View Full Version : Identifying Wollensak lens

16-Oct-2008, 14:26
I picked up a Wollensak lens at a local camera store for cheap the other day. I don't know much about the lens so I thought I would start here. The front barrel of the lens says "6 x 7 sym. convertible". the shutter is a AUTEX and has the wollensak name at the bottom. Anyone know about this lens?

Glenn Thoreson
16-Oct-2008, 16:04
A good guess would be it's a Rapid Rectilinear or an Aplanat. If you count the reflections in the front and rear cells, you should find they are the same. It will probably be one cemented pair and one single glass per cell. Possibly only two individual glass per cell. A pretty good indication of it's design.

16-Oct-2008, 16:08
Whats the aperture?

16-Oct-2008, 17:49
wide open it's f4.

from a quick look there seems to be two reflections in the front and rear.

Glenn Thoreson
16-Oct-2008, 21:28
Yup, Rapid Rectilinear. The aperture scale likely is the old U.S. scale. If it has no f/11 that would confirm it. Modern stops will center around f/16 which is the same on either scale. To use it, you would count in modern progression, up or down from there. For example, f/8 will be f/11, f/4 is f/8, and so on. It is, in fact, an f/8 lens in modern terms. Use it. You'll be surprised. :D

16-Oct-2008, 22:48
yup it has no f11 on it. Thanks for the insight. Does anyone know the coverage for this lens?

Brian Stein
17-Oct-2008, 02:10
My guess would be 6x7, although the edges may be quite soft. Unlike modern lenses where the designers often mechanically vignette the image at the edge of high definition, this one will appear to cover a lot of ground but be pretty mushy out in the weeds. I have a similar RR off a dead kodak autographic which easily covers 45 and is pleasantly sharp in the centre. Use and enjoy.

17-Oct-2008, 09:00
My first guess was 6x7 cm but I was hoping maybe it was inches. I'll still enjoy this little lens....maybe put it on my baby graflex.

Dan Fromm
17-Oct-2008, 09:47
Greg, are you sure it is engraved 6x7? 5x7, as in 5"x7", is much more likely.

Go here: http://www.cameraeccentric.com/html/info/wollensak_9.html and look at what the catalog says about the Three Focus Symmetrical Lens. Rapid Rectilinear it ain't.

17-Oct-2008, 09:56
I would think that it is likely that a lens marked with the old US f-stop scale would indicate its format in inches. Old Wollensak catalogs on the Camera Eccentric site give everything in inches only.

See http://www.cameraeccentric.com/info.html

Wide angle lenses in those days were extremely slow, so this looks to be a standard lens. Have you got an approximate focal length for the lens? If it is on the order of 4 inches then you can expect the lens to cover 6x7 cm, but if the focal length is more like 8 inches then it might cover 5"x7".

17-Oct-2008, 11:36
The barrel does say 6x7 and not 5x7. The focal length is close to 8in.