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Phil Hudson
31-Oct-2011, 14:44
I have a small orphaned brass barrel lens from a project that I am abandoning. It is a 3.25 inch Watson Holostigmat convertible wide angle.

Looking at the dual aperture scale the elements can be used singly or in combination (f/22 and f/11 respectively).

I'm wondering what the coverage might be. It looks like it might cover 4x5 but I was wondering if anyone has any experience of this actual lens who can confirm this, or if this is rather optimistic?

Any input appreciated. I guess I'm also wondering how much I should ask for it if I were to sell it here (or elsewhere)?

Thanks in advance.

Dan Fromm
31-Oct-2011, 16:18
Phil, I've never had a Holostigmat, let alone a convertible WA. But they are mentioned in the VM. No idea on pricing. Here's the news:

Holostigmat Convertible Series 1 f6.1 This was made in 4.-24in (20 types) and a few were made at
f6.0. The aperture fell normally to f6.5 if the components were different. It should be a crisp, contrasty lens and
one of these is fully usable today. The single components work at f11.5 or 11.3 and were made in 6.0- 34.5in
focus.(Layout Wat004). It normally covers about 65 or if stopped down up to 86-90, a little more than the
Dagor is usually rated to cover, and noticeably more than most other symmetrical anastigmats. The single
cells cover 36-40 when used alone. Thus an 4.0 or 6in lens is quite easy to use on 5x4in. As suggested, the
cells can be of different focus, though the examples seen were the same back and front to get the maximum
aperture. One was seen in a focusing mount, No49x for a 5in lens, while an 8.5in was in a normal barrel at
No20x and a 7in was No155x. It was made in 4.0, 4.25, 4.5, 5.0, 5.5, 6.0, and longer foci. There are too many
combinations to list completely but some are as follows.
Some useful sizes for 5x4in work are:
Focus (in)
Pair Front cell Rear cell Aperture
4.0 7.25 6.0 f6.5
4.25 7.25 7.25 f6.1
4.5 8.5 7.25 f6.5
5.0 8.5 8.5 f6.1 This was a regular 5x4in lens.
5.5 10.25 8.5 f6.5 This was suggested for 5.5x4.5in.
6.0 10.25 10.25 f6.1 for up to 6x5in
6.5 12.25 10.25 f6.5 for up to 6.5x4.75
They do seem sometimes to have sold on other cameras, (one Series I was noted at auction on a Lancaster
1/2plate), but were typically on Watson's own cameras in wood and brass.
The 8.5in did not cover 10x8in but probably would cover 1/1plate, and proved to be sharp and very contrasty in
use outdoors: the front cell of 14.5in did cover 10x8in and was also good, even though it had to be used in the
front of the mount, which probably is the wrong position.

Phil Hudson
31-Oct-2011, 23:30
Thanks Dan!