View Full Version : Wollensak Raptar 210 f4.5

10-Mar-2011, 12:47
I have a chance of acquiring one of these at a reasonable price. Any users care to relate their experiences? I have done a search on this forum but it has turned up relatively little in the way of user opinion. A Google search turns up a tremendous amount of irrelevant stuff to wade through.

Thank you.


Mark Tweed
11-Mar-2011, 08:34

For what it's worth, I'll throw in my experience with a similar Raptar f 4.5, but it was a 162mm focal length. They are a tessar design, extremely sharp when stopped down (to say, f11 and beyond for 4X5), limited coverage in comparison to the typical plasmat, but they are superb lenses in rendering values, especially in B&W's. Mine was single coated as all of the modern Wollensaks were, with a deep blue/purple coating, but single coating is fine, as there only 6 air-to-glass surfaces in this lens. For 4X5 use, your 210mm will provide you with plenty of coverage for movements.

Wide open, this should be great lens for portraits with a crisp look at the plane of focus and dropping off nicely into a soft bokeh background.

The tessar design has been around forever and for a reason, they are a true illustrator's lens, rendering values with a wonderful tonality. Kodak's legendary Commercial Ektars are prime examples of the quality that can be achieved with tessars. Some of my favorite images have been taken with tessars in a range of all formats.


Ivan J. Eberle
11-Mar-2011, 12:48
Wollensak also made a legendary 210mm f/5.6 Pro Raptar that was a multi-coated Plasmat design... I've seen exactly one in person and it had very bad etching from fungus so I returned it without having taken a shot with it. Scarce few of these made before they shuttered their plant in the early 70's. The other 210mm that I'm aware of was the barrel-mount enlarging lens. Probably a Plasmat and not a Tessar. May have been others. There's a 305mm that's also Plasmat with a good reputation.

Maybe Dan Fromm will see this and chime in, he's used most of these.

I like my Raptar 135mm f/4.7 (Tessar design) just fine. Beautiful single coating works great with color, etc.
However with the prices of truly spectacular Apo 210mm Plasmats like the Rodenstock Sironar N/Caltar IIN/Sinaron being so dirt cheap-- what with their being typical student lenses for the past 30+ years and therefore so plentiful in the used market (sub $200)-- Raptars tend to be given short shrift these days. They're certainly very capable lenses. Only legitimate beef with Wolly's of that earlier era compared to other lenses of similar design is that is they're all threaded for and cell spacing set for the Wollensak proprietary shutter (typically Rapax, same as Graphex, Alphax-- but bearing no relation to Compur and Copal). What surviving shutters are out there are a bit long in the tooth with no springs available new to bring them up to spec. But they do tend to time consistently once given a CLA.