View Full Version : Wollensak 108 Extreme

John Conway
1-Sep-2011, 16:54
I am considering buying the Wollensak 108 extreme wide angle lens for 4x5. I think the generous amount of movement I can get out of this lens would be very helpful for making images of farmhouses. The 90/8 SA is also a consideration. As well as a Fuji 120. But this little guy has my attention. Any thought would be appreciated.

Mark Tweed
1-Sep-2011, 21:39

I had a Wollensak 108mm f6.8 (WA) Wide Angle which might be different than the EWA your looking at. Here's a link to my ad to sell it that has an explanation of lens. It might be helpful.



Tim Deming
2-Sep-2011, 07:22
This lens is meant for 5x7, and just covers IIFC, so you should have a good amount of coverage for movements on 4x5. I've had one of these for a while, but have not used it in a long time --just dont shoot that much 5x7 anymore...



2-Sep-2011, 11:21
hey Mark
yours was a F6.8? I have a F4.7 108mm Raptar Wide angle
where did you find the data for yours as I have been looking
for some Data on mine! wonder if it has the some
lens is rated with image circle (@f22) of 228mm and 93
degrees coverage like the one you had!


Dan Fromm
2-Sep-2011, 12:54
Look at it again, Banjo, I don't think Wolly made f/4.7 wide angles. f/6.8, f/9.5, f/12.5 wide angles are all in various catalogs on cameraeccentric, but not f/4.7

Mark Tweed
2-Sep-2011, 13:40
Banjo, Dan is correct, there is no such thing as a Wollensak f4.7 wide angle. That aperture speed would equate to many of Wollensak's Tessar offerings in slightly longer focal lengths (135mm, 162mm etc). They didn't make a Tessar in a 108mm focal length, at least not in their modern single coated lenses. I do have a coated 101mm f4.5 Wollensak Tessar, but it is strictly a 2X3 format lens.

If your front glass element is closer to the size of a quarter versus a dime, then you have Tessar construction lens.

2-Sep-2011, 16:18
Yes I miss up BUT I was looking at the shutter
NOT the lens some one has change the shutter
the shutter has f4.7 but the lens is f6.8
so now I will have to calulate out my f stops

Carsten Wolff
5-Sep-2011, 02:16
I have the 108mm f6.8 WA Raptar and f9.5 EWA Velo versions and have to say that my copy of the f6.8 is pretty good. (I also have a 103.7mm (!) version, which is similar)
My only criticism is having had (minor) dramas finding a filter-adapter for the suckers. I did have an ill-fitting push-on adapter and onto that a 52mm step up ring, but now have removed the inner thread of the step-up ring and mounted that flush onto the Alphax shutter's face, which meant making external aperture and speed scales...:)
I think optical performance of these older wide field lenses varies a fair bit, so you want to get a good copy. Also, the f9.5 and f12.5 versions may benefit from refocussing stopped down (!).

bill kehoe
5-Sep-2011, 18:25
here are some slightly doctored exerpts from my recent auction description (the auction is finished) if you want another opinion.

"For auction is a highly useful, coated, multipurpose wide-angle lens in excellent condition for its age. Wollensak designed a series of extreme wide-angle lenses for various formats. This 108mm Velostigmat is the one for 5x7, which it will just cover wide-open at infinity, and a bit more at an f-stop and distance anyone's likely to actually use. Although the maximum marked taking aperture is f12.5, the viewing aperture is much greater...f6.8 I think... so there's plenty of light to inspect the image in the groundglass. In fact, I've intentionally exposed negatives at that viewing aperture, hoping for a little pictorial softness, and didn't see any at all in 11x14 b&w enlargements. On a 4x5 camera, it can be very useful for architectural photography or anything else requiring huge coverage. It also works effectively in older press-type cameras whose designs rarely accomodate 90mm lenses satisfactorily. You can't take full advantage of its coverage there because the camera gets in the way, but an Angulon doesn't have any extra and is no sharper, and because the 108 is a little farther out from the body, there is room for some movement depending on the camera. It's also ideal for outdoors because it's so small and lightweight.

Wollensak has an unfairly bad reputation these days because a lot of post-war camera manufacturers irresponsibly installed 127mm Optars in 4x5s. Those were designed for 6x9 and Wollensak had no control over how they were used once sold. The company made quality optical equipment and a lot of it. They wouldn't have stayed in business so long if they hadn't."

I may be generalizing, but I notice that people who have never used a Wollensak are the most likely to badmouth them. I've been very happy with mine, for what it's worth.