat - it looks like a rebranded Wollensak. The person from whom you purchased it, also has sold the Wollensak version (see EBay item 150073176856). The pertinent portions of the inscriptions and lens appear to be identical.

You can get more information on the Wollensak lens at:



Lens & Repro has the 8x10 version for around $650, so you did well.

Scott Davis
15-Feb-2007, 14:50
Wow, then I really did do well with that one. Pays to shop feePay midweek then. I was comfy with buying from that seller given his LONG history of selling camera gear and his overall high rating. Now I'm getting excited to get it in my hands and go play. I'll just need to cut a new lensboard for it and get my iris diaphragm mounted, then toss it up on the 8x10 and have at it! MAYBE if I'm in luck, it will be here in time for the Gettysburg outing on Sunday.

Paul Fitzgerald
15-Feb-2007, 19:02

If that is a rebranded Wollensak f/5 Vesta, it would also be a convertible. The front cell should screw into the rear as a 17" menicus and a completely different look to it.

Have fun with it.

Walter Calahan
16-Feb-2007, 10:54
Scott, Gettysburg on Sunday is only 38 miles from my house! Perhaps we can photograph ice encrusted snow? Grin.