View Full Version : Wollensak Graphic Raptar 138 f4.5

26-Aug-2007, 17:43
The Surplus Shed has these lenses for sale (in barrel only) for $35. The one I got is in pretty good shape. Has anyone used one of these? I can't find much about their performance on the web. The LF reference manual says they are four elements in three groups, have a 50 degree angle of view and are APO Velostigmats. They might be a good bet to use with a Speed Graphic for a cheap way to get started in LF.
Dave B.

26-Aug-2007, 20:11
I know nothing about them -- what a very strange focal length. Maybe 135mm lenses rebadged to 138mm just to meet some dumb government specification which was accidentally typed with an 8 instead of a 5, and then it was like leutenant keji.

Dan Fromm
27-Aug-2007, 03:34
Bill, its Kije. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lieutenant_Kije.

138 mm is approximately 5 3/8", the focal length has been around since at least the turn of the 20th century.

Dave, I've had a 138/4.5 Graphic Raptar for years. It is a tessar type, is absolutely positively not apochromatic, and IMO is a pretty mediocre, as in poor, lens. Until proven otherwise, it is a rebadged Enlarging Raptar.

If you search on usenet, you'll find posts that report favorably on the lens for use close up. I've tried mine closeup, found it worse than the 135/4.5 Tominons for Polaroid MP-4 that I used to own. None of mine, I think I've had 3, was particularly good.

Wollensak made some fine lenses, also some crappy ones. My 138 Graphic Raptar is crappy, so I'm suspicious of the others. To find out whether yours is ok, try it out.



28-Aug-2007, 16:18
Thanks for the information. I'll mount it on my Speed Graphic and give it a shot.
Best wishes,
Dave B.