View Full Version : Royal lens?

24-Sep-2010, 05:08
I was looking for a vintage lens with a bit of soft focus and came across a very interesting lens.
It's called "Royal Serie III" has an f-stop of 8-64 and a focal length of 300mm and was made for 18x24 (so I guess it'll work for 8x10 portraits).
Does anyone know anything about that lens?
I tried to google it and found out it was made by Wollensak (or maybe that was another lens called "royal"?) but nothing else came up....

Thanks in advance,


24-Sep-2010, 06:23
You found a rapid rectilinear / aplanat lens intended for the 18x24 (cm) format--roughly equivalent to 8x10. It's not exactly a portrait lens and it definitely isn't soft focus, although a RR will soften up a bit in the corners. The Wollensak Royal Portrait lens has no relation to the lens you found--it's a large portrait petzval, and later became the Vitax line of lenses.

You could use the Royal Serie III for portraits, providing you have enough light to work with and the look will be different than a modern lens, but you may want to continue your search for a more classic Petzval portrait or a real soft focus lens. I suggest a visit to http://www.antiquecameras.net/home.html to look at the Petzval and soft focus lens sections.

24-Sep-2010, 06:31
Thank you!!!
I was thinking about buying it, as I only have very 'sharp' lenses and I'm trying to get a bit softer for a special portrait series - so I guess I'll keep searching for a bargain Petzval :)

24-Sep-2010, 07:03
Christoph, Most would say Petzvals are sharp lenses, with rapid falloff towards the edges. They are not really soft lenses, though a few have a feature that allows the focus to be adjusted similar to simply being "out of focus."

However, if you use the front glass only, and reverse the way it faces, you have a soft meniscus lens. Also, many landscape lenses have a single meniscus, that can be soft if the aperture is opened up somehow.