View Full Version : Wollensak question

Peter A.
24-Sep-2010, 04:42
many of you have probably already seen this: http://www.petapixel.com/2010/09/17/102-year-old-lens-plus-canon-5d-mark-ii-equals-instant-vintage-photos/

I have a few questions regarding this lens. Where can i get this lens or anyting similar to this (what would be apropriate?). How much would it cost me :)

Saddly i have little knowlage of large format photography, but i think this lens combined with a FF sensor would make a great combo for street photography.

Brian Stein
24-Sep-2010, 05:55
this is a movie camera lens. It will only cover a small format (not sure exactly what). I would look on ebay

24-Sep-2010, 08:19
It shouldn't cost very much. Look for old movie cameras in thirft shops and goodwills. Try to find older movie cameras with fixed lenses not zoom. It will probably cost you much more to get the mount made than the lens- unless you can hack something up yourself.

24-Sep-2010, 11:17
Finding something that old might be hard, but getting a bad cinema lens that produces a relatively similar look won't be. Most of the wollensak cinema lenses I see on eBay are c-mount (for 16mm) and considerably faster and more modern, but keep looking around until you find something for 35mm that's as old as possible. Look for "normal" focal lengths, between 35mm and 50mm. It would probably be pretty hard to find that exact lens, but bad old cinema lenses are everywhere.

The adapter would be a pain to make elegantly, or you could just cut a hole in an appropriate camera body cap and then shim or recess (to match the flange distance at infinity through trial and error) and glue the lens onto it, then paint the glue or add a layer of gaffer's tape to make it light tight. Then your lens would look as bad as the photos it would produce! Kidding...kind of.

What you don't want to do is buy a modern (last 40 years) 4x5 lens and mount that on a dSLR. All you'll get is a sharp, slow (f4.5-f9, usually), long lens with an extremely normal looking image.

I'm not sure you'll find lots of answers here, since neither the camera nor the lens are designed for anything remotely large format. However, of all the photography forums I've visited this one has the smartest (not me; I'm an "artist" not an engineer) and most technical members...so maybe you will get some good advice, I just doubt many here have tried this kind of thing. Then again there seems to be a love of vintage gear here.

24-Sep-2010, 11:39
Just buy a Lensbaby.

Dr Klaus Schmitt
24-Sep-2010, 12:48

I do a lot of such conversion stuff since many years and a I have plenty of such lenses here. email me --> postmaster@macrolenses.de and we can talk about that.