View Full Version : velostigmat series II for landscape?

David Aimone
24-May-2011, 05:45
I'm going to Maine for a week and want to lighten my load. I will be bringing a Wollensak Velostigmat 9.5" series II with me, and I was wondering if it is sharp enough stopped down for crisp landscapes. I've used it for soft portraits, but I haven't used it for distance shots. I do have a Komura Commercial lens around the same focal length that I could bring for landscapes, but if the Wolly can sharpen up well stopped down, I'll just bring it.

Also along for the ride will be a Nikkor-SW 90mm f/8, a Rodenstock Sironar-N 150mm and the "Galli" special meniscus lens!

Leaving home a bunch of others...

24-May-2011, 06:04
I'm going to Maine for a week and want to lighten my load. I will be bringing a Wollensak Velostigmat 9.5" series II with me, and I was wondering if it is sharp enough stopped down for crisp landscapes.

How do you define "sharp enough"? If you're looking to compare against a modern plasmat like that Sironar, the Velostigmat won't stand a chance. It was sharp for it's time. The bonus of taking it is that you also have the option to diffuse and make softer landscapes if you choose to do so. I would recommend taking it on the trip. It's not just another focal length, but another look entirely from the other lenses you list. It also complements your other focal lengths without duplicating (depending on the meniscus).

David Aimone
24-May-2011, 06:07
That flexibility between soft and somewhat sharp is attractive and I will bring it. I guess I just need to decide if the extra baggage is worth it to bring a small, more modern lens in that range like the Komura. It's not that large, but it's still takes up space and adds weight.

I do wish I had time to do a few test shots before I leave to see how the "sharp" shots look, but alas...

Mark Sampson
24-May-2011, 06:14
The Velostigmat is a Tessar and is certainly sharp @ f/22. Assuming that it's a pre-war, uncoated lens, the issues will be low contrast and a great deal of flare in any kind of backlight. I'm basing this opinion on my experience with a 12" Series II on 8x10, many years ago.

John Kasaian
27-May-2011, 20:01
I've always liked the look of series II Velostigmats--from sharp to bokeh-y, it's got it covered. A 9-1/2" would be a sweet lens on a 4x5 or 5x7.
I'd say stopped down its plenty sharp. But that's just my opinion.

Mark Sawyer
27-May-2011, 20:31
I found mine quite sharp stopped down to the f/22 to f/45 range, and "reasonably" sharp wide open. It will have a bit softer contrast than the coated lenses, of course, but I find that look appealing, (personal preferences).

And if you've "uncorked" the diffusiometer, there's a whole 'nother dimension...

Pretty impressive for a lens that might have brought a hundred bucks
on a good day a few years ago. :)

David Aimone
16-Jun-2011, 06:41
Both of these with a Velostigmat Series II 9.5" lens. Not wide open, though, but with a bit of diffusion dialed in to compliment the fog...



Jim Noel
18-Jun-2011, 07:50
A lot depends on your printing method. What is sharp for a contact print can be very soft in a 16x20 enlargement.

21-Jun-2011, 16:33
7 1/4"/4.5 Velostigmat Series II at f/11, 1/100 sec., 5x7 Canham, TMY2 @ 400. Seems pretty sharp to my visually challenged eyes, and I think maybe there is also still a little of the Velostigmat glow to the highlights (all of this might be my imagination of course). Nice lens, even in my hands. I'd take it along for the ride.

22-Jun-2011, 09:58
David, beautiful photos.

I have a 8-1/4" f4.5 Velostigmat that says Focus Series II. I saw another one on fleaBay that says just "Series II". Is there an actual difference?

It doesn't appear to have any kind of adjustment for diffusion, but maybe I'm missing something(?).

john wood
15-May-2012, 11:51
David - those are quite beautiful, as mentioned above. I've been wondering about using my Velo a bit closed down but with fuzzolater dialed up...would things stay sharp and glowing, or just be confused... Seems like you have the right balance here.

John Kasaian
16-May-2012, 06:54
Wolly Velostigmats are plenty sharp when stopped down. Definately a multi-tasker! I'd take it along.

David Aimone
16-May-2012, 13:50
Well, that was last year, but I'm going again in about a week and will take it again. As well as a 4x5 zone plate/pinhole camera...