View Full Version : Info on f11 305mm Raptar

Michael Roberts
2-Jun-2010, 20:13
Does anyone have any information or experience with this lens? I can't find any information in the Wollensak catalogs on cameraeccentric. It's not a Series II Raptar or a 1a or enlarging or wide angle, or any other Raptar I can identify.

Thanks in advance.

Michael Roberts
2-Jun-2010, 20:16
Here's a picture of the lens....

Michael Roberts
2-Jun-2010, 20:16
Also, any idea why the aperture skips from 32 to 64?

Paul Fitzgerald
2-Jun-2010, 22:35
"Also, any idea why the aperture skips from 32 to 64?"

the markings are raised on the shutter face, 45 would not fit well.
Never heard of that lens.

Mark Tweed
3-Jun-2010, 08:45

Based on the size of the lens elements, the f11 designation, and the Rapax shutter size comparable to a Copal 1, I'd say your Raptar is a dialyte design, similar to a Goerz Artar, Schneider Repro Claron or a Rodenstock Apo Ronar. This style of lens is known for their sharpness and high resolution.

You can confirm this by observing the number of reflections visible as you look into the lens. A dialyte design has 4 air-spaced elements which translates into 8 visible reflections. It's easier to count them with the shutter closed meaning you should see 4 reflections (say of the light bulb when held beneath your desk lamp) per side.

Wollensak made excellent repro lenses, which this would be one of. You have a fine lens in hand.


Michael Roberts
3-Jun-2010, 12:03
Thanks Mark! Correct me if I am wrong, but I think the Nikkor f9 300 M, which is similar in size (Copal 1) is a tessar design, so I'm not sure we can necessarily infer the lens design from the size alone.

I don't have the lens in hand yet, but I can do the light-check when it arrives.

Does anyone else know anything about f11 Raptars?

Mark Tweed
3-Jun-2010, 12:59
Michael, you're right about the size not confirming a given lens's construction and the Nikon 300M is a perfect example. Within my limited knowledge of Wollensak lenses I can't think of a tessar they produced with such a slow f stop rating. Years ago, Zeiss made their f9 or f10 Apo Tessars for reproduction work but I can't recall coming across a similar design by Wollensak. Nikon's diminutive tessars, the 200M and 300M, are much more modern creations.

Curiously Wollensak named everything from wide angle dialytes, tessars, repro dialytes to Dagor style lenses, with their proprietary name Raptar. So it is confusing to determine its construction by the name.

The reflection count will give you the answer when you have the lens in hand. My hunch is it's a dialyte - a superb lens.


Michael Roberts
3-Jun-2010, 13:16
Thanks again, Mark. I have a 203mm Ektar, which I understand is also a dialyte design, and is highly regarded.

Other than the Nikkor and Schneider f9 300/305s, it is difficult to find 300mm length lenses that are compact. I just purchased this Raptar on the strength of the name and the apparent size, so I'm hoping it turns out to be a good hunch.

It just seems odd to me that I can't find any info on this lens. Wollensak did not start using the Raptar name until after WWII; it's not like the lens is from the 1910s.

Mark Tweed
3-Jun-2010, 17:39
The serial number, the Wolly-coated symbol denoting single-coating to the lens, and the recent Rapax shutter puts this lens into the 50's/60's time period (modern by Wollensak standards). This will make a fine companion to your excellent 203mm Ektar.

My own 4X5 backcountry lens kit incorporates two dialytes as my longer lenses, a 210mm Repro Claron and a 300mm Apo-Ronar. They're both compact, light and sharp.

You'll have the same combination with your Ektar and new Raptar.


Michael Roberts
6-Jun-2010, 17:05
Received the lens yesterday; it looks fantastic. It's in a Rapax #2 shutter--about the size of a Copal 0. Popped it on the 11x14 this morning and it just covers--maybe 1/4" of vignetting at the corners. Image on the gg was very sharp. Tiny lens, great for backpacking. Definitely a dialyte.

Thanks again, Mark!