View Full Version : The Enigmatic Verito

William Whitaker
17-Aug-2012, 10:13
The catalogs at Cameraeccentric.com and the Lens Vademecum indicate that the Verito was an ƒ/4 lens except for the two smallest sizes, denoted A and B, which were ƒ/6. The A is a lens of 5" FL and was intended for 3 1/4 x 4 1/4. I have a 5" Verito, presumably the A since that's the only 5" lens listed. However, my 5" Verito is clearly marked ƒ/4.5. I have checked the focal length and the entrance pupil and the numbers check pretty closely.

But I cannot find any information on a 5" ƒ/4.5 Verito. Hence the enigma. Does anyone have any information or insights to offer? I can only assume that it must be a one-off or perhaps a prototype unless it was one of the "special Verito" lenses alluded to at Antique and Classic Cameras (http://antiquecameras.net/softfocuslenses2.html),

"Over time "Special Verito" lenses were even produced for small format cameras."

This lens is mounted in a Betax #2 shutter which looks to be a factory mount, although I can't be certain of that. Perhaps it was made for a specific camera, then re-mounted in the Betax. Curious.

Kevin J. Kolosky
19-Aug-2012, 12:22
I don't know the answer to your question, but I almost can't believe the prices some of these older lenses like Verito's are going for!!

As a portrait lens how would you say the Verito is compared to say one of the super expensive Nicola Persheid lenses or others like it?

19-Aug-2012, 13:48
If it's made for 3 1/4 x 4 1/4, there's a good chance it was for a graflex SLR, which were plentiful.In which case, it would naturally be a barrel lens, though later on it appears they were available shuttered, perhaps after graflex SLRs became less common?

http://www.cameraeccentric.com/img/info/wollensak_17/wollensak_17_11.jpg claims 5" ones were available in barrel versions with special speed, whatever that means.

It's not uncommon for barrel lenses to have a different aperture than the same lens in a shutter, all other things being equal.

William Whitaker
19-Aug-2012, 20:48
OK, let me try this again. It's clearly marked.... ƒ/4.8. (It's more clear after I put on my reading glasses!) ƒ/4.8 not ƒ/4.5, but still not ƒ/6 by a long shot. I've added a couple of photos in case it helps (or if anybody's curious). Note that the shutter has an aperture scale starting at ƒ/4.8. Don't know if it was originally a barrel lens, but it looks like it all belongs together.



William Whitaker
19-Aug-2012, 20:52

I haven't the vaguest idea. I've never even seen a Nicola Perscheid lens. Sorry.

William Whitaker
20-Aug-2012, 08:46
Curious to me that the first stop marked after ƒ/4.8 is ƒ/6.3, not ƒ/5.6. More geometrically centered between 4.8 and 8, perhaps.

Jim Galli
20-Aug-2012, 09:47
Sweet lens! Smallest I've had was a 7" Verito.

Verito's are typically softer wide open than a Nicola Perscheid lens. The NP is same formulation as Pinkham Series IV. Apples and Oranges? Maybe.

20-Aug-2012, 17:06

I haven't the vaguest idea. I've never even seen a Nicola Perscheid lens. Sorry.

now you have!


Kevin J. Kolosky
20-Aug-2012, 17:20

Nice lens!!!! Is it yours? Perhaps start a new thread and show some images that you have made with it.

That Verito isn't bad either!!!! What a nice lens. The book "Large Format Optical Reference Manual" by Wooden lists that lens. He calls it a Verito Diffused Focus Double Convertible.
The combined cells equal 5 inches. The rear cell is 10 inches. In the 5 inches the coverage is 3 1/4 x 4 1/4 and the rear cell covers 5 x 7. Its 3 elements in 2 groups. It says that it normally came in a Betax shutter. It also says the max f stop is f4, and it appears from your pictures that the f stop selector goes past the last marked stop and probably ends at f 4. In fact, it appears from the book that all Veritos are F 4. So according to that authority you have a genuine lens there, and a nice one at that.

He does list 2 F 6 soft focus lenses. They were called Veritar. Also 3 elements in 2 groups.

William Whitaker
20-Aug-2012, 18:42
No, my lens reaches its maximum aperture at /4.8 indicated. Any further movement of the iris does not result in increased lens opening. So /4.8 is wide open. That's all she wrote.

I appreciate the reference you included, but I'm a little skeptical. Not all Veritos were /4. The Wollensak catalogs list small Veritos (Nos. A & B) as being /6, which was the basis for my original question since the A is listed as 5" FL, but /6.

All Veritos are convertible lenses, specifically "double convertible" by virtue of the fact that they yield two focal lengths.

What I'd love to find is a reference to an /4.8 Verito. I'm curious if this was a production lens or a one-off or prototype. One thing that I've learned about hundred-year-old lenses and cameras is that there was not the level of standardization that we've come to expect these days. Variations were not uncommon, nor were special orders and short production runs which don't show up in a catalog. It's entirely possible that it was made originally for a specific camera, be it a Graflex or other. And it could have been originally a barrel lens mounted later to a Betax #2. Just because the shutter looks old doesn't mean that it wasn't re-mounted a long time ago.

This lens is an oddity, albeit a nice one. And I'm hoping that maybe someone has access to some other factory information beyond the catalogs. I realize that's unlikely however.